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ASU Baseball: Calhoun Rakes in First Game Against Former Team

Former Devil shines on the big stage against his former team.
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Former Arizona State baseball star Kole Calhoun has been one of the lone bright spots on offense for the Arizona Diamondbacks during this pandemic-shortened MLB season. The right fielder had a chance to keep his bat hot on Tuesday night in his first game against his former team, the Los Angeles Angels. And he did just that.

Calhoun went 3-for-5 from the plate with two home runs and five RBI’s in the Diamondbacks dramatic 9-8 win in Anaheim. The lefty hit a two-run homer in the first to get the D-backs going, and then a three-run bomb in the third to give Arizona a 7-0 lead.

This was Calhoun’s first game at Angel Stadium since the team let him walk in free agency at the end of last season. His first two plate appearances must’ve felt good for the 9th year player out of ASU, as it could have served as some payback to the Angels for not trying to resign him this offseason. After all, Calhoun did spend eight seasons in Anaheim, where he batted .249 while logging 140 home runs and driving in 451 runs.

Calhoun ended up signing a two-year, $16 million deal with Arizona on December 30, 2019, with a club option for 2022. This brought the Buckeye native back to his home state, and he’s produced for the team he grew up watching. The 32-year-old leads the D-backs with 11 home runs and 24 walks while being second on the team in runs batted in with 29. He’s been the only player that has shown consistent power for the team through 49 games.

Calhoun played at Buckeye Union High School before going to Yavapai Community College in Prescott, where he played at the JUCO level for two seasons before attending Arizona State. The Arizona native had a spectacular career for the Sun Devils during his two-year tenure.

During his junior season, Calhoun appeared in 63 games, batting .313 with 12 homers and 52 RBI’s while getting walked 42 times. He really showed out in the 2009 College World Series, when he went 9-for-16 in four games for the Devils in Omaha. He played even better during his senior year, finishing with 17 dingers, 59 RBI’s while posting a .321 batting average, which earned him All-PAC-10 first-team honors. Calhoun’s play resulted in him being selected by the Angels in the 8th round of the 2010 MLB draft.

Calhoun will have two more games to rake against his former team. Including tonight, when the D-backs face the Angels at 6:40 p.m. on ESPN.