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ASU Baseball Series Preview vs. Oregon State

The Sun Devils are in need of a rebound after dropping three of their last four games.

Jake Peevyhouse is crushing the ball the past few weeks
Jake Peevyhouse is crushing the ball the past few weeks
(Photo: ASU Athletics)

Arizona State (12-5-1) baseball suffered back-to-back losses for the first time this season and they are looking to rebound this weekend against No. 3 Oregon State (19-1).

The No. 20 Sun Devils lost in the ninth inning to a walk-off walk to clinch the game for the Texas Tech Red Raiders on Tuesday night.

Freshman sensation Ryan Burr picked a bad time to have a poor outing as he threw one inning and gave up two runs and four walks en route to his first loss of the season. Going into the game, Burr had only allowed one earned run.

"(I) Hate disappointing the team and fans," Burr tweeted. "Loss was on me. We will bounce back, I guarantee that to you."

Let's be real though, he was not single-handedly the reason ASU lost. Burr leads all relief pitchers with 16.2 innings of work and 23 strikeouts.

Sophomore outfielder Jake Peevyhouse is swinging a hot bat and has an eight game hit streak. Over the last five games, he's batting .500 with six RBIs and five runs scored.

Head coach Tim Esmay has shuffled the lineup around in the past few games and he moved third baseman Michael Benjamin to the two-hole. This is a Sun Devil team that can produce from top to bottom in the lineup, but they have won plenty of games due to pitching.

The entire ASU pitching staff is ranked tenth in Division I baseball with 6.8 hits allowed per nine innings, 20th with a 1.14 WHIP and 28th with a 2.79 ERA. Oregon State, on the other hand, has held its opponents to a .203 batting average and has allowed just one round tripper all season.

Trevor Williams hopes to rebound from a poor seven-inning, seven earned run outing against Washington State. Williams (3-1, 1.95 ERA, 30K) will join the mound with the Beavers' Matt Boyd (4-0, 1.59 ERA, 31K) in what's sure to be a great pitching duel in the Pac-12 this weekend. Ryan Kellogg is projected to get the nod on Saturday for Arizona State and the Sunday start is still to be determined.

Last season, Williams allowed only five base runners in his win against the Beavers last season. Meanwhile, Boyd pitched out of the bullpen last season and got the job done in situational spots to record two outs against the Sun Devils.

Boyd was named the Pac-12 pitcher of the week and the Beavers' bats are helping him produce. Jake Rodriguez drove in a career-high five runs against Arizona. It was the first time Oregon State swept the series against the Wildcats.

The Beavers are 7-0 at home when they score at least three runs and sensational sophomore Michael Conforto leads the team in batting average (.380), slugging percentage (.690), home runs (6), RBIs (21), and total bases (49).

San Francisco was the only team to beat the Beavers this season and the Beavers have outscored their opponents 79-34 in March.

Oregon State swept Arizona State in Oregon back in 2011 and the Sun Devils swept the series a year ago in Tempe.

Friday and Saturday's games will be broadcasted live online on the Pac-12 Network.