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College  | Story  | 3/14/2015

Moore leads shutout over ASU

Patrick Ebert      Frankie Piliere      Mike Rooney     
Photo: Oregon State

Weekend Preview

No. 17 Oregon State 1, No. 25 Arizona State 0

It was a fitting battle for two programs that have won eight of the last 10 Pac-12 titles as Oregon State scored one run in the top of the ninth to beat host Arizona State 1-0.

K.J. Harrison and his nation's leading six home runs garnered most of the pre-game buzz coming into this Pac-12 opener. However, there was a stiff wind blowing in from center field that converted Phoenix Municipal Stadium into a pitcher's paradise and thus put a damper on the K.J. Harrison show.

Harrison was held hitless as he was fed a steady diet of sliders all night. He did show the ability to both lay off of a slider in the dirt, drawing a walk in his first at-bat, and also the talent to hammer the pitch when left up in the zone. Harrison did just that later in the game, driving a crippled slider into right-center field for a loud out. Tonight's results for Harrison were pedestrian but he is clearly an exceptional talent with a strong hit tool and advanced approach.

Beaver starter Andrew Moore is an animal on the mound and he would absolutely be on the short list of pitchers you would pick to win one big game. Moore's stuff was ordinary, working primarily in the upper-80s with his fastball and touching 91 mph. His slider and changeup were average pitches that played up as well.

The separators for Moore are a ferocious competitive streak and his willingness to pound the ball in on righthanded hitters. Moore executed his arm-side fastball with relentless precision and it made for a long night for the Sun Devil hitters. Moore also made the play of the game in the bottom of the seventh, rushing off the mound to barehand a bases loaded squeeze bunt attempt and convert it into a 1-2-3 rally crushing double play. As he has done much of his Oregon State career, Moore willed both himself and his team to victory tonight.

Sun Devil closer Ryan Burr only threw 14 pitches but he showed tremendous velocity, hitting 95 mph repeatedly. However, the game was won as Burr inherited a walked batter and then fell behind in the count to the Beavers' Caleb Hamilton. Hamilton ambushed a Burr fastball on a 3-2 count and smoked a single into center field to plate the game-winning run.

One other prospect who stood out was Arizona State shortstop Colby Woodmansee. Woodmansee had the three assists that led to all three outs in the top of the seventh inning and in this one frame he showed excellent range and an ability to make a wide range of plays in a high pressure situation. Woodmansee's arm shows plus and his 6-foot-3 frame intrigues many scouts who have seen his improved offensive performance this year.

National Notebook:

Since opening the Dodgertown Classic last weekend with a loss to USC, we’ve seen the TCU Horned Frogs go on a tear. They scored three straight wins over UCLA, Vanderbilt, and Loyola Marymount last weekend and started this weekend with another win over Baylor. And, that win came courtesy of another outstanding effort from 6-foot-7 sophomore, Mitchell Traver. Continuing his sizzling hot start, Traver tossed seven innings of one run baseball, striking out six while walking only one. For the season, Traver now has a 0.94 ERA.

The LSU freight train kept on rolling on Friday night, even as they took a significant step up in competition against Ole Miss. The game didn’t quite turn out to be the pitcher’s duel we expected, as Christian Trent surrendered four earned runs over seven innings, and LSU’s Jared Poche allowed two runs in five innings. Instead, this game was once again about the balance of the LSU lineup. Conner Hale led the way with a three-hit night, and Andrew Stevenson continued his consistent ways, collecting two hits.

After a hiccup last weekend against UNC-Wilmington, Maryland ace, Mike Shawaryn returned to his dominant ways this Friday against Princeton. For the second time in three weekends, the sophomore righty racked up double digit strikeouts, as he fanned 11 batters over seven innings of shutout baseball in the Terrapins' 15-0 rout.

