(Photo: Blaine McCormick/WCSN)
There was no rest for the weary following Arizona State’s (9-9) shutout loss in a pitcher’s duel in game one of a three game series against Oregon State (16-1).
The Beavers demolished the Sun Devils 10-1 behind a superb start from Bryce Fehmel (3-1). The sophomore right-hander threw eight innings allowing one run on four hits and one walk.
Fehmel delivered the second quality start in a row by OSU by keeping the Devils off the base paths for much of the day, only allowing five total baserunners. He was also extremely efficient throwing only 86 total pitches, with 56 strikes.
It was the exact opposite for his counterpart Spencer Van Scoyoc (0-1) who threw a first pitch strike to only nine out of 22 Beaver batters.
Nick Madrigal had an extremely successful day on offense. He doubled on the second pitch of the game and came around to begin the scoring for the Beavers. OSU tacked on one more run in the first (two total) and had their leadoff man reach in each of the first four innings.
The Oregon State offense worked the counts, taking a lot of pitches and making Van Scoyoc stay on the mound in the 90 degree heat. Van Scoyoc’s control was an issue, once again and it showed in his three walks in just 4.1 innings.
“Up to this point in the season, clearly the command piece has been something he needs to get better on,” head coach Tracy Smith said. “We’ve kind of been living on the edge with him with all the free passes. This league is too good and baseball has been around a long time. If you continue to give people free bases, it eventually catches up with you.”
Following Van Scoyoc, Jake Godfrey and James Ryan couldn’t keep the deficit to three runs as they gave up four runs in their combined 2.2 innings pitched.
Smith did say that even though Van Scoyoc doesn’t give up many hits as is evident by his ERA and has the potential to take his command issues and use them to grow as a pitcher.
“The positive side of it is you’re talking about a freshman who’s playing in arguably the best conference in the country and going out and competing and getting better and learning.” Smith said.
The OSU offense put up 16 hits on the day – four times the hits the Sun Devils got. Madrigal led the offense going 3-for-4 with a double, two walks, and four runs.
“I think that kid is the best baseball player in the country, bar none,” Smith said. “At some level I hope our guys are sitting and looking at that kid the way he understands the game and plays the game.”
It wasn’t just Madrigal for the Beavers though as five OSU starters recorded two or more hits.
ASU now sits at 9-9 and Smith feels the team is in a position where tomorrow is a game the Sun Devils need to try to somehow win.
“We’re in the position where we have got to salvage this series. There is a lot of Pac-12 baseball to go and every game matters. We’ve shown at times we can play baseball at a high level. Our whole issue is the lack of consistency.”
Smith hasn’t said who will be the starter for the series finale on Sunday but says several guys are available. For the Beavers, Jake Thompson (4-0) will make the start with first pitch scheduled at noon.