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ASU-Oregon State series preview

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Friday, the No. 20 Arizona State Sun Devils (12-5-1) travel to Corvallis to take on the No. 3 Oregon State Beavers (19-1) for the first of a three-game series.

The Beavers are coming off a sweep of Arizona in Tucson while ASU will be trying to rebuild momentum after a heartbreaking walk-off loss to Texas Tech.

Friday’s game will set the tone for the rest of the weekend because of the excellent pitching matchup.  ASU’s ace Trevor Williams will face off against OSU’s Matt Boyd, a senior southpaw.

Boyd’s line on the season includes a 1.59 ERA with 31 strikeouts and six walks in 34 innings of work. Williams’ owns a 1.95 ERA with 30 strikeouts and five walks in 37 innings on the mound, including two complete games.

Williams (3-1) got his first loss of the season after allowing 13 hits and nine runs in seven innings against Washington State. Boyd (4-0) helped lift the Beavers over Arizona by giving up two hits and two runs while striking out six in seven innings of work.

Saturday’s pitching duel will be between ASU’s freshman Ryan Kellogg (4-0) and the Beaver’s Ben Wetzler (0-0).

Kellogg comes into the weekend ranked 23rd in Division I for his .93 ERA. The Canadian has fanned 20 and walked five in 29 innings of work. Wetzler has a 2.83 ERA, stirking out five and walking six in 11.1 innings.

Sunday’s matchup is still unknown. It appears that ASU’s 6-foot-9 lefty Adam McCreery will not be starting against the 5-0 Andrew Moore.  Moore possesses a 1.36 ERA with 24 K’s and six walks in 33 innings.

Who will start Sunday for the Sun Devils? McCreery, who’s been starting on Sundays all year, has a disappointing 6.86 ERA and has struck out 15 and walked 13 in his 19 and two-thirds innings this year.

Stepping in for the struggling sophomore could be freshman Brett Lilek, who out-dueled then-No. 2 Arkansas’ ace Ryne Stanek to win his first career start. Lilek has a 4.05 ERA with 11 strikeouts and six walks in 13.1 innings. His last appearance was March 17 in a loss against Washington State.

Both offenses will look to stay hot. For ASU, that means Jake Peevyhouse will look to continue his current eight-game hit streak.  During this run, Peevyhouse has also gotten at least two hits in each of the past five games. Peevyhouse leads all ASU batters with at least 50 at-bats with a .365 batting average.

For the Beavers, Michael Conforto leads the team with a .380 average, 21 RBIs, and six home runs. Dylan Davis has 28 hits for OSU.

Both the Sun Devils and the Beavers have six players batting over .300 with at least 50 at-bats.

Because ASU and OSU are so evenly matched on paper, the on-field fight for any kind of edge should lead to some extraordinary baseball.

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