Sun Devil Baseball Drops Game Two at #16 Oregon
EUGENE, Ore – The #23 Sun Devil Baseball team struggled to break through against #16/#19 Oregon Cullen Kakfa in a 7-1 loss on Saturday at PK Park in Eugene, Ore., forcing a rubber match for the series on Sunday.
ASU outhit the Ducks, 8-6, in the effort but couldn't find the timely hit while Oregon took advantage of free bases and two two-run home runs to pull away down the stretch.
Eight different Sun Devils picked up a hit and the Sun Devils attempted to mount a late rally in the top of the ninth, loading the bases with no outs but a questionable call at second for the third and final out kept things from getting interesting with the top of the lineup coming to the plate.
Tyler Thornton gave ASU 5.0 innings, striking out five but struggling with his control with the rain coming down in the middle innings to the tune of five walks as well.
Oregon's Kafka struck out 11 with no walks in 7.0 innings of work.
ASU was in prime position to break through early with back-to-back singles to lead off the top of the second and a pair of runners in scoring position with no outs. Kakfa got back-to-back strikeouts and a ground out to keep ASU off the board. With the rain opening up in the bottom of the third, Kenyon Yovan gave one a ride deep over the wall in left, a two-run shot with two outs to give Oregon the early 2-0 lead while Kakfa settled in to a rhythm from there.
- Saturday marked the first time that ASU last lost a game that Tyler Thornton had started. It entered the game with an 8-0 record in Thornton starts dating to last year.
- Sean McLain extended his hitting streak to 14 games.
ASU went down in order while Thornton worked around a two-out walk. 0-0
ASU had its best chance of the game early with a leadoff single from Sean McLain and a nice hit and run from Ethan Long to move him to third. Long took second on a wild pitch to give ASU runners on second and third with no outs. Back-to-back strikeouts and a groundout got Oregon out of the game, though Thornton got two strikeouts of his own in the bottom half. 0-0.
ASU again got a leadoff single but a double play wiped it off the board. Hunter Haas got a two-out single and stole second but a groundout ended the frame. Thornton attempted to work around some action on the base paths but a just as the skies opened up and the rains started coming down, Kenyon Yovan got a hold of one for a two-out homer. 2-0, Ducks.
Kakfa started to settle into a rhythm, getting another two strikeouts. Thornton worked around a leadoff walk. 2-0, Oregon.
Both sides went down in order. 2-0, Oregon.
Kakfa continued to cruise with another 1-2-3 inning. A leadoff walk bit ASU as Oregon immediately launched another two-run homer to make it 4-0. After another walk, Will Levine entered the game and got a double play and a ground out to keep ASU within four.
Another two out RBI tacked another run of insurance on for Oregon while Kakfa finished his day with another 1-2-3 inning.
Oregon Loaded the bases against Wallerstedt and blew the game open with a two-RBI single to make it 7-0.
ASU tried to make things interesting with three singles and a walk to leadoff the ninth, scoring a run and loading the bases. Back-to-back popouts brought ASU down to its last out. Oregon went to second on a fielder's choice that appeared to pull the second basemen off the bag, which would have scored a run and left the bases loaded with the top of the ASU lineup coming to the plate but the umpire's clearly saw something different and the game ended on that note.
The rubber match will get underway tomorrow at 12 p.m. AZT. The game to be broadcasted via live stream at the following link.