Three-Run Fifth Inning Lifts Beavers To 12-2 Win Over Sun Devils

March 26, 2001

CORVALLIS, Ore. - Fueled by a two-run triple by leadoff hitter Eric Stark, the Oregon State Beavers rallied for three runs in the fifth inning and added seven in the bottom of the eighth en route to a 12-2 Pac-10 victory over the No. 6 Arizona State Sun Devils on a cold and wet Monday afternoon at Goss Stadium at Coleman Field. The game was called with one out in the bottom of the eighth due to the 10-run rule in the Pac-10 on travel days.

With the win the Beavers took two of three in the Pac-10 series from the Sun Devils. OSU is now 18-10 on the year and open Pac-10 play at 2-1. The Beavers have now won 10 of their last 12 games. The Sun Devils fall to 20-7-1 on the year and are now 3-3 on the year in Pac-10 play. They have now lost two consecutive games for only the second time this year.

Relief pitcher Craig Hays improved to 4-2 on the year with his stellar performance out of the bullpen. The junior left-hander scattered two hits in five shutout innings to lock down the series win for the Beavers. Starter Mark McLemore left the game with a 2-0 deficit at his back, but escaped with the no-decision. McLemore allowed five hits and two runs in five innings.

The Sun Devils struck first in the third inning with a pair of runs. Consecutive infield singles by sophomore shortstop Dennis Wyrick and junior center fielder Chris Duffy set the table for the scoring rally. After a wild pitch scored Wyrick from third base, freshman Jeremy West put ASU up 2-0 with a sharp single to left field. The rally was killed when senior designated hitter Jeff Phelps grounded into a 6-4-3 double play.

Oregon State threatened to tie the game in the bottom of the third, but in one of the rarest plays of the year, the Sun Devils escaped with a scoreless inning. With runners on second and third, sophomore Brian Barden hit a soft fly ball into right field. ASU junior second baseman Brooks Conrad slipped on the wet outfield on his way to the ball, but when he was on his back the ball caromed off his chest into the glove of right fielder Jonah Martin preserving the 2-0 ASU lead.

The Beavers eventually caught up with and passed the Sun Devils in the bottom of the fifth. Leadoff hitter Eric Stark delivered a two-run triple that was misplayed by Duffy in center field. After starter Andy Torres was chased from the game, catcher Bryan Ingram put OSU up with a single to shallow right field to score Stark, giving the Beavers the 3-2 lead.

Oregon State added two big insurance runs in the bottom of the seventh to expand its lead to 5-2. Catcher Bryan Ingram led the inning off with a triple to right field and later came around to score on a single by pinch hitter Jason McBride. The Beavers added a run to pad their lead to three runs on a sacrifice fly to right field by Josh Carter. OSU put the game to an end with seven runs in the bottom of the eighth.

Stark was 2-for-5 to lead the Beavers with three RBI. Ingram was 4-for-5 with two runs scored and two RBI.

Torres (7-3) suffered his second straight loss, allowing seven hits and three runs in four innings on the mound. ASU was outscored 18-13 in the three-game series and out-hit 31-25. The Sun Devils have not hit a home run in 216 official at-bats. They only managed two extra base hits in the three-game series.

With two runs in the top of the third, the Sun Devils extended their NCAA leading streak of consecutive games without being shut out to 345 games. ASU is now within four games of tying the all-time NCAA record of 349 games set by Coastal Carolina.

After taking the week off, the Sun Devils will return home after six consecutive games on the road to host No. 1 Stanford to a three-game Pac-10 series at Packard Stadium. Games will be held Friday (7 p.m.), Saturday (1 p.m.) and Sunday (1 p.m.). Friday's game will be televised live in the Phoenix area on Cox Cable 9.

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