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Murphy Returns To South Bend As 17th-Ranked Baseball Takes On Notre Dame
Courtesy: Sun Devil Athletics
Release: 04/26/2002
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Courtesy: Sun Devil Athletics
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April 26, 2002

LiveStats coverage vs. Notre Dame

PROBABLE PITCHERS:
Apr. 26 at Notre Dame, 6:05 p.m. CST
ASU - Robbie McClellan - RHP (7-3, 4.12)
ND - John Axford - RHP (4-2, 3.28)

Apr. 27 at Notre Dame, 3:05 p.m. CST
ASU - Mike Esposito - RHP (6-5, 3.67 ERA)
ND - Peter Ogilvie - RHP (5-1, 2.45)

MEDIA EXPOSURE:
The LiveStats feature will be available on www.TheSunDevils.com for both games at Notre Dame. In addition, ASU's broadcast crew of Tim Healey and Bob Eger will return for Notre Dame series in South Bend. Friday's game will run on a tape-delay basis at 6 p.m. in the Phoenix area, while Saturday's game can be heard live on XTRA 910 AM in the Phoenix area. Saturday's game will also be televised on KAZ-TV in the Phoenix Area (Ch. 13).

SETTING UP THE SERIES:
The Sun Devils (26-15, 9-6) continue their three-game midseason road trip with two games at Notre Dame this weekend. ASU head coach Pat Murphy will return to play his former program for the first time as a Sun Devil. Murphy led ND to a stellar 318-116-1 (.732) record in his seven years at the helm of the Irish. ASU is fresh off a 7-5 win over Oklahoma Wednesday night and despite taking a week off from conference play are currently second in the Pac-10 with a 9-6 record. Notre Dame has won 11 consecutive games, including a pair of wins this week over Chicago State and Bowling Green, and will host the Sun Devils for the first time ever in South Bend. ASU leads the all-time series 3-1 with the last meeting coming in 1993.

What's On Tap:
The 17th-ranked Sun Devils continue on its three-game, midwest tour with two games this weekend at Eck Stadium against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. ASU and ND will battle Friday night at 6:05 p.m. and conclude the brief series Saturday with a 3:05 p.m. game. ASU and Notre Dame have met four prior times, with the Devils taking three of those games. Following the pair of games at Notre Dame, ASU will play its fourth straight non-conference contest Tuesday (Apr. 30) vs. New Mexico State at Hohokam Stadium at 6 p.m. The Sun Devils will return to Pac-10 play May 10-12 vs. nationally ranked Stanford at Sunken Diamond.

Quick Hits:
? Pat Murphy is five wins away from #300 in his ASU career and now has 668 wins in 1,001 career games.
? Jon Sheaffer is currently out with a leg injury, and is missed with his .367 average. He has at least one hit in 25 of his last 31 games.
? Dustin Pedroia is hitting .391 in Pac-10 play and has only two errors in the field in 161 total chances (.988 FLD %).
? The Sun Devils had their string of eight consecutive Pac-10 series victories snapped last weekend vs. Cal.
? Andre Ethier and Dustin Pedroia are the only Devils to play and start in all 41 games this year.
? Since hitting home runs in all three games vs. WSU (4/5-5/7), Jeremy West is only 4-for-23 (.174) in his last seven games.
? Starting catcher Cesar Castillo is hitting .714 (5x7) with two doubles and five RBI in the last two Sunday games.
? Of ASU's 312 runs scored this year, 158 (51%) have come with two outs. ASU also has 90 1-out runs and 64 0-out runs.
? Robbie McClellan is 5-1 as a starter this year and is fourth in the Pac-10 with his 70 strikeouts.
? The Devils have scored in the first inning in 23 of their 41 games (56%). ASU is 18-5 when scoring in the first.
? The Sun Devils have used 32 different lineups this year, including a string of 24 different lineups in the last 25 games.
? ASU has scored in a NCAA record 416 consecutive games dating back to April 7, 1995. The old record was 349.
? In his 14 appearances out of the bullpen (22.2 IP), sophomore Ryan Schroyer has struck out 33 batters (0.79 ERA).
? In his last four appearances, Schroyer has recorded three wins and one save.
? Andre Ethier leads the team in hitting at .367 and has 16 multi-hit games. He has at least one hit in 32 of 41 games this year.
? Relief pitcher Mark Sopko has inherited 23 runners out of the bullpen this year, effectively allowing only 3 to score.

