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ASU Baseball: Sun Devils aim to bounce back against USC

Arizona State is still 5th in the Pac-12 standings

Andrew Palla/House of Sparky

When/Where: 6:30 p.m. on Friday/Saturday, 12:30 p.m. on Sunday/ Phoenix Municipal Stadium

Watch: Pac-12 Plus live stream

Listen: Blaze Radio/KDUS-AM (1006)

Arizona State (13-16, 5-4 Pac-12) has lost four of its last five games, most recently coming with two mid-week one-run defeats against Cal State Fullerton. In both losses, the Sun Devils were tied or leading going into the eighth inning.

ASU used seven pitchers against CSUF, including regular Friday starter junior right-hander Sam Romero (1-0, 5.87 ERA) on Tuesday. ASU manager Tracy Smith said senior lefty Eli Lingos will remain his Sunday starter (5-1, 2.02 ERA), meaning Romero will likely pitch Saturday. Sophomore righty Alec Marsh (2-1, 2.93 ERA) is a decent candidate to start Friday. His last start came in a 4-3 game two loss to Washington State.

Hitting wise, the Sun Devils are batting for a collective .292 average. Junior center fielder Gage Canning leads the nation with nine triples and his .431 average ranks sixth in the country. Freshman first baseman Spencer Torkelson is tied for a national-best 14 home runs. The Sun Devils have hit 22 as a team.

USC (14-11, 3-6) beat UCSB 9-3 on Tuesday after dropping two of three to Washington the weekend prior. The Trojans did beat Fullerton 3-1 on March 27.

Freshman right-hander Kyle Hurt (2-1, 2.60 ERA) has pitched in all three of USC’s Pac-12 series-opening matchups. Last Thursday night, he allowed three hits over seven innings in a 1-0 win over Washington.

The Trojans are hitting tied for a Pac-12 worst .244 average. Sophomore Kaleb Murphy leads USC with .317 average. and is fourth in the conference having thrown out six runners stealing. While its offense has not impressed, no Pac-12 team other than UCLA has less errors (17) and a better fielding percentage (.981) than the Trojans.