Spence's Complete Game Leads No. 6 ASU Past USC
March 28, 2009
Courtesy of Arizona State Athletics
LOS ANGELES, Calif. - The second ranked Arizona State Sun Devils rode the left arm of junior Australian Josh Spence, as he tossed his first career complete game to lead ASU to a 2-1 victory over USC at Dedeaux Field on Friday night. Spence allowed only an unearned run while striking out 10 to move to 5-0 on the year and help the Devils improve to 18-3, 4-0 in Pac-10 play.
Spence won a classic pitcher's duel, as he outpitched USC's Brad Boxberger, who lasted eight innings and allowed only two runs while fanning eight. Arizona State had only a season-low four hits, but they got that at the right time to pick up the win.
USC got on the board first in the bottom of the fourth, scoring an unearned run off Spence to take a 1-0 lead. Ricky Oropesa singled to left with two outs, bringing home Anthony Vasquez, who had reached on a Riccio Torrez error at first to lead off the inning.
Meanwhile, Boxberger kept the Sun Devil hitters at bay, not allowing a hit for the first five innings of the game. The ASU offense finally broke through against Boxberger in the sixth, scoring twice to take a 2-1 lead. After Raoul Torrez was hit by a pitch with one out, Mike Leake broke up the no-hitter with a pinch-hit bloop single to right that moved Torrez to third. Jason Kipnis brought him home on a sacrifice fly to deep center to tie the game at one. Matt Newman followed Kipnis with a chopper over the first baseman's head, then Carlos Ramirez singled through the left side to score Leake and make it 2-1.
That would be all the offense Spence would need, as he notched his third career double-digit strikeout game. USC threatened in the bottom of the ninth, recording two infield singles with two outs, but Spence was able to induce a Grant Green ground ball that Raoul Torrez threw to second for the force out to end the game and seal the win.