Aug. 16, 2003
TEMPE, Ariz. (www.TheSunDevils.com) -- Arizona State baseball players Jeff Larish and Dustin Pedroia recently completed a successful summer season with the USA Baseball National Team helping the Red, White and Blue to a silver medal in the Pan Am Games in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Team USA lost to Cuba 3-1 in the gold medal game to end the summer season with a National Team record 27-2 record (.931).
Pedroia (Woodland, Calif.) and Larish (Tempe, Ariz.) become the ninth and 10th selections from Arizona State to represent the Red, White and Blue of USA Baseball. ASU has now had seven selections to Team USA since 1998, including Pedroia who repeated as a member of Team USA after also playing on the team in 2002.
Pedroia carried over his stellar sophomore college season into the summer. After hitting .404 with an ASU and Pac-10 record 34 doubles, Pedroia was second on Team USA with 30 hits. He finished the summer hitting .294 (30-for-102) with 22 runs scored, five doubles, one home run and 12 RBI. Despite missing a game with a hand injury in the Pan Am Games, Pedroia's stellar defense gained several standing ovations and earned him a place on the Pan Am Games All-Tournament team. In 28 games with Team USA, Pedroia made only one error in 106 total chances (.991 FLD%).
Larish, who earned All-America and first-team All-Pac-10 honors in 2002 while hitting .372 with 18 home runs and 95 RBI, started all 29 games for Team USA. He led the team with 23 RBI and his eight home runs are the most by a Team USA player since they started using wood bats. Larish finished the summer hitting .255 (26-for-102) with three doubles and one triple. During one stretch of games against teams from the Great Lakes Collegiate League, Larish hit home runs in five straight games to rank second in the USA Baseball record books.
In addition to earning the silver medal in the Pan Am Games, Team USA was also honored as the USOC Team of the Month. The National Team finished its 22-game domestic tour with a perfect 22-0 record before heading to Santo Domingo.
Larish and Pedroia both return for their junior seasons at Arizona State in 2004. Both players will be available for media interviews in the coming weeks with a scheduled photo opportunity with the silver medals at a time and date TBA.