Game Preview: Clean slate for the ASU baseball team during a critical season

Junior Alec Marsh will take the mound on Friday

The diamond will be prepped and fans will begin to make their way into Phoenix Municipal Stadium on Friday, Feb. 15 for ASU baseball's season opener. 

While the Sun Devils are set to face the University of Notre Dame for the first time in 16 years, on Tuesday, coach Tracy Smith expressed confidence toward his starting lineup despite it not being set in stone. 

"I feel pretty good about going in (and) giving guys opportunities, but eventually you have to produce," Smith said on possibly changing the lineup. "There will be a couple things we are going to look at to see if it makes sense." 

Using analytics and the old-fashion "eyeball" test which evaluates players' abilities with the naked eye are among the tools Smith and his coaching staff will use this season.

But before jumping ahead in the season, on Friday, junior right-hander Alec Marsh will be on the mound.  

Last season, Marsh, who started in 12 games, finished with a 3-3 record and a 3.89 ERA in 71.2 innings pitched.

"We're not as deep maybe that we want to be on the mound in an ideal world," Smith said. "But, we feel like the quality that we have through eight or nine guys (pitchers) is as good."  

While ASU's rotation isn't as stable, the Sun Devils have a splurge of offensive energy carried over from last season. 

From sophomore infielder Spencer Torkelson, who boasted a .320 average and 25 home runs during a historic freshman season in 2018, to junior infielder Carter Aldrete, who held a .293 average during his 53 games played last season, ASU has a wide variety of hitters.

"We all blend really well," Aldrete said of the team's dynamics. "This is the most any team has got along in my three years here." 

"See how their work ethic, how they work so hard on the game, how strong mentally they are," freshman outfielder Dusty Garcia said on what he's learned about his teammates so far.

Garcia, a 6-foot 175 lb Port Orchard, Wash. native, will look to make a name for himself in a highly competitive infield. 

As for the Fighting Irish,they finished last season with a 12-18 conference record.  

First pitch is set on Friday at 6:30 p.m. MST.

Reach the reporter at or follow @Noriega_Edith on Twitter. 

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