(Photo: Blaine McCormick/WCSN)
For the second consecutive year Arizona State (9-10, 0-3 Pac-12) began its Pac-12 conference schedule with three straight losses at the hands of the Oregon State Beavers (17-1, 3-0 Pac-12), as they dropped Saturday’s series finale 4-0.
Senior Eder Erives was given the start by head coach Tracy Smith, hoping the El Paso, TX native could regain his expected form. Coming into Saturday’s matchup Erives had thrown only 2 and 2/3 innings in four relief appearances this season, with an ERA of 6.75.
The right-hander delivered an acceptable outing as he lasted 4 and 2/3 innings and allowed two runs, while scattering seven hits, walking four and striking out three.
OSU jumped on top of Erives in the top of the third, plating the first run of the game on a Tyler Malone RBI groundout. Christian Donahue doubled the lead in the fourth with an RBI single.
For the third straight contest ASU was baffled by the Oregon State pitching staff. Junior Jake Thompson, making his fifth start of the season, had allowed only four runs in 26 innings prior to Saturday’s game. Thompson stayed true to form as he dealt 7 and 1/3 scoreless innings, giving up two hits, three walks and striking out 10.
The Beavers added two insurance runs in the top of the seventh, by way of RBI singles from Elliott Cary and Cadyn Grenier.
Player of the Game: Jake Thompson. Showing how truly loaded Oregon State’s rotation is that a 4-0 record and a 1.38 ERA coming in to the game can only land Thompson in the Sunday starter position, the junior handed in the third-straight dominant performance by Oregon State starters against ASU. Thompson’s 7.1 scoreless innings lowered his season ERA to 1.08.
You Knew It Was Over When: OSU doubled their lead from 2-0 to 4-0 in the top of the seventh. The way the Beaver pitching staff performed this weekend, a 3-0 deficit would have been insurmountable for most teams, let alone 4-0.
Stat of The Day: ASU struck out 12 times on Saturday, with a series total of 25.
What’s Up Next?: The Sun Devils will venture out on their first road trip since late February when they head to Los Angeles to take on the USC Trojans starting on March 24th.
Bobby Kraus is a baseball beat reporter for the Walter Cronkite Sports Network. You can follow him on Twitter @bobbykraus22