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Baseball Prepares for Series with USC
Courtesy: Sun Devil Athletics
Release: 06/21/1999
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April 8, 1998

Thurs., April 9 #3 Southern California 7 p.m.
Fri., April 10 #3 Southern California 7 p.m.
Sat., April 11 #3 Southern California 1 p.m.

ASU -- Arizona State (24-14, 11-6 Pac-10 Southern Division and ranked No. 19 Baseball America and No. 20 Collegiate Baseball in the polls) will host Southern California (29-8, 14-4 Pac-10 Southern Division and ranked No. 3 Baseball America and No. 4 Collegiate Baseball) for a three-game conference series at Packard Stadium in Tempe.

THIS WEEK ON THE TV AND RADIO -- KMVP 860 AM, home of Sun Devil baseball, will broadcast the Southern California series. Tom Dillon and Bob Eger will provide the play-by-play and color commentary respectively. COX Sports (Cable Channel 22) will broadcast the Thursday and Friday games live. George Allen and Doug Gerlach will provide the play-by-play and color commentary respectively.

ABOUT THE TROJANS -- USC comes into this weekend's series with a 29-8 series ... last week USC lost two-of-three to No. 1 Stanford in Los Angeles ... Seth Etherton was named Pac-10 Co-Pitcher of the Week ... he is 8-1 with a 2.28 ERA (79.0 IP, 52 H, 22 R, 20 ER, 18 BB, 106 K) ... they are coached by Mike Gillespie (USC '62) ... the Trojans are led by Robb Gorr (.371-6-35), Morgan Ensberg (.364-9-36) and Eric Munson (.352-12-41) ... earlier this season, USC swept ASU in Los Angeles, 7-6, 13-5, 6-3 ... USC leads the all-time series with ASU, 76-72.

DID YOU KNOW? -- Arizona State has not been shutout in its last 172 games (last time shutout was a 0-9 loss to USC on April 7, 1995) ... the Devils have allowed only 17 stolen base (16-for-32) through 35 games ... Coach Pat Murphy is averaging 42.6 wins per season at the Div. 1 level (429 wins over 10 years) ... ASU pitchers have thrown four two-hitters (one complete, three combined) and one one-hitter (combined) in 1998 as well as three shutouts (combined) ... The Devils are averaging 1.95 stolen bases per contest ... Arizona State has stranded 312 runners through 38 games (an average of 8.21 per game) ... Thirteen of ASU's games this year have been decided by two runs or less (ASU is 7-6 in those games).

talk about tough -- Once again, Arizona State has arguably one of the toughest schedules in the nation this year. The Sun Devils will play 34 games versus Top 25 teams (preseason top 25 by Baseball America). Five Six-Pac teams were ranked in the preseason top 25. Currently three Pac-10 teams are ranked in the top 25 (according to Baseball America). ASU will play 12 games vs. Top 5 opponents.

ON THE BRINK-- Junior Andrew Beinbrink (San Diego, Calif.), who has already picked up some preseason All-America accolades, will anchor ASU's infield from third base in 1998. The 6-3 infielder, who is a Rotary Smith Award nominee, batted .380 last year with 92 hits, 72 RBI, 60 runs scored, nine homeruns and 23 doubles. Beinbrink is is one of only three players to start every game this season. He leads the team with 15 doubles and 51 RBI. He is third on the team in runs scored (34) and third in hits (43). Twenty-three of his 43 hits have been for extra bases. Beinbrink leads the team in two-out RBIs with 19 and is 13-14 in stolen bases. He has had 12 multi-hit games as well as 14 multi-RBI games. leon pulls double-duty -- Senior Richy Leon (San Luis, Ariz.) will once again split his time in the field and on the mound in 1998. Leon will see time at second base and as a righthanded starter/middle reliever for the Devils. He is currently batting .290 (27-for-93) with 20 runs scored and 13 RBI. He picked up a win in his first start of the season, going 6.1, allowing only one earned run vs. No. 1 Stanford. For his efforts, he was named Six-Pac Pitcher of the Week. Since then, however, Leon has received only one decision (a win vs. Washington) in his last five starts. The senior has a 6.55 ERA in eight appearances (33.0 IP) with 28 K's. He is holding opponent lefties to a .170 average. Leon hit his second homerun of the season with a solo shot vs. California (2/20).

