Erik Tolman smashes two home runs, March Lidd pitches again and a rainy second and third inning results in a bizarre, but successful, mid-week matchup for ASU baseball.
With two outs in the bottom of the second inning, rain began to descend at Phoenix Municipal Stadium.
Most fans flocked to the protected upper sections of the stadium to stay dry, others threw on giant yellow ponchos.
But ASU relief pitcher Erik Tolman had no roof that he could stay dry under or plastic garb that he could throw on. Instead, the 6’2 freshman grabbed a bat and threw on a pair batting gloves.
As a freshman, Tolman has spent the majority of his appearances on the mound as one of Tracy Smith’s most trustworthy relievers. But when Tolman became a Sun Devil in July, the lefty signed with every intention to pitch and hit.
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“Junior year I hit four (home runs) and senior year I hit six,” Tolman said. “It’s not a lot but in high school I was definitely considered a power hitter.”
While the rest of the crowd (and press box for that matter) was in shock at the sight of rain, Tolman took an 0-1 fastball over the right-center field wall for a home run.
The three-run blast was the lefties first career collegiate home run that gave ASU a 3-2 lead and a much needed shot of energy.
“His three-run shot kind of woke us up a little bit and ignited us,” head coach Tracy Smith said. “We certainly were flat and weren’t doing much of anything.”
Two innings later, Tolman added his second career home run, a solo shot that delivered ASU a multi-run lead for the first time all night. In fact, Tolman was responsible for driving in four of the Sun Devils first five runs.
And when the final out was recorded by Will Levine in the ninth inning, ASU were 12-5 victors over Seattle, a team that by the end of the night owned an 8-26 record on the season.
Brady Corrigan wasn’t sharp (three earned runs in three innings pitched), infielder turned reliever Marc Lidd was better but still gave up two runs of his own and the Sun Devils offense didn’t get going until a five-run fifth inning.
But when Erik Tolman is on your team, sometimes that’s the only advantage a team needs.
“Erik Tolman’s a gamer,” Lidd said.
“That’s how I’d describe him. He’s just a gamer,” ASU infielder Alika Williams said.
This weekend, ASU hits the road to play Utah for a three game set against the Utes beginning on Thursday.
All quotes in this article were obtained firsthand by Devils in Detail unless otherwise noted.