It was the longest game for Arizona State in 15 years. A game that stretched multiple days, 17 innings, about six hours from start to finish. However, when the dust settled, the Sun Devils were on the losing end for the second consecutive night against the UCLA Bruins, falling 11-5 in 17 innings.
"I'm proud of the way we battled and played," said ASU head coach Tracy Smith. "You know what (shrugging his shoulders), this is a tough one."
The Sun Devils struck first, manufacturing a run in the first inning. Following a leadoff double, Johnny Sewald advanced to third on a ground out from Jake Peevyhouse and scored on Colby Woodmansee ground out.
ASU used small ball again to push their second run across in the third inning. Following back-to-back singles from Andrew Snow and Sewald, Jake Peevyhosue dropped down a successful sacrifice bunt and Snow scored on a sac fly from Woodmansee a few pitches later. ASU led 2-0 after three innings.
The Sun Devils added two more runs in the fourth inning on RBI singles from Trever Allen and Sewald. The Sun Devils led 4-0 after four innings and that lead stuck until the top of the eight inning.
Ryan Kellogg did not allow a run in his first seven innings of work. However, approaching 100 pitches in the 8th inning, the wheels came off for the junior lefty. UCLA platted four runs on five hits in the eight inning, tying the game on a two-RBI double off the bat of Chris Keck.
Then, the scoring stopped, for six innings the teams traded zeros on the scoreboard. Until, in the top of the 15th inning UCLA brought the go-ahead run home on a wild pitch from Andrew Shaps. The freshman came in to pitch from left field, after replacing Jake Peevyhouse. The Sun Devils went with Shaps over freshman Tucker Baca, who was warming up in the bullpen.
"We needed a strikeout at that time and he has a better breaking ball," said Smith of Shaps. "He has shown a better breaking ball."
The Sun Devils would not go quietly, as Johnny Sewald led off the bottom of the 15th with a single, Sewald set a career high with five Saturday night/Sunday morning. With runners on first and third and one out, Brian Serven legged out a ground ball to third to score Sewald and tie the game in the 15th inning.
In the 17th inning, the Bruins took the lead when Keck scored on a single by Brett Stephens, Keck had reached on an ASU error to lead off the inning. The Bruins weren't done, as they put up five more runs in the 17th off of Jordan Aboites and Tucker Baca, ASU's seventh and eighth pitchers respectively.
Despite the defeat, Smith won't lose as much sleep as he did last night, when ASU committed three errors and allowed four unearned runs.
"I'm not happy that we lost, but I will sleep very well tonight," said Smith. "If we play with that intensity and that enthusiasm and that edge we will be ok. We are going to win a lot more baseball games."