(Photo: Kimmy Davis/WCSN)
The No. 5 Arizona State Sun Devils are riding a mini three-game winning streak heading into a weekend series against non-conference foe Tennessee Tech.
The Sun Devils came back from a four-run deficit to claim the Territorial Cup series from Arizona in Tucson. With the win, ASU improved to 13-5 overall and 26-11 in conference. The Sun Devils also claimed another Pac-12 series by defeating Washington in the final two games of their series last weekend.
ASU has continued to receive great offensive performances from breakout hitters Colby Woodmansee and David Greer. Woodmansee was recently named to the watch list for the Brooks Wallace award, given to the nation’s best shortstop.
Tennessee Tech enters the series with a 19-19 record and are 11-10 in conference play. The Golden Eagles have had a relatively easy non-conference and conference slate. They did play Vanderbilt, and fell 9-1 to the superior Commodores.
Despite their .500 record, Tennessee Tech has put together a five game winning streak and has won seven of their last eight games. They took two out of three against Jacksonville State before sweeping Murray State and winning a midweek game against Alabama A&M in extra innings.
They have received offensive contributions from both seniors and freshman this year. Their two strongest hitters entering the weekend include upperclassman Dylan Bosheers (.341 AVG, 7 HR) and newcomer Ryan Flick (.321, 9 HR). The two have hit over half of the home runs the Golden Eagles have accumulated this season. Both were a big reason as to why they put up double digit runs in each of the three games in the sweep of Murray State.
On the mound, Tennessee Tech has struggled to find consistency both in their rotation and bullpen, which has been the major cause for their struggles. Reliever Jeb Scoggins has the lowest ERA (3.77) of any regular pitcher on their team.
Chris Chism has been the Golden Eagles best option to start on Friday. He has pitched to the tune of a 4.28 ERA in 12 appearances, including six starts. Evan Fraliex has routinely been the Saturday starter, but has struggled, posting a 5.50 ERA and allowing 71 hits in 54 innings.
The weak pitching staff of Tennessee Tech should allow the Sun Devils to pick up offensive momentum throughout the course of the series. Even though it is not a Pac-12 matchup, the general consensus is that the Sun Devils will have to win the series, something they seem to do every weekend.
The rare out of conference series should not be taken lightly by the Sun Devils, even if Tennessee Tech has not played to the caliber of Pac-12 schools. The series will begin on Friday at 6:30, with Seth Martinez taking the mound for the Sun Devils.