The wait is finally over for college baseball fans in the Valley of the Sun. The 16th-ranked Arizona State Sun Devils kick-off the 2013 season with a three-game series against the Bethune-Cookman Wildcats, starting Friday evening at Packard Stadium.
First pitch for Friday’s game is at 6:30 p.m., followed by a 1 p.m. start on Saturday and a 12:30 game on Sunday.
This is the first time in school history the Sun Devils have faced Bethune-Cookman from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC). This is also the first time the Devils have played an opponent from the MEAC.
Arizona State won last season’s opening game, defeating Western Michigan 10-0 in the friendly confines of Packard. The Sun Devils have not opened a season on the road since 2003, when they traveled to Hawai’i-Hilo. And the team has not lost a season opener since 2006, when it was defeated 13-2 by Cal State Northridge.
ASU right-hander Trevor Williams will take the mound for Friday’s opener. As a sophomore last season, he was a first team Pac-12 All-conference selection and one of four sophomores named to the first team. Williams also earned Collegiate Baseball Louisville Slugger All-America second team honors. He tied for first in Division I with 12 victories and was the Pac-12 Conference’s only 12-game winner.
Williams has been a stalwart on the ASU pitching staff since his freshman year. He has issued just 19 walks in 149.1 career innings, including 13 in 2012 and six in 2011. Williams’ 1.07 walks allowed per nine innings in 2012 ranked 10th in Division 1 and he had a streak of 40 1/3 consecutive innings without issuing a walk last season that stretched across seven starts, beginning on April 6 in an 8-2 win over Oregon State and ending on May 19 in an 8-4 win over Washington.
Williams will face Bethune-Cookman right-hander Montana Durapau, who started in 15 of 17 games played in 2012 and posted a 3.86 ERA. He finished the year with a 4-7 mark. Durapau pitched a team second-best 91 innings and finished second with 70 strikeouts (tied for fourth in MEAC) versus 27 walks. Opponents batted .240 against him on the season.