The victory, ASU’s eighth straight, improved the Sun Devils to 42-12 overall and handed them the Pac-10 title with an 18-4 league record. The Wildcats saw their modest three-game win streak come to an end and their record to fall to 39-14 for the year and 14-8 in conference play.
Arizona jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first on a two-out solo home run by C.J. Ziegler, his team-leading 11th of the season, but the Devils answered right back with three runs on three hits in the home half of the frame.
Eric Sogard drove in Tim Smith with a double to left field to tie the game at 1-1. The two-bagger was ASU’s third consecutive hit to open the inning. Ike Davis and Petey Paramore then added two more runs on sac flies for a two-run edge.
ASU extended its lead to 4-1 in the third on a RBI double by Matt Spencer and added two more runs for a 6-1 advantage on a two-run homer by Matt Hall in the fourth.
After a throwing error by Mike Weldon in the fifth pushed the ASU lead to six runs, the Wildcats began a home run hitting charge to get back in the game.
After a Ziegler walk led off the sixth, Bill Rhinehart hit a two-run homer to right to cut the ASU lead to 7-3. Brad Glenn then followed with a solo homer to left to mark the fifth time this season the Wildcats have hit back-to-back homers in game to make it 7-4 ASU.
ASU added a single run in the seventh on a sac fly to make it 8-4 before Jon Gaston hit a solo home run in the top of the eighth the close out the scoring
ASU starter Mike Leake (12-1) picked up his Pac-10-leading 12th win of the season with six innings of work. The freshman right-hander struck out six and walked two while giving up four runs on six hits.
UA starter Ryan Perry (0-2) was charged with the loss after allowing four runs on six hits in three innings.
Arizona and Arizona State will meet up for game two of the three-game series on Thursday at 7 p.m. Pac-10 Pitcher of the Year Preston Guilmet is the scheduled starter for the Wildcats.