Baseball Drops Series Finale 6-5 To No. 24 Oral Roberts

April 10, 2004

TEMPE, Ariz. ( -- The No. 15 Arizona State Sun Devils rallied for two runs in the bottom of the ninth inning, but stranded the tying run in scoring position to lose its fourth straight series in a 6-5 loss to No. 24 Oral Roberts Saturday afternoon at Packard Stadium.

The loss, which featured a rare 54-minute rain delay in the seventh inning, was ASU's eighth in the last 12 games to drop its overall season record to 23-11. Despite dropping their fourth straight home series, the Sun Devils remain impressive against ranked opponents with a 11-3 record. The No. 24 Golden Eagles (NCBWA) remained hot winning their third game of the week against a ranked opponent to improve to 26-7.

Trailing 6-3 heading into their last at-bat, the Devils made a last-ditch comeback attempt in the ninth. Junior Josh Asanovich led off the fame with a double and moved to third on a single by junior shortstop Dustin Pedroia. After a walk to senior Nick Walsh to load the bases, Travis Buck lifted a fly ball to right field for a sacrifice fly to cut the lead to 6-4. Freshman Zechry Zinicola pinch-hit for All-American Jeff Larish and grounded out to third base to bring home another run. With two outs and the tying run on second base, junior designated hitter Joel Bocchi popped out to second base to give ORU the 6-5 victory and series win.

ORU senior starting pitcher Sean Sorrow was impressive scattering eight hits and three runs in 5.2 innings to pick up the victory to improve to 5-1 on the year. Tim Robertson followed giving up one run in 2.1 innings and Justin Ramsey closed out the victory to earn his third save of the year.

ASU senior starting pitcher Jeff Mousser had another tough-luck outing, giving up six hits and four runs in five innings. The senior transfer from BYU struck out three and walked three to fall to 1-3 on the year. He also had a key throwing error on an attempted pickoff that allowed a run to come in during the three-run second inning. Junior right-hander Ty Marotz (Crystal Lake, Ill.) had his best outing of the year, striking out four and allowed only one hit in 2.1 innings.

ASU out-hit ORU 12-11 in the contest, but it was not enough to overcome the final score. Asanovich (Gold Canyon) led ASU going 3-for-3 with two runs scored and fell a home run short of hitting for the cycle. Pedroia (Woodland, Calif.) went 2-for-4 with two runs while recording his 15th multi-hit game of the year. Walsh (2-for-4), Buck (2-for-4), and Bocchi (2-for-4) also added multi-hit efforts in the loss.

The Golden Eagles got three hits and great defense from shortstop Grant Plumley (3-for-5). First baseman Dennis Bigley (3-for-4) added a solo home run in the fifth inning and catcher Josh Lex had a key two-run home run in the seventh inning to expand a 4-3 lead into a 6-3 cushion.

The Sun Devils complete their 25-game homestand Monday at 7 p.m. with a non-conference contest against rival Arizona at 7 p.m. at Packard Stadium. All proceeds from the game will help fund a specially designated project dedicated to legendary head coach Jim Brock. ASU won the first meeting between the rivals back on Feb. 24 in a 4-0 shutout. Freshman right-hander Pat Bresnehan (3-2, 3.86 ERA) is expected to make his first start of the season.

Oral Roberts 6, Arizona State 5 (Apr 10, 2004 at Tempe, Ariz.)----------------------------------------------------------------------Oral Roberts........ 030 010 200  -  6 11  0      (26-7)Arizona State....... 000 021 002  -  5 12  2      (23-11)----------------------------------------------------------------------Pitchers: Oral Roberts - Sorrow; Robertson(6); Ramsey(9).Arizona State - Mousser; Cassa(6); Marotz(7).Win-Sorrow(5-1)  Save-Ramsey(3)  Loss-Mousser(1-3)  T-3:14  A-2157HR ORU - Lex (8); Bigley (7).Game notes:54-minute rain delay in bottom of seventh inning.ORU wins series 2-1, ASU's fourth straight series loss.

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