Sun Devils Drop PAC-12 Opener Against Oregon State


A pitching duel at Phoenix Municipal Stadium Friday night resulted in the Sun Devils dropping their PAC-12 opener 1-0 to the Oregon State Beavers.

Sun Devil starter Seth Martinez got the start for ASU, his first ever Pac-12 start, and threw eight scoreless frames. He allowed just four hits and struck out three batters.

He faced OSU starter Andrew Moore, who pretty much matched Martinez pitch-for-pitch in Friday night’s contest, allowing no runs on seven hits and striking out three batters as well.

More from Heat Waved

With the combined efforts of Martinez, Moore and OSU’s bullpen, the game was tied at zero going into the ninth.

But things would not go the Sun Devils’ way.

Darin Gillies came in to relieve Martinez in the ninth. Gillies walked a batter with one out. Shortstop Colby Woodmansee then made a throwing error to first base in the following at-bat to put runners on first and second.

Tracy Smith would then turn to Ryan Burr to finish the inning. Burr struck out the first batter he faced to record the second out of the innings. The Sun Devils were almost out of it, but OSU third baseman Caleb Hamilton hit a line drive up the middle, off the pitcher’s mound, to drive in the winning run from second base.

Gillies took the loss of ASU, his second of the year, after working just 1/3 of an inning. OSU reliever John Pomeroy was credited with the win after his 1/3 of an inning to finish the eight inning. OSU closer Mitch Hickey recorded his third save of the season.

The thing is, the Sun Devils should not have been in that position in the first place.

More from Arizona State Sun Devils

ASU had the go-ahead run at third base twice in that game. In the bottom of the seventh and eighth innings, both runners at third were thrown out at home on squeeze plays.

The Sun Devils were able to apply the pressure of having runners in scoring position late in the game, but were unable to execute the plays Smith asked his guys to fulfill.

Both times, the batters (Zach Cerbo in the seventh and Joey Bielek in the eight) bunted the ball right back to the pitcher, who was able to make the easy toss to the catcher to tag the runner out at the plate.

In fact, ASU had bases loaded in the bottom of the seventh with only one out and Cerbo’s squeeze bunt ended the inning on a 1-2-3 double-play.


The call put on by Smith is questionable. Asking your guy to squeeze-bunt a guy in from third instead of just letting him swing-away and see what happens is a gutsy move. I understand the idea and I like the aggression the Sun Devils have, but when one run is all you need, take your chances with Cerbo and let him swing away.

Two botched bunt attempts by the Sun Devils was ultimately the difference in this one.

They’ll have another crack at it Saturday night in game two of the three-game series.

Next: Sendek On Hot Seat Heading Into Next Season