April 8, 2004
TEMPE, Ariz. (www.TheSunDevils.com) -- The Arizona State bullpen combined to give up seven runs over the final two innings to let a 7-2 lead slip away in a 9-7 non-conference loss to the No. 24 (NCBWA) Oral Roberts Golden Eagles Thursday night at Packard Stadium.
ASU led 7-2 before the Golden Eagles rallied to score three two-out runs in the eighth and four runs in the top of the ninth. Freshman closer Pat Bresnehan (Sherborn, Mass.) surrendered six of the runs and two ASU errors proved to be costly as the Devils lost for the third straight time.
The comeback started after a two-out fielding error by All-American shortstop Dustin Pedroia to plate a run and cut the lead to 7-3. Brian Hanson followed with a two-run single to center field, but Bresnehan buckled down to strike out Grant Plumley to preserve the lead.
ORU tied the game on a error by second baseman Nick Walsh and then grabbed the lead on a single by leadoff hitter Matt VanDerBosch. Starting pitcher Dennis Bigley helped himself out by entering the game and pulling ORU to within one run with a sharp single to the left field gap.
The Sun Devils fell to 22-10 with their season-high third straight loss. Oral Roberts continued its recent surge with its sixth straight victory to improve to 25-6 overall. ASU falls to 10-2 against teams that are ranked in at least one of the top 25 polls at the time of the game.
Bigley, the reigning National Pitcher of the Week after throwing a seven-inning no-hitter last weekend against Chicago State, scattered eight hits and seven runs in eight innings to pick up the win. Senior right-hander Justin Ramsey got Jeff Larish to fly out to right field to end the game and earn his second save of the year.
Bresnehan took the loss giving up six runs (three earned) in 1.1 innings. He tied a season-high with four walks to fall to 3-2 on the year. The Sun Devils used a season-high seven pitchers in the game. Sophomore starter Erik Averill (Orange, Calif.) gave up eight hits and two runs in 3.1 innings in his second start of the year.
ORU was led by three hits from second baseman Brian Hanson (3-for-5, 3 RBI) and first baseman Josh Lex (3-for-5, RBI).
Oral Roberts jumped out to the early lead with a run in the first inning. Lex singled up the middle to drive home VanDerBosch.
The Sun Devils responded with a pair of runs in the third inning on a two-out double by sophomore right fielder Travis Buck to take the 2-1 lead.
ASU dodged a bullet in the fourth after the Golden Eagles pushed the tying run across the plate. After a pair of leadoff singles to chase Averill from the game, freshman reliever Quentin Andes (Albuquerque, N.M.) walked both batters he faced and forced a run home on a wild pitch. Cassa then came in to retire the next two batters he faced with a strikeout and groundout to strand the bases loaded.
Escaping a potential ORU rally, the Sun Devils answered with a four-run bottom half of the inning. Back-to-back singles from Josh Asanovich (Gold Canyon) and Gosewisch (Scottsdale) led off with singles and Dhaenens (Chandler) loaded the bases when he reached on a misplayed sacrifice bunt. Freshman first baseman Joe Persichina (Rolling Hills Estates, Calif.) made the Golden Eagles pay with a bases clearing triple to the left field gap. Persichina then extended the lead to four runs (6-2) scoring on a balk by Bigley.
Dhaenens added to the lead with a two-run single in the fifth inning scoring junior Jeff Larish from second base.
The Sun Devils and Golden Eagles continue the three-game non-conference series Friday night at 7 p.m. at Packard Stadium.
Game Notes: Freshman center fielder Colin Curtis was penciled into the leadoff spot in the lineup for the first time in his career... the change, which included Dustin Pedroia hitting third, marked ASU's 27th different batting lineup this season... freshman third baseman Seth Dhaenens recorded his fourth multi-hit game of the year with a pair of singles... the triple by Persichina in the fourth inning was only the second one hit by the Sun Devils this season... by clearing the bases for three RBI on the triple, Persichina set a career high...
Oral Roberts 9, Arizona State 7 (Apr 08, 2004 at Tempe, Ariz.) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Oral Roberts........ 100 100 034 - 9 14 2 (25-6) Arizona State....... 002 410 000 - 7 8 2 (22-10) ---------------------------------------------------------------------- Pitchers: Oral Roberts - Bigley; Towery(9); Ramsey(9). Arizona State - Averill; Andes(4); Cassa(4); Zinicola(6); Bresnehan(8); Blake(9); Webb(9); Marotz(9). Win-Bigley(6-1) Save-Ramsey(2) Loss-Bresnehan(3-2) T-3:25 A-2231