Comeback Falls Short In 6-5 Loss To No. 6 Oregon State

April 29, 2005

Box Score

CORVALLIS, Ore. ( -- Senior first baseman Jeff Larish hit a two-run home run in the top of the seventh inning to pull Arizona State to within one run at 6-5, but the No. 6 Oregon State Beavers held on for the victory over the No. 17 Sun Devils Friday night in the opener of a three-game Pac-10 series at Goss Stadium at Coleman Field.

OSU right fielder Mike Lissman hit a go-ahead three-run home run in the bottom of the fourth inning to erase a 2-0 ASU lead and the Beavers added three more runs in the fifth to account for all of OSU's scoring in the game.

With the loss, Arizona State snapped a six-game winning streak and dropped the Sun Devils to 28-16 overall and 9-4 in Pac-10 play. Oregon State improved to 31-7 overall and remained in second-place in the Pac-10 with a 10-3 record.

'I thought we played well enough to win against a good Oregon State club and had a lot of things go against us that prevented us from putting up some big innings,' said ASU head coach Pat Murphy. 'It's tough to bounce back from a game like this were so many things go against you, but we have two big games left in this series and need to go out and play nine strong innings in each game.'

ASU junior starting pitcher Erik Averill (Orange, Calif.) cruised through the first three innings, but surrendered a three-run home run in the fourth and two more runs without recording an out in the fifth. Averill suffered the loss to fall to 7-3 on the season and have his personal five-decision win streak come to an end. He struck out two and walked two while giving up five runs and seven hits in four-plus innings. Freshman right-handed reliever Seth Garrison (Coppell, Texas) held OSU scoreless with only two hits in 2.2 innings.

OSU's preseason All-American starter Dallas Buck benefited from the middle-inning outburst to secure his Pac-10 leading eighth victory of the year. Buck, who is the 10th preseason All-American pitcher ASU has faced this season, improved to 8-1 scattering seven hits and gave up three runs (two earned) in six innings. He matched a season-high with four walks and struck out three. Sophomore lefty Kevin Gunderson surrendered his first home run of the year to Larish, but was otherwise dominating earning his eighth save of the year with three strong innings.

Larish (Tempe, Ariz.) went 3-for-4 as the only Sun Devil to record a multi-hit game. The senior first baseman slugged his Pac-10 leading 16th home run of the season and moved into a tie for fourth place in the ASU record books with his 44th career home run. Sophomore second baseman Seth Dhaenens (13 games), junior right fielder Travis Buck (8 games), senior third baseman Joey Hooft (8 games), senior catcher Tuffy Gosewisch (7 games) and Larish (5 games) each extended their hitting streaks with singles. Sophomore left fielder Colin Curtis went 1-for-2 with a walk, but was removed from the game after suffering a sprained right wrist.

Lissman led the Beavers at the plate going 2-for-4 with three RBI and hit his first home run of the season. Leadoff hitter Jacoby Ellsbury went 2-for-4 to extend his hitting streak to 20 games. Shortstop Dawin Barney (2-for-3, 2B, RBI) and third baseman Shea McFeely (2-for-3, RBI) also added multi-hit games.

The Sun Devils struck first with a run in the first and another tally in the fourth to take an early 2-0 lead. ASU used a delayed double steal in its first at-bat to take a 1-0 lead. With Averill keeping the OSU bats at bay through the first three innings, ASU added another run in the fourth on a run-scoring fielders choice by freshman center fielder J.J. Sferra (Phoenix, Ariz.).

The Beavers jumped on the scoreboard and took the lead with three runs in the bottom of the fourth. After Averill walked Barney to lead off the inning and McFeely with two outs, Lissman drilled a three-run home run over the fence in left-center field to give the Beavers the lead.

OSU added three more runs in the bottom of the fifth to extend the lead to 6-2. A leadoff single by second baseman Chris Kunda and a pair of bunt singles by Ellsbury and left fielder Tyler Graham loaded the bases and chased Averill from the game. Barney, first baseman Andy Jenkins and McFeely all contributed run-scoring singles to fuel OSU's three-run inning.

The Sun Devils and Beavers continue their three-game conference series Saturday at 1 p.m. at Goss Stadium at Coleman Field. ASU right-hander Jason Urquidez (6-3, 4.61 ERA) will pitch opposite of OSU junior left-hander Anton Maxwell (7-0, 4.55 ERA).

Game Notes: The Sun Devils started true freshman left-handed pitcher Drew Bowman at designated hitter marking his first career appearance in the Maroon and Gold... Bowman becomes the 11th true freshman and 19th newcomer to see action for the Sun Devils this season... freshman Eric Sogard pinch-hit for Bowman in the top of the first inning... Sogard's brother, Alex, who is a senior pitcher at Thunderbird High School in Phoenix, has signed an NLI to play baseball for Oregon State starting next season... Larish extended his hitting streak to five games with his 17th multi-hit game of the year and the 78th of his career... Larish's 16th home run of the season gives him 44 in his career, moving into a tie for fourth place in the ASU career record books with Dan Rumsey... he is now one homer away from tying Barry Bonds for third place... Seth Dhaenens had a single up the middle to extend his hitting streak to 13 games, the longest by a Sun Devil this season... senior catcher Tuffy Gosewisch extended his hitting streak to seven games and notched his team-leading 49th RBI of the season... the 49 RBI matches his entire season total from last year... ASU lost for only the fourth time in 17 games in which they have scored in its opening at-bat... the one-run loss marks ASU's sixth of the season (7-6) and third out of four losses in Pac-10 play.

Oregon State 6, Arizona State 5 (Apr 29, 2005 at Corvallis, Ore.)----------------------------------------------------------------------Arizona State....... 100 100 300  -  5  9  0      (28-16, 9-4 Pac-10)Oregon State........ 000 330 00X  -  6 12  2      (31-7, 10-3 Pac-10)----------------------------------------------------------------------Pitchers: Arizona State - Averill; Marotz(5); Garrison(6); Bordes, B.(8).Oregon State - Buck; Gunderson(7).Win-Buck(8-1)  Save-Gunderson(8)  Loss-Averill(7-3)  T-3:03  A-1791HR ASU - Larish (16).HR OSU - Lissman (1).

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