clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

ASU Baseball: Woodmansee's walk-off blast lifts Sun Devils to 4-3 win over Oklahoma State

Arizona State used 10 innings to beat the Cowboys on opening night.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

On a night full of firsts for the Arizona State baseball program, sophomore shortstop Colby Woodmansee hit his first career walk-off home run to lift the Sun Devils to a 4-3 win in their season opener.

Woodmansee jumped all over reliever Koda Glover's hanging curve, getting just enough bat on it to lift the ball over the fence in left field.

"I honestly have no idea what just happened," Woodmansee said following the win.

Both teams struggled out of the gate to get their baserunners across home plate. It looked like the Cowboys had something going in the top of the fourth following a single and walk to start things off, but a strike out and strike 'em out, throw 'em out double play got Arizona State out of the jam.

Feeding off the momentum garnered from their defensive play, the Sun Devils clutched up in the bottom half of the frame. Senior Joey Bielek got things going with a single to right, then stole second following a strikeout by Brian Serven.

Woodmansee stepped to the plate and got his first big hit of the evening, sneaking the ball past the third basemen to put Arizona State up 1-0. The sophomore then moved to second on a wild pitch, and scored a run himself on a deep double by nine-hole hitter Dalton Dinatale.

No. 5 Oklahoma State would battle right back, taking advantage of some wild pitching by starter Brett Lilek. The junior southpaw walked the first man he faced in the fifth, who then advanced 90 feet on a wild pitch. He was able to work a groundout and lineout from the next two batters, but Cowboy third baseman Jacob Chappell extended the inning with a walk.

That brought leadoff Corey Hassel to the plate, who hit a laser deep into right center field. It didn't leave the yard, but it was deep enough to bring home both Oklahoma State baserunners. First year head coach Tracy Smith eventually had to call upon reliever Eder Eives to get the Sun Devils out of the jam. He did his job, stranding two baserunners to keep the ballgame tied at two.

"I thought Brett was a different guy when it was 0-0 than when we had a two-run lead," Smith said. "I did't understand that."

The Cowboys were right back at it in their next at-bat, using a Kevin Bradley single to left field to go up 3-2. It looked like they were going to add an insurance run with a Garrett McCain single to shallow right field, but Trever Allen's throw was right on the money, beating Bradley to the plate by a couple of steps to end the inning.

After going quietly in the bottom half of the sixth, the Maroon and Gold loaded the bases in the seventh through a pair of singles and an intentional walk. It looked like they had pulled even at three when Woodmansee saw a 3-2 pitch go down and away, but the first base umpire deemed he had gone just far enough on a check swing. Just like that, the threat was over.

Arizona State battled back in the eighth, and Sewald was there again to stoke the fire with a one-out single. Junior Jordan Aboites followed up with a double down the left field line to score Sewald, but Oklahoma State got out of the jam with a couple of fly outs.

Flame-throwing reliever Ryan Burr took over for the Sun Devils in the top of the ninth and promptly gave up a walk and a double to open the inning. That brought Dustin Williams to the plate, but before he got a chance to hit, Smith ordered Gerhart and Allen to switch positions in left and right field, a move that paid dividends.

Williams lifted a two-strike pitch deep into foul territory, but knowing that the Cowboy runner could tag and score from third, Allen made the heady play to let a catchable ball drop harmlessly to the ground. Sure enough, Williams would end up striking out, as would the next two batters.

"We were saying 'let it go, let it go' but I don't think he heard that," Smith said. "I think that was just his baseball instincts."

Burr found himself in another jam in the top of the 10th as the leadoff man walked, then got to third via a steal and a sacrifice lineout. But once again, Burr worked his magic. He got the next two Oklahoma State batters to strike out, setting the table for Woodmansee's walk-off blast in the bottom of the inning.

It was a memorable night, both because of the win and the fact that it was the team's inaugural game in Phoenix Municipal Stadium where 4,253 fans were treated with a classic ballgame.

"I'm so happy that people came out, and I hope they continue to come out," Smith said.

Both teams will be back at it again tomorrow afternoon for a 1:00 p.m. first pitch. Left-hander Ryan Kellogg will get the start on the mound for ASU.