One of the worst nights of hitting we’ve seen in some time gave the Beavers their second loss in a row, as they fell 4-1 on the road in the series opener against Arizona State. The Beavers drop to 23-9-1 overall, and 9-5 in conference play.
A tough first inning set the tone for the game. The Beavers went quickly, three up three down. Meanwhile, the Sun Devils worked starter Brandon Eisert into a jam, with three walks, and Eisert built up a high pitch count early. In the first, Eisert got out of trouble, but that luck wouldn’t last.
The Beavers scored first with an Alex McGarry solo homer in the 2nd, but Oregon State generated no other offense. Arizona State once again worked Eisert, with 4 hits and a wild pitch getting the Sun Devils a pair of runs.
Oregon State didn’t get a runner back on the bases until the top of the 5th when Alex McGarry was walked. McGarry was then picked off, and the Beavers accomplished nothing else in the inning. In the bottom of the fifth, Eisert gave up a single, a double, and another single to give Arizona State another run,
The Beavers finally got their second hit of the game in the sixth, when Andy Armstrong hit a single to center, but a double play brought him back to the dugout quickly. In the bottom of the sixth Eisert allowed another pair of hits, and his day finally ended. Eisert pitched 5.2 innings, allowing 11 hits and 3 earned runs for a 1.30 ERA. This is his first loss of the season, his record sits at 7-1.
Reliever Nathan Burns had a rough seventh inning, loading the bases and then walking in a run. Dylan Pearce then came to close out the seventh, and Jake Pfennigs handled the eighth. Neither allowed any more walks or hits.
The Beavers got one last hit in the top of the ninth, but it was with two outs already gone, and it failed to generate any momentum for Oregon State. A popout from Joe Casey ended the game, 4-1 Arizona State.
There’s still a lot of baseball left to play in Phoenix, and Oregon State could still win this series. Game 2 gets started tomorrow at 6:30 PM PDT. Check back with Building the Dam for more Beaver Baseball news.