ASU baseball spoiled opportunities to grab the lead versus Oregon State, but the Beavers were the ones that got the big hit to win it 6-4.
The game of inches burned Arizona State in its 6-4 loss against Oregon State on Saturday. The trend started in the first inning, when the Sun Devils were retired 1-2-3 despite those three outs being hard fly balls to the warning track, or at least a couple of steps before it.
The old baseball cliché was most prominent, though, in the top of the eighth. The game was tied at four and Oregon State had the bases loaded.
ASU’s Brady Corrigan had an even count on OSU’s Joe Casey, and delivered a high fastball. Casey initially chased it, but narrowly checked his swing according to the third base umpire.
After the barrage of boos from the Sun Devil crowd and several more foul balls, Casey lined the ball into right field, inches passed the glove of the diving Spencer Torkelson at first base.
The single drove in the final two runs of the evening, and the Beavers evened the series. Cliché’s exist for a reason.
“It comes down to a foot here and there, one pitch, one at bat,” Corrigan said. “All the little things that make a baseball game.”
A hard-fought game against the No. 4 team in the nation isn’t the worst look, but after losing two of three to a poor USC squad, ASU needs to win this series to bring its stock back up.
The top 16 teams in the country host regionals, and the Sun Devils are ranked 13th this week. They have fallen out of the top-10, but are still in position to earn extra home games in the postseason. At home, ASU is an intimidating 23-2. On the road, however, it is 4-4.
Series wins against formidable opponents will do ASU wonders in the rankings and it has plenty of opportunities beyond OSU. But, it has to take care of business in the rubber match, a game with some uncertainty for the Sun Devils.
Usual Sunday starter RJ Dabovich is hurt with shoulder problems. What head coach Tracy Smith decides to do is up in the air, but perhaps Erik Tolman will get his third career start. Over his first two, he has pitched eight innings and has allowed no earned runs.
Side note: Trevor Hauver, Spencer Torkelson and Hunter Bishop went back-to-back-to-back in the sixth inning to tie the game at four, the first Sun Devil trio to do so since 2013.
All quotes in this article were obtained firsthand by Devils in Detail unless otherwise noted.