Stillwater News Press

OSU Sports

May 2, 2014

Cowboys win ugly series opener against Arizona State

STILLWATER, Okla. — The history of Arizona State baseball is nothing to scoff at.

The Sun Devils have five national titles to their credit and have spawned 102 MLB players, including current Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia and former greats such as Barry Bonds and Mr. October himself, Reggie Jackson.

ASU even has a storied past with Oklahoma State, leading the all-time series 13-7. Current Cowboys coach Josh Holliday was an assistant with the Sun Devils from 2008-09.

But Friday marked the first night ASU made the trip to Stillwater, the first of a three-game series between the two teams.

History might be on the Sun Devils’ side, but they couldn’t overcome an OSU team that’s been tough to beat as of late. The No. 9 Cowboys (33-13) won their fourth straight and avenged an earlier loss to ASU from March in an 8-5 victory at Allie P. Reynolds Stadium on Friday night.

On March 2, the Sun Devils (24-18) got the jump on OSU in Surprise, Ariz., in the final game of the Sanderson Ford College Baseball Classic. The Cowboys struck out 15 times in that contest; this time, they scattered 10 hits into the outfield.

“They walked in to our park, and you’ve got to defend your home turf,” OSU second baseman Tim Arakawa said. “We went out there (to Arizona) and didn’t really play our best game.

“Now we’re starting to play really good baseball, and they came in here. This was somewhat of a statement game, but we have to come back tomorrow and Sunday still hungry and humble.”

Arakawa went 1-for-2 with two RBIs and two runs in the contest, raising his batting average to .246 on the season.

Most of the Cowboys’ scoring was done early, some of it pretty and some not. Arakawa was involved in both.

In the bottom of the second, Aaron Cornell reached first base on a fielder’s choice to ASU shortstop Drew Stankiewicz. Arakawa immediately followed by ripping a double into the right field corner, scoring Cornell from first.

Two batters later, center fielder Ryan Sluder drove in Arakawa with an RBI-single to center.

Cowboy pitcher Jon Perrin looked strong through the first two innings, striking out two Sun Devils and allowing just one hit.

But the third saw him rack up the pitch count in a three-run inning for ASU. Perrin committed a throwing error to first base at the leadoff spot that put left fielder Christopher Beall on second.

After Perrin hit Johnny Sewald with a pitch, Stankiewicz hit a short grounder that OSU catcher Gage Green fielded. Green tried to make the out at first, but his throw to Tanner Krietemeier was low and passed beneath his legs. That scored two ASU baserunners.

Perrin lasted 4 1/3 innings and gave up no earned runs, but did not earn a decision.

The Cowboys put the game out of reach in the bottom of the third thanks to errors by ASU.

Krietemeier started things with an RBI-double up the middle that scored Donnie Walton and advanced Conor Costello to third. Then, Arakawa reached on a fielding error by Stankiewicz that scored both Krietemeier and Costello.

Arakawa scored on the next play, a single by Craig McConaughy. Stankiewicz committed another throwing error, which allowed Arakawa to score from third.

With a 6-3 lead after three innings, reliever Alex Hackerott (3-1) came in and pitched two innings. He allowed two hits and one earned run in the win.

OSU distanced itself from the Sun Devils with runs in the fourth and fifth innings. Green hit his third home run of the year to lead off the fourth, and Arakawa hit a sacrifice fly in the fifth that scored Krietemeier. Krietemeier finished 3-for-3 with an RBI, two runs and a walk.  

Despite all the errors, Holliday didn’t think it was too ugly of a win.

“It’s a great win,” Holliday said. “We beat a pitcher tonight that, the first time we saw him earlier this year, looked like a major leaguer. It wasn’t beautiful, but they never are.

“It’s a high-level team we’re playing. Some mistakes, sure, but no mistakes in effort, no mistakes in heart.”

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