Fresh off high marks in its opening series last weekend, a young Arizona State baseball team resumes play by taking part in the six-team Coca-Cola Surprise Spring Training Classic.
The Sun Devils (3-0) — ranked 16th in the country, up two spots from a week ago — play the first of three games at the Surprise Baseball Complex today against Cal State Northridge. First pitch is 7 p.m.
"There have been times where we’ve shown our youthfulness, and I’m sure that won’t be the last of it," ASU coach Pat Murphy said. "But I’ve also seen a lot of good."
ASU, which has 23 players that did not play for the school last year, has won three home games against traditional power Florida State.
Murphy’s team is especially green on the mound, but last weekend, three performances were especially encouraging.
Senior Jeff Mousser allowed three hits and a run in seven innings in the series opener. The Marcos de Niza High School graduate and transfer from Brigham Young gets the ball tonight.
"Having a guy like him on the staff, a guy who’s been through three years of (Division-I ball), is going to help the young pitchers a lot," catcher Tuffy Gosewisch said.
Freshman Zechry Zinicola earned a victory in the opener with two solid relief innings, and junior Jason Urquidez struck out nine in five frames to win on Sunday.
"Urquidez dominated, and all weekend long, the bullpen was strong, and everyone is young there," Gosewisch said. "But it’s a long season, and we’ll need to keep working hard."
Cal State Northridge enters today’s play at 4-3. The Sun Devils’ two other opponents this weekend, Utah and Oklahoma, both kick off their seasons today.
Spring Training Classic Competing teams: Arizona State, Cal State Northridge, Gonzaga, Oklahoma, Oregon State, Utah
Where: Surprise Baseball Complex, 15960 N. Bullard Ave.
Today’s games: Oregon State vs. Utah, 11 a.m.; Gonzaga vs. Oklahoma, 3 p.m.; ASU vs. Cal State Northridge, 7 p.m.
Saturday’s games: Oklahoma vs. Cal State Northridge, 11 a.m.; Oregon State vs. Gonzaga, 3 p.m.; ASU vs. Utah, 7 p.m.
Sunday’s games: Cal State Northridge vs. Oregon State, 9 a.m.; Utah vs. Gonzaga, noon; ASU vs. Oklahoma, 3 p.m.
ASU pitching matchups: Today — ASU’s Jeff Mousser (0-0, 1.29 ERA) vs. Cal State Northridge’s Peter Eberhardt (1-1, 7.00 ERA); Saturday — ASU’s Jason Urquidez (1-0, 1.80 ERA) vs. Utah’s Doug Mackay (first appearance); Sunday — ASU’s TBD vs. Oklahoma’s David Purcey (first appearance)