ASU Baseball: Comparing Division I’s last two undefeated teams

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

ASU baseball and NC State have defied the odds with perfect starts in their respective seasons. But how do these two teams compare?

With conference play kicking off this weekend, only two undefeated teams remain.

One of them, as you probably know, is ASU.

The Sun Devils, after going a combined 46-64 over their last two seasons, have found their footing in 2019 with the second best offense in the country and a solid pitching staff.

Nobody expected ASU to shine this brightly this early in the season, with many choosing the Sun Devils to finish toward the bottom half of the Pac-12 again.

On the other hand, NC State are a projected NCAA Tournament team.

The Wolfpack went 42-18 a season ago and hosted their own regional in Raleigh before eventually falling to Auburn in that very same regional. And this year, NC State will have four college prospects in the top 350 of D1 baseball’s rankings.

Both teams may be undefeated, but ASU and NC State have achieved their spotless track records very differently.


The Sun Devils entered Friday night’s contest with Washington State top five in batting average, runs scored, on base percentage and home runs.

More from Devils in Detail

MLB Draft prospect Hunter Bishop is having his best season in Tempe at the right time. The junior has a jarring .455/.561/1.045 slash line and a team-leading 10 home runs. And besides Bishop, seven of the Sun Devils eight other regulars are hitting over .300 on the year.

Outside of New Mexico State, who the Sun Devils defeated earlier in the week, ASU has undoubtedly featured the best offense in the country.

But the Wolfpack’s offense has been lethal as well.

Projected first round pick Will Wilson leads an NC State offense that heading into the night was tied for 19th in the country in home runs.

Along with Wilson, Patrick Bailey (.712 slugging percentage), Tyler McDonough (.382 batting average) and Evan Edwards (leads the Wolfpack in homers) gives NC State the depth it needs to protect Wilson in the order.

Their numbers might not be as flashy as Arizona State’s, but when a team gets on base over 40 percent of the time like the Wolfpack do, then good things will likely ensue.

Starting pitching

One of the major question marks heading into the season was ASU’s pitching staff. With Eli Lingos, their most consistent starter, gone and with one of the worst team ERA’s in the Pac-12 last season, 2019 was filled with more questions than answers for the Sun Devils pitching staff.

But so far this year, all of those questions have been answered.

In five starts (six appearances) this year, Friday starter Alec Marsh has a 0.77 ERA in 35 innings pitched. And after Marsh, Boyd Vander Kooi and RJ Dabovich both support earned run averages under 3.

Combine that staff with the second best offense in the country and losses will suddenly be hard to come by.

For NC State, starting pitching is arguably their strength.

A season ago, the Wolfpack had the second lowest team ERA in the ACC and this year their ace, Jason Parker, has a 0.68 ERA and most recently threw a shutout against 10th ranked Florida State.

After Parker, Reid Johnston’s 1.35 ERA and Canaan Silver’s 3.18 ERA fill out one of the stronger rotations in the nation.


The bullpens for ASU and NC State have been nothing but lights out.

Junior Chaz Montoya and freshmen Erik Tolman both feature ERA’s under 1, Sam Romero has allowed two runs this season and Brady Corrigan has been a reliable arm for head coach Tracy Smith’s team as well.

Next. ASU Baseball: Sun Devils open Pac-12 play, drub WSU. dark

NC State on the other hand have eight relievers with an ERA under 3.00, including Evan Justice who has 15 strikeouts in 12.2 innings pitched.