MURPHY YOUNGEST TO REACH 500 WINS -- Arizona State head coach Pat Murphy reached the 500-win mark on Sunday with a 7-6 victory over California. His career record now stands at 505-242-3 over 13 seasons as a head coach. He becomes the youngest coach, at age 39, to reach the 500-win mark (with 75% of wins from Division 1 schools). Murphy joins the ranks of such greats as Ron Fraser, Miami (age 41), Cliff Gufstason, Texas (age 47), Bobby Winkles, ASU (age 41), Ron Polk, Mississippi State (age 41), Rod Dedeaux, USC (age 49), Jim Brock, ASU (age 45) and Gene Stephenson, Wichita State (age 52).

THE LAST HURRAH -- Senior outfielder Mikel Moreno will end a long and successful career at ASU after this season. Through 38 games, he is batting .323 with 31 RBI and 54 hits. He has also swiped 14 bases in the 1998 season and is batting well against righthanders (.367). The speedy rightfielder has started all 38 contests and put together a 21-game hitting streak dating back to the 1997 season before going 0-for-5 vs. FSU (2/7) earlier this year. He has had 17 multiple-hit game and nine multiple RBI games this year. Moreno, a two-year starter, has moved into fourth all-time in career runs scored at ASU with 201.

pitchers corner -- A lot of new faces will grace the bullpen in 1998, including junior transfer Chuck Crumpton (Mesquite, Texas) who has been excellent as ASU's No. 1 closer. Crumpton has pitched 43.2 innings of relief for the Devils in 1998 and was a part of two of ASU's combined shutout victories. He sports an impressive 2.06 ERA and a 2-2 record with four saves and a team-high 24 appearances. The 6-4 righthanded pitcher helped lead Northeast Texas CC to the '96 Junior College National Championship and was the winning pitcher in the championship game over Meridian JC. Freshman pitchers joining the roster are LHP Drew Friedberg, RHP Robby Milner and RHP Chad Pennington. Pennington (3-1, 3.62 ERA), picked up his third win of the season pitching 4.2 innings of relief in ASU's 4-3 win over Arizona. The freshman from Hamilton, Ohio allowed only one hit while striking out eight with no walks. He retired 13 of 14 batters faced. Transfer Aaron Kramer (Grand Canyon U.) has also joined the ASU pitching staff and has been strong out of the bullpen. In his first start of the 1998 season vs. Grand Canyon, Kramer went 5.0 innings, allowing only two hits, no runs, one walk while striking out a career-high 10 batters. He is 4-2 overall with a 3.82 ERA in 15 appearances. Kramer picked up his fourth win vs. Arizona on Saturday. All are expected to see time on the mound as well as sophomore Jay Gehrke (2-1, 8.31 ERA) and Colin Call (1-0, 6.52 ERA).

UP NEXT -- Arizona State will be on the road and face Oklahoma in a single game on Tuesday in Norman, Okla. before returning to Tempe to host UCLA in a three-game conference series at Packard Stadium.

INJURY REPORT -- Freshman Casey Myers has a strained left quad and is listed as probable for this week's games. Sophomore Kevin Tillman, who has been bothered with a left hamstring strain, will apply for a medical redshirt at the end of this season and is out for the rest of the year. Junior Chip Gosewisch had surgery on his left shoulder on Saturday and is out for the remainder of the season.

THE HIT MAN -- Sophomore Willie Bloomquist (Port Orchard, Wash.) leads the Arizona State offense in '98. The infielder/outfielder is batting .413 (59-for-143) and leads the team in hits (59), runs scored (49), stolen bases (20), triples (6) and walks (41). Bloomquist, a Rotary Smith Award nominee, has drawn at least one walk in 28 of 38 games this season and had multiple-hit games in 18 of 38 and had 10 multiple RBI games. He is batting .471 with runners in scoring position, .375 vs. lefties and .427 vs. righthanders. He is third on the team in two-out RBI with 12 on the year and hit his first homerun of the season vs. Washington (3/27). Bloomquist was invited to the summer camp for the 1998 USA Baseball National Team. Training camp is scheduled to open June 1 at Hi Corbett Field in Tuscon, Arizona.

