Tempe, AZ – A Jason Kipnis home run onto Rural Road in the bottom of the first inning energized a sellout crowd of 4,381 on Saturday night at Winkles Field – Packard Stadium at Brock Ballpark in game 1 of the Tempe Super Regional. And by the time the evening was over, Mike Leake had secured his nation leading 16 win of the season and the 40th of his ASU career. The 7 to 4 victory over the Clemson Tigers puts the Sun Devils one win away from a return to Omaha and the College World Series, while the Tigers now hope to emulate Fresno State of last year and take the next two.
In the third inning a Chris Epps’ RBI single would tie the game up for Clemson. And in the seventh Epps’ would single again, this time driving in two runs to once again even the game up.
Answering right back in the bottom of the seventh a Matt Newman RBI double would drive in Carlos Ramirez and give the Sun Devils the lead for good. While in the eighth Ramirez himself would record his third hit of the night, a single through the left hand side that drove in two more insurance runs.
Graham Stoneburner would take the loss for Clemson after surrendering those three runs. Starter Casey Harman would strike out four on the night, but give up ten hits and four runs in 5.2 innings of work.
Game two is scheduled for Sunday night at 7:00 pm Pacific. Clemson will be the home team and is likely to go with Massachusetts native Chris Dwyer, while ASU will likely use Australia native Josh Spence who earlier this week claimed to be 100% recovered from injuries.