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Kevin Rhoderick Talks About Game 3, His Connection to ASU

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As you may or may not know, Kevin Rhoderick was a highly touted high school player out of Phoenix and the Valley of the Sun, and spent a lot of time growing up with players who are now on Arizona State's roster. Kevin, one of the heros of the game for Oregon State, spent some time talking with Mike Parker on the KPAM 860 broadcast following Oregon State's 10-5 victory in Game 3, and it's transcribed for you below. 

Rhoderick threw two and a third innings in the game, striking out four batters without allowing a hit. 

Mike Parker, Voice of the Beavers: Congrats. I said on the air that that that may be as big as a game as you've been in, all things considered. Tell me your thoughts on that and how big that win was for the guys.

Kevin Rhoderick, OSU Pitcher: It was huge for the whole team. From my standpoint, playing against my hometown team, basically, to get down there and get a win. For the whole program, winning this game is going to be huge come playoff time. Number one, for the committee to get us into the tournament, and the confidence that we can win against a top ranked team.

Parker: About the strikeout in the seventh inning, and the stare that came from you to the ASU dugout afterward.

Rhoderick: There was absolutely no ill will from my part. I wasn't trying to do anything against those guys, I've played with a lot of those guys and have grown up with them. After a big strikeout like that I looked in their dugout and just wanted to see if Murph would be a little rattled. Which he sort of was. It sort of injected our dugout with some fire, so I thought it was good all around.

Parker: I want to take you back to a moment earlier in the game when John Tommasini got hit by a pitch, stole second, and Wallace. He was fired up. Sometimes you need to show some life like that.

Rhoderick:  Absolutely. With our team, we have a lot of energy guys. Tommasini, Wallace, Wong. When those guys get on base, it really gets us going. So when I get on the mound, I try to be one of those guys and get us going.

Parker: Take us through how you felt, in not a classic close situation. Yet you knew you were you in a game where you knew you needed your best stuff for a Beaver victory. How did you feel with your command.

Rhoderick:  I felt good. A lot of first pitch strikes was the biggest part for me. Which it has been. If I do well all year, it's because I'm getting first pitch strikes. If I get ahead, hopefully a ground ball will do it every time, or just try get a strikeout to put the guy in the books.

Parker: You go two and a third innings... you end the game on a strikeout. Your guys just kept adding on and adding on in the bottom of the eight. Nothing better than to take a five run lead to the ninth.

Rhoderick:  Oh yeah, that takes the monkey off your back knowing you can go out and get three outs easy.

Parker: And you did get outs, quickly. Koa's catch was pretty good, too.

Rhoderick:  He's on a mad streak now. The hits yesterday were huge. I think it was on Friday that he got a big hit up against the wall in left and I told him that he's going to use that today and tomorrow. He's carried that throughout... he has a lot of confidence out there.

Parker: I saw a moment where Wallace made a nice play in center, and I thought I saw you tip your cap to him.

Rhoderick:  It's definitely a great team atmosphere. If he doesn't make that catch, the ball goes out or it's a double or triple and changes the whole complexion of the game.

Parker: You threw a 3-2 fastball I think that was down and Ramirez hit it well, but it stayed in the park. You seem like you use the ballpark well.

Rhoderick:  It's a dead center to center field. Right to left it might go, but center-- nothing goes. It's a great yard.

Parker: Tell me about your relationship with Murphy. He's hard not to like, but he's real volatile and tempermental.

Rhoderick:  Well I've been going to ASU camps since I was a little guy. Murph is just that kind of guy... he works off of adrenaline, works off fire. I always loved him growing up, but if he's on the other team with another jersey on, I'm going to try to beat him no matter what.

Parker: Your dad was telling me during a pitching change that he felt Murph was just trying to fire up his team. Also, I even think I heard him say that you're good friends, if not best friends with Matt Newman. Is that true?

Rhoderick:  Me and Matt Newman have been friends since we were little guys. I love playing against him, he's a great player. We're good buddies.

Parker: And I saw you hug Mike Leake after the game... So as completive and fiery as it looked and was and is, no ill will at all on your part to these guys.

Rhoderick:  Oh no. I think this rivalry... Oregon State/ Arizona State baseball... is maybe just as big as the Civil War. For baseball, it's just the best that it gets in the Pac-10.

--Jake (jake.buildingthedam@gmail.com)