OSU'S Jake Postlewait Baffles No. 3 Sun Devils
CORVALLIS, Ore. (www.TheSunDevils.com) -- Arizona State sophomore shortstop Dustin Pedroia broke the single-season record with his 31st double of the year, but it was overshadowed by a complete-game pitching effort from Oregon State's Jake Postlewait as the Beavers stunned the third-ranked Sun Devils 6-1 Tuesday afternoon in Pac-10 Baseball action at Goss Stadium at Coleman Field.
With the loss the Sun Devils had their seven-run winning streak come to an end to fall to 45-10 overall and 11-6 in conference play. The one run scored marked only the 13th time during ASU's NCAA record 488-game consecutive games scoring streak that they have been limited to one run. ASU, who entered the game third in the nation averaging 10.37 runs per game, last scored only one run in a contest vs. Stanford late in the 2002 season (a span of 66 games).
Oregon State improved to 22-25 overall and 6-14 in Pac-10 play. The two teams will meet in the rubber game of the three-game set on Wednesday at 4 p.m. ASU senior right-hander Jered Liebeck (7-0, 2.35 ERA) is scheduled to start for the Sun Devils.
'The kid (Postlewait) pitched a great game and there is a reason why he has had great success this year,' said ASU head coach Pat Murphy. 'We didn't execute early in the game and wasted a lot of scoring opportunities. We didn't play aggressive and kind of had cruise control on. We've got a big challenge ahead of us tomorrow and the rest of the road trip.'
Postlewait baffled the Sun Devils with a good mix of off-speed pitches to pick up the win and improve to 4-0 on the year. The Corvallis native allowed only one run and scattered eight hits on 134 pitches in his first complete-game effort of the year.
Arizona State senior starter Beau Vaughan was saddled with the loss giving up five runs and five hits in five innings of work to fall to 8-4 on the year. Vaughan struck out five, but also walked four and had one wild pitch.
At the plate the Devils couldn't pick up any momentum off Postlewait after scoring in the first inning. ASU left runners in scoring position in four different innings and could not capitalize to cut into OSU's two-run lead. Junior right fielder Andre Ethier and designated hitter Jeremy West each had two hits for the Devils. Pedroia's first-inning double extended his hitting streak to 11 and broke the previous school record of 30 doubles set by Chris Bando in 1978. The double down the left field line also tied the Pac-10 record of 31 set by Washington State's Mike Kinkade in 1994. Ethier (10 games), West (11 games) and sophomore first baseman Jeff Larish (16 games) each extended their hitting streaks in the loss.
For the 26th time in 2003 the Sun Devils put a run on the board in the first inning to take the early 1-0 lead. Pedroia doubled to left field for his school-record breaking 31st double of the year and came into to score on a one-out single to center field by Ethier.
The Beavers battled right back in the bottom half of the inning with a run to tie the game. Jacoby Ellsbury led off with a single to right field and after moving into scoring position on a sacrifice bunt, was driven home on a single by Andy Jarvis.
OSU took the lead in the third with two runs off Vaughan. Ellsbury again started the rally with a leadoff double and scored on an infield groundout by Chris Biles. Shortstop Tony Calderon plated the second run of the inning on a two-out single to left field to give OSU the 3-1 lead, but was thrown out at second base trying to extend the hit into a double.
The Beavers extended their lead to 6-1 with a three-run sixth inning. OSU loaded the bases off two walks and a single and scored the first run on a balk called on ASU reliever Mark Sopko. Reserve third baseman Brad Mellinger then provided the big blow with a two-out, two-run single to left field to cushion the Beaver lead to five runs.