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ASU Baseball: Demolished and demoralized Devils drop first Pac-12 series

Tough way to begin conference play

Zac BonDurant

After starting Pac-12 play in the worst way possible in a 21-0 drubbing on Friday, Arizona State didn’t come out much better on Saturday as No. 5 Oregon State clinched the weekend series with a 12-2 victory.

After going nine innings without pushing across a run in the three-touchdown skunking, the Devils (8-12) seemed doomed from the first frame Saturday afternoon as, despite an RBI double from Ethan Long in the first, the Beavers (14-3) answered right away with four consecutive hits off of Kyle Luckham to take the lead before ASU could record an out. After Garret Forrester slashed a two-run single, eventually coming in to score on a wild pitch, Willie Bloomquist’s frustration got the best of him as he was ejected from the game for arguing a check-swing call on Mason Guerra that could’ve ended the inning.

Without the skipper, the Sun Devil ship sank slowly in Corvalis as OSU tallied five runs in the middle innings, including three unearned in the sixth after a Sean McLain fielding error that would’ve ended the inning.

As one of the lone bright spots on the mound for the team this year, junior righty Kyle Luckham didn’t have his best stuff as his 2.88 ERA skyrocketed up to 4.11 following 5.2 innings of work that included nine runs surrendered (six earned), 10 hits (four for extra bases), two longballs and two more walks. Although he did compile six strikeouts across an 100 pitch outing, Luckham certainly wasn’t what ASU needed on the mound today considering the lackluster offensive performance that accompanied it.

After Long’s double in the first that scored McLain, the Sun Devils only pushed across one more run on the day in the third, courtesy of an Oregon State error. Senior first baseman Conor Davis accounted for two of the Sun Devils' hits but was the only player who accrued multiple knocks on the day. Besides Long, Will Rogers, and Alex Champagne, ASU packed no punch at the dish against freshman right-hander Jacob Kmatz who retired five on strikes through 5.2 innings.

The loss for the Sun Devils marks their third straight dating back to Sunday against Missouri. In their two matchups with the Pac-12’s premier baseball program, Oregon State has now outscored ASU 33-2 in the first 18 innings of the series.

Arizona State will look to salvage a win from the series on Sunday with Willie Bloomquist back on the bench at 12:05 p.m. local time.