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Baseball Opens Season This Weekend By Hosting DeMarini Invitational
Courtesy: Sun Devil Athletics
Release: 02/19/2008
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Courtesy: Sun Devil Athletics
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Feb. 19, 2008

TEMPE, Ariz. -

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Leading Off:

The 2007 Pac-10 Champion Arizona State Sun Devils open the 2008 season by hosting one of the premiere tournaments in the country, the DeMarini Invitational. The Sun Devils will face Miami, Ohio on Friday night at 7 p.m., then Vanderbilt Saturday at 1 p.m. before wrapping up the opening weekend with Oregon State on Sunday at 3 p.m., all from Winkles Field-Packard Stadium at Brock Ballpark in Tempe.

 

The DeMarini Invitational:

The inaugural DeMarini Invitational at Winkles Field-Packard Stadium at Brock Ballpark features defending Pac-10 champion Arizona State, two-time defending national champion Oregon State, defending SEC champion Vanderbilt and Miami, Ohio. Arizona State begins the season as the #1 team in the country. Vanderbilt is ranked #3 and Oregon State is 7th.

 

Devils vs. Miami, Ohio:

Arizona State is 1-0 all-time against the Miami, Ohio RedHawks. They hosted the RedHawks in Tempe at the 2000 NCAA Regional, beating them 15-7.

 

Devils vs. Vanderbilt:

Arizona State is 0-2 all-time against the Commodores, including a 7-6 extra innings loss last season at the Houston College Classic. Prior to last year, the only previous meeting was in 1973 in Riverside, California. Vandy won 6-4 in the Riverside Tournament.

 

Devils vs. Oregon State:

ASU holds a 34-17 edge in the series against their Pac-10 rival, going 3-2 against them last season. The Beavers won the first match-up 12-4 in Surprise, but the Devils swept OSU in Corvallis during the regular season. The Beavers got the ultimate revenge, defeating Arizona State 12-6 in Omaha on their way to their second straight national title.

 

Facing Tough Competition:

The Sun Devils will face one of the toughest schedules in the country in 2008. Nine of ASU's opponents were ranked in the Collegiate Baseball Pre-Season Top 40 poll, including three teams in the Top 10 (#1 Arizona, #9 Wichita State and #8 Michigan).

 

Rankings:

Arizona State is ranked #1 by Rivals.com, the USA Today Coaches Poll and the NCBWA. Collegiate Baseball has ASU at #3 while Baseball America ranks the Devils #9.

 

Opening Night:

Arizona State is 37-11-1 all-time in season openers. The Devils won last year on Opening Night, beating Southern Utah 20-1. Prior to 2007,  ASU had lost its previous two opening games.

 

Who's Back:

Arizona State returns 13 players from last year's Pac-10 Championship squad, including nine starters. Josh Satow and Mike Leake, both All-Americans last season, return to anchor the pitching staff. Consensus First Team All-American and Pac-10 Player of the Year Brett Wallace headlines the returning position players, along with All-Americans Ike Davis and Kiel Roling. Petey Paramore, a two-time First Team All-Pac-10 catcher, also returns, along with Greg BordesRaoul Torrez and Rocky Laguna.

 

Who's New:

18 new Sun Devils are on the 2008 roster, including two transfers from Division I schools. RHP Jason Franzblau comes to Arizona State from Winthrop, while OF Jason Kipnis transferred from Kentucky. The Devils also have six transfers from the Junior College ranks: 2B Jake Elmore, UTL Mike Murphy, IF/OF Marcel Champagnie, OF Hayden Moss, RHP Reyes Dorado and RHP Stephen Sauer. Eight freshmen will begin their collegiate careers: OF/LHP Matt Newman, OF Tillman Pugh, RHP Devin Fuller, RHP RJ Preach, OF Andy Workman, C Coby Cress, RHP Kyle Brule, RHP Seth Blair and C Andrew Pollak. RHP Tommy Rafferty redshirted for the Devils last year.

