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#14 Baseball Welcomes Maine To Tempe For Four Game Weekend Series
Courtesy: Sun Devil Athletics
Release: 03/15/2007
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Courtesy: Sun Devil Athletics
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March 15, 2007

TEMPE, Ariz. -

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Leading Off:

After sweeping a two-game midweek series from Kansas State, Arizona State hopes to stay in the win column against the Maine Black Bears. ASU and Maine will play a four-game series, including a St. Patrick's Day doubleheader. The Black Bears enter the weekend at 4-7, and have not played a game outside of the state of Florida yet this season.

 

The Sun Devils vs. The Black Bears:

Arizona State is 6-1 all-time against Maine. Their last meeting was in 2000, when the Devils swept a four game series from the Black Bears in Tempe.

 

Facing Tough Competition:

Of ASU's seven losses this season, six have come at the hands of teams ranked in the Top 25, including one to Vanderbilt, who is #1 in both the NCBWA and Collegiate Baseball polls. Their only loss to an unranked team was to Missouri, who advanced to a Super Regional in 2006. According to BoydsWorld.com, Arizona State has an RPI of 4, and has already faced three teams rated in the top 10 in RPI (Auburn, Long Beach State and Vandy). Also, four of the seven losses have been by one run, including an extra inning game with Vanderbilt. ASU has faced or will face seven teams ranked in the Top 20 in the latest ISR rankings on BoydsWorld.com, where the Sun Devils are currently ranked 14th. Arizona State has 17 teams on their 2007 schedule that are currently ranked, or have been ranked at some point this season.

 

Green Hats, Blue Moons, Green Socks, Yellow Stars:

For the second straight season, ASU will celebrate St. Patrick's Day by wearing green caps and green socks. The team will wear the hats and socks for both games of the doubleheader on Saturday.

 

Rankings:

ASU dropped three spots to #18 in the Baseball America poll while they fell seven spots to #19 in the NCBWA poll. They stayed at #9 in the Rivals.com poll and were bumped down to #18 in Baseball America. They came in at #14 in the Coaches poll, down three slots.

 

Kansas State Wrap-Up:

After struggling against Long Beach State over the weekend, the Kansas State series was a pivotal one for the Sun Devils. They came out prepared on Tuesday night, jumping out to a 9-2 lead before holding off a late Wildcat charge for a 9-6 victory. Ike Davis went 3-3 with three RBI and Josh Satow struck out five over 6.2 innings of work to imprive to 5-1 on the year...Wednesday night had the look of a pitcher's duel, as the two teams combined for two runs through the first five innings. Kiel Roling changed all that in the sixth, blasting a three-run shot that put the Sun Devils up for good. Brian Flores was masterful on the hill, fanning eight in a complete game for the 6-2 victory.

 

Quick Hits:

Petey Paramore has been a walks machine so far this season. Paramore has drawn 25 walks already this year, tops in the conference. He was third on the team last season with 34 free passes...Andrew Romine has nine bunt singles this season...The Challenge at Chase will mark the third time in 2007 ASU will have played in a Major League facility. They played at Minute Maid Park, home of the Houston Astros and at Surprise Stadium, Spring Training home of the Texas Rangers and Kansas City Royals...Josh Satow's five wins already this season are a new career high, and put him inly two wins behind last year's team leader, Tony Barnette.

 

Injury Update:

Sophomore pitcher Jeff Urlaub is still experiencing elbow soreness and it is unknown how long he will be out. Urlaub has not pitched since February 10 in Houston.

 

Rare Feat:

Sophomore Kiel Roling accomplished something Wednesday night that may never be topped: he hit two home runs in one at-bat (sort of). With a 2-2 count and two men on, Roling hit a ball down the left field line that the home plate umpire initially ruled a fair ball that went over the fence for a home run. All three Devils rounded the bases and retreated back into the dugout. After conferring with the rest of the crew, the umpire reversed the call, saying the ball had hit a wall in foul territory. The runners returned to their bases and Roling dug back in to the batters box. Two pitches later, Roling left no doubt, crushing a ball over the fence in right center for his second three-run shot of the at-bat.

 

Countdown to 500:

Having already collected his 800th career Division I victory this season, ASU Head Coach Pat Murphy is just five wins away from 500 victories at Arizona State. ASU's first head coach, Bobby Winkles, totaled 524 wins in his 13 years at ASU. Jim Brock amassed 1,100 victories in his 23 years at the helm. Murphy is in his 13th season at Arizona State.

 

20,000 Leagues On The Diamond:

The Sun Devils will face teams from nine different conferences this season, not counting their own. Other than the Pac-10, the Sun Devils meet the Mid-Continent (Southern Utah), Big XII (Texas A&M, Missouri, Kansas State), SEC (Vanderbilt, Auburn), Conference USA (Houston, UAB), West Coast (Gonzaga), Big West (Long Beach State), America East (Maine), Sun Belt (Louisiana-Lafayette) and the WAC (Hawai'i). In addition, ASU faces Utah Valley State, which is an independent.

