Oregon State and Arizona State have been no strangers to each other over the past several years, playing numerous games in the preseason, regular season, and post-season.
This year, it was Arizona State who prevailed in the pre-season game at the DeMarini Invitational in Tempe, by the score of 6-3. The No. 4 ranked Sun Devils move to 8-0 win the win, and will play Missouri tomorrow in the finale of the tournament.
Oregon State took a quick 1-0 lead in the first inning, thanks in part to Joey Wong's leadoff double. Wong scored on a throwing error by Arizona State starting pitcher Seth Blair, who would up pitching six innings and allowing three runs. Blair struck out six Beavers, and walked three.
In the third inning, Ryan Ortiz and Jared Norris got on base and were driven home on Stefen Romero's double, which we all thought was a triple at first. Regardless, the double gave the Beavers a comfortable 3-0 lead heading into the fourth.
Oregon State starter Tyler Waldron pitched a great game up until the sixth inning, when he seemed to get a bit worn down. He only allowed three hits prior the the sixth frame, where he allowed a two-run home run to ASU pinch-hitter Jordan Swagerty.
Waldron also escaped a bases-loaded, one out jam in the fourth inning by just allowing one run to score. However, that run did score by virtue of a bases loaded walk, something coach Pat Casey wasn't particularly happy about in an interview after the game.
McMinnville native Kraig Sitton came on in relief of Waldron in the seveth inning, where he set the Sun Devils down in order. But things wouldn't go the same in the eighth inning, when he allowed a leadoff home-run to Carlos Ramierz. The next batter, Kole Calhoun, hit a line-drive off the left shoulder of Sitton, prompting Nate Yeskie and the OSU coaching staff to go to the bullpen for Marc Grbavac. We can only hope that the left arm of Sitton (his pitching arm) recovers, as Kraig will be a precious asset out of the bullpen this season.
Grbavac got out of the eight inning but not after ASU was able to score an insurance run on a sacrifice fly, and another extra run on a blooper to shallow left field.
Oregon State, who brought it's 7th, 8th, and 9th hitters to the plate in the top of the ninth inning, was retired in order to end the game.
Tualatin High School's Mitchell Lambson finished out the final three innings on the mound for Arizona State, nearly silencing the Beaver bats. He only allowed one hit and struck out three in the ten batters he faced.
The Beavers, who recorded 46 hits in their previous last three games, only came through with four hits against Arizona State.
The Beavers and Sun Devils will meet again May 1-3 at Goss Stadium in Corvallis.
Oregon State will finish up the DeMarini Invitational with one final game against Northern Illinois Sunday morning at 8:00 AM Pacific time. Then, it's off to Palm Springs for another weekend tournament.