Sun Devil Baseball Shows Some Fight in Loss to #3 Beavers
CORVALLIS -- Sun Devil Baseball showed some fight and battled for much of the contest but a late flurry of unearned runs and free bases led to a loss at No. 3 Oregon State, 12-2, on Saturday afternoon in Corvallis.
Ethan Long had an RBI double and Conor Davis had two hits for the Sun Devils, who recorded three doubles on their five hits. Alex Champagne became the only Sun Devil to have a hit in both games, registering a double and run scored while fielding a flawless seven assists and a putout with a double play turned in the field.
Kyle Luckham was a gamer, throwing strikes, fielding his position and doing his part to keep ASU within striking distance despite what his final line might say.
The Sun Devils will look to salvage the final game of the series tomorrow before heading back to Phoenix for four straight home games next week.
For the second straight night, the turning point came right out the gates in this one. After ASU got an RBI double from Ethan Long in the top of the first, the Beavers immediately responded with four straight singles and took advantage of a couple of wild pitches from Luckham to post a three spot in the bottom of the first. Willie Bloomquist was tossed for arguing a no-call on a swinging strike three and any momentum ASU had from the initial Long RBI double to open the game were lost.
THE BIG MOMENT
After ASU cut the lead to two in the third, the Devils had a chance to continue eating away at the 4-2 Beaver advantage in the fourth with a one-out walk and single. But Kai Murphy hit into a double play to end the threat and Oregon State came right back with an leadoff double and a two-out seeing eye RBI single to get the insurance run and make it 5-2 instead.
THE FINAL STRAW
The sixth inning would be the nail in the coffin for the Devils. Trailing 6-2, ASU got a pair of runners on with one out but were unable to bring any runs across to cut the deficit. In the bottom half of the frame, ASU looked to get out of the inning unscathed but Sean McLain booted a two-out ground ball to extend the inning and the Beavers capitalized with three unearned runs in the frame as a result to take a commanding 9-2 lead.
- The Devils recorded three doubles, marking the 12th time in 20 games the team has multiple doubles in a game – and recording a double for the 17th game out of 20.
The Sun Devils had an immediate response after last night's drubbing as Sean McLain wore his team-leading fifth HBP of the year and Ethan Long immediately brought him home with an RBI double off the wall in opposite right center for an early 1-0 lead. The Beavers responded with four straight singles to lead off the game, three of the seeing eye variety and those coupled with a couple wild pitches led to a three-run first. OSU would load the bases and Willie Bloomquist was ejected for the first time in his coaching career for arguing a missed swinging strike three call but Luckham was able to strand the bases loaded with his third strikeout.
The Devils went down in order, all on strikeouts. Luckham got a pair of flyouts to lead off the frame but the third fly ball went a long ways, rebounding off the batters eye for a solo shot to make it 4-1, Beavers.
Alex Champagne got his first extra-base hit of the year, a leadoff double and would score two batters later on a Sean McLain RBI groundout, though he reached on the E6. Luckham got the first 1-2-3 inning of the day, snagging a liner and fielding a ground ball to help his cause.
ASU got a pair on with one out but a double play ended the threat. The Beavers made it a three-run game behind a leadoff double and a seeing-eye RBI single to make it 5-2.
The Devils went down in order. The Beavers got a leadoff solo shot to extend the lead to 6-2.
ASU put a pair on with one out but a strikeout and foul fly ended the threat. ASU gifted the Beavers a trio of runs as a result of a two-out error to shortstop.
ASU again went down in order. ASU got its first double play of the series to close the seventh.
Conor Davis got his second hit of the game but that was the extent of the action. OSU capitalized on a pair of walks with a three-run homer to drive the nail in the coffin.
ASU went down harmlessly in order.
ASU will look to salvage a game of the series tomorrow in the finale, scheduled for a 12:05 p.m. AZT first pitch and available online via the Oregon State live stream and over the airwaves back on at KDUS 1060 AM. Tyler Meyer will take the mound for the Devils against an as yet to be named Beaver.