OMAHA, Neb. &
For Oregon State, it was quite a turnaround.
One month after a dismal offensive performance in three straight losses to Arizona State, the defending national champion Beavers scored every inning and finished with 18 hits in a 12-6 victory over the Sun Devils at the College World Series.
"For us to come out and swing the bat early and get on the board early really helped, because the last time we faced the guys who threw against us tonight, we didn't have any success whatsoever," OSU coach Pat Casey said.
Mike Stutes and three relievers combined to hold one of the nation's top hitting teams to seven hits. But this win was about offense.
The Beavers, who had seven hits in a 3-2 win over Fullerton Saturday, got a three-run homer from Mike Lissman and another homer from Jordan Lennerton. Lissman finished 3-for-4 with four RBIs. Chris Hopkins, Joey Wong and Jason Ogata also had three hits apiece.
"We're not the same club we were when they faced us last time," shortstop Darwin Barney said.
The Beavers (46-18) play Wednesday against the winner of tonight's Bracket 2 elimination game between UC Irvine (46-16-1) and Arizona State (49-14). Irvine or ASU would have to beat the Beavers twice to keep them out of the best-of-three championship round that starts Saturday against the Bracket — winner.
The Sun Devils lost for only the second time in 17 games since April 29.
"Well, I've been saying all year long that we needed to get punched in the mouth, and it was pretty clear we got punched in the mouth tonight," ASU coach Pat Murphy said. "I don't want to discredit Oregon State at all, but that's as bad a baseball as we've played for six innings all year."
The game started 90 minutes late after UC Irvine and Cal State Fullerton played a 5-hour, 40-minute contest that was the longest in the CWS' 61-year history. Murphy complained that there were only 50 minutes between games.
"I think we were rushed into the game a little bit," he said. "I don't think that should be an excuse. But as a note for those of you who run this thing, you can't push a team to play. Our guys didn't have enough time to get ready. When you sit for that long after you hit at 4 o'clock and you're not playing until 8, that's a lot of sitting around with not a lot to do."
ASU second baseman Eric Sogard, who went 2-for-5 for ASU, said Stutes did a good job keeping the Sun Devils off balance early.
"Before the game, we were just sitting under a tree just waiting for that thing to end, and once we got to the field we had about 20 minutes to go, so it was a little rough," Sogard said. "We weren't there mentally right away the first inning."
Barney said he and his teammates tried to relax during the long wait, watching UC Irvine's 5-4, 13-inning victory from the stands and mingling with teammates.
"You try and enjoy being here as much as you are playing, so a lot of our guys bounced around in the stands just having a good time," Barney said. "If Arizona State couldn't do that, it's good for us."
Stutes (11-4), making his third career CWS start and winning for the second time, allowed only two singles until he left with the bases loaded in the seventh.
Blake Keitzman relieved and gave up an RBI single to Raoul Torrez and a two-run single to Eric Sogard. Petey Paramore delivered a long sacrifice fly against Joe Paterson to trim the Beavers' lead to 12-5.
Stutes was solid for a second straight start in the NCAA tournament. Making his latest outing more impressive was the lineup he was facing. Arizona State was batting .348 with 78 home runs in 62 games.
In losing three straight at home to the Sun Devils a month ago, Oregon State hit .105 (9-of-86) as a team.
Murphy was looking for an encore from the two pitchers who played key roles in that series.
Brian Flores (11-2), who pitched a complete-game one-hitter against the Beavers last month, started Monday and faced only seven batters, allowing two runs on four hits.
Josh Satow, who allowed two hits and no runs in eight innings against OSU last month, entered in the second inning and left after the fourth having allowed six runs on eight hits.
The Beavers had to fight back from an opening loss to reach the championship series last year. Even though they are in control of Bracket 2 this time, Casey is leaving nothing to chance.
"We have to keep the throttle down," he said.
Beavers crush Sun Devils
OMAHA, Neb. &