 

Family Matters:

Freshman OF/LHP Matt Newman has Maroon and Gold in his blood. His father, Randy, was a pitcher for the Sun Devils in 1981 and 1982, winning 15 career games and the 1981 National Championship. Freshman catcher Andrew Pollak is the brother of former Sun Devil football great Mike Pollak, who played center for the Devils from 2004 to 2007. Mike was a two-time All-Pac-10 performer. Andrew wears number 76, the same number Mike wore on the gridiron. UTL Mike Murphy is no relation to head coach Pat Murphy, although he is the first player named Murphy Pat Murphy has ever coached. New assistant coach Josh Holliday is the son of former Oklahoma State head baseball coach Tom Holliday and the brother of current Colorado Rockies outfielder Matt Holliday.

 

2008 Pre-Season Honors:

ASU has several pre-season All-Americans on its roster. Brett Wallace and Josh Satow were both named First Teamers by the NCBWA as well as Collegiate Baseball. Petey Paramore joined them on the NCBWA list. Mike Leake was named a Second Team selection by both the NCBWA and Collegiate Baseball. Kiel Roling was named to the Second Team by the NCBWA. Ike Davis was a Third Team selection by both the NCBWA and Collegiate Baseball. Wallace, Davis and Paramore were all named Second Teamers by Baseball America.

 

Later Start Date:

2008 marks the first season of the NCAA's Uniform Start Date. All Division I Baseball programs can begin play this weekend. In previous seasons, school's could start competing in the middle of January. The number of games remains at 56.

 

Pac-10 Picks:

The Sun Devils were picked to finish second in the Pac-10 in the annual preseason coaches poll. ASU got three first place votes, while Arizona was picked to win with six first place votes. Arizona State won the Pac-10 last season. Arizona finished second.

 

Golden Spikes Watch List:

Ike Davis, Petey Paramore and Brett Wallace have all been named to the 2008 Golden Spikes Award Watch List. ASU has had three Golden Spikes winners, Bob Horner, Odibe McDowell and Mike Kelly.

 

Wallace Award Watch List:

Arizona State leads all schools with five players on the Wallace Award Watch List. Brett Wallace, Jason Jarvis, Josh Satow, Mike Leake and Petey Paramore are all on the initial list. Wallace was Semi-Finalist for the award last season.

 

Stopper Watch List:

Closer Jason Jarvis was named to the NCBWA Preseason Stopper of the Year Watch List. Jarvis set an ASU freshman record with 11 saves in 2007.

 

Ay Ay Captain:

Head coach Pat Murphy has named junior catcher Petey Paramore as the captain of the 2008 Sun Devils. Rocky Laguna served as captain last season.

 

Consistency In The New Millennium:

Since the 2000 season, Pat Murphy and the Arizona State Sun Devils have been the most consistent program in the Pac-10 conference. Since 2000, ASU leads the Pac-10 in wins (341), conference wins (123), NCAA Tournament appearances (8), Top 25 finishes (8), First Team All-Pac-10 players (30) and All-Americans (21).

 

Fandemonium:

Not only were the 2008 Sun Devils dominant on the field at Winkles Field-Packard Stadium at Brock Ballpark, but they were dominant at the turnstyles as well. The Devils went 35-3 at home and led the West Coast in attendance for the third straight season. 116,205 fans came out to see the Sun Devils in 2007, the highest attendance since 1984. ASU finished 17th nationally in average attendance, averaging 3,141 fans per game.

 

2007 Recap:

2007 was a season to remember for the Arizona State Sun Devils, as Pat Murphy and ASU captured the Pac-10 Conference title with a 19-5 conference record, the seventh Pac-10 crown in school history and 18th overall conference championship. The Devils swept through the Tempe Regional, then swept Ole Miss in the Tempe Super Regional to advance to the College World Series for the 20th time in school history. The Devils finished fifth in Omaha, beating UC Irvine in the opener before falling to eventual champion Oregon State and UC Irvine. ASU finished the season 49-15 and ranked in the Top Five in every poll.

