Oregon State dropped the second game of their series against Arizona State 8-5, with poor pitching troubling them throughout the game. All together, the Beavers pitching staff gave up 14 hits, and could not find the outs they needed in clutch positions.
The Sun Devils got scoring started in the first with a one run single, and pitcher Bryce Fehmel’s struggles in the inning would prove to be a bad omen for the rest of the game. Fehmel walked the lead off batter, who promptly stole second on an awkward play. Fehmel managed to recover and managed 2 strikeouts to end the inning, but mistakes would add up for the Beavers over the course of the game.
The Sun Devils would add one more in the top of the third before the Beavers managed to get on the board in the bottom of the inning. With the bases loaded, Trevor Larnach tapped a dribbler into the infield, which the first baseman was unable to adequately field, leading to an unearned run and Larnach safe at first.
It was also an inning of missed opportunities, as Andy Armstrong being picked off at third limited the Beavers scoring. It was the second time a Beaver was caught out on the base paths this game.
In the fourth it looked like the Beavers were finally starting to find their rhythm. Fehmel made quick work of the Sun Devil side, and then Michael Gretler hammered a double to left field. Jack Anderson followed up with his own double, but a base running error from Gretler left him on third when he should have easily been able to score. On the next play, a fielder’s choice left Gretler out at home due to a terrible call from the umpire.
Despite that, the Beavers managed to load up the bases for Cadyn Grenier. launched what appeared to by a foul ball near the right field line, but it curved inward and none of the three Sun Devils near the ball were able to make a play on it, allowing Anderson to score.
Then Nick Madrigal followed up with another single, scoring Andy Armstrong. Finally, Adley Rutschman launched a fly ball to center field, scoring Steven Kwan. At the end of the inning, the Beavers had grabbed their first lead of the day, 4-2.
Arizona State would quickly bounce back, with a massive double in the top of the fifth scoring two to tie the game. Oregon State battled back, with a Cadyn Greneir single scoring Jack Anderson, to take the lead back, 5-4.
Things fell apart for the Beavers in the seventh. Brandon Eisert had come in for Fehmel in the previous inning, and after a walk and a hit batter, gave up the single that tied the game. The Beavers brought in Kevin Abel, who struck out one batter before giving up back to back hits, a double and a single, each scoring one run, giving the Sun Devils a 7-5 lead.
In the bottom of the seventh, the Beavers managed to load the bases before an inning ending double play. The Sun Devils managed one more run in the top of the eighth to extend their lead to 8-5, which was more than enough for the win, as the Beaver batters were unable to get anything done in the last couple innings.
None of the Beaver pitchers came off well this game. Bryce Fehmel pitched for 5 innings, and gave up 8 hits and 4 earned runs, with 2 walks and 5 strikeouts. Brandon Eisert, who got the loss, only allowed 1hit but gave up 3 earned runs, with one walk, one strikeout, and one batter hit by a pitch. Kevin Abel gave up 3 hits and 1 run, with 1 walk and 1 strikeout. Christian Chamberlain saw only two batters, for 1 strikeout and 1 hit. Finally, Nathan Burns finished the game, pitching the last 1.2 innings, giving up 1 hit and managing 1 strikeout.
The Beaver batters produced some good numbers, 13 total hits, but struggled turning those hits into runs. Steven Kwan and Cadyn Grenier were the standouts, each finishing with 3 hits. Nick Madrigal also looked sharp, with 2 hits of his own.
All told, the Beavers did not look sharp today, with poor decisions on the base paths giving up needless outs. They also got into the habit of giving up inning ending double plays, squashing any hope of a comeback.
The deciding game in the series will be tomorrow at 1:05. Check back with Building the Dam for coverage.