Friday night’s ASU vs. No. 4 Oregon State baseball game was billed as a pitchers’ duel, a battle of which pitcher would blink first.
Unfortunately for the Sun Devils, it was theirs, and they fell to Oregon State, 4-0, and returned to the .500 mark on the season.
ASU (10-10, 1-3 Pac-12) sent sophomore left-hander Brett Lilek to the mound, who pitched well early then ran out of gas. He had seven strikeouts through his first four scoreless innings, but Oregon State (19-3, 4-0 Pac-12) did a good job of working the count and making him work by drawing five walks. By the time the fifth came around, Lilek was tired.
He led off the inning with a walk, then after a strikeout, ran into trouble. The only other out he was able to get was a sacrifice fly to score a run. The inning also included three singles, two more walks and three runs before Lilek was pulled for sophomore right-hander Eric Melbostad.
He finished the game with three runs allowed in 4 2/3 innings and 109 pitches. He also gave five hits and walked five in the worst outing of his career.
On the other side of spectrum, Oregon State senior lefty Ben Wetzler was magnificent. He fanned eight Sun Devils while only allowing two hits and walking one. ASU was unable to score against him, lowering his Pac-12-leading ERA to 0.59.
Melbostad took the ball from Lilek in the fifth, and did a good job for the Sun Devils to save the bullpen. He gave up one run in 3 1/3 innings to make sure that the team’s bullpen remains fresh for the remaining games of the series.
It was the second time ASU was shut out this season, the first coming Feb. 21 against Long Beach State. The two hits were a season-low. It also dropped ASU’s road record to 1-3.
ASU gets another crack at the Beavers Saturday at 1:35 p.m. then again Sunday at noon.
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