Phoenix — Arizona State scored four runs over the first two innings en route to a 7-5 victory over the Arizona Wildcats on Tuesday night at Phoenix Municipal Stadium.
The Sun Devils didn’t waste any time building a lead against the Wildcats and starter Cody Deason. After Arizona went 1-2-3 in the top of the first inning, Andrew Snow led off Arizona State’s night with a base hit to right field. Deason then walked the next two batters to load the bases with no outs.
Coach Jay Johnson decided to go to his bullpen immediately and replaced Deason with left-hander Cameron Ming. Ming gave up a base hit to the first batter he faced, Andrew Shaps, to plate the first run of the game. Ming then got catcher Bryan Serven to fly out to centerfielder Jared Oliva, but David Greer, one of the batters to reach on a walk, scored.
Ming then got a strikeout and a fielder’s choice to get out of the inning with no further damage.
The Wildcats got a base hit in the second from Alfonso Rivas, but nothing else. In the bottom half of the inning, the Sun Devils went right back to work. Shortstop Colby Woodmansee came through with a two-out, two-run single to make it 4-0 in the second. The Cats eventually caught Woodmansee stealing to end the inning.
Arizona threatened in the third and fourth innings and got a man into scoring position, but both innings ended with double plays. The third ended when Cody Ramer lined into a double play, doubling off J.J. Matijevic off second base. The fourth ended off a 6-4-3 double play from Alfonso Rivas.
Arizona State took advantage of the double plays in the bottom of the fourth when Tyler Williams led off the inning with a double. After a sacrifice bunt, he was brought home on a fielder’s choice from Gage Canning.
Arizona got on the scoreboard in the fifth when Bobby Dalbec led off the inning with a walk. He stole second to move into scoring position and then moved over to third on a groundout. He was brought home on an RBI groundout from Matijevic.
The Sun Devils answered back in the bottom half of the inning with a run to make it 6-1. Arizona answered in the sixth when Ramer led off with a walk and eventually scored on an RBI groundout from Alfonso Rivas.
Arizona State extended the lead to 7-2 the sixth. Arizona attempted a comeback, scoring one run in the eighth and two more in the ninth. After Ryan Haug doubled, Matijevic singled to bring him home to make it 7-4. Ramer then doubled with two outs to score Matijevic from first to cut it to 7-5. But Jared Oliva flew out to right to end the game and give Arizona State the 7-5 victory.
The game did mark a positive milestone for the Wildcats in one major area. Tyler Crawford, who hadn’t appeared in a game for the Wildcats in two years and one day, returned to the mound after undergoing Tommy John Surgery. Crawford faced three batters in the fifth, walking one and retiring two. He notched a strikeout in his return.
Matijevic was one of two Wildcats to record a multi-hit game. The sophomore went 2 for 4 with two RBI and a run scored. Ramer also had a two-hit game, going 2 for 4 with two runs scored, one RBI and a double.
The Wildcats will return to action Friday at home against Stanford. First pitch is set for 6 p.m., at Hi Corbett Field. The two teams will play a three-game series, concluding Sunday afternoon.