Calhoun’s grand slam, double keys ASU’s 12-5 win

Published 4:18 am Friday, June 19, 2009

Kole Calhoun hit the game-tying grand slam in the fifth inning and the go-ahead double in the seventh, and Arizona State erased a four-run deficit in a 12-5 victory over North Carolina at the College World Series on Thursday night.

Calhoun has homered in each of the Sun Devils’ CWS games and has driven in 10 runs.

ASU (51-13), the No. 5 national seed, plays No. 1 Texas on Friday night. The Sun Devils have to win that game and another Saturday against the Longhorns to advance to next week’s best-of-three finals.

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The 12 runs Carolina (48-18) surrendered were a season high.

ASU starter Josh Spence (10-1) allowed seven hits and four runs, three earned, in seven innings. Colin Bates (4-4) took the loss in relief of Matt Harvey, who threw a CWS-record four wild pitches.

Harvey’s control problems caught up to the Tar Heels in the fifth. He was pulled in favor of Brian Moran after hitting Jason Kipnis and walking Carlos Ramirez to load the bases.

Calhoun, the first batter to face Moran, slugged a 3-2 pitch into the seats 390 feet away in right-center field to tie it at 4.

Calhoun’s homer was his 12th of the season and second off Moran. Calhoun tagged Moran for a three-run homer in the 10th inning in ASU’s 5-2 win Sunday.

North Carolina’s usually dependable pitching melted down in the muggy 92-degree heat. Harvey, making his third career CWS start, walked five and hit two batters, in addition to his wild pitches.

Harvey and six other Carolina pitchers combined to walk 10, hit four batters and throw five wild pitches.

ASU sent 13 to the plate in an eight-run seventh inning that Calhoun started with his two-run double into the right-center gap.

It was the Sun Devils’ biggest inning of the season, and the second-most runs by a Tar Heels opponent in one inning. North Carolina gave up 10 to Virginia in the third inning in an Atlantic Coast Conference tournament loss.

North Carolina’s Dustin Ackley extended his NCAA tournament hitting streak to 22 games with a single in his last at-bat. The No. 2 overall draft pick by the Seattle Mariners, who was likely playing his final college game, has had at least one hit in each of his 15 career CWS games.