 

2007 Pac-10 Awards:

Arizona State was rewarded for its season by taking home a lot of hardware from the Pac-10. Pat Murphy was named the Pac-10 Coach of the Year, the second time he has earned the award. Brett Wallace, who won the Pac-10 Triple Crown, was named the Pac-10 Player of the Year. Wallace is the 12th Sun Devil to earn the award and the first since Dustin Pedroia shared the award in 2003. Eric Sogard was named the Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year, the first Sun Devil to ever win that award. In addition to the awards, Arizona State had seven members of the All Pac-10 team, and an additional four Honorable Mentions. Eric Sogard, Ike Davis and Petey Paramore each earned All-Conference honors for the second straight year. They were joined by teammates Brett Wallace, Mike Leake, Josh Satow and Kiel Roling. Brian Flores, Andrew Romine, Matt Spencer and Tim Smith each honored Honorable Mentions. The seven honorees tied the school record for most All-Conference selections set in 1982. ASU led the conference with its seven players on the team. Petey Paramore and Ryan Sontag were each named First Team Academic All-Pac-10, while Joe Persichina was an Honorable Mention.

 

2007 All-Americans:

Six Sun Devils earned All-American accolades, led by consensus First Team All-American Brett Wallace. Wallace earned First Team honors from Baseball America, the NCBWA, Rivals.com, Collegiate Baseball and was named the District IX Player of the Year. He was also named a Second Team member by the ABCA. Eric Sogard picked up Second Team honors from Baseball America and Rivals.com, as well as Third Team by Collegiate Baseball and the ABCA. Kiel Roling earned First Team honors from the ABCA and Second Team from the NCBWA. Josh Satow and Ike Davis were both named Third Team by Collegiate Baseball, as was Mike Leake. Leake was a consensus First Team Freshman All-American, earning the honor from Collegiate Baseball, Rivals.com and Baseball America.

 

Coach Murphy Honored:

Pat Murphy has been inducted into the Florida Atlantic University Baseball Hall of Fame. Murphy played for the Owls from 1981 to 1982, then coached three years at the school.

 

Tournaments:

The Sun Devils will host three tournaments in 2008, beginning with this weekend's DeMarini Invitational. The 6th Annual Coca-Cola Classic, featuring ASU, Hawai'i, Michigan and Portland, takes place next weekend, with games being played in both Surprise and Tempe. The Devils will also host the Bob Schaefer Memorial Tournament in March, facing Florida International, Northern Colorado and UC Irvine.

 

Schedule Strength:

Arizona State will once again face one of the toughest schedules in the country this season. ASU will play three teams (Oregon State, UC Irvine and Cal State Fullerton) that went to Omaha last year, in addition to Super Regional teams Wichita State, Michigan and UCLA.

 

Inter-Conference Battles:

In addition to facing the schools in the Pac-10, the Devils will also take on teams from 11 different conferences in 2008. ASU will face two teams from the SEC (Arkansas, Vanderbilt), two from the Big West (Cal State Fullerton, UC Irvine), two from the Sun Belt (Troy, Florida International), two from the Western Athletic (New Mexico, Hawai'i), two from the West Coast Conference (Portland, Loyola Marymount) and one each from the Big 12 (Kansas State), Atlantic 10 (UMass), Mid-American (Miami,Ohio), Big 10 (Michigan), Missouri Valley (Wichita State) and Southern (Wofford). ASU will also face Northern Colorado, who is an independent.

 

Honoring Pat Tillman:

Former ASU football player and American Hero Pat Tillman had strong ties to the ASU Baseball program. In addition to his brother Kevin playing for ASU, Pat became extremely close with head coach Pat Murphy. Murphy wears jersey #42 in honor of Tillman, and in January 2007, Murph donated $100,000 to the baseball program for the construction of the Tillman Training Room, a room that will honor both Pat and Kevin and their commitment to both Arizona State University and the United States of America. The team wears a memorial "PT*42" patch on their jerseys in honor of Pat.

 

Did You Know:

Vanderbilt is one of only six schools that Arizona State has faced in baseball yet never beaten. ASU is 0-2 all-time vs. Vandy. The others? Alabama (0-2), Cornell (0-1), Evansville (0-1), LeMoyne (0-1) and Texas-Arlington (0-1).

 

Up Next:

Next week the Sun Devils will play in the Sixth Annual Coca-Cola Classic. Arizona State will kick things off by facing the Michigan Wolverines in Tempe on  Thursday night before heading to Surprise. ASU will play Hawai'i and Michigan at Surprise Stadium on Friday and Saturday before returning to Tempe to wrap-up the tournament against Portland.

 

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