The Arizona State baseball team will travel to Berkeley, Calif., this weekend for a Pac-12 Conference series against the University of California. Ranked thirteenth nationally, the Sun Devils (30-14-1, 12-9) hope to rebound from a losing series effort against the Stanford Cardinal last weekend.
First pitch on Friday is at 6 p.m., while Saturday’s game begins at 7 p.m. and Sunday’s at 12 p.m.
Arizona State picked up its 30th win of the season on May 5 against Stanford and has now recorded 51 consecutive 30-win seasons, which is the most in the NCAA, and has won at least 30 games in 52 of the program’s 54-year history. ASU’s streak started with the 1963 season when it went 34-13.
Arizona State has enjoyed a fair amount of success against California over the years. The Sun Devils are 110-58 all-time versus the Golden Bears. They took 2-of-3 from Cal last season in Tempe and swept them in Berkeley in 2011 when Cal was ranked No. 15. ASU won the opening game of that series 6-4 in 17 innings in the second-longest game in Sun Devil baseball history before outscoring the Bears 11-0 in the next two games. Head coach Tim Esmay is 8-1 in his three years at ASU, and the Devils have not lost a series to Cal since dropping 2-of-3 in 2007.
The Cal baseball team (21-26, 9-15) concludes the 2013 regular season playing its final seven games at Evans Diamond where it has won three of five series this year. The Golden Bears are averaging five runs a game in their home contests, and four of their six conference home losses have been by only one run. Cal has been involved in six extra inning games in 2013 as well, going 4-2 in those contests. The Bears have also had five walk-off wins this season.
California has been led offensively by junior catcher Andrew Knapp, who is hitting .352 (63-for-179) with a team-leading 14 doubles, seven home runs and 38 RBI. Knapp, a first-team Preseason All-American in Baseball America and a member of the Golden Spikes Midseason Watch list, went 3-for-5 with a double and two RBI last Sunday at Oregon State. Junior designated hitter Devon Rodriguez is also a top hitter for the Bears, batting .270 with six home runs and 33 RBI.