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ASU Baseball: Sun Devils host Utah for three-game series

ASU needs to go 14-5 to avoid consecutive losing seasons

Blaine McCormick/House of Sparky

The Arizona State Sun Devils (14-22, 6-9 Pac-12) welcome the Utah Utes (9-25, 5-8) to Phoenix Municipal Stadium Friday and Saturday at 6:30 p.m., then Sunday at 12:30 p.m.

Each game can be viewed via the Pac-12 Plus Live Stream.

ASU is on the brink of back-to-back losing seasons for the first time in program history. It’d need to go 14-5 to avoid that.

Redshirt freshman right-hander Zane Strand is transferring, according to azcentral.com, and Jack Harris of Devils Digest reported freshman right-hander Boyd Vander Kooi is day-to-day with his injury, but likely won’t be back until the Sun Devils travel to Corvallis a week later against Oregon State.

Freshman first baseman Spencer Torkelson leads the nation with 18 home runs, while junior center fielder Gage Canning’s nine triples is still a nation best.

Arizona State has had more at-bats than any team in the conference, but still sits fourth in the Pac-12 with a .283 team average. Defensively, however, the Sun Devils combine for a 4.58 team ERA and a Pac-12 worst .962 fielding percentage. ASU has 11 more errors (52) than any team in the conference.

Last weekend’s starters were sophomore right-hander Alec Marsh (3-2, 2.79 ERA), junior righty Sam Romero (1-1, 5.31 ERA) and senior left-hander Eli Lingos (5-3, 2.88 ERA) will likely go again in that order this weekend.

Utah, who boasts a Pac-12 low 5.74 ERA, has rolled with left-handed junior Joshua Tedeschi (0-7, 5.96 ERA) in its last two series-openers. However, senior righty Tanner Thomas (2-2 3.60 ERA) has been most effective with wins over Cal and USC.

Utah’s hottest hitter is junior infielder DaShawn Keirsey Jr. who is second in the conference with a .389 batting average. He also leads the Pac with 14 doubles. Behind him, redshirt freshman infielder Braden Debenedictis is the lone Ute with above a .300 average. He’s hitting .315 in 54 at-bats.