Arizona baseball makes final trip to Packard Stadium
Following its first conference series victory of 2014, Arizona baseball is ready to take another crack at its rival up north.
Tonight in Tempe, Ariz., the Wildcats (14-19, 4-8 Pac-12) will face ASU (17-12, 7-5) at Packard Stadium for the last time ever. Next year the Sun Devils will play at Phoenix Municipal Stadium. The Oakland Athletics recently wrapped up their final spring training days at Phoenix Municipal Stadium.
It will be the second non-conference game of the season between these clubs.
The first pitch will be fired at 6:30 p.m. and the game will be streamed live on pac-12.com. The winner of the five-game series will capture this year’s Territorial Cup point for baseball.
ARIZONA FRESHMAN pitcher Morgan Earman pitches during Arizona’s 11-0 loss against Oregon State on March 30 at Hi Corbett Field. Earman is projected to start Arizona’s baseball game at ASU today at 6:30 p.m. at Packard Stadium in Tempe, Ariz.
Over the past weekend, Arizona hit the road and gave Utah (10-19, 1-11) its first Pac-12 win on Friday. But the Wildcats rebounded with a pair of wins the next two days behind a strong effort on the mound.
It was the first time the Wildcats had won two straight games since they won a trio of consecutive games from March 11-14 versus Air Force and Washington State.
The Sun Devils are coming off of a home series win over USC, where all three contests were decided by a couple runs or less.
Last season, Arizona had a 3-2 record against ASU.
Back on March 26, the Wildcats initially led the Sun Devils 6-1, only to watch their lead vanish in the middle innings. A complete Arizona pitching meltdown led to 13 unanswered runs scored by the Sun Devils, including a 10-run bottom of the sixth.
Arizona hasn’t had a consistent midweek pitcher all season long, but head coach Andy Lopez is going with freshman righty Morgan Earman (2-1).
In his last start, Earman was lights out in a 14-2 win over Air Force on March 11. He surrendered both runs of the game, but only one was earned.
Earman also lasted eight innings and struck out five batters while giving up just four hits. Control was his biggest issue, as Earman issued five walks that night.
Because he was pitching well, Lopez allowed Earman to throw a total of 124 pitches against Air Force. Against stronger competition, he may have a shorter leash from his head coach.
Rookie right-hander Seth Martinez (2-0) got the ball against the Wildcats in ASU’s last Wednesday game. It was a rocky outing for him, as he was tagged for five runs in only 4.1 frames of work.
Following today’s game against the Sun Devils, the Wildcats will host No. 22 UCLA (18-12, 6-3) for a three-game series at Hi Corbett Field this upcoming weekend.
—Follow Joey Putrelo @JoeyPutrelo