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Baseball sweeps No. 3 Oklahoma

(Photo by Scott Stuk)
(Photo by Scott Stuk)

The perfect spring break for most college students involves adult beverages and sandy beaches.

The ASU baseball team celebrated a bit differently.

The No. 8 Sun Devils (15-4) went 4-1 during their school’s week off from classes, taking two series from two teams at Packard Stadium.

The run started midweek with back-to-back victories over No. 3 Oklahoma (17-5).

Tuesday saw the return of Sun Devil ace Brady Rodgers to the mound.

The sophomore, who hadn’t pitched since opening night, threw three innings of one-hit baseball and earned the win as ASU defeated the Sooners 6-2.

“I’ve just been waiting to get back out there since the first game,” Rodgers said. “I wanted to go out even when I was hurt, but the coaches wouldn’t let me. I just had to deal with it and answer in a positive way.”

Rodgers was only supposed to go two innings, but the righty tore through the opposing lineup so fast he was sent out for the third.

“He still only threw 36 pitches,” ASU coach Tim Esmay said. “He’s such a good pitcher and competitor. He’s been begging for the ball for a while now.”

The following night was Jake Barrett’s turn to shine.

The sophomore pitched six strong innings, giving up three earned runs and striking out a career-high 11 in the 6-4 Sun Devil win.

“He allowed us to hang in there and shorten the game up,” Esmay said. “That’s two outings in a row for him he’s gotten stronger at the end. He went out there pitching, not just trying to throw.”

ASU returned to the diamond Friday night, a day after May 16 was named as the date the school will appeal its 2011 postseason ban.

This time junior transfer Kramer Champlin stole the show against Oral Roberts (8-7).

The righty tossed a six-hit complete game, only giving up a single run in the ninth inning and earning his third win of the season, 5-1.

Junior outfielder Johnny Ruettiger provided much of the offense, driving in two and scoring once.

Saturday provided a stiffer challenge for the Sun Devils.

The Golden Eagles jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the first inning before junior second baseman Zack MacPhee homered onto Rural Road to put ASU on the board.

With the score tied at three in the seventh, sophomore designated hitter Joey DeMichele walked with the bases loaded to force in the game-winning run.

Junior Mitchell Lambson pitched a hitless ninth to record his second save of the year.

ASU’s perfect spring break finally came to an end Sunday when the Golden Eagles jumped on Brady Rodgers in the fifth for five runs, four earned.

Rodgers (2-1) had previously held opponents scoreless his previous 12 innings on the mound.

The five spot ended up being enough as Oral Roberts held off ASU 5-2. The Sun Devils left 12 runners on base throughout the afternoon.

“We had our opportunities,” Esmay said. “We didn’t take advantage of it. Any time there are runs out there, you have to score. We hit some balls hard and they played defense.”

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