It was indeed a day of upsets around the nation, and add Southern Illinois’ 2-0 victory over Illinois to that list. Do not let the 3-13 record fool you, however, when it comes to Southern Illinois. This is a team with potential and that potential bubbled to the surface on Friday night. Despite another very strong effort from Illinois ace Kevin Duchene, who tossed six innings of one run baseball with nine strikeouts, the night belonged to the Southern Illinois pitching. Senior lefty, Aaron Hauge gave the Salukis eight shutout innings, pounding the zone with an 86-90 mph fastball and striking out six batters along the way.

The Houston Cougars endured a tough weekend at the Houston College Classic a week ago, so their 9-1 victory over Buffalo on Friday was a much needed shot in the arm. Righty Andrew Lantrip gave the Cougars 7 2/3 superb innings, fanning 12 batters while walking just one. Josh Vidales paced the offense with a three hit, two RBI night at the plate.

Now one game into conference play, Texas A&M remains undefeated. With their 6-2 victory over Auburn, they stand at 19-0. The pitching that the Aggies ran out there on Friday night has the look of a formula that could lead them to Omaha. The Aggies are now down a starter in A.J. Minter, but the now red hot Grayson Long slid into the Friday night role seamlessly against Auburn. The offense was able to scratch out six runs against Auburn ace, Keegan Thompson, but this night was about pitching. Attacking with an 89-91 mph fastball and locating his slider expertly, Long strung together six innings of two run baseball (two earned). But, following Long were two pitchers that might end up being the difference makers for the Aggies. Kyle Simonds bridged the gap to closer, Ryan Hendrix with two innings of shutout baseball. The sophomore righty, Hendrix, once again showed off plus stuff, living at 92-93 mph with his fastball. Given their offensive prowess, the Aggies being able to shorten games with quality arms like these make them a major forced to be reckoned with.

Several of the top programs from across the country suffered losses on Friday night to open up their weekend series, including the Nos. 1 and 2 teams, Florida and Virginia.

Tennesse rode a strong eight-inning performance and home runs by A.J. Simcox, Christin Stewart, Nathaniel Maggio and Andrew Lee to beat Logan Shore and No. 1 Florida, 6-3. Marks (2-1) allowed only one hit and two walks while striking out eight Gators, while Shore suffered his first loss of the year (3-1).

Virginia Tech beat their in-state rivals Virginia in walkoff fashion, as Brendon Hayden drew a bases loaded walk in the bottom of the ninth to secure the 2-1 win. Hayden drove in both runs for the Hokies in the game, adding an RBI single in the first inning.

Wichita State spoiled a fantastic start by electric UC Santa Barbara righthander Dillon Tate with a walkoff win of their own. The Shockers scored both the game-tying and game-winning runs in the bottom of the ninth, with Jordan Farris delivering the final blow, in a 3-2 victory. Tate, who sat at 94-98 mph with his fastball, worked the first eight innings, alloing only one earned run on four base hits while striking out six, using only 98 pitches.

Pitt freshman shortstop Charles LeBlanc hit a three-run single in the seventh inning to break a 9-9 tie and propel the Panthes to a 12-9 win over No. 12 North Carolina. LeBlanc, a physical presence at 6-foot-4, 205-pounds, entered the weekend leading the team in batting at .386.

Although Texas Tech did a nice job rebouding from a sweep at Cal State Fullerton last weekend with a pair of mid-week wins against New Mexico State, they fell to San Diego State 9-0 in their series opener on Friday. The Aztecs moves to 15-3 on the strength of Bubba Derby's strong start in which he allowed only three hits and struck out 11 Red Raiders in eight innings of work. Derby is now 2-1 on the season with a 2.23 ERA, but more impressive about his season line is his 47-to-6 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 32 1/3 innings.

The Friday combo of Cole Irvin and Conor Harber for No. 6 Oregon suffered their first loss of the season in a 9-3 Pac-12 opening loss to Cal. The duo was touched up for all nine of the Bears' runs, seven of which were earned.