ASU Baseball (9-10, 0-3) could not get anything going offensively this weekend and got swept by No. 2 Oregon State (17-1, 3-0).
When the number two team in the nation comes to town, your offense needs to show up. The bats went especially dry Saturday afternoon, as the Sun Devils put together no runs on just three hits against the Beavers.
“We’re 19 games in, we’re 3 conference games in”, ASU Head Coach Tracy “Skip” Smith about his teams struggles, “one series, one at-bat, one pitch should not impact affect how you (the ASU Baseball Players) go about your business, we have shown and we have proven to ourselves that we can beat anybody at any given time”.
Their slow start should not define their season, they have a lot of time to get it back on track and with a young team, many players will only continue to grow and get better. However, on Saturday Oregon State was able to take advantage of ASU’s youth.
OSU’s Jake Thompson was able to take control of the game and shut down Arizona State. Thompson pitched 7.1 innings, giving up just two hits and fanning 10. The Devils always seemed like they were up in counts, but then Thompson would blow by a mid 90’s fastball or a 85 mph sweeping change-up to strike them out.
He also was able to get better as the game went on, early on he was pitching into long at-bats, but as the game went on, he was able to limit foul balls and keep himself in the game and keep ASU off the scoreboard.
The Sun Devil offense started forcing swings trying to get back into the game, but all the ended up doing was creating fewer opportunities for runs.
“When your not having success, you try to force some things”, Coach Smith said about his teams poor offensive performance, “some of our guys were trying to press their at-bats a little bit, and when you press in this game, or when you try to force things that aren’t there, it’s going to lead to less success”.
On the other side, the Devils sent out senior right handed pitcher Eder Erives for his first start of the season in another bullpen day. Erives gave the maroon and gold all they could ask out of him in a limited role. Erives gave up just two earned runs on seven hits in 4.2 innings of work.
“(Erives) gave the team a chance to win”, Tracy Smith said, “unfortunately we just didn’t do a lot offensively the entire weekend to get a little momentum going in any way, shape, or form offensively”.
The only negatives for Erives was his location, he allowed four walks, while constantly throwing balls in the dirt, allowing runners to advance. It also didn’t seem like Erives ever threw over, Oregon State took advantage of him, constantly taking big leads and calling hit-and-runs.
“When he (Erives) left the game, we’re two runs down” Smith said, “which I’ve got confidence in our offense that their going to be able to put some runs on the board, just didn’t happen this weekend”.
Erives was also able to get out of jams; in the first he got out of a one out bases loaded situation unscathed and later he didn’t allow one run to ruin an inning.
Oregon State was the better team, and the Devils should be angry they couldn’t get their bats going, not that they didn’t pick up a win.
“That baseball team (Oregon State) is going to frustrate a lot of oppositions throughout the course of this season”. Skip said, “It would be like playing Alabama (in football) a couple times to kick off your season.
Their schedule will get a little easier next weekend when they will travel to Los Angeles and take on the 11-6 USC Trojans.