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Pac-10 CHAMPS! Baseball team claims conference crown

May 24, 2007

Arizona State claimed its seventh Pac-10 Conference championship May 23 in front of a season high crowd of 4,088 at Winkles Field-Packard Stadium at Brock Ballpark thanks to an 8-5 win over in-state rival Arizona. Mike Leake threw six gutsy innings on short rest and Matt Hall blasted a key two-run homer to give the Sun Devils their second Pac-10 title since 2000 and first outright crown since 1993. ASU improves to 42-12 on the year, 18-4 in Pac-10 play.

Arizona jumped on the board in the top of the first, as C.J. Ziegler sent a solo shot to left field with two out to give UA the early 1-0 lead. Eric Sogard tied it up in the bottom of the first, doubling down the right field line to score Tim Smith. An Ike Davis sac fly put ASU up 2-1, then a Petey Paramore sacrifice to center made it 3-1.

Matt Spencer made it 4-1 in the third with a double down the right field line that scored Paramore from first. Matt Hall added two more with a two-run shot to left field. He started the at-bat attempting to bunt Andrew Romine over to second, but after getting two strikes on him took the bunt off and hammered his fourth homer of the year.

The Devils added an unearned run in the fifth, as Ike Davis scored after a throwing error by Arizona's second baseman. That made it 7-1 Arizona State. The Wildcats cut it to 7-4 in the sixth, hitting back-to-back home runs off Leake to cut the lead to three.

Arizona State made it 8-4 in the seventh when Petey Paramore scored on an Andrew Romine sac fly. The Wildcats got the run right back in the eighth, when Jon Gaston took Jason Jarvis deep for a solo shot. That would be all the Cats could muster off Jarvis however, as he recorded the final six out to give the Devils the win and the Pac-10.

Leake lasted six innings, allowing four runs on six hits. He also struck out six and uped his record to 12-1. Ike Davis pitched the seventh, keeping the Wildcats off the board by pitching out of trouble.

Brett Wallace, Ike Davis, Petey Paramore and Matt Spencer each had two hits for Arizona State, while five Devils recorded and RBI.

The Devils and Cats will play game two of the three-game set Thursday night at 7 p.m. from Winkles Field-Packard Stadium at Brock Ballpark.