Baseball advances to Super Regionals with 13-4 win over Arkansas
Another big offensive night and a strong start by Mitchell Lambson lifted the Arizona State University baseball team to a 13-4 victory over Arkansas June 5 in the Tempe Regional championship game. The Sun Devils, now 42-16 overall, advance to Super Regionals with the win and will face either Texas or Kent State beginning June 10 or 11.
After pounding out a season-high 19 hits and 16 runs on Saturday against Charlotte, the Sun Devils stayed hot offensively against the Razorbacks. Six of the nine starters had multi-hit games, with Joey DeMichele leading the way by going 2-for-5 with a home run and four RBI.
Lambson earned the win in just his second start of the season, going 6.1 innings and allowing seven hits and four runs with nine strikeouts to improve to 7-3 on the year. The start by Lambson was his 100th appearance in a Sun Devil uniform, only the third pitcher in Arizona State history to have at least 100 appearances (Brett Bordes, 109, Kendall Carter, 102).
The Sun Devils, again playing as the designated visiting team, jumped on the scoreboard in the top of the first. Johnny Ruettiger led off with a triple, but after Deven Marrero grounded out and Riccio Torrez struck out, it appeared Arkansas may escape the jam. However, DeMichele golfed a two-strike pitch out to right field for a two-run homer to put ASU on top 2-0.
ASU added another run in the second on an RBI double by Andrew Aplin. The game stayed 3-0 until the bottom of the fifth when Arkansas had a chance to cut into the deficit. Jarrod McKinney led off with a single, and two batters later, Matt Reynolds singled to center. However, Reynolds attempted to advance to second and was thrown out for the second out of the inning. Lambson then got out of the inning to keep the lead 3-0.
The Sun Devils took that momentum and ran with it, blowing the game open with seven runs in the top of the sixth. DeMichele and Johnny Ruettiger each had two-run singles in the inning, while Aplin, Marrero and Zack MacPhee each brought in a run apiece in the inning.
Arkansas got its first run in the bottom of the sixth, but ASU added three more in the top of the seventh when MacPhee scored on an error and Torrez drove in two with a single. The Razorbacks got three runs in the bottom of the seventh and the bases loaded with two outs, but Mark Lambson came on from the bullpen and got the final out of the inning.
Trevor Williams then retired the Razorbacks in order in both the eighth and ninth innings to secure the victory.
DeMichele was named Most Outstanding Player of the Tempe Regional. He was joined on the All-Tempe Regional Team by teammates Lambson, Ruettiger, Xorge Carrillo and Kramer Champlin, Arkansas' DJ Baxendale, Jarrod McKinney and Ryne Stanek, Charlotte's Corbin Shive and Andrew Smith and New Mexico's Rudy Jaramillo.
The Sun Devils will now meet the winner of Monday's Austin Regional game between Texas and Kent State in a Super Regional. If Texas wins, the best-of-three series will be in Austin, but if Kent State wins, the series will be at Winkles Field-Packard Stadium at Brock Ballpark.