By: Brian Kreps
TEMPE, Ariz – After playing 11 innings, some of the Arizona State upperclassmen seemed to decide that enough was enough.
Junior David Greer singled and advanced to third on a single by fellow junior Colby Woodmansee. That set the stage for junior Brian Serven, who delivered the game-winning single to score Greer for the walk-off 6-5 win over U.C. Davis at Phoenix Municipal Stadium in front of 2,490 fans in attendance.
“Fastball, low and away,” Serven said of his game-winning at bat. “I had a stay-middle approach.”
Arizona State (11-3) was in control of the game for the first eight innings, holding what they thought was a solid 5-0 lead heading into the top of the ninth. However, the ninth inning didn’t go as the Sun Devils planned.
U.C. David (5-7) scored five runs on four hits and one walk to tie the game. Freshman Gio Lopez and senior Eric Melbostad each allowed two runs and junior Eder Erives allowed one run, blowing the lead and wasting a dominate performance by sophomore starter Eli Lingos.
“That was just a weird ninth inning. We found a way to win,” Arizona State head coach Tracy Smith said. “You can’t keep running the same guys out there over the course of the year. You have to find some rest somehow, somewhere for people. We have a concern with depth. I think that showed up in the ninth. That was just a weird inning.”
Coming off a strong start in an 8-1 win over Eastern Michigan in his last appearance, Lingos got the ball in the opening game of the series vs. the Aggies. Lingos went six innings, allowing only one run on four hits and striking out five. In his last 13.2 innings, Lingos has only allowed a total of one run.
“He was our player of the game. He took the ball on short rest for him, and held us in there for six innings and really set the tempo for what this game was supposed to be. So huge, huge for him,” Smith said. “I love it when guys get opportunities and perform like that. He locates the baseball very well. Until guys make adjustments on that, he’s still able to hit his spots. I think his location is key for him, plus he’s got a very good change up.”
The Arizona State offense erupted for six runs on 13 hits, led by Woodmansee, who had four hits, and freshman Gage Canning, who had three hits. Serven and sophomore Andrew Shaps each added two hits.
“(Canning’s) been struggling as of late, so it was good for him. Hopefully, this gets him jump started, because he’s a good hitter,” Smith said. “He’s in there right now because he plays good defense, and we think that offense is gonna come eventually.”