May 24, 2011
TEMPE, Ariz. -
Following a 2-1 weekend at Husky Ballpark in Seattle, Arizona State returns to Winkles Field-Packard Stadium at Brock Ballpark for the final regular season series of the year. The Sun Devils and UCLA Bruins will play three games, beginning Friday night in Tempe.
Devils vs. UCLA:
Arizona State leads the all-time series with UCLA 107-62*. Last season ASU swept the Bruins at Jackie Robinson Stadium in Los Angeles. *- ASU vacated three victories against UCLA in 2007. On field record against UCLA is 110-62.
Lights, Camera, Action:
Friday night's game against the Bruins will be shown on a tape delayed basis by Fox Sports. Steve Physioc and Morgan Ensberg will handle the announcing duties.
Final Pac-10 Series:
This weekend will be the final Pacific-10 Conference series ever played by Arizona State and at Winkles Field-Packard Stadium at Brock Ballpark. Next year will be the inaugural season of the Pac-12, when Utah will join the conference. Colorado does not field a baseball team.
Pitcher of the Week:
Brady Rodgers has been named the Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week. The junior righty threw his first career complete game against Washington, shutting out the Huskies with nine Ks.
Sun Devil Graduates:
Xorge Carrillo (Interdisciplinary Studies), Daniel Milner (Anthropology), Josh Moody (Interdisciplinary Studies) and Andy Workman (Finance) all graduated from Arizona State University last week. Matt Newman graduated last December with a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies.
Joey D. Making History:
May Day was a day to remember for sophomore Joey DeMichele, as the designated hitter tied a school record by blasting three home runs in Arizona State's 7-1 win over the Stanford Cardinal. The last Sun Devil to homer three times in a game was Jeff Larish, who did it at the College World Series in 2005 against Nebraska. DeMichele is the 10th Sun Devil all-time with a three-homer game, joining Larish, Jeremy West, Jim Austin, Mike Kelly, Ted Dyson, Todd Brown, Oddibe McDowell, Bump Wills and Dave Graybill.
Honoring Cory Hahn:
As a tribute to injured Sun Devil Cory Hahn, the team will wear special wristbands with Cory's name and #34 and also has had his number embroidered on the team's stirrups. Players will also wear his initials and number on their hats. The entire team visited Hahn during their trip to Fullerton and Hahn attended the first game of the series at Goodwin Field. Hahn attended two games at USC and spent time with the team at the hotel on Saturday night in Los Angeles.
Andy Workman has been named a Second Team Capitol One Academic All-American member. Workman, who won the Elite 88 Award at last year's College World Series, was the only Pac-10 student-athlete to earn Academic All-American status.
Memorable First Start:
Pressed into making his first career start on Monday against BYU because of injuries, freshman Michael Benjamin made the most of the opportunity. He scored the game's first run on a wild pitch that allowed him to come home from third, then provided some fireworks in the eighth inning. With ASU clinging to a 1-0 lead, Benjamin launched a ball over the left field fence for a two-run home run, his first career hit. The last Sun Devil to hit a home run for their first career hit was teammate Abe Ruiz, who did it in 2009 with a grand slam against Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Benjamin's father Mike, ASU's third base coach, hit 24 homers in his two years with the Sun Devils.
April 26th against Arizona was the 100th game as Arizona State's head coach for Tim Esmay. Esmay has the second highest winning percentage among the four ASU head coaches through their first 100 games, going 81-19. Dr. Jim Brock holds the record, going 91-9 (.910).
Senior Matt Newman has developed a reputation as being one of the steadiest fielders in the country. The outfielder has committed only one career error and has 14 career outfield assists. He has played both left and right field in his four years in Tempe, as well as pitched during his freshman and sophomore years. Newman made 16 fielding assists as a pitcher and has a career fielding percentage of .996 (280 chances).
