Nov. 11, 2003
TEMPE, Ariz. (www.TheSunDevils.com) -- Arizona State baseball players Dustin Pedroia and Jeff Larish were named to the fifth annual National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association's (NCBWA) Preseason All-America team. Pedroia was a first-team selection at shortstop, while Larish earned second-team honors.
Pedroia, a junior from Woodland, Calif., is coming off an unbelievable season in 2003 in which he was named the Pac-10 Co-Player of the Year. He finished the season hitting .404 (120-for-297) with an ASU and Pac-10 record 34 doubles. He became only the 11th Sun Devil to hit over .400 and record 100 or more hits in the same season. He enters the 2004 season as a career .379 (202-for-533) hitter and has started every game of his ASU career (126 games). He was named a first-team All-American in 2003 by Collegiate Baseball, NCBWA, ABCA, USA Today Sports Weekly and was a second-team selection by Baseball America. Pedroia helped lead Team USA to a silver medal in the Pan Am Game over the summer and was also selected as the Collegiate Baseball National Defensive Player of the Year.
Larish, a junior from Tempe, led the Pac-10 in 2003 with 95 RBI, marking the fourth most in ASU single-season history. He finished fourth on the team hitting .372 (87-for-234) with 18 doubles, 80 runs scored and 18 home runs. He led the NCAA with 78 walks (second most in ASU history), becoming only the second player to join the 70-70 (RBI-BB) club in a season. He also tied the single-game record with four doubles (Arizona; 5/25) and nine RBI (SDSU; 1/26) and broke the season record with four grand slams. He earned second-team All-America honors by Baseball America, Collegiate Baseball and CollegeBaseballInsider.com and was a third-team selection by the ABCA and NCBWA. Larish was also a member of Team USA over the summer, leading the team in RBI (23) and home runs (8).
Pedroia and Larish helped lead the 2003 Sun Devils to a 54-14 record and a No. 8 final national ranking by Baseball America. ASU opens a rigorous 2004 campaign Feb. 6 against Florida State at Packard Stadium. The 2004 season schedule is highlighted by 30 games against NCAA Tournament teams from last year and includes 71% of ASU's games (40 of 56) against teams that have participated in the Tournament in the last two years.