(Photo: Scotty Bara/WCSN)
The Arizona State Sun Devils baseball team (12-10, 3-3) hosts the first of five Territorial Cup baseball matches against the University of Arizona (11-15, 1-5) at 3 p.m. on Wednesday at Packard Stadium.
Freshman Seth Martinez will make his second collegiate start for the Sun Devils and his first against Arizona. The freshman is coming off a dominant five-inning performance against Wichita State last Tuesday.
Arizona’s starting pitcher has not been announced yet; however, given the fact that it is a midweek game, sandwiched between weekend conference games, the Wildcats will likely not use ace starters Cody Hamlin or James Harris.
Arizona State comes into the matchup against Arizona riding a two-game winning streak. Last weekend, the Sun Devils traveled to Corvallis and took two games out of three against the No. 4 Oregon State Beavers (19-5, 4-2)—the team’s first series win in Corvallis since 2007.
The Sun Devils dropped the opening game of the series, 4-0. Starting pitcher Brett Lilek managed to silence the talented Beaver offense for four innings; however, he was outdueled by Beavers ace Ben Wetzler. Wetzler only allowed two Sun Devil hits in seven innings, and struck out eight to earn his fourth win of the season.
On Saturday, Ryan Kellogg continued his dominance of Oregon State, as he fired nine innings, allowing just two runs. Kellogg has now thrown 18 innings against Oregon State in two outings (the first of which was a no-hitter last year) and has only yielded two runs. First baseman Nate Causey went 4-for-4 and is hitting .526 in his last five games (10-for-19). Third baseman Dalton Dinatale and designated hitter RJ Ybarra supplied the late game heroics for the Sun Devils, leading ASU to a 3-2 win in 10 innings.
The Sun Devils took the rubber match on Sunday, 7-3, behind a complete team effort. Junior right-handed pitcher Darin Gillies held the Beavers scoreless for five innings; however, he allowed two runs in the sixth to take the no-decision.
Dinatale and Ybarra combined for five RBIs, and freshman relief pitcher (and shortstop) Jordan Aboites earned his second win of the season in two innings of work. Sophomore Ryan Burr also completed a six-out save for his fifth of the year.
Arizona comes to Tempe with three consecutive losses, as they were swept by Washington in Seattle last weekend. The Wildcats were outscored 21-9 in those three games.
The winner of the five Territorial Cup baseball matches will receive a point that will combine with victories in other collegiate matches between the two schools. ASU currently leads the 2013-2014 series 6.5 to 3.5; however Arizona leads the all-time series 3-1.
You can reach Jacob Garcia on Twitter @Jake_M_Garcia or via email at Jacob.M.Garcia@asu.edu