(Photo: Gabrielle Mercer/WCSN)
Arizona State will be trying to keep the momentum it has going as it heads to Stanford this weekend, coming off a series win against California, the second-best team in the Pac-12.
After taking two out of three against the Golden Bears, with true freshman Zach Dixon’s complete game shutout in his first collegiate start clinching the series, the Sun Devils now sit at 6-9 in conference play, only two back in the win column behind Pac-12 leader Utah.
It’s unclear if head coach Tracy Smith will give Dixon another look in the rotation, but the starting staff as a whole will have to deal with a Cardinal offense led by senior infielder Tommy Edman. Playing in all 31 games so far in 2016, Edman leads the team with 37 hits and is second with a .387 on-base percentage.
Other notable contributors are outfielder and left-handed pitcher Quinn Brodey who leads the club with 24 RBI and catcher Alex Dunlap (.321/.429/.444).
It’s safe to say that Seth Martinez will get the ball to open the series on Friday night, and will most likely be opposed by freshman Tristan Beck. Out of Corona, California, Beck has started eight games and has given up only 11 runs in 47 innings pitched. Beck is joined by junior Brett Hanewich, who holds opponents to a .205 batting average against and has posted a 1.20 WHIP.
Out of the bullpen, the arms to watch out for will be the tandem of Kris Bubec and Chris Viall, who have combined to throw 43 1/3 innings in 20 combined relief appearances.
The usual suspects in David Greer, Colby Woodmansee and Andrew Snow will be needed to show up for the Sun Devil offense as the try to help out the pitching staff as much as possible.
The Sun Devils head to Sunken Diamond in ninth place in the Pac-12, but another successful weekend could continue to propel them upwards heading into the last month of the season.
First pitch for Friday’s game is scheduled for 6 p.m., followed by Saturday at 2 p.m and Sunday at 1 p.m