Baseball gets set to host Arizona State


The eyes of the college baseball world will be on Westwood tonight, as No. 5 UCLA hosts No. 3 Arizona State in the first of a three-game series.

Click here for a preview from the State Press, the Arizona State school newspaper.

From the article:

“We are going to have to be very disciplined,” Arizona State head coach Tim Esmay said. “We are going to have to be mature in handling at-bats. We have to be able to take what they can give us.”

It's what UCLA right-hander Gerrit Cole expects when he takes the hill tonight.

From my preview article in the Daily Bruin:

The Sun Devils rank first in the [Pac-10] Conference with a .350 team batting average. The Bruins’ 2.75 team ERA is tops in the Pac-10.

“They all stick to the same approach,” Cole said. It sounds a lot like what UCLA has been able to do at the plate this season, doesn’t it?

“It’s very similar,” Cole said. “It’s take. Then take, take, take – runners in scoring position – and rip.”

In response, Cole will attempt to get ahead in counts and keep his distance when he has to.

“Your intensity is going to be heightened a little bit, but you’ve got to tone that down,” Cole said. “The main thing is to stick to the same approach.”

The weekend's pitching matchups:

Friday, April 30 (6 p.m.)

Arizona State - Seth Blair, RHP, Jr. (7-0, 3.08)

UCLA - Cole, RHP, So. (6-1, 2.89)

Saturday, May 1 (2 p.m.)

Arizona State - Merrill Kelly, RHP, Jr. (8-0, 3.75)

UCLA - Trevor Bauer, RHP, So. (6-2, 2.57)

Sunday, May 2 (1 p.m.)

Arizona State - Jake Borup, RHP, So. (8-1, 3.58)

UCLA - Rob Rasmussen, LHP, Jr. (6-1, 2.85)