UC-Irvine 4, (5) Arizona State 5
June 16, 2007
Davis pops go-ahead homer to lift Arizona St. past UC Irvine
Updated: June 17, 2007, 1:54 AM ET
OMAHA, Neb. -- Arizona State's Ike Davis was expecting a fastball. He got a change-up, instead -- and sent it 10 rows up in the right-field bleachers.
Davis hit a tie-breaking home run leading off the bottom of the eighth inning Saturday to give the Sun Devils a 5-4 victory over UC Irvine in the College World Series.
"That last one by Davis, I threw probably one of the best change-ups I had thrown all day, and he was sitting on it," Anteaters pitcher Scott Gorgen said. "I have no doubt in my mind that he knew that pitch was coming."
"No. I was sitting on a fastball. He left the change-up over the middle," Davis said.
Oregon State (45-18) moves to a Monday game against Arizona State (49-13), which defeated UC Irvine 5-4 on Saturday. The Titans (38-24) will play UC Irvine (45-16-1) in an elimination game Monday.
The Sun Devils (49-13) advanced to a Monday game against Oregon State (45-18), a 3-2 winner over Cal State Fullerton. UC Irvine (45-16-1), a first-time CWS participant, will play Fullerton in an elimination contest Monday.
The Sun Devils got solid pitching from Mike Leake and Jason Jarvis. Leake settled down after giving up four runs in the fourth inning. He and Jarvis (2-2) held the Anteaters scoreless over the last five innings. Jarvis, who took over in the eighth, allowed one walk and struck out three.
"Our pitching staff is pretty underrated," ASU coach Pat Murphy said.
Arizona State's pitching is overshadowed by an offense that came in with 75 home runs in 61 games.
As usual, the Sun Devils relied on their power to win the first game of its 20th CWS, scoring all their runs on long balls. Matt Spencer hit a three-run homer in the second and CJ Retherford had a solo homer in the fifth.
Davis' eighth homer of the season ended the day for Gorgen (12-3), who was bidding for his fifth straight complete game.
"They were able to lift some balls over the fence and we weren't," UC Irvine coach Dave Serrano said. "That's kind of their M.O. as a team. Their guys got some pitches to hit, and we paid for it."
ASU, unbeaten in six NCAA tournament games, ended Gorgen's 17-inning shutout streak in the second when Spencer homered to right for a 3-0 lead.
The at-bat was in stark contrast to Spencer's previous one at the CWS. Playing for North Carolina last year, Spencer struck out looking as a pinch-hitter in the fifth inning of a 3-2 loss to Oregon State in the championship game.
Leake held the Anteaters scoreless on one hit through three innings before running into trouble in the fourth.
Leake hit Cody Cipriano with a pitch and Matt Morris singled before Bryan Petersen's two-run triple off the wall in left center. Sean Madigan doubled to tie it, and Ollie Linton singled in the go-ahead run with the Anteaters' fifth straight hit.
The Sun Devils came right back to tie it in the fifth when Retherford hit Gorgen's first pitch of the inning over the wall in left-center. Retherford flew out deep to center in his first two at-bats.
"What can you say about CJ?" Murphy said. "If we played in our park, he would have had three home runs today."
For Gorgen, it was his worst outing in five starts, since he gave up six runs in five innings against Pacific on May 11.
"Scott would admit he was a little out of character," Serrano said. "He said to me in the fourth inning that he was having a hard time breathing and getting relaxed. There is a lot of excitement when you're playing in Rosenblatt Stadium. That was probably the least amount of stuff he's had in the last six weeks, and he still kept a great hitting team to five runs."
Gorgen wasn't the only one who struggled.
ASU first baseman Brett Wallace, the Pacific-10 player of the year, was 0-for-4 with two strikeouts. He had come into the game with hits in nine of his last 18 at-bats.
UC Irvine first baseman Taylor Holiday went 0-for-3, ending his 22-game hitting streak.
"We still have life left," Serrano said. "No matter who we play Monday, you'll see us back in character. We've got the first game out of the way. This team, when it has had its back against the wall, has come out swinging. I would expect nothing different."
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press