Small mistakes over the course of a long game can cost any team. A few crucial errors late in the game by Arizona State on Wednesday night didn't help the Sun Devils cause either.
In the top of the eighth inning freshman infielder and local product out of Desert Vista High School Colby Woodmansee mishandled a slow ground ball off the bat of Willie Calhoun. As the ball slowly dribbled away, the Wildcats' Scott Kingery scored giving Arizona a 10-9 lead that would remain the rest of the game.
"It feels pretty bad, the locker room was quiet," Woodmansee said.
Perhaps the baseball gods didn't want to see this game come to an end. The last regular season Territorial Cup game at Packard Stadium took four hours and ten minutes and saw three lead changes.
The Sun Devils had a chance in the bottom of the ninth when RJ Ybarra doubled high off the left-center field wall and Wildcats' pitcher Bobby Dalbac balked giving Arizona State a runner on third base with no outs but the maroon and gold couldn't take advantage.
"It's kind of tough when you've got a guy on third with no outs and you can't get him in," Woodmansee said.
Bobby Dalbec doubled down the left field line scoring Michael Hoard and Scott Kingery in the second inning to start the scoring. Willie Calhoun then drove in Dalbec and the Sun Devils found themselves in an early 4-0 hole.
"It's kinda tough when they score a couple runs and we come back a bit and then they take the lead its kind of hard from an offensive standpoint," Woodmansee said.
Arizona State was aided by the long ball in the bottom of the third when Drew Stankiewicz and Woodmansee hit back-to-back home runs to cut the lead to 4-3.
After the Wildcats manufactured two more runs, Dalton DiNatale gave the Sun Devils the 7-6 lead with a double down the line that capped a four-run two-out rally.
The Wildcats didn't give up. In the top of the sixth redshirt freshman Nick Diamond threw a pitch that RJ Ybarra couldn't handle behind the plate. Joseph Maggi scored tying the game at seven and Ybarra then overthrew Diamond trying to cover home which allowed Kevin Newman to score giving Arizona an 8-7 lead.
Ybarra, who continued his hot hitting going 3 for 4 with 3 RBI on the night, singled home Johnny Sewald and Trever Allen in the bottom of the sixth but ASU couldn't overcome Woodmansee's error in the eighth.
Head coach Tim Esmay remains two wins short of 400 for his ASU baseball career. His ball club has lost its last two games but remains winners of seven of its last ten.
The season series between Arizona and Arizona State is now tied at one game each headed into a three-game series at Hi Corbett Field in Tucson which will take place Apr. 25-27. The winner of the best of five season series will win the Territorial Cup point in baseball.
Arizona State, which used six pitchers in the game, continues its homestand Friday night when it starts a three-game weekend series with the Cal Bears.
"We had a lot of confidence coming into the game," Woodmansee said. "Everyone was pretty pissed off, no one wants to lose to U of A at Packard."
- Seth Martinez: 2.2 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 SO
- Jordan Aboites (L, 3-2) 1.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 SO
- DiNatale: 2 for 4, 2 RBI, 1 R
- 2 errors, 7 LOB
- Morgan Earman: 2.2 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 4 SO
- Evan Hebert (W, 1-0): 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 SO
- Bobby Dalbec (S, 2): 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 SO
- Scott Kingery: 3 for 4, 2 RBI, 3 R
- 0 errors, 10 LOB