April 4, 2007
TEMPE, Ariz. -
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Coming off a 2-2 week, the Arizona State Sun Devils welcome the Stanford Cardinal to Winkles Field-Packard Stadium at Brock Ballpark for a three-game Pac-10 series. Stanford enters the weekend 13-12 overall and 0-3 in conference play, having been swept by UCLA in Palo Alto last weekend.
The Sun Devils vs. The Cardinal:
Arizona State and Stanford have met 164 times on a baseball field, with each squad winning 82 times. The Cardinal took two out of three from the Devils last year at Sunken Diamond in Palo Alto.
Lights, Camera, Action:
Saturday afternoon's game will be televised live by FSN Arizona. Trey Bender and former ASU assistant coach Mike Rooney will provide the call.
Facing Tough Competition:
Of ASU's ten losses this season, eight have come at the hands of teams ranked in the Top 25, including one to Vanderbilt, who is the top ranked team in the nation. They also lost to then-unranked Missouri, who is now ranked #29 in the country. According to BoydsWorld.com, Arizona State has already faced or will face four teams rated in the top 20 in RPI (Long Beach State, Vandy, Texas A&M and Louisiana-Lafayette). Also, seven of the ten losses have been by one run, including an extra inning game with Vanderbilt. ASU has faced or will face six teams ranked in the Top 20 in the latest ISR rankings on BoydsWorld.com, where the Sun Devils are currently ranked 22nd. Arizona State has 12 teams on their 2007 schedule that are currently ranked or have been ranked at some point this season.
One Run Blues:
Arizona State is 3-7 in one-run games. Six of those seven losses have been to ranked teams.
ASU moved up one spot to #15 in the Baseball America poll while they dropped three spots to #15 in the NCBWA poll. They stayed at #12 in the Rivals.com poll and were dropped down to #12 in Collegiate Baseball. They came in at #12 in the Coaches poll, down two spots.
Week In Review:
The Sun Devils dropped their second straight game at Chase Field, falling 6-5 to Arizona in the Challenge at Chase. Andrew Romine was a bright spot for the Devils, going 3-4 with an RBI. Joey Parigi looked good on the mound, as he allowed only one baserunner in his 2.2 innings of work...ASU got back into Pac-10 play at Washington on Friday night, dropping their third straight one run decision 5-4 to the Huskies. Josh Satow threw his second straight complete game, but the offense stranded 11 runners in the loss...The offense got back on track on Saturday, scoring 11 runs for an 11-5 victory. Matt Spencer homered and picked up the victory on the hill...Arizona State took the series on Sunday, jumping out to an early lead then staving off a late Huskies rally for an 8-5 win. Brett Wallace had four hits while Kiel Roling knocked in two runs, inlcuding a solo blast to dead center for some insurance in the ninth. Jason Jarvis closed out Washington in the ninth to pick up his second save of the year.
Double Duty Spencer:
Junior Matt Spencer showed how valuable he can be during the 11-5 win over Washington on Saturday afternoon. His two hits and three RBI, including his fifth home run of the year, came as no surprise, but his performance on the mound turned some heads. Spencer threw 2.1 innings of no hit ball, striking out two to pick up his first career victory. The transfer from North Carolina threw a total of five innings as a Tar Heel, but has already made three appearances and thrown 7.1 innings so far this year.
Brett "The Hitman" Wallace:
Brett Wallace continued to swing a hot bat despite the chilly temperature in Seattle. Wallace went 8-13 with a homer and five RBI against the Huskies, putting his season average at .481. He is the Pac-10 leader in average, RBI (45), home runs (11), slugging percentage (.850), OBP (.560), runs scored (46), hits (64) and is second in walks (25). On March 17th, Wallace became the 19th player in the 33-year history of the stadium to homer over the green monster in centerfield, joining a list that includes names like Kevin Romine, Mike Kelly, Antone Williamson and Barry Bonds. Wallace is the first player since Brooks Conrad in 2000 to clear the centerfield batter's eye.
BOOM! POW! SATOW!:
Junior lefthander Josh Satow threw his third complete game of the year on Friday night, and his second in a row. Unfortunately, Satow took the loss in the 5-4 game. He became the first Sun Devil since Erik Averill accomplished the feat in 2005. Averill went the distance in a 12-0 win over New Mexico on February 4, then did it again against South Alabama in a 7-2 win on February 12. Satow went all nine in a 10-0 win against USC on March 23. Satow has seven wins so far this year, equaling last year's team leader, Tony Barnette.
Pac-10 Players of the Week:
Four Sun Devils have earned weekly honors from the Pac-10 so far this season.
Brett Wallace and Kiel Roling have both been named Pac-10 Player of the Week while Josh Satow and Brian Flores have both earned Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week recognition.
National Honor Roll Honorees:
Brett Wallace, Matt Spencer, Josh Satow, Petey Paramore, Brian Flores and Kiel Roling have all been named College Baseball Foundation National Honor Roll Players of the Week so far this season.
Petey Paramore has been a walks machine so far this season. Paramore has drawn 32 walks already this year, tops in the conference. He was third on the team last season with 34 free passes...Andrew Romine has 13 bunt singles this season...The Challenge at Chase marked the third time in 2007 ASU 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...Tim Smith hit in the leadoff spot for the first time this season against Washington...Kiel Roling's homer at Husky Ballpark hit off the top of the batter's eye in dead center field...Sophomore LHP Jeff Urlaub is expected to undergo Tommy John surgery next week. His expected recovery time in 10-16 months...Tyler Hoechlin will miss two more weeks after undergoing elbow surgery.
Arizona State Head Coach Pat Murphy achieved a coaching milestone against USC, collecting his 500th victory as skipper of the Sun Devils. Earlier this season, Murphy won his 800th career Division I game. 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.
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.
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.
The Sun Devils had two transfers make the top ten of Baseball America's Top 25 Transfers list. LHP Brian Flores, who came 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.
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.
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.
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. Satow outdid himself against USC on March 23, throwing a complete game shut out in a 10-0 win over the Trojans. He threw his thrird complete game of the year against UW.
Arizona State continues Pac-10 play when they host the Washington State Cougars in a three-game series at Winkles Field-Packard Stadium at Brock Ballpark.