ASU Baseball: Sun Devils open up tough series vs. No. 5 Oregon State

OMAHA, NE - JUNE 23: Travis Buck
OMAHA, NE - JUNE 23: Travis Buck /

ASU baseball faces one of their toughest tests of the season this weekend when they travel to Corvallis, Oregon to take on the fifth ranked Oregon State Beavers.

The Sun Devils are coming off of an 8-7 midweek loss to a strong WAC team in New Mexico State, in which they struggled on the mound and in the field defensively.

The game against the Aggies proved to be a continuation of the problems that have plagued ASU the whole season and especially as of late, as the Sun Devils are ranked near the bottom of the Pac-12 in almost every meaningful pitching and defensive statistic.

Not all is doom and gloom for ASU, however, as their last weekend series resulted in a sweep against Pac-12 cellar dweller Utah.

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The Sun Devil offense was a force to be reckoned with in this series, as they put up a monstrous 35 runs across the three games, including two separate outings where they scored at least 13 runs.

ASU has been very inconsistent as of late, but their opponents in this series have been consistently excellent across the whole season.

Oregon State comes into this series carrying a six game win streak, including a sweep of rival Oregon last weekend. This recent hot streak has brought them to a fantastic 30-6 record and a No. 5 ranking in the latest NCAA poll.

The Sun Devil offense against the Beaver pitching staff is the most interesting match up in this series, as the dangerous ASU lineup will be tasked with figuring out Oregon State’s great trio of starters in Luke Heimlich, Bryce Fehmel and Grant Gambrell.

The Beavers also have a nice trio of relievers in Jake Mulholland, Dylan Pearce and Brandon Eisert that may prove troublesome for the Sun Devils in the later innings.

Pitching is not the only thing that the Beavers do well though, as they also rank near the top of the Pac-12 in every important hitting statistic.

This is made even more impressive by the fact that they have done this without their star second baseman Nick Madrigal, who just recently returned to action after breaking his wrist while sliding into home during a game against Ohio State on Feb. 23.

This potent offense will face a Sun Devil pitching staff who, as mentioned earlier, has struggled greatly this season.  This group will need to step up in a big way if ASU wants to have any success against the Beavers this weekend.

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This series will kick off on Friday at Goss Stadium at Coleman Field in Corvallis, with the first pitch scheduled for 5:35 p.m. PST.