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2019 Baton Rouge Regional Preview: Arizona State

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A western powerhouse drops into The Box as a two-seed

ASU Athletics

At A Glance

Record: 37-17

Conference: 16-13

Non-Conference: 20-4

Conference Finish: 5th

RPI: 33

RPI 50: 6-9 nice

RPI 25: 3-6

SOS: 87

Arizona State didn’t lose a game until March 23rd when they fell 5-4 in 12 innings to Oregon, ending a 21-game winning to open the season. They rebounded well, winning the series the next day and sweeping arch-rivals Arizona at home but dropped six of the next eight against Long Beach State, USC, UNLV, and Oregon State. The Sun Devils responded by beating Utah in what would be their last series win of the year (the rubber match against Cal was cancelled).

The Sun Devils started off strong, but no doubt faded down the stretch. This is still a good ball club, but one that took one too many to the chin to receive a host bid.

Something that works in LSU’s favor: while ASU is 27-7 at home, they are just 10-10 on the road.

At The Plate

Spencer Torkelson: .348/.687/.447, 79 H, 14 2B, 21 HR, 60 RBI, 40 BB, 41 SO

Hunter Bishop: .347/.765/.473, 74 H, 15 2B, 4 3B, 22 HR, 61 RBI. 43 BB, 58 SO

Trevor Hauver: .333/.571/.421, 77 H, 16 2B, 0 3B, 13 HR, 48 RBI, 35 BB, 53 SO

Alika Williams: .332/.470/.429, 67 H, 10 2B, 3 3B, 4 HR, 48 RBI, 31 BB, 26 SO

Hold your nose because here comes the cold water.

Arizona State can RAKE. Arizona State can drop bombs. Arizona State will do both this weekend.

The Sun Devils have five batters hitting over .300 and three batters listed above account for 56 home runs. LSU has 58 home runs total. We all know how the Box shrinks when the calendar reaches the end of May. It’s just a matter of how many they hit and how many runners are on base when they hit them.

Now, the good news: if Giovanni DiGiacomo, who leads LSU in strikeouts with 45, transferred to Tempe, he would drop down to fifth. Gage Workmand has an obsene 64 Ks on the year. Like you expect from a team full of power hitters, there is a TON of swing and miss from the Sun Devils.

If Cole Henry is healthy and ready to go for a potential meeting Saturday, then he could thrive against ASU.

On The Mound

Probable Starters

Alec Marsh: 3.17 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 96.2 IP, 2.78 K/BB (92/33), .241 BAA

Boyd Vander Kooi: 5.26 ERA, 1.56 WHIP, 87.1 IP, 2.22 K/BB (80/36), .297 BAA

Brady Corrigan: 5.22 ERA, 1.58 WHIP, 50 IP, 1.81 K/BB (65/28), .259 BAA, 2 SV

Notable Bullpen

Erik Tolman: 2.83 ERA, 1.44 WHIP, 47.2 IP, 1.40 K/BB (49/35), .198 BAA

Chaz Montova: 3.18 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, 22.2 IP, 1.46 K/BB (19/13), .220 BAA, 2 SV

Blake Burzell: 4.19 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 38.2 IP, 2.50 K/BB (35/14), .233 BAA, 1 SV

Well, I found the problem. ASU’s pitching, much like LSU’s, is just good enough to get by and into the postseason but still a vulnerability. For all his struggles and faults, Zack Hess had a better season than most Sun Devil pitchers. Hell, if you adjust for opponent batting Eric Walker had a better season than Brady Corrigan.

Arizona State may drop a bomb or two, but if it comes down to these two teams, LSU’s (relatively) consistent hitting should be able find success against this pitching staff and outlast the Sun Devil Dingers.