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Sun Devils rally and beat UC Irvine

June 17, 2007|Peter Yoon | Times Staff Writer

OMAHA — Big-game jitters and big fly balls spoiled UC Irvine's debut in the College World Series on Saturday, when it lost to Arizona State, 5-4, at Rosenblatt Stadium.

Irvine pitcher Scott Gorgen, who had given up only one earned run in his previous 37 innings, gave up three home runs against the power-loaded Sun Devils -- the first time this season he had given up more than two.

The crucial blow came in the eighth inning when Ike Davis blasted a leadoff home run to right field to break a 4-4 tie. Matt Spencer had a three-run homer in the second inning and C.J. Retherford hit a solo shot in the fifth for the Sun Devils, who lead the nation in scoring and are ninth in home runs.

"That's kind of their M.O. as a team," said Irvine Coach Dave Serrano, whose team had never won a Division I postseason game before this season. "They've been doing that all year long and their guys got some pitches to hit and made us pay for it."

After falling behind, 3-0, Irvine rallied to take a 4-3 lead with five consecutive hits in the fourth inning. Bryan Petersen had a two-run triple during the rally and Ollie Linton had a single to center for the go-ahead run.

But Gorgen, who hadn't lost a decision since April 13, couldn't hold the lead. He gave up five runs and eight hits and walked three batters in seven innings. He said he was overcome by the emotion of pitching Irvine's first-ever College World Series game.

"I don't think I was locked in and ready to go for this game in this type of situation," he said. "I'll admit, the World Series got to me a little bit."

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peter.yoon@latimes.com

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