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ASU Baseball: Smith’s squad looks to maintain momentum in Eugene

(Photo: Nicholas Badders/WCSN)

For the first time all season, Arizona State comes into a series having won two straight weekend bouts. Beginning tonight, the Sun Devils will play three games in Eugene against the Oregon Ducks.

Winners of five of their last six, ASU looks to continue their momentum at a time in which it is desperately needed. The Sun Devils sit two games under .500 at 18-20 and with 17 games left, need to go 12-5 the rest of their way in order to win 30 games for their 55th straight seasons.

The Sun Devils come into the series with a 5-10 record in Pac-12 play, just one game behind Oregon, who is 6-9 in Pac-12 games.

In their series with Cal Sate Bakersfield, ASU won the first two games, 12-6 and 4-2 respectively, then faltered in game three, losing a back-and-forth contest 8-6.

The Ducks, however, come in struggling mightily, as they are losers of five in a row. After winning their first game in a series with Arizona, Oregon lost the last two games of that series and went on to get swept by Stanford last weekend.

The Friday night starter for ASU will be Eder Erives, making the senior the team’s third Friday night starter of the season, following Eli Lingos and Chaz Montoya. Coincidentally, Lingos will toe the bump in the Saturday afternoon game and for game three, Montoya is the team’s starting pitcher.

While he only comes in with a record of 0-1, Erives sports an ERA of 3.90 and is fourth on the team in strikeouts with 25. In 30 innings, he’s pitched in 11 games, however he has only started three of them.

In the back end of their bullpen, Oregon has freshman pitcher Kenyon Yovan, one of 40 relief pitchers and four freshman that was named to the Midseason Watch List for the 13th annual National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Stopper of the Year Award. Yovan started his collegiate career without allowing an earned run in 19 and 1/3 innings an is currently tied for fourth in the nation and leads the Pac-12 Conference with 12 saves.

Arizona State has been recently led by Gage Canning, who is currently a team-best .359 at the plate and has 31 hits in his last 15 games. 10 of those 15 games have been multi-hit games and six of those 10 have been three-hit games, including his last four. Canning has scored at least one run in his last nine games and has 12 RBIs over those nine games.

First pitch on Friday is at 6 P.M. in Eugene, game two on Saturday is at 2 P.M. and Sunday’s matinee will have a first pitch of 12 P.M.

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