Fresh off a four-game home stand that featured a series against No. 2 Oregon State and a midweek victory against Seattle University, No. 16 Arizona State (28-7, 10-5 Pac-12) is back to the road this weekend as they venture up to Salt Lake City to take on Utah (11-19, 3-12 Pac-12).
It’s worth noting that due to the Easter holiday on Sunday, all three games aren’t your prototypical Friday, Saturday, Sunday series. This week’s Pac-12 matchup will run Thursday through Saturday.
Game 1: Thursday, April 18 (5:00 p.m. Mountain Time)
Game 2: Friday, April 19 (5:00 p.m. Mountain Time)
Game 3: Saturday, April 20 (12:00 p.m. Mountain Time)
A look at Arizona State
Entering this weekend’s series against the Utes, the Sun Devils are fresh off one of the more daunting parts of their schedule. A rugged three-game series with Oregon State led to a Tuesday victory over Seattle University where freshman Erik Tolman had a two homer night. Sophomore phenom Spencer Torkelson is currently riding a 20-game hit streak entering Thursday’s opening game, and junior center fielder Hunter Bishop is still second in the nation with 17 home runs.
Key Player to Watch
While Torkelson and Bishop pose their own challenges for Utah, one player to watch for ASU is the ace of their pitching staff. Junior Alec Marsh is perhaps coming off the best outing of his college career, a complete game, three-hit gem that featured nine strikeouts against the Beavers last Friday night. Marsh will look to replicate the performance come Thursday night.
A look at Utah
It has been a trying season for the Utes. A rough non-conference slate and some early conference woes has put them at second to last in the Pac-12. Nevertheless, they have won three of their last four games, including a series win against a USC team that recently took two out of three games from ASU just two weeks ago. Regardless of the record, the Utes shouldn’t be overlooked in the topsy turvy world of Division I college baseball.
Key Player to Watch
Utah has three players batting over .300. However, the one player who seems to pose the biggest threat is junior infielder Oliver Dunn. The hometown Salt Lake City product has started in all 30 of Utah’s games and he is batting .376 with 16 RBI’s and 14 doubles. Additionally, he has a .576 slugging percentage. He is a name to circle on the Ute lineup card.