More Quick Hits:
? Sophomore Mike Esposito is ranks third in the Pac-10 with 71 strikeouts in 76.0 innings pitched this year.
? Esposito registered the 6th most K's in single-game school history when he struck out 17 vs. Washington (3/29).
? ASU's 26 home runs is only seven short of the entire total from last year with 14 regular season games remaining.
? The Sun Devils have given up nine home runs in the last seven games after allowing only 15 in the first 35 games of 2002.
? ASU is hitting .308 with runners in scoring position. Andre Ethier is an amazing 21-for-48 (.438) with RISP.
? ASU is 5-5 against ranked opponents this year and have played 19 of their 40 games against teams appearing in the polls.
? ASU has already had four players earn Pac-10 Player of the Week honors and two players earn National Pitcher of the Week.
? Cesar Castillo has started 10 of the last 13 games at catcher, adding to his two previous career starts. He is hitting .250.
? Ryan Schroyer leads the Pac-10 with a 2.34 ERA. He is 4-1 overall with four saves. He has 58 K's in 42.1 innings.
? The Devils have struggled in Sunday games, going 6-5, each time wearing their maroon uniforms.
? The Devils are currently in second place in the Pac-10 with a 9-6 record. They next play at #4 Stanford (5/10-5/12).
? Junior reliever Carlos Arguello has a 0.87 ERA in 10.1 bullpen innings. He has posted five consecutive shutout innings.
? Sophomore Rod Allen has recorded at least one RBI in of his 39 games played this year, including three vs. Oklahoma.
? Dustin Pedroia has six of his team-leading 18 multi-hit games during his current nine-game hitting streak (.390).
? ASU, who plays its home games at the spring training home of the Chicago Cubs, will attend Sunday's Cubs game at Wrigley Field.
? Wednesday's 7-5 win over Oklahoma marked ASU's first road win against a non-conference opponent (now 1-5 in 2002).
? Jered Liebeck struck out a career-high six batters in his longest appearance as a Sun Devil (5.1 IP) vs. Oklahoma Wednesday.
? Through 41 games, ASU has four complete games. The Devils had only one all of last year (Jon Switzer).

The Streak Continues. ASU Enters Weekend With Scoring Streak at 416:
The Arizona State baseball program made history on April 7, 2001 when they scored at least one run in its 350th consecutive game. The Devils broke the 12-year-old NCAA record in a 5-1 loss to USC exactly six years to the day when they were last shut out. ASU was shut out 9-0 in that game on April 7, 1995 at Dedeaux Field. The one run scored in the 11-1 loss to Arizona (3/24) marked only the 12th time during the streak that ASU has scored only one run. The streak continues at 416 consecutive games with ASU scoring in each of the 41 games this year. The Devils have extended the streak early in a majority of its games, with a run in the first inning 23 times in 2002. ASU was neck-in-neck for the record with Wichita State, which had not been shutout in 332 games, but had its streak ended with a 1-0 loss to Louisiana-Lafayette in the middle of the 2001 season. Coastal Carolina previously held the NCAA record at 349 games set from 1983-1989. ASU also had a stretch of 278 games without being shut out from 1990 to 1994, meaning the program has only been shutout in three times dating back to 1990. ASU celebrated its 7th anniversary of the streak with a 22-4 win over WSU on Apr. 7, 2002.

Schroyer + Bullpen = Dominating:
Arizona State sophomore pitcher Ryan Schroyer opened his 2002 season in style by being named the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association and Collegiate Baseball National Pitcher of the Week after his 11-strikeout performance against Southern Utah on Feb. 1. Schroyer has since been moved into the closer role where he has recorded an amazing 32 strikeouts in just 22.2 innings of work as a reliever. For the season he is 4-1 with three saves and a Pac-10 best 2.34 ERA. Overall he has struck out 58 batters in just 42.1 (12.3 K/9 IP) innings of work. In 22.2 bullpen innings, Schroyer is 3-0 with four saves and an amazing 0.79 ERA, allowing only two earned runs and 10 hits. In his last four appearances, Schroyer has recorded three wins and one save. In addition to leading the league with his 2.34 ERA, he is also ranked eighth with 58 strikeouts, fourth with four saves and third with 14 games finished.

