ASU baseball (28-7, 10-5 Pac-12) was put through the ringer early on in its matchup, but thanks to some standout performances at the plate, the team pulled out a decisive 12-5 win against the Seattle University Redhawks (8-26) on Tuesday.
Freshman Erik Tolman's two home runs in the second and fourth inning were enough to gain the lead, but later, a four-run fifth inning secured the 12-5 win against the Redhawks.
The freshman left-hander, who was on the mound less than 48 hours ago, went 3-for-4 as a designated hitter for the night with his first two career dingers, a double and four runs batted in.
Tolman, initially recruited as a two-way player, has juggled both roles this season, spending "90 percent" of his practices in routines with the batters. Despite doing it his whole life, he described the difficulty in balancing the two positions.
"It matters if the pitchers are doing something, I'll go with them," he said. "But if not, I'll go with the hitters and then I'll also stay after practice or come back later and hitting the cages for 30 minutes. Something little so I don't fall behind and don't get rusty."
Trailing along in the offense, sophomore infielder Alika Williams and junior outfielder Hunter Bishop went 4-for-7 combined, with six RBIs and two runs. Williams also crushed his second career triple during the game.
"He gives quality at bats," coach Tracy Smith said on Williams' performance, going on to describe his progress from last season. "He's stronger. He's a year older."
It was a freshman night on the mound as Marc Lidd earned his first career win through 2.0 innings, allowing two runs on two hits while walking two and striking out one.
The freshman infielder, when asked if he was expected to pitch this often before the season started, said "definitely not this much."
"But I knew I had it in me," Lidd said. "And when Cat (Mike Cather) said 'Hey can you pitch?' and I did well my first couple times, I knew that I was going to be able to help the team."
Luke La Flam and Will Levine both combined for 2.0 innings, during which they allowed just two walks and showed slight improvements on the mound. In his sixth appearance of the season, Levine closed out the ninth by striking out three batters to end the game for the Redhawks.
The Sun Devils had to work their way through some sticky first- and third-inning situations when sophomore starting pitcher Brady Corrigan loaded the bases on a walk, single and a hit by pitch.
As a result, Seattle scored a run on a walk and a got an RBI single, giving the Redhawks a 2-0 lead in the first.
After the Sun Devils regained a 3-2 lead on Tolman's three-run shot in the second, the Redhawks came back to tie it 3-3 in the third on an RBI double.
Lidd went on to pitch two shutout innings. But when Chaz Montoya came in to relieve him during the sixth, the junior left-hander allowed the Redhawks to score two runs, narrowing the Sun Devils' lead to 9-5 and bringing the Redhawks back in the game.
But the Sun Devils' offense went on to secure the win with three unearned runs in the bottom of the sixth.
ASU will hit the road in 13 of its remaining matchups, beginning with a three-game series at the Utah Utes (11-19, Pac-12 3-12) on Thursday, April 18 at 5 p.m. MST.