"It was two games."
Andy Lopez couldn't have summed it up any better than that.
Arizona (24-12, 8-7 PAC-12) came back from an 8-2 deficit in the 6th inning to beat ASU (22-11-1, 8-7 PAC-12) 10-9 on Tuesday. It was really a tale of two games though.
Game One (Innings 1-5 + 1 out in the top of the 6th):
ASU won the first game on Tuesday 7-2.
Arizona starter Nick Cunnigham (ND, 0-2) lasted just two innings, giving up 6 runs (4 earned) on 4 hits and 2 walks. Arizona's defense was what killed Cunningham. And wild pitches. Cunningham's night was going pretty good until the 5th batter of the game, Trever Allen, struck out. But it was on a wild pitch, and he reached base. After that, five of the last eight batters faced by Cunningham reached base and all scored.
Cody Moffett, who I thought should have started Tuesday's game, came in and allowed just 3 runs over the rest of game one.
On the offensive side, Johnny Field scored both Arizona runs, but there were no rallies. Just Field getting on base followed by sac flies and groundouts.
Game two started the second Tyger Talley came in the game.
Game Two (Innings 6-9):
UA won the second game on Tuesday 8-2.
Talley came in with two guys on base, but allowed just one to score as Arizona State went up 8-2.
Then the Sun Devils went to their bullpen, and all hell broke loose.
Adam McCreery loaded the bases and was yanked before getting an out. Mark Lambson came in and let all three runners score, reducing the ASU lead to 8-5. ASU second baseman James McDonald had a huge throwing error with two outs in the inning, which allowed two of those runs to score.
Tyger Talley gave up a double to start the 7th, which brought in Augey Bill. That runner scored after a sac bunt and a sac fly to make the score 9-5.
The Wildcats responded with three more runs in the bottom of the 7th. Lambson got one out in the inning, but then loaded the bases for Matt Dunbar. That's when ASU's defense started to completely meltdown.
Joseph Maggi came up with runners on first and third with two out. He roped a single to the center fielder, who then tried to throw out Scott Kingery at third, but the throw was late. But Maggi made a huge turn at first, and ASU got him in a rundown. But Kingery took off for home, and the Sun Devils failed to throw him out, putting the score at 9-8.
Augey Bill (W, 4-0) then pitched a scoreless 8th, allowing a walk but nothing more.
The bottom of the 8th started with a Brandon Dixon single, and a sac bunt from Zach Gibbons. Then Dixon took things into his own hands.
Dixon decided to steal third.
"He wanted to do that, he gave the sign to me in fact. I agreed with it, most of the time I wouldn't, but he's a good baserunner" said head coach Andy Lopez.
Dixon stole third, and ASU catcher RJ Ybarra, who had a rough night all around, threw the ball into left field, allowing Dixon to score and tie the game at 9.
Riley Moore singled to keep the inning alive for Scott Kingery. Kingery took a Darin Gillies fastball out over the left fielder's head, scoring Moore from first to put Arizona on top 10-9.
Mathew Troupe (S, 9) came in to close it out in the ninth, and put the Devils down 1-2-3 to wrap up the unbelievable victory for the Wildcats.
It wasn't a pretty game by any means. Eight total errors, 13 total walks, and four hit batters between the two clubs. But a win's a win, especially when it's ASU. There's some really positive things to take away from this game, the bullpen being the biggest one. But there are also some negatives (defense, inherited base runners scoring). But a comeback like this for such a young team could turn out to be enormous for the rest of this season.