CWS Game 12: Texas 4 Arizona State 3

FROM NCAA RELEASE
ColeGreenOMAHA, Neb. – Catcher Cameron Rupp and center fielder Connor Rowe hit solo home runs in the bottom of the ninth to give Texas a 4-3, walk-off win over Arizona State before a crowd of 23,257 Friday night at Rosenblatt Stadium.

The Longhorns, making their 32nd College World Series appearance in school history, improve to 8-1 in the NCAA Tournament and 49-14-1 on the season. Top-seeded Texas will now face third-seeded LSU in the best two-of-three Championship Finals, which begin Monday at 6 p.m. CT.

The Sun Devils, who were playing in their 21st CWS and collected 50+ victories for the 16th time in school history, finish the campaign 51-14.

Rupp launched his 11th dinger of the season over the centerfield wall with one out in the Texas ninth. Rowe then capped the thrilling come-from-behind victory by smashing his seventh long ball of 2009 over the leftfield wall with two outs.

Rupp (2-for-4, 1 R, 1 RBI), Rowe (2-for-4, 2 R, 1 RBI) and second baseman Travis Tucker (2-for-4, 1 RBI) all turned in multi-hit performances for the Longhorns.

Texas left-hander Austin Wood (3.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 2 SO), who retired nine of 12 batters he faced, improved to 6-1 with the win.

Arizona State left-hander Mitchell Lambson (2.2 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 5 SO), who surrendered both solo homers in the dramatic ninth, fell to 9-5 with the loss.

The contest was tied at two through five innings after the teams traded early runs. Arizona State pushed across scores in the third and fourth frames, while Texas plated runs in the third and fifth.

Left fielder Kole Calhoun put Arizona State on the scoreboard with an RBI single in the third before shortstop Drew Maggi gave the Sun Devils another lead with an RBI base knock in the fourth.

Texas third baseman Michael Torres evened things with a lead-off homer in the third before Tucker knotted the affair once again with an RBI single in the fifth.

Neither starter – Texas right-hander Cole Green (6.0 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 6 SO) or Arizona State right-hander Mike Leake (6.0 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 7 SO) – figured in the decision.

Calhoun recorded a 3-for-4 performance with one RBI to finish the CWS with three homers and 11 RBI. He also reached base in 13 of his last 16 plate appearances.

Center fielder Jason Kipnis (2-for-3, 2 R) and right fielder Matt Newman (2-for-3) added multi-hit efforts for ASU.

The result was UT’s second win over Arizona State in the 2009 College World Series. The Longhorns also posted a 10-6 victory over the Sun Devils on Tuesday.

Texas was ranked No. 4 in the latest Baseball America and USA Today/ESPN Coaches polls, while Arizona State was No. 2 in the latest Baseball America, Collegiate Baseball and National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association polls.

Friday evening’s crowd pushes the 2009 CWS attendance total to 271,200 in just 12 games (average of 22,600).

MCWS Game 12 Notes

*-The last walk-off homer in a MCWS game prior to tonight was Texas’ Chance Wheeless against Baylor on June 22, 2005.
*-It is the second last at-bat win in the 2009 MCWS (both by Texas) and the 73rd all-time at the 2009 MCWS.
*-This marks the first time since 2001 and the sixth time since the two-bracket format began in 1988 that both teams advanced through bracket play without a loss (also 1991, 1994, 1996, 2000 and 2001). The only time that both “if necessary games” were needed was in 1988.
*-This will mark the first time Texas and LSU have faced off against each other for a MCWS title. LSU is making its sixth appearance (five titles) and Texas is making its 12th appearance (five titles).
*-It is the third one-run game of the 2009 MCWS (237 all-time at the MCWS).

