Following a weekend series against Houston that ended in a 1-1 split, No. 7 Cal State Fullerton baseball travels to Arizona to take on the Sun Devils in a mid-week, two-game series at Phoenix Municipal Stadium.
The Titans (5-4) posted eight runs in two games against the Cougars, including three runs Friday against No. 10 MLB draft prospect Seth Romero.
Fullerton’s offense has been up and down throughout the young season. At the plate, the Titans are hitting .230 with a .317 on-base percentage.
In the other dugout, the Sun Devils (6-5) have a .284 batting average with .357 on-base percentage heading into the series with Fullerton.
Freshman Lyle Lin, the regular Sun Devil backstop who attended JSerra Catholic High School in San Juan Capistrano, has started all 11 games for Arizona State behind the plate. Lin leads all hitters that have at least 10 at bats with a .435 batting average and .480 slugging percentage. Lin’s .435 batting average ranks 11th in the PAC-12.
Lin was drafted in the 16th round (447th overall) by the Seattle Mariners in 2016, making him the only Taiwanese-born Major League draft pick, according to the China Post.
Third baseman Taylor Bryant leads the Titans on offense with a .406 batting average, which ranks fourth in the Big West Conference. Bryant also boasts a .688 slugging percentage along with a .472 on-base percentage, ranking him third and sixth in the conference, respectively.
Bryant and the Titan offense will face a talented Sun Devil pitching staff led by junior lefty Eli Lingos with a 0.89 ERA during an undefeated start to the season. Lingos has recorded 20 strikeouts in 20.1 innings of work, ranking him sixth in the PAC-12 Conference.
Fullerton has no shortage of firepower on the mound to compete with the Sun Devils. The probable starters for the Titans are junior left-hander John Gavin and first-year transfer from Rio Hondo Community College Joe Wills.
Gavin has been the Titans’ top starter this season. In 13.1 innings pitched in two appearances, Gavin has given up 10 hits and one earned run while fanning 12 batters. His 0.67 ERA is third in the Big West behind Alex Falgadle of UC Riverside and teammate Gavin Velasquez.
The Titans will take on Arizona State Tuesday and Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. to wrap up their eight-game road trip before returning to Goodwin Field Friday against Gonzaga.