DRAFTED DEVILS -- Sixteen current players on the 1998 Arizona State squad have been taken in the Major League Baseball Amateur Draft:

Phill Lowery        1995    Texas Rangers       2nd     round
Willie Bloomquist   1996    Seattle Mariners    8th     round
Mark Ernster        1996    Chicago Cubs        12th    round
Ryan Mills          1995    New York Yankees    13th    round
Robby Milner        1997    Texas Rangers       13th    round
Andrew Beinbrink    1995    Boston Red Sox      14th    round
Jay Gehrke          1996    Baltimore Orioles   24th    round
Drew Friedberg      1997    Arizona Diamondbacks25th    round
Kevin Tillman       1996    Houston Astros      30th    round
Dan Meier           1996    Texas Rangers       32nd    round
Jeremy Jones        1995    Colorado Rockies    36th    round
Jeff Phelps         1997    Pittsburg Pirates   36th    round
Jay Sitzman         1996    Milwaukee Brewers   37th    round
Greg Halvorson      1995    Oakland A's         38th    round
Jeremy Jones        1996    Cleveland Indians   38th    round
Chuck Crumpton      1995    San Diego Padres    39th    round
Chuck Crumpton      1996    Philadelphia Phillies49th   round
Aaron Kramer        1996    New York Yankees    72nd    round

PACKARD STADIUM TABBED AS ONE OF NATION'S FINEST -- Baseball America recently ranked the top 15 college baseball stadiums in the country and ASU's own Packard Stadium checked in as the 10th best collegiate ballpark. Packard Stadium was the only Six-Pac facility to make the publications list and one of only five West coast ballparks.

ASU Baseball on the Internet -- Fans can catch-up on the latest news in Sun Devil Baseball on the internet at the official Arizona State Athletics homepage - http://www.thesundevils.com

Sun Devils On The Radio -- KMVP 860 AM continues its association with Arizona State baseball with a package of 56 home and away games to be broadcast this season. Tom Dillon calls the play-by-play while Bob Eger will handle color commentary duties. The following is a list of the seven games that will not be broadcast by KMVP: Jan. 22 vs. CS Northridge, Jan. 24 vs. Florida International, Jan. 31 vs. Hawaii-Hilo (DH), Feb. 25 vs. Anaheim Angels (exhib.), Feb. 27 vs. Stanford and Mar. 7 at UCLA. You can also listen to the Sun Devils via audionet at www.audionet.com

CASEY AT BAT -- Freshman designated hitter Casey Myers is batting at a .388 (40-for-103) with 13 doubles (second on the team) and two homeruns. He has made 28 starts in 30 appearances and hit his second homerun of the season vs. Washington on March 27. Myers has hit 11 doubles in his last 12 games. Versus Arizona, Myers went nine-for-14 with five runs scored and five RBI with two doubles. For his efforts he was named Six-Pac Player of the Week.

PAC-10 (SOUTHERN DIVISION) STANDINGS-
Team                W-L     Pct.    GB      This Week
2. Stanford         12-3    .800    --      California
1. USC              14-4    .778    --      at Arizona State
3. Arizona State    11-6    .647    2.0     USC
4. Arizona          7-11    .389    6.5     at UCLA
5. UCLA             8-13    .364    7.0     Arizona
6. California       1-16    .059    12.0    Stanford

LAST HOMERUN --
Andrew Beinbrink vs. Arizona (April 3, 1998)
Willie Bloomquist vs. Washington (March 29, 1998)
Michael Collins vs. Washington (March 29, 1998)
Dustin Delucchi vs. California (March 17, 1997)
Greg Halvorson vs. Miami (May 25, 1997)
Richy Leon vs. California (Feb. 20, 1998)
Dan Meier vs. Arizona (April 5, 1998)
Mikel Moreno vs. Arizona (April 5, 1998)
Casey Myers vs. Washington (March 27, 1998)
Jeff Phelps vs. Washington (March 27, 1998)

PRESEASON PAC-10 COACHES POLL -- Arizona State is picked to finish second in the 1998 Pac-10 Coaches Preseason Poll as voted on by the six head coaches from each of the Six-Pac schools. Here is the complete poll:
1. Stanford (4)
2. Arizona State (2)
3. USC
4. Arizona
5. UCLA
6. California
( ) - denoted first place votes

PRESEASON ACCOLADES -- Two Sun Devils received multiple preseason honors by several publications to kick off the 1998 season: LHP Ryan Mills, first-team All-American (Baseball America), first-team All-American (The Sporting News) and second-team All-American (Collegiate Baseball); 3B Andrew Beinbrink, first-team All-American (The Sporting News), second-team All-American (Baseball America) and second-team All-American (Collegiate Baseball).

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