The Sun Devils took the series from Utah this past weekend and got revenge in Tuesday’s win over UNLV, but they need to continue winning to keep pace with Stanford, Oregon State and UCLA in the Pac-12. Their next opponent will be another trip to the Pacific Northwest in the shape of the Washington Huskies.
Game 1: Friday, April 26 (6:05 p.m. Mountain Time)
Game 2: Saturday, April 27 (2:05 p.m. Mountain Time)
Game 3: Sunday, April 28 (1:05 p.m. Mountain Time)
A look at Arizona State
ASU seems to have found their groove again after a rough stretch of play. They’ve played a tightly contested with Oregon State and followed that up with winning four of their next five. A large part has been Spencer Torkelson putting power back in his swing and continuing his home run hitting tactics. Add in freshman two-way player Erik Tolman hitting dingers himself, while pitching well adds another dynamic for Tracy Smith.
Key Player to Watch
It’s easy to pick a batter from the powerhouse Sun Devil offense, but this pitcher may not make a huge impact on this series, his performance against the Huskies will shed light on a bigger goal. Smith said post-game on Tuesday that Sunday starter R.J. Dabovich will return this weekend with a pitch limit of 40-50 pitches. Dabovich’s success will be a vital part of how far ASU goes this season.
A look at Washington
The Huskies don’t look poised by a repeat Omaha run this season. They’ve struggled at the plate with only one qualified player with an average over .300. Washington got a boost in the offseason when Joe Wainhouse was granted another year of eligibility. However, much like the Huskies as a whole, Wainhouse hasn’t replicated his 2018 season and is batting .143 this season.
Key Player to Watch
The lone player with an average over .300 is Husky catcher Nick Kahle. Along with six homers and six doubles, batting .367 stands out in the Washington order. The Sun Devils will be able to challenge most of Kahle’s teammates, but if he has a chance to make a spalsh given the chance, he’ll most likely come through. Kahle isn’t as talented as Oregon State’s Adley Rutschman, that doesn’t mean ASU won’t take the same approach and force someone else to beat them.