(Photo: Dominic Cotroneo/WCSN)
Arizona State (5-3) will return to Phoenix Muni this weekend for a three-game series against Eastern Michigan (4-5).
The Sun Devils finished last weekend’s series with Long Beach State 1-2 and have lost three of their last four since sweeping Xavier to start the year.
Eastern Michigan has lost four of its last five and dropped four straight before besting South Florida 3-2 on Feb. 28.
For the Sun Devils, they will again be without ace Hever Bueno, who is still dealing with a muscle strain, is day-to-day according to head coach Tracy Smith. The head coach said this week they are hoping he will be back for conference play in two weeks.
In addition, Seth Martinez has been moved into the Friday slot and Reagan Todd will slide up to Saturday.
With that, Smith has mentioned the possibility of junior Eder Erives starting on Sunday. The official starter is still to be announced.
On offense, sophomore Andrew Snow and junior Colby Woodmansee have to continue to provide a potent one-two punch in the heart of the order.
Sophomore Andrew Shaps, who looked promising to start the year, will have to get to back to playing at that level in the series.
For Eastern Michigan, the offense will have to come through sophomore Brennan Williams and redshirt junior Michael Mioduszewski, who are hitting .353 and .333 respectively.
Due to the state of the Arizona State’s pitching staff, Eastern Michigan will have to take advantage of the lack of depth the Sun Devils have on the mound at this point.
The biggest match-up to watch will be on the basepaths – Eastern Michigan leads the nation in stolen bases (32) and Brian Serven leads the PAC-12 in runners caught stealing (8).
The Devils will hit the road again two days after the conclusion of the series when they travel to Fullerton to take on the Titans on Tuesday and Wednesday.
First pitch will be at 6:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, with Sunday’s finale at 12:30 p.m.