(Photo: Gabrielle Mercer/WCSN)
Arizona State baseball has flown under the radar this season while the team’s national stock continues to discreetly climb. Now at 10-3 fresh off of a road series sweep over No. 23 Cal State Fullerton, Tracy Smith’s team might just find itself ranked within the top 25 heading into this weekend’s home series with UC Davis.
Here are a few numbers that stood out from the series with Cal State Fullerton:
9.0 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 8 SO – This was the stat line shared by Jordan Aboites and James Ryan, the Tuesday and Wednesday starters respectively. Coming into Tuesday, Aboites had yet to pitch on the year and had missed the last four games due to suspension. In his debut, he went for six innings, allowing just two runs while striking out six. For Ryan, a freshman who was also making his debut on Wednesday, he went for four innings, allowing just one hit and striking out two.
While there was speculation that ace Hever Bueno would make his return in the series, he remained sidelined with a strained quad. Regardless, the starting pitching continues to shine in his absence.
2.0 IP, 1 H, 2 SO/3-6, 1 HR – After playing most of the game in his usual first base slot, David Greer was brought in to pitch in the 11 inning. Greer saw limited action on the mound in last weekend’s series finale against Eastern Michigan, but he had yet to experience anything like the position he was in on Wednesday night. With the game tied 0-0, Greer pitched for two innings – yielding just a hit while striking out two – then came back to spark Arizona State’s only offensive output in the 14th inning. Greer belted his first home run of the year to break the 0-0 tie.
On the weekend, Greer finished with five hits in 11 at-bats with two RBI. He leads the team in batting average (.404), hits (21) and has started all 13 games this season.
11 – Considering the length of the second game, it comes as no surprise that Smith was forced to send 11 different pitchers to the mound, including current Friday starter Seth Martinez, who earned the save on Wednesday night. Two of the pitchers deployed, Fitz Stadler and James Ryan, are freshman. While Smith had to dig deep into his arsenal of pitchers in this series, no one looked as though they weren’t ready to perform in high-intensity situations.
Both the starting pitching and the bullpen continue to perform, that’s a big reason why this team is 10-3.
3-5, 2 R, RBI, 4 BB – Colby Woodmansee continues to validate his status as a pre-season All-American. In the series, he not only drove in what would eventually prove to be the deciding run on Wednesday, but he drew four walks in nine at-bats. In addition, his on-base percentage sat at an exceptional .777 percent.