Ruiz Goes Yard:
Abe Ruiz, who played at Arizona State in 2009 before transferring to a JUCO and returning this year, hit a pinch hit home run on Saturday at Washington. It was his second career homer and his second career pinch hit round-tripper. His first homer, a grand slam, came on February 21, 2009 against Wisconsin-Milwaukee. That's a span of 819 days between homers.
Senior Matt Newman and junior Zack MacPhee are both members of an exclusive club in Sun Devil baseball. Each has drawn over 100 career walks, putting them in select company. Over the weekend, MacPhee was walked three times, moving him ahead of Newman and Barry Bonds on the school's all-time list. MacPhee is now eighth in school history with 123 walks. Newman has been walked 121 times, ninth most in school history and one behind Bonds. Only 27 players in school history have ever drawn 100 or more walks in their careers. The career record for walks by a Sun Devil is 207 set by Alvin Davis during his four-year career in Tempe from 1979 to 1982. MacPhee has drawn 42 walks this season, tops in the Pac-10.
20 Game Winner:
While in Auburn, junior lefty Mitchell Lambson picked up his 20th career victory. Lambson is 21-10 in his career, making 97 appearances with only one start. His one start, at Washington in 2009, was a complete game. Lambson's 21 wins is tied for second all-time in school history for wins by pitchers who were primarily relievers in their career. Lambson trails only Sam Cook, who recorded 25 wins in 60 appearances (11 starts) from 1961 to 1963 and is tied with Kevin Dukes, who won 21 games in 82 appearances (18 starts) from 1978 to 1981. Lambson's brother Mark earned his first career win at Auburn (naturally, out of the bullpen).
More on Mitch:
Lambson picked up his 10th career save against Oral Roberts, putting him in an exclusive club. Only three pitchers in Arizona State history have ever recorded at least 20 victories with at least 10 saves. Only Kevin Dukes, who pitched from 1978 to 1981, won 21 games and saved 20 games and Mitch Dean, who won 25 games and saved 11 from 1976 to 1980, had ever accomplished the feat prior to Lambson. Lambson now has eight saves on the season and 16 in his career.
Brothers With Arms:
Mitchell Lambson has now made 97 career appearances, fourth most in ASU history. Last season he tied a school record with his 39 appearances. His brother, Mark, is a right handed reliever out of the ASU bullpen. Mark retired the first 11 hitters he faced in his Sun Devil career against Delaware. He also picked up his first career win against Auburn. Mitchell and Mark are the sixth set of brothers to play in the same season for Arizona State. They have pitched in the same game twice, most recently at Cal during the 17 inning game.
Most Career Pitching Appearances
1. Brett Bordes (2003-06)........ 109
2. Kendall Carter (1981-84)...... 102
3. Ryan Bradley (1995-97)....... 99
4. Mitchell Lambson (2009-P) 97
5. Kevin Dukes (1986-89)........ 82
Newman's Golden Glove:
Matt Newman's error against Kansas was the first of his Sun Devil career. It happened in his 176th game for ASU. Newman's errorless streak reached 211 chances before it ended in right field at Surprise Stadium on a ground ball that Newman kicked away, allowing the runner to reach third on a double.
Junior Andy Workman had a Mother's Day to remember, setting new career highs with his four hits, seven RBI and two homers in the win over Long Beach State. Workman, who hit his first career home run earlier this season at Oregon State, became the fourth Sun Devil to record a multi-homer game this season. He joined Riccio Torrez (vs. New Mexico), Matt Newman (at Auburn) and Joey DeMichele (vs. Stanford).
Several Sun Devils have established single game career highs already this season. Deven Marrero set new career highs in hits (4) and runs scored (4) against Arizona on April 5; Xorge Carrillo set a new high in RBI with three at Auburn on March 12; Joey DeMichele recorded five hits, including three doubles, at Auburn on March 12; Johnny Ruettiger collected four hits against UC Riverside at Surprise on March 6; Riccio Torrez homered twice against New Mexico on February 18. He also drove in five runs, setting a new high. He collected five hits at Cal on April 21; Zach Wilson collected five hits, including three doubles, against Delaware on February 26. He tied his career high with five RBI against Northern Illinois on March 4 at Surprise; Andy Workman set a new career high in hits (4), RBI (7) and homers (2) against Long Beach State on May 8; Andrew Aplin tied a career high with three hits against Oral Roberts on March 18.
