Missed Chances Cost ASU in Series Finale

If ASU is to hang on to win the Pac-10 championship, it is going to have to do it on the road.In the last regular season game at Packard Stadium, missed opportunities at the plate and a couple big innings by Oregon State led to a 9-8 Beavers' victory and cost the Sun Devils the chance of clinching at least a share of the crown on Sunday.

Missed Chances Cost ASU in Series Finale Beavers drop Devils 9-8 If ASU is to hang on to win the Pac-10 championship, it is going to have to do it on the road. In the last regular season game at Packard Stadium, missed opportunities at the plate and a couple big innings by Oregon State led to a 9-8 Beavers' victory and cost the Sun Devils the chance of clinching at least a share of the crown on Sunday. Second place UCLA stayed hot and finished off a sweep of California on Sunday, cutting ASU's conference lead down to two with three games to play. Since getting swept by the Sun Devils, UCLA has won 12 of 13.

For the second straight Sunday, ASU (45-7, 18-6 Pac-10) didn't get a strong effort from its starting pitcher. Sophomore Jake Borup was roughed up for five runs in just 1 2/3 innings.

The Beavers (28-21, 10-14) got to Borup right away in the first inning. After walking Jared Norris with one away, Borup served up a home run ball to Aldaberto Santos to make it 2-0.

More OSU offense came right away in the second inning. Dylan Jones started things with a single to center and he scored on a double to left by Andrew Susac.

Susac was then bunted to third and one batter later scored on a double off the bat of Keith Jennette. OSU tacked on another run off Borup later in the second on an RBI single by Norris.

Brady Rodgers then took over on the mound and went to work. The freshman retired 13 of the first 14 batters that he faced, while the ASU offense chipped away at the deficit.

Jordan Swagerty singled to start the third and moved up to third on a pair of Beavers' errors. Drew Maggi made it 5-1 with a groundout that scored Swagerty.

With two outs in that same inning, Kole Calhoun and Riccio Torrez teamed up for back-to-back solo home runs that cut the OSU lead to 5-3.

The Sun Devils put runners at first and third with nobody out in the fourth inning and after a pop out, Swagerty singled to center to score Johnny Ruettiger and cut it to 5-4. After the single, ASU still had runners at first and third, but Drew Maggi lined out for the second out.

OSU reliever Tyler Waldron then walked Zack MacPhee to load the bases, but Calhoun flew out to right to end the threat.

Riccio Torrez doubled to start the fifth inning and eventually scored on a wild pitch that tied the game at 5-5. Ruettiger then gave ASU the lead in that very inning, with a solo home run to right. Rodgers finally ran into a bump in the road in the seventh inning and the Beavers mustered up enough offense to take control of the game.

Jennette drew a walk to start the inning and scored one batter later on a double by Tyler Smith that tied the game. Norris followed the double with a base hit that scored Smith and gave OSU the lead back at 7-6.

After a single by Santos, Rodgers was pulled in favor of Mitchell Lambson, who got two quick outs but walked pinch-hitter Andy Quiring to load the bases.

In what was eventually the game winning hit, Susac singled to left to score two more and the Beavers went up 9-6.

ASU answered right back in the bottom of the seventh as Zach Wilson hit a solo home run to lead off the inning. Two outs later, Raoul Torrez singled and moved up to second on a passed ball. That allowed him to score on a base hit by Swagerty to cut it to 9-8.

Maggi then followed with a double that sent Swagerty to third and MacPhee was plunked by a pitch to load the bases yet again for Calhoun. OSU reliever Kraig Sitton got ASU's hottest hitter to ground out to second base to end the threat.

The Sun Devils appeared to have a comeback in them in the ninth inning when Raoul Torrez singled to lead off. That brought up Swagerty, who was 3-4 on the day.

Instead of bunting, ASU coach Tim Esmay let his catcher swing away and it proved costly. Swagerty grounded into a 6-4-3 double play for the first two outs. Maggi followed with a double to keep the comeback hopes alive, but MacPhee flew out to left to end the game.

Rodgers picked up the loss, allowing four runs in 4 1/3 innings out of the bullpen. All four of the runs he allowed came in the seventh inning. Mitchell Lambson worked 2/3 of an inning and Jake Barrett worked the final 2 1/3 innings.

Swagerty finished 3-5 on the afternoon with two runs driven in. Raoul Torrez and Maggi added two hits apiece for ASU.

The Sun Devils magic number to clinch their fourth straight conference title stayed at two as they enter the final weekend of the regular season.

ASU opens up a three game set in Palo Alto against Stanford on Thursday evening, while UCLA hosts Washington St. starting on Friday.

With one win or one UCLA loss next weekend, ASU will clinch at least a share of the title and will win it outright with two wins, one win and one UCLA loss or two losses by UCLA.


Sun Devil Source Top Stories