Reeling Arizona baseball hosts rival ASU
After splitting their first two meetings against ASU, Arizona baseball hosts the Sun Devils in a three-game series Friday through Sunday at Hi Corbett Field.
Friday and Saturday night’s games will be broadcast on Pac-12 Arizona, and Sunday’s contest will be televised on ESPNU.
Probable starting pitchers:
– Friday — 7 p.m.
ARIZ: James Farris, RHP, Sr. (4-5, 4.23) ASU: Brett Lilek, LHP, So. (3-2, 1.98)
– Saturday, April 26 — 7:30 p.m.
ARIZ: Cody Hamlin, RHP, RSo. (5-2, 2.32) ASU: Ryan Kellogg, LHP, So. (5-2, 3.61)
– Saturday — 4:30 p.m.
ARIZ: Tyger Talley, RHP, So. (1-1, 4.38) ASU: Darin Gillies, RHP, Jr. (1-3, 3.96)
The Wildcats (17-23, 6-12 Pac-12 Conference) suffered a three-game sweep at USC last weekend.
Head coach Andy Lopez said he still has faith that the Wildcats will turn their fortune around and shift momentum in a positive direction.
”There are only two ways to live life: pessimistically or optimistically,” Lopez said. “I’m going to go with optimism. I don’t care what anybody says even with this season right now. I don’t think we’re mathematically eliminated yet, so I’m still pushing. For now, I’m optimistic that we’re going to get hot; that we’re going to play well and go on a roll.”
The Sun Devils (21-16, 10-8) are fresh off of a series loss against Stanford but topped No. 20 UNLV 5-2 earlier in the week.
Lilek ranks third in the league in opponents’ batting average (.183), fifth in hits allowed (34) and eighth with 52 strikeouts and an earned run average of 1.98.
Last year, the Wildcats won the season series 3-2. The Sun Devils’ last season series victory over the UA came in 2011 and ASU’s last three-game series victory in Tucson came in 2010, when Arizona was still playing at Sancet Stadium.
“It’s going to be a battle, and we’re going to have to show up,” sophomore shortstop Kevin Newman said.
—Follow Evan Rosenfeld @EvanRosenfeld17