Devils Humbled by Beavers

The Arizona State University baseball team dropped their second game in a row at the Coca-Cola Classic in Surprise, as they fell to the defending National Champion Oregon State Beavers 12-4 in front of a record setting crowd.

5,582 of the Beaver and Sun Devil faithful streamed through the turnstiles of the ballpark in Surprise, setting a Coca-Cola Classic record, hoping to see their team knock off one of the two more recognizable programs in Pac-10 baseball.

The tale of the night was in the big innings and it was all on the side of the Beavers. In the 4th inning, after falling behind to the Devils 3-1, the Beavers sent eight batters to the plate, scoring three of them to take the back the lead, and keep the Devils from getting back into the win column.

With the game still nearly in reach for the Devils, the Beavers once again reached down and came up with a big inning, this time in the seventh. With ASU starter Joey Parigi fatigued and out of the game, the Beavers went to work on the new right handed pitcher, Dustin Brader. Brader faced the first five batters of the 7th inning with results atypical of the right-hander. He walked three of the hitters he faced, while giving up one single and got his lone out on a ground ball which he stabbed and tossed to first.

Right hander Matt Trink came to the mound in relief of Brader, who left the bases loaded. Looking for a way to put out the fire, Trink only added to the flames giving up two walks, a single, and a sacrifice fly while allowing five of the Beaver base runners to cross the plate. The inning which had started as a 5-3 advantage for OSU, quickly turned into a rout, as they ended up sending 11 players to the plate, leaving the 7th inning with an 11-3 advantage.

The Sun Devils only mustered one run off of the solid OSU bullpen, on a late pinch-hit RBI single by Joe Persichina, scoring DH, and Petey Paramore. By then however, the game was no longer in doubt, as the Beavers took advantage of their big innings and moved to 2-0 in Surprise.

Side-arming lefty, Joe Patterson, started for the Beavers going 6 2/3 innings while surrendering only four hits – only one past the 3rd inning – and one run while striking out two Sun Devil batters.

First baseman Jason Ogata and third baseman Lonnie Lechelt each drove in three runs for the Beavers and will lead OSU into the tournament championship game against the Missouri Tigers on Sunday.

ASU will look to stop its two-game mini-skid on Sunday at 2 P.M. when they take on the Gonzaga Bulldogs in the final Sun Devil baseball game in Surprise, Ariz.

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