Arizona State's game with California in the series opener was an instant classic. The two teams played 17 innings, the second longest game in both ASU and Cal history. Twice the Sun Devils scored runs in the extra frames only to see the Golden Bears battle back and tie the game. Deven Marrero's two-run single in the 17th proved to be the difference in the 6-4 ASU victory. Each team used five pitchers, with ASU's Mark Lambson earning the victory. Lambson threw three innings of shutout ball, striking out three. The longest game in ASU history was an 18 inning affair against UCLA on February 23, 1990, a 6-5 Sun Devil victory.
Throwing Up 0's:
The Sun Devil pitching staff was locked in during the California series. ASU held the Golden Bears scoreless over the final 22.2 innings of the series, including back-to-back complete game shutouts by Kramer Champlin and Jake Barrett. The back-to-back complete game shutouts were the first by Sun Devil pitchers since Jason Franzblau blanked Winthrop and Mike Leake held Oregon scoreless in May of 2009. The streak reached 23.3 innings before Arizona scored in the second inning of the midweek game. The Sun Devils did it again in Washington, as Brady Rodgers and Kramer Champlin shutout the Huskies in the first two games of the series. It was the first career complete game for Rodgers and third for Champlin, second shutout. The Huskies finally scored in the fifth inning of game three, snapping the string at 22.1 innings.
The 2011 Sun Devil team features a unique connection for four student-athletes. Senior OF Matt Newman has Maroon and Gold in his blood, as his father, Randy, was a pitcher for the Sun Devils in 1981 and 1982, winning 15 career games and the 1981 National Championship. Matt and Randy joined a select list as a father-son combo who both played in the College World Series. But Matt Newman is not the only Sun Devil who has a father with an ASU National Championship ring. Freshman Trever Allen is the son of Jamie Allen, who played three seasons at ASU, including the 1977 National Championship year. Jamie was a lifetime .333 hitter at ASU and he also went 6-2 on the mound. He was a two-time All-WAC team member and was a member of the 1977 All-College World Series team. Joining Newman and Allen as Legacy Devils are freshmen Tucker Esmay and Michael Benjamin. Esmay is the son of Head Coach Tim Esmay and Benjamin is the son of assistant coach Mike Benjamin. The elder Esmay and Benjamin were teammates on the 1986 and 1987 Sun Devils.
Junior 3B Riccio Torrez's brother Raoul was a four-time letterman and two-time team captain, including teaming with Riccio the last two years...Redshirt freshman catcher Beau Maggi is the brother of Drew Maggi, who starred at ASU the last two years...Junior Mitchell Lambson will be joined by his brother Mark on the 2011 Sun Devils...Junior OF Johnny Ruettiger is the nephew of Rudy Ruettiger, the former Notre Dame football player who had a movie about his life made....Sophomore shortstop Deven Marrero is the cousin of Chris Marrero, a rising star in the Washington Nationals' system.
In each of the last two seasons, the Sun Devils boasted a set of brothers who started next to each other in the infield, marking the first time in school history that brothers started next to each other on the diamond. Raoul and Riccio Torrez became the fifth set of brothers to play for the same Sun Devil team. The other Sun Devil brothers to play on the same teams are Kevin and Pat Dukes (1980-81), Dale and Larry Eiler (1976-78), John and Tom Sain (1973) and Brett and Greg Bordes (2005). Drew and Beau Maggi were both on the team last season, but Beau sat out the year utilizing his redshirt season. This year, Mitchell Lambson is joined on the pitching staff by his brother Mark.
Hall "O" Famer:
The 2