By Brian Kreps
TEMPE, Ariz – After watching fellow starters Seth Martinez and Reagan Todd pitch the Arizona State Sun Devils to victories in the first two games of their series against Eastern Michigan, sophomore Eli Lingos wasn’t about to let his opportunity go to waste.
Lingos gave up just one run on three hits over 6.2 innings to lead Eastern Michigan to the series sweep after an 8-1 win in front of 2,029 fans in attendance at Phoenix Municipal Stadium.
“I knew I had to get through as much as I could. I was working down and off the plate. My slider was effective as it was breaking to the back foot. I was working down in the zone, and had more movement on my fastball,” Lingos said.
Lingos also has praise for his defense. “Very helpful when you really have a solid defense behind you,” Lingos said. “Every ball hit, I trust them to make the play and you don’t have any doubt they’re not gonna make a mistake.”
Arizona State head coach Tracy Smith was also impressed with his starter’s performance.
“He was doing a real good job of locating his two-seameron the outer half and he was able to drop the change up in there to keep it honest,” Smith said. “This game is about location, and not necessary velocity. I thought he did a good job, and they didn’t make many adjustments on it, so he kept doing it. We needed that today, and to get 6.2 out of him was big.”
Smith was also pleased that his team committed no errors today.
“That’s what jumps out at you. We picked up the baseball and made plays behind him today,” Smith said.
The Sun Devils scored first in the second inning, with a single run scored by Colby Woodmansee on the back end of a double steal. Eastern Michigan (4-8) tied the game in the fifth inning on a solo home run by senior Mitchell McGeein.
Arizona State (8-3) re-took the lead, scoring four runs in the bottom of the sixth. Zawada jumped on a pitch up in the zone for a two-run home run, his second of the season, to give the Sun Devils a 5-1 lead.
Zawada was not done. In the eighth inning, he blasted a three-run home run, his second of the game and third of the season, increasing the lead to 8-1.