Murph Returns To Notre Dame:
When ASU head coach Pat Murphy returns to Notre Dame next weekend, it will mark the first time he will step foot in South Bend since leaving for the head job at ASU in 1994. In seven seasons at Notre Dame, Murphy turned the program into a national power, going 318-116-1 during his tenure. He led the Irish to its first appearance in the NCAA Tournament in 19 years in 1989 and averaged over 46 wins per season. ASU assistant coach Mike Rooney also played for Murphy at Notre Dame and earned monograms in 1991-92.

More Local Connections:
When ASU plays Notre Dame this weekend, several Sun Devil faithful are sure to be in the stands. ASU has two players on the roster from Chicago suberbs that are sure to bring lots of friends and family. Outfielder Ryan McKenna is from Elgin, Ill., while relief pitcher Mark Sopko is from Joliet. Center fielder Jon Sheaffer, who is currently sidelined with a foot injury, grew up in Chicago and has a lot of family still in the South Bend area.

Devils Prove To Be Clutch With Two Outs:
In the 15-2 win over UCLA (4/14), Arizona State scored 12 of its 15 runs with two outs. Looking back at all 41 games this year, ASU has scored half of their runs with two outs. The Sun Devils have tabbed 63 runs with no outs, 88 with one out and a remarkable 158 of 312 runs with two outs. As a team the Sun Devils are hitting .292 (129x442) with two outs and have recorded 106 two-out RBI.

West Continues Season Trend By Being Named Pac-10 Player of the Week:
Jeremy West became the fourth ASU player to earn a Pac-10 Player of the Week honor when he earned the award after the Washington State series. West, from Las Vegas, helped lead ASU to a series win over WSU by hitting a home run in each game against the Cougars. The Player of the Week honor was the first for West in his career. It is the 65th selection all-time for Arizona State. ASU has now had two Pac-10 Player of the Week awards this year in addition to two Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week awards. Andre Ethier has also been named the Pac-10 Player of the Week this year (Mar. 26), while Mike Esposito (Apr. 1) and Robbie McClellan (Mar. 12) have been named Pac-10 Pitcher's of the Week.

Hail Cesar:
The Sun Devils have been through four catchers this year, but seems as if they have found their match in senior Cesar Castillo. The senior backstop from Yuma, Ariz., has started the 10 of the last 11 games and now has 12 career starts under his belt. While hitting .250 (11x44) on the year, Castillo has been stellar in the last two Sunday series finales vs. Washington State and UCLA. Castillo, who is 13-for-51 (.255) in his two-year career as a Sun Devil, has combined to go 5-for-7 (.714) with five RBI and two doubles in the last two Sunday games. Castillo was injured in Saturday's 4-3 win over California on a play at the plate. He is listed as day-to-day and is expected to be 100% by the Stanford series.

32 Flavors:
Looking to find the perfect starting lineup as the Sun Devils play their final 14 regular season games, head coach Pat Murphy has used a different starting lineup in 24 of the last 25 games and 32 different lineups in the 2002 season. Mixing and matching with a number of players earning starts, only two starting batting order has remained the same since back-to-back games vs. Loyola Marymount (3/3) and New Mexico State (3/5). ASU has also mixed and matched for 25 different starting lineups by position.

The Streak Stops at Eight:
The Sun Devils had their impressive streak of eight straight Pac-10 series wins come to an end last weekend vs. Cal. Starting last Apr. 12-14 with a 2-1 series win over Washington State, the Devils had not lost since with series wins against Arizona (2-1), Washington (3-0), UCLA (2-1), at Arizona (2-1), Washington (2-1), at Washington State (2-1) and at UCLA (2-1).

Devils Continue Success at Bricktown:
For the third time in the last four years the Arizona State baseball team walked away from beautiful Bricktown Ballpark in downtown Oklahoma City with a win over the Oklahoma Sooners. Adding its third straight win in consecutive years at the home stadium of the Triple-A Oklahoma Redhawks, ASU earned a 7-5 win over the Sooners. Trailing 5-2 in the sixth inning, Rod Allen plated three runs with a bases loaded double to right field to tie the game. Freshman Jeff Larish drove home the eventual game-winning run in the eighth on a single up the middle to score Dustin Pedroia. The bullpen combination of Mark Sopko and Ryan Schroyer picked up the win and the save with 3.2 scoreless innings.

