June 7, 2009
Tempe, AZ –
Junior lefthander Josh Spence tossed a complete game four-hitter to lead #2 Arizona State to an 8-2 victory over #13 Clemson in front of 4,406 fans at Packard Stadium in the Tempe Super Regional on Sunday night. The Sun Devils, who advanced to the College World Series for the 21st time in school history by winning the super regional 2-0, improved to 49-12. The Tigers ended their season with a 44-22 record.
Spence (9-1) pitched the first and only complete game against the Tigers in 2009 to earn the win. In 9.0 innings pitched, he allowed just four hits, two runs, and one walk with 10 strikeouts. Tiger starter Chris Dwyer (5-6) suffered the loss, as he allowed three runs on four hits with seven strikeouts in 4.1 innings pitched.
After Spence retired the first 11 batters of the game, Jeff Schaus gave Clemson the game’s first lead when he lined a two-out solo home run down the right-field line in the fourth inning, his 13th long ball of the season.
But Clemson’s lead was short-lived, as the Sun Devils stormed back with five runs in the fifth inning. Johnny Ruettiger led off with a single through the left side and Zack MacPhee followed with a walk. After Drew Maggi’s sacrifice bunt moved the runners up a base, Jason Kipnis laced a single up the middle to score Ruettiger and MacPhee. Dwyer then had Kipnis picked off first, but his throw to first-baseman Ben Paulsen was errant, allowing Kipnis to advance all the way to third base. After Matt Vaughn entered the game on the mound and Carlos Ramirez walked on a 3-2 pitch, Kole Calhoun doubled to left-center to score Kipnis and Ramirez. Two batters later, Matt Newman hit a two-out double to right-center to score Calhoun. The two runs allowed by Vaughn snapped his streak of consecutive innings pitched without yielding an earned run at 18.2.
In the top of the ninth inning, Arizona State added three insurance runs. Maggi led off with a double to right-center and Kipnis hit a pop up to shallow left field that dropped between two Tigers for a single. After Maggi and Kipnis moved up a base on a sacrifice bunt by Ramirez, Calhoun hit a grounder to second-baseman Mike Freeman, whose throw home was errant, allowing Maggi to score. Riccio Torrez laid down a squeeze bunt that plated Kipnis, then Newman’s double down the right-field line scored Calhoun.
The Tigers added a run in the bottom of the ninth inning. Chris Epps led off with a single to right-center. Three batters later, Paulsen lined a two-out single to left-center to score Epps. But Kyle Parker grounded out to the catcher to end the game.
Maggi, Kipnis, Newman, and Ruettiger all had two hits apiece to pace Arizona State’s 11-hit attack. Schaus and Paulsen each had a hit and RBI to lead Clemson.
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