Feb. 4, 2009
TEMPE, Ariz. -
Despite seeing 15 members of the 2008 team go on to professional baseball, head coach Pat Murphy and the Arizona State University baseball team have been tabbed as the preseason favorite to win the Pac-10 baseball title, as voted on by the 10 conference head coaches. Arizona State has won the previous two Pac-10 Championships. This is the second time in school history that ASU has been picked to win the conference by the coaches, with the other coming in 2007. Arizona State will have 17 newcomers on their 2009 roster.
The Sun Devils are coming off their ninth straight trip to the NCAA Tournament after finishing 49-13, including a 16-8 mark in Pac-10 play. 2008 was the 12th straight year the Pac-10 had at least four teams reach the tournament and 12th straight year a conference team reached the College World Series.
"There is no question that this projection is a sign of respect for the past success of Sun Devil Baseball since we only return four players with any significant Pac-10 experience," said head coach Pat Murphy. "We are very aware of the challenge ahead of us and the players and coaches are excited to play in the best baseball conference in the country."
The Sun Devils received three of 10 first-place votes, earning 69 points overall. UCLA also received three first place votes, but finished with 67 points. Stanford was picked third with one first place vote and 64 points, Oregon State fourth with two first place votes and 58 points and Arizona fifth, garnering one first place vote and 56 points. Cal, USC, Washington State, Washington and Oregon rounded out the poll. Oregon is fielding a baseball team for the first time since 1981.
The Sun Devils open 2008 on Friday, February 20 when they host Wisconsin-Milwaukee at Winkles Field-Packard Stadium at Brock Ballpark.
Results of the poll are as follows. Nine points are awarded for a first-place vote, eight points for a second-place vote, and so on. Coaches are not allowed to vote for their own team.
School (First Place Votes) Points
1. Arizona State (3) 69
2. UCLA (3) 67
3. Stanford (1) 64
4. Oregon State (2) 58
5. Arizona (1) 56
6. California 42
7. USC 38
8. Washington State 24
9. Washington 23
10. Oregon 9