Devils Drop World Series Opener

The home-state crowd and the Nebraska Cornhusker pitching staff proved to be too much for the Arizona State Sun Devils to handle today, as the Devils dropped their first game of the College World Series by a score of 5-3. The crowd, which was a mainly made up of Cornhusker fans, was the largest in College World Series history at 24,904 and they were rocking all game long, as they rooted on the Cornhuskers to their first CWS win in the schools history (1-4).

The Cornhuskers jumped in front early, as they scored two runs in the bottom of the first inning off Sun Devil starter Jason Urquidez. The Cornhuskers scored the two runs on two hits, a walk, and an error. With two men out and one run already in, junior right fielder Travis Buck misjudged a hard hit line drive that fell out of his glove and allowed the second run to cross the plate. Urquidez would last just one more inning, as Sun Devil head coach Pat Murphy pulled him after Urquidez had some trouble with his control.

The Devils came right back in the top of the second, scoring a run of their own on a hard hit line drive by senior third baseman Joey Hooft. Sophomore second baseman Seth Dhaenens started the two-out rally with a single and scored on Hooft's double to the wall.

The Devils would go on and grab the lead in the top of the sixth by scoring two runs to make it a 3-2 ballgame. Freshman shortstop Andrew Romine led off the inning with a walk, followed by a single off the bat of senior first baseman Jeff Larish. With two on and nobody out, Buck was called upon to bunt the runners over. He did so with a perfect bunt to the third baseman, which moved both runners into scoring position. Sophomore left fielder Colin Curtis was then intentionally walked to load up the bases for senior catcher Tuffy Gosewisch, a move that would backfire on Nebraska head coach Mike Anderson. Gosewisch made the Huskers pay with a double to right/center filed that would score two runs and give the Devils the lead. Curtis tried to make it a three-run double, but was gunned down at home after a perfect relay throw.

The Cornhuskers regained the lead in the bottom half of the inning with three runs on three hits and two walks. Sophomore relief pitcher Zechry Zinicola fell into some early, as the first three batters in the inning reached base. Zinicola led off the inning with a walk, followed by a single, and a hit batter to load up the bases. Murphy went to the bullpen once again, this time he called out the lefty Brett Bordes. The first batter Bordes faced, second baseman Ryan Wehrle, ripped a single right back up the middle to drive in the first two runs. Catcher Jeff Christy then dropped a single down the right field line to put the Huskers up for good at 5-3.

Cornhusker starter Joba Chamberlain had a solid outing, as he allowed just three runs on five hits in seven innings of work. Chamberlain picked up the win for the Huskers to improve his record to 10-2 on the season. Zinicola picked up the loss to drop to 3-4, as he allowed two runs in three innings of work. Zinicola allowed just one hit and looked good early on, but his trouble to find the strike zone in the sixth was his undoing.

The Devils will now play the Tennessee Volunteers in the losers bracket on Sunday at 11:00 a.m. at Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha, Nebraska. The game will be an elimination game for both teams. Junior left-hander Erik Averill will be the probable starter for the Devils.

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