By Brian Kreps
TEMPE, Ariz – Last night’s game between Arizona State and Eastern Michigan had a combined 24 hits, 10 hit batters, 9 runs, 7 walks, 8 errors and it took 11 innings to determine a winner. In the 11th, Arizona State junior Colby Woodmansee tied the game with a RBI double – the first extra base hit for the Sun Devils on the night – then scored the winning run on a single by junior Sebastian Zawada to earn a 5-4 at Phoenix Municipal Stadium in front of 2,298 fans in attendance.
“It’s a big thing. These are the best kind of hits to get out of a slump, ones that you sit on and drive the other way,” Woodmansee said of his game tying hit.
Arizona State (7-3) battled back a 2-0 deficit. In the third inning, the Sun Devils cut the deficit to 2-1, before taking the lead in the seventh inning when they scored two runs to take a 3-2 lead.
The Eagles (4-7) scored a single run in the ninth inning to force extra innings. Then, in the eleventh inning, Eastern Michigan scored a single run to take the lead, heading in to the bottom of the inning.
That set the stage for Woodmansee and Zawada to play hero.
“We needed that. Umpteen opportunities to get the big hit,it was bound to happen sooner or later. Good players do things, great players do things at the opportune time. The biggest hit was the Woody (Woodmansee) hit. It’s a good win,” Arizona State coach Tracy Smith said. “You had a little bit of everything there. You don’t start well, it seemed like every time you look up, they have two or three guys on base. Kind of a struggle all night, and still find a way to win, despite almost giving it away. As crazy as it sounds, I like that. We didn’t panic, we just kept playing.”
Zawada said he didn’t feel any additional pressure before his game-winning hit.
“Every at bat to me is the same, got to get after it with the same intensity. Success is great either way,” Zawada said.“I’m a 100 percent more comfortable. I’m really glad to see the team is getting more comfortable in me since I’m the new guy. That’s huge.”
Arizona State had three players with multiple hits. Sophomore Andrew Shaps led the way with three hits, while junior Brian Servan and sophomore Andrew Snow each had two hits. Serven also threw out another base runner, making that 11 on the season.