The Arizona State baseball team returns to the friendly confines of Packard Stadium this weekend for a three game set against the Utah Utes. ASU (26-17, 11-10) is coming off a series win against Washington State last weekend up in Pullman, the Sun Devils took two of three from the Cougars. ASU currently sits in fifth place in the Pac-12, three games behind conference leader Oregon.
As of May 2nd, Abe Ruiz and Joey DeMichele are both ranked in the top ten in the Pac-12 in RBI, total bases and slugging percentage. DeMichele leads ASU in batting average (.348), runs (39), hits (57) and RBI (40).
The ASU pitching staff is fifth in the nation in walks allowed per nine innings, at 2.26. Arizona State pitchers have only given up 96 free passes, making them the only pitching staff in the Pac-12 to give up fewer than 100 walks.
NCBWA: No. 23
Baseball America: No. 20
Perfect Game: No. 20
The Utes currently sit in last place in the Pac-12 with a conference record of 6-15. Utah is 12-30 on the season and has only won one Pac-12 series. Utah is 2-7 in their last nine conference games.
Catcher Parker Morin leads Utah in hitting, with a .325 batting average. Morin also leads Utah in RBI's, with 29. James Brooks and Shaun Cooper are tied for the team lead in home runs with eight each. Utah only has two regulars that hit over .300, compared to ASU's four.
ASU's Individual Awards
Two Sun Devils received individual awards this week, one on the field and one off the field.
Shortstop Deven Marrero has been named to the 2012 Capital One Academic All-District Baseball Team. The junior has a GPA of 3.56 and is majoring in criminal justice. Marrero was a second team All-Academic Pac-10 performer last year, and in 2010 he set an ASU freshman record with a .397 batting average.
Sophomore right-hander Trevor Williams has been named the Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week for the week of April 23-29. Williams earned his team-leading eighth victory of the season last Saturday when he threw a complete game shutout against Washington State.
Williams struck out four and did not walk a batter, dropping his ERA to 1.94. Williams has not walked a batter in 25 consecutive innings, dating back to 6th.
Full Weekend Preview:
Friday 6:30 PM
ASU - RHP Brady Rodgers (7-2, 2.04 ERA)
Utah - RHP Brock Duke (2-3, 3.77 ERA)
Saturday 6:30 PM
ASU - RHP Trevor Williams (8-2, 1.94 ERA)
Utah - RHP Joe Pond (3-7, 6.06 ERA)
Sunday 12:30 PM
ASU - TBA
Utah - Mitch Watrous (2-3, 3.03 ERA)
Tickets start at just $8 for adults and $6 for youth (ages 16 and younger) and senior, if you cannot make it out to the game, all three games can be heard live on The Fan AM 1060.