Jan. 3, 2001
TEMPE, Ariz. -- The Arizona State University baseball team started its preparation for the 2001 season Wednesday with two sessions of practice, and were greeted with good news as they received a No. 6 national ranking when the Baseball America preseason baseball poll was announced this morning in Durham, N.C.
The Sun Devils finished the 2000 season with a 44-15 record, advancing to the NCAA Tournament for the 23rd time in school history and finished the year ranked 12th. The nucleus of the team returns with the entire infield intact, including 2000 Pac-10 Player of the Year Casey Myers (Case Grande, Ariz.) and ace left-handed pitcher Jon Switzer (Houston, Texas). In addition to the 14 returning letterman from the 2000 Pac-10 Championship team, a talented class for recruits will debut on the diamond at Packard Stadium this spring. The 2001 recruiting class was ranked as the best in the nation by Baseball America.
The No. 6 preseason ranking is the second highest for the Sun Devils during head coach Pat Murphy's six-year tenure. ASU was ranked No. 5 by Collegiate Baseball to open the 1998 season and went on finish second at the College World Series in Omaha. The Sun Devils have finished the season ranked in the top 12 in three of the past four years.
Arizona State is one of three Pac-10 schools ranked in the poll, with No. 2 USC and No. 14 Stanford also earning votes. The Sun Devils possess one of the toughest schedules in the nation, with 12 games against teams ranked in the preseason top 25. ASU will match up against defending national champions LSU (#3) and Cal State Fullerton (#15) during the 2001 season, in addition to Pac-10 foes USC and Stanford. Arizona State plays a combined 22 games vs. teams that played in the NCAA Tournament last year.
The Sun Devils unofficially open the 2001 with the annual alumni game on Saturday, January 20th at 1 p.m. at Packard Stadium. ASU officially opens the 2001 campaign against the University of Texas-Arlington on Jan. 26 at 3 p.m.
|15.||Cal State Fullerton||38-21||22|
|22.||Long Beach State||31-25||NR|
--Sun Devil Baseball--