(Photo: Dominic Cotroneo/WCSN)
The No. 6 Arizona State Sun Devils (15-7, 4-2) are riding high after consecutive Pac-12 series wins and will host Stanford (10-11, 0-3 in the Pac-12) for a three game weekend series.
ASU recently took two out of three in Eugene against the Oregon Ducks. Despite the positive series, manager Tracy Smith was disappointed in the team’s losing effort in the finale, tweeting out after the game:
“Sometimes you can lose and still be proud of the way your team competed. Today is not that day.”
Brett Lilek started in the loss on Sunday and appeared to get injured in the 2nd inning. He was pulled from the game, but will get the start once again on Sunday behind Seth Martinez and Ryan Kellogg.
Although they scavenged a series win, the Sun Devils did not hit the ball very well, scoring just three runs in the final two games of the series.
The Cardinal were swept by Arizona in their latest conference series, where they scored just nine runs over three games. Most recently, they defeated San Diego at home to snap a five game skid.
Despite its woes, Stanford boasts one of the most intriguing draft prospects not only in the Pac-12 but also in the country in Marc Brakeman. The right-hander hasn’t been great this season, but hasn’t been bad either, posting a 3.71 ERA in 17 innings over three starts. He was recently pegged as the No. 46 draft prospect in the country by MLB.com, who had good things to say about him:
“Brakeman has a quality changeup, though he’ll need to improve the consistency of a slider that becomes slurvy too often. After battling the strike zone as a college sophomore, he displayed much improved control on the Cape.”
Another intriguing pitcher for the Cardinal is Brett Hanewich, who will start on Friday. The sophomore has a 2.77 ERA in four starts.
The Stanford offense is being completely rebuilt, and therefore its two top hitters this year have both been freshman. The standouts are the corner infielders, Matt Winaker and Mikey Diekroeger.
Winaker, the first baseman, is hitting .329 and has posted a .414 OBP in 20 starts. The third baseman Diekroeger has 12 RBI and a .315 batting average on the season.
First pitch for game one will be at 6:30 MT on Friday at Phoenix Municipal Stadium.