Devils Routed by Beavers, Face Elimination

OMAHA, Neb. - Head coach Pat Murphy was concerned all along that his team had not been "punched in the mouth" during the season. His concerns came to fruition on Monday night as the punches came often in the 12-6 defeat at the hands of an Oregon State team that the Devils had swept just one month prior. The loss sends ASU into the loser's bracket where an emotional UC-Irvine team stands ready.

"I think it's clear we got punched in the mouth tonight." Head coach Pat Murphy said, "I don't want to discredit Oregon State at all but that's as bad of baseball as we have played for six innings all year."

The first loss of the post season for ASU came on a night when nothing could go right for the Devils. Every hard hit ball found a glove on offense and every soft hit ball eluded gloves on defense. Home runs flew off the bats of Oregon State and line drives flew off the gloves of Devil defenders.

"You talk about not covering first twice, not turning double plays that Sogard turns all the time," Murphy said. "You talk about doubling off on the line drives; it was just one of those things."

The big bats of the Beavers displayed the experience that brought them to Omaha for the third straight season as they worked starting pitcher Brian Flores for two first inning runs when four of the first five batters reached base via singles. Flores was relieved by Josh Satow in the second inning and the normally stout junior did not fare any better.

After the two-run deficit was cut in half by a pair of singles and a hit-by-pitch in the Devil second inning, Satow quickly retired the first two batters of the Beaver second before running into trouble. After striking out Lonnie Lechelt to turn the lineup over, Satow allowed Chris Hopkins to reach base and immediately was driven in by a Joey Wong double. After a two-out walk to Darwin Barney, senior outfielder Mike Lissman delivered a three-run home run to push the Beavers lead to 6-1.

From that point the Beavers put up at least one run in each of the next four innings while the stellar defense prevented ASU from truly taking advantage of the wildness from Beaver starting pitcher Mike Stutes.

Barney singled handedly turned three sure Sun Devil base hits into four outs with a pair of acrobatic dives behind second base and a line drive turned double play off the bat of Brett Wallace. The outfielders for Oregon State, playing uncharacteristically deep for much of the game, prevented possible extra base hits from finding gaps and turning many of them into outs.

Despite five walks and two men hit by pitches from Stutes, the Devils were able to turn only two of the Stutes free passes into runs. A late rally plated four seventh inning runs for ASU but the early knockout blows proved to be much for the Devils to come back from.

"Stutes started out really hot." Devil second baseman Eric Sogard said. "That just shows what our team is all about – we're not giving up."

Oregon State scored in each of the first six innings before being held scoreless in the final two frames by Scott Mueller.

Joe Paterson struck out the side in the final two innings to finish out the Sun Devil defeat.

With the loss the Devils fall to 1-1 in the College World Series and will once again face the Anteaters of UC-Irvine, this time in an elimination game. UC-Irvine eliminated Cal State Fullerton in a 13-inning game that broke the record for longest CWS game when it lasted 5:40. The elimination game will take place at Rosenblatt Stadium on Tuesday at 4 p.m. Arizona time.

"We are three games from the National Championship game." Murphy said. "That's where I am at now."

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