TEMPE, Ariz. – Oregon took an early lead, but couldn’t hold on as fifth-ranked Arizona State came from behind to take the series opener 5-2 at Packard Stadium on Friday night.
Oregon (14-10, 0-1) put two runs on the board in the second inning, but ASU (19-6, 3-1) starter Brady Rodgers recovered to shut down the Ducks the rest of the way as he improved to 4-1 on the year.
Rodgers went seven and 2/3 innings on the mound, surrendering two runs while scattering eight hits. The right-hander struck out four and did not issue a walk.
Four of the Ducks’ eight hits came in the second inning, as Rodgers faced just three batters over the minimum from the third through seventh innings.
Trailing 5-2 in the top of the eighth, Oregon brought the tying run to the plate in freshman Stefan Sabol
as the Ducks had runners on first and third with two outs. ASU went to the bullpen and right-hander Trevor Williams took over on the hill for Rodgers. Sabol drove a deep ball to right center but ASU center fielder Andrew Aplin tracked it down for the third out.
Junior left-hander Mitchell Lambson came on in the top of the ninth and retired the side in order for his third save of the year.
Arizona State put up crooked numbers on the scoreboard in the fourth and fifth innings to erase Oregon’s two-run lead and take a three-run advantage of its own.
Zach Wilson tied the game with one swing of the bat as he took Tyler Anderson
’s 2-1 offering, and drove a two-run homer to left in the bottom of the fourth. It was the first round-tripper Anderson has surrendered in 2011, and the fourth for Wilson this season.
The Sun Devils added three runs in the bottom of the fifth as ASU tagged Anderson for four hits. After back-to-back hits put runners on the corners with no outs, Zack MacPhee’s RBI ground out scored the go-ahead run.
Johnny Ruettiger scored from third on a wild pitch as ASU led 4-2, before Joey DeMichele’s single up the middle plated Riccio Torrez as the Sun Devils took a 5-2 advantage.
Anderson (4-1) lasted seven innings on the hill, and was charged with his first loss since June 5, 2010 at the Norwich NCAA Regional against Florida State.
The Las Vegas native allowed season highs surrendering five runs on 10 hits while striking out two.
The southpaw’s streak of six consecutive quality starts was also ended on Friday night.
led off the top of the second with his second triple of the season driven to deep left center, and started a two-run inning for Oregon as Shawn Peterson
followed Jones with a RBI single to right.
Two batters later with two outs and Kyle Garlick
at first, J.J. Altobelli
drove a ball down the first base line off the glove of Wilson, with the deflection allowing Garlick to move to third. Oregon freshman Brett Thomas
then drove a single to left, scoring Garlick and recording the first RBI of his career as the Ducks took an early 2-0 lead.
Peterson led Oregon with a 2-for-4 performance as Oregon left seven runners on.
Torrez, DeMichele, Deven Marrero and Andy Workman led ASU with two hits apiece – leaving just four runners stranded.
For the third straight season, Oregon has dropped its Pac-10 opener.
The Ducks and Sun Devils will play game two of the series beginning at 6:30 p.m. from Packard Stadium on Saturday night.
Oregon played its first ranked opponent of the season on Friday night...for the third straight season, Oregon has dropped its Pac-10 opener…Zach Wilson’s home run was his fourth of the season and the first Anderson has surrendered in 2011…Anderson’s five runs and 10 hits surrendered were both season highs, and for the first time since June 5, 2010 at the Norwich NCAA Regional, Anderson was charged with a loss…Anderson’s streak of six consecutive quality starts was also ended on Friday night...Danny Pulfer
is on a nine-game hitting streak…Stefan Sabol
made his first start since breaking a bone in his hand on Feb. 26 vs. Saint Mary’s.