Pedroia Remains Hot At Plate and in the Field:
Freshman shortstop Dustin Pedroia continues to make a name for himself in his rookie campaign. Already having played three positions this year (2B/3B/SS), Pedroia has locked down the starting spot as ASU's shortstop. Only one of two players (Andre Ethier) to play and start in all 41 games this year, Pedroia ia fifth on the team in hitting with a .343 batting average. He is currently in the midst of a nine-game hitting streak in which he is hitting .390 with three doubles and 10 runs scored. During the streak he has six of his team-leading 18 multi-hit games. Pedroia only has two errors in 161 total chances for a .988 fielding percentage.

The Wild, Wild West:
Sophomore first baseman Jeremy West leads the Sun Devils in nearly every offensive category and is three weeks removed from being named the Pac-10 Player of the Week. West hit a home run in each of ASU's three games at Washington State and now has a team-leading 11 home runs on the year. He has five of his 11 home runs in the last 14 games. Despite going only 4-for-23 in his last seven games, West is still fourth on the team with a .345 batting average. He is currently tied for the league lead with 15 doubles, second with a .724 slugging percentage and third with 48 RBI. He also leads the team with 29 extra base hits, 18 multi-hit games and 12 multi-RBI games. He has tabbed at least one RBI in 24 of his 40 games played this year (60%).

A Very Young Team Indeed:
The Sun Devils feature a very young team in 2002, with 22 of the 33 players on the roster listed as underclassman. Losing seven of its top position players from the 2001 team and several top pitchers, a very young team Sun Devil team will take the field this year. The normal starting lineup has five sophomores, two true freshman and at least one senior on the field. When the Devils made the cross country trek to Tallahassee for the FSU series, 13 of the 27 on the travel roster were making their first road trip as a Sun Devil. The starting lineup this weekend figures to have three freshman, five sophomores and one senior. The starting rotation figures to have one sophomore and two juniors, one of which is a newcomer after transferring from a junior college. To show how young ASU really is, the Sun Devils started five sophomores and three freshmen in Wednesday's 7-5 win over Oklahoma.

Murphy Picks Up Career Division 1 Victory #600:
With a convincing 10-0 win over UNLV in seven innings March 8, Sun Devil Head Coach Pat Murphy reached the 600 plateau for Division I victories in his 15 years of coaching at the top level of collegiate baseball. Murphy has now fashioned a career 668-329-4 record in 1,001 career games of his 18 seasons as a head coach, with 55 of those wins came at Maryville (Tenn.) College and Claremont-Mudd Scripps. In his 15 years at the D1 level, Murphy has averaged nearly 40 wins per year and is 295-158-1 in his eight-year ASU career. He recently coached in his 1,000th career game April 21, 2002 in the series finale against Cal. He is also only five wins short of the 300 mark in his eight-year ASU career.

Why Not #9 Murphy:
Most who are close to the ASU Baseball program know what the No. 9 means to head coach Pat Murphy. Often his slogan to "Play all 9 Innings", Murphy and No. 9 are synonymous with each other... until this year. In a preseason meeting with team, Murphy gave a speech on how you have to be able to give up anything for the team. In this case, he even offered up his prize No. 9, knowing no one would take it. That is, until ASU's sophomore Steve Garrabrants raised his hand and said, I'll take it, and with that, the leader of the Devils is willing to give up anything for the team and will wear No. 7 this year. Murphy wore #9 during his Notre Dame career, except for wearing #21 one year.

Sun Devil Baseball Successful in April:
The Sun Devil baseball program now has an all-time 520-222 record in the month of April dating back to the 1959 season when varsity baseball started. The Devils are 6-5 to start the busiest month of the 2002 season. ASU was 10-6 last year in April and have a 26-14 record dating back to 2000 in the month of April. ASU head coach Pat Murphy is a combined 76-45 in the month of April in his eight years in Tempe.

Hitting For The Cycle... in the First Inning:
In what may be one of the rarest feats of Arizona State baseball history, the Devils led off the Feb. 9 game vs. Tennessee in grand fashion with the first four hitters combining to hit for the cycle in the first inning. Leadoff hitter Steve Garrabrants led off the game with a first-pitch home run, then Dustin Pedroia followed with a double, then Rod Allen singled and to cap off the amazing event, Jeremy West tripled to give ASU the early 2-0 lead. The last Sun Devil to hit for the cycle was Mitch Jones on May 21, 2000 at Arizona... the same game in which he set the single-season home run record.

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