Arizona State baseball’s 2016 seasonal schedule has officially been released–and the Sun Devils, who’ll play their second season at Phoenix Municipal Stadium, have a talent-rich lineup waiting to take the field.
ASU is coming off a 35-23 season under first year head coach Tracy Smith. With Smith entering his sophomore season of coaching in the Valley, ASU prepares to open their season Feb. 19 at home with a three game series when the team hosts Xavier.
Last season, ASU started the season 4-3 after opening with back-to-back weekends at home against Oklahoma State, Oklahoma and TCU.
The team wasted no time in getting the show started with a star upperclassmen lineup; however, that meant the fans had to wait a little longer to get a taste of the fresh meat that was in store for the season.
By the end of the first slate of home games, Smith had debuted his arsenal of new players like second baseman Andrew Snow.
Following the first weekend, Snow was had appeared in just tone game but put himself on the stats board for the Sun Devils with one hit. He would go on to bat .300 for the season, a feat not achieved by most freshmen.
The team starts its Pac-12 conference play with a three game road series at Oregon State in Corvallis, Oreg. March 18-20.
Oregon State finished second in the conference behind UCLA with an overall 39-18-1 record. ASU hosted the Beavers around the same time last season and claimed the series 2-1.
Carrying on with conference play, Arizona State hosts in-state rival Arizona for two of the five meeting between the teams in the upcoming year.
The first show down takes places April 12 in Phoenix. ASU won the Territorial Cup in baseball between the two teams after winning three of the five matchups.
The much-anticipated matchup should be a hot matchup, considering Arizona still has the bulk of their star batters like Bobby Dalbec and Zach Gibbons.
Arizona finished towards the back of the Pac-12 standings with a conference record of 12-18 and an overall record of 31-24.
Currently, Pac-12 conference champion UCLA is not on the schedule for the Sun Devils. The Sun Devils played their longest game of the season at home against UCLA May 9 in a seventeen-inning 11-5 loss to the Bruins.
In preseason polls, UCLA’s recruiting class was ranked number six in the country while ASU’s recruiting class landed in the number 22 slot.
Additionally, instead of playing straight through conference play for the majority of the season, ASU’s schedule features intermittent conference breaks including home games against New Mexico State April 29- May 1 and occasional single games against UNLV and San Diego.
This season’s schedule is rounded out with a conference home series versus USC. May 27.
While Arizona State baseball’s 2016 schedule essentially mimics last season’s lineup, the seasons will not be identical when it comes down to roster lineups.
The biggest deficits come from the bullpen for ASU with the loss of golden pitchers like Ryan Kellog, Ryan Burr, and Brett Lilek.
View the complete Sun Devil baseball schedule here.