ASU's starting pitcher is a 'stud'

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

TEMPE, Ariz. -- It’s arguably the hardest job on the Arizona State University baseball roster: Friday night starting pitcher.

That role will once again be filled by Brady Rodgers.

Rodgers is killer on the mound. Just ask him.

“I can put any pitch wherever I want," he said. "That’s basically my game.”

Rodgers broke an ASU record for freshman when he finished the season with a 2.11 ERA. As a sophomore, he racked up 87 strikeouts. even though he thinks strikeouts aren’t that big of a deal.

“I think strikeouts are for show," he said. "They keep the fans in the stands, but I just like to pitch to contact, to try and give my team the best chance to win.”

Why not pitch to contact when you have the Conference Defensive Player of the Year, Deven Marrero, at shortstop.

Marrero is on seven pre-season All-American lists. He glowingly describes Rodgers game.

“Stud! Hecomes out on Friday nights and gives his best every day. He throws his heart out every single game -- throws strikes, goes after hitters," Marrero said. "He is not scared of anybody. So, he is a fun player to watch on the mound.”

Rodgers allowed just one homerun last season. He threw a complete game shutout against Washington.

“Seattle was a great place," he said. "I think it was the one time the sun actually shined the whole year.”

ASU is ranked 15th in the country. Rodgers feels they should be a little higher.

“I mean, obviously! I think we should be ranked No. 1," he said. "We have the best talent in the nation.”