 

Preseason Honors:

Junior second baseman Eric Sogard earned three Preseason All-American mentions, including two First Team honors. Both the NCBWA and Rivals.com had Sogard as a First Team Preseason All-American, while Collegiate Baseball listed him as a Third Team Preseason All-American.

 

That's The Pick:

In a poll of all Pac-10 baseball coaches, Arizona State was picked to win the Pac-10 conference. This marks the first time that the Sun Devils have ever been picked to win the conference in the preseason coaches vote. Oregon State was picked second and Stanford was third.

 

Fabulous Freshman:

RHP/OF Mike Leake was rated the 39th best freshman in the country by Baseball America as part of their Fabulous 50 Freshmen list. Leake, who is expected to play in the outfield as well as pitch, was a seventh round draft pick of the Oakland A's in last year's draft.

 

Talented Transfers:

The Sun Devils had two transfers make the top ten of Baseball America's Top 25 Transfers list. LHP Brian Flores, who comes to ASU from New Mexico Junior College, checked in at #7, while OF Tim Smith, who played the last two years at Midland College in Texas, was #10. The list did not include Matt Spencer, who came to ASU from North Carolina. Spencer had not yet completed his transfer to ASU when the list was released.

 

Arms Race:

The Sun Devil pitching staff looks a little different from what it was in 2006 season. The 2007 staff features 13 new arms, with only three returners from last year (Urlaub, Satow, Trink). Leading the charge of newcomers is LHP Brian Flores, who has solidified a spot in the starting rotation. Last season, ASU used 11 different starting pitchers, the most ever in the Pat Murphy era.

 

You Look Mahvelous!:

The Sun Devils got a surprise during a practice before the season, as actor/comedian Billy Crystal took a break from his performances at Gammage to practice with the Devils. Crystal donned the Maroon and Gold, complete with a jersey with his name and #10 on the back, and took part in drills and batting practice. After practice, he invited the coaching staff to his show, "700 Sundays", at Gammage Auditorium.

 

Road To ASU Baseball:

Freshman UTL Tyler Hoechlin is adjusting to life as a college student and baseball player, but  he is well versed in the glitz and glamour of the big screen. Hoechlin starred with Tom Hanks in the 2002 motion picture "Road To Perdition". Hoechlin played Michael Sullivan, Jr., the son of Hanks' character. Hoechlin also appears in the CW's "7th Heaven", playing the character of Martin Brewer. Hoechlin will balance school, baseball and the show this semester, filming episodes during off days.

 

Oh Captain, My Captain:

Head coach Pat Murphy has named junior OF Rocky Laguna the team captain. This is the first time in the 13 years that Murphy has been at ASU that he has named a team captain.

 

Back For More:

Former ASU baseball standouts Mikel Moreno and Michael Collins are both back with the program for the 2007 season as managers. Moreno was a four-year starter for the Devils from 1995 to 1998, when he earned All-American accolades and helped lead ASU to the National Championship game. Collins played from 1996 to 1998 before leaving ASU to sign a contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Collins and Moreno join fellow manager Jeff Mousser as former Sun Devil baseball players to join the baseball staff in 2007.

 

Challenge At Chase:

The Second Annual Challenge at Chase will be played on Wednesday March 28th, when the Sun Devils and Arizona Wildcats meet in a non-conference battle at the home of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

 

You Complete Me:

LHP Josh Satow did something on February 11 that no Sun Devil pitcher had done since 2005: throw a complete game. Satow's masterpiece against Houston was the first complete game thrown by an ASU pitcher since Erik Averill beat Florida 6-1 on June 22, 2005 in the College World Series. Satow allowed only one run on six hits while fanning eight Cougars. It was only the second complete game in the seven-year history of the Houston College Classic, and the first since the inaugural year in 2001. Not to be outdone, LHP Brian Flores threw his first career complete game against the Kansas State Wildcats, striking out eight in a 6-2 victory on March 14.

 

Pac-10 Pitcher Of The Week:

Thanks to his complete game, Josh Satow was named the Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week following the Houston College Classic. It marked the first time in Satow's career that he had been honored by the conference and he became the 49th all-time Sun Devil to earn the Pac-10 weekly honor. Last season, three Sun Devils picked up Player of the Week awards from the Pac-10, but Satow is the first ASU hurler to be honored since Pat Bresnehan earned the award in March of 2005.

 

National Honors:

Two Sun Devils have earned national recognition so far this season. Matt Spencer was named the National Player of the Week by Collegiate Baseball following the Southern Utah series, and was named to the CBF National Honor Roll after winning Most Valuable Player honors at the Houston College Classic. Petey Paramore was named to the CBF National Honor Roll following his performance against UAB.

 

Up Next:

Pac-10 play gets underway next weekend, as the Sun Devils will head to Los Angeles to face the USC Trojans. The three-game set at Dedeaux Field will begin Friday night, with FSN Arizona televising the contest.

 

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