Texas
*-The Longhorns advance to the MCWS Championship Finals for the third time since the best-of-three Championship finals began in 2003. Texas has played for 11 national titles, winning six times, most recently in 2005, and finishing runner-up on five occasions.
*-With tonight’s win, the Longhorns have won their last eight games at the MCWS dating back to their 2005 national championship, the longest active MCWS win streak.
*-Texas’ three homers tied a season high (also at Oklahoma State, 4/3; at Baylor, 5/2) and the Longhorns have hit 12 homers in nine NCAA Tournament games after hitting 33 during the regular season.
*-Four of Texas’ eight postseason wins have been last at-bat wins, including three walk-off wins (also vs. Army, 5/31)
*-The Longhorns improved to 81-53 all-time at the MCWS, as Texas leads all programs in MCWS in wins (81) and games played (134)
*-Texas is 11-0 when hitting two-or-more homers in a game this season.
*-Texas is now 27-18 all-time against Arizona State and improved to 3-5 against the Sun Devils at the MCWS.
*-Michael Torres has hit three of his five homers over the Longhorns’ last six contests.
*-Texas’ Cameron Rupp had two hits, including a homer, against Arizona State on Friday and was 4-for-7 with three homers and five RBI in two games against Arizona State. Rupp is hitting .400 (14-for-35) with three homers and seven RBIs in the NCAA Tournament. Two of his homers came off ASU’s Mitchell Lambson.
*-Augie Garrido collected his 37th MCWS win on Friday, moving past Arizona State’s Jim Brock and Stanford’s Mark Marquess for third place all-time. His .698 winning percentage now ranks fourth all-time (complete top five is on page 174 of MCWS record book).
*-Texas extended its national lead for sacrifices to 102 with a pair of sacrifices tonight against the Sun Devils. The Longhorns have had 26 sacrifices in nine NCAA Tournament games.
*-Texas’ Brandon Loy is tied for the nation with 25 sacrifice hits with Cal State Fullerton’s Joe Scott. Loy’s 25 sacrifice hits ranks fifth in NCAA Division history.
*-Austin Wood made his 39th appearance of the season, a total which ties for second nationally with Arizona’s Jason Stoffel. The national leader is Cory Burns of Arizona, who made 40 appearances this season. Wood, whose 39 appearances ranks sixth on UT single-season charts, has now made a school-record 116 career appearances.
*-Six of Cameron Rowe’s seven homers have been on Fridays.
*-Texas is now 36-1 when holding foes to three runs or less and now leads the country in ERA heading into the MCWS Championship Finals (2.88 for Texas; 2.89 for Arizona State).p
Arizona State
*-Arizona St. ends the season with 51 wins, which is the second-highest total in the country. Texas can match ASU’s total if they win a national title.
*-With tonight’s loss, Arizona State falls to 61-36 all-time in 21 MCWS appearances. The Sun Devils are third all-time in wins (61) and games played (97).
*-The Sun Devils finished third at the MCWS, the 16th time the Sun Devils finished in the top-three in the country. It is also their best finish since a third-place showing in 2005.
*-With seven strikeouts tonight, Mike Leake upped his season total to 162 to rank second nationally to San Diego State’s Stephen Strasburg. LSU’s Anthony Ranaudo is third with 154. He leads the nation in wins (16), innings (142.0) and starts (18) and is second nationally in ERA (1.71).
*-Arizona State’s Kole Calhoun finishes the 2009 MCWS hitting .563 (9-for-16) with three homers and 11 RBI. Calhoun leads all MCWS players in homers (tied), RBIs, hits and total bases (20). Calhoun went 3-for-4 with an RBI against Texas and hit .459 (17-for-37) with three homers and 18 RBI in the NCAA Tournament.
*-Leake had allowed just two homers in 132.2 innings heading into Omaha, has allowed two over 9.1 innings of work in his two starts.
*-Zach Wilson’s eighth-inning triple was just his first hit and RBI since May 10th.
*-Mitchell Lambson finished the year with an Arizona State freshman record with 99 strikeouts with five strikeouts tonight. Lambson had not allowed two homers in a game in his first 31 appearances (spanning 81 innings), but allowed two homers in the ninth inning and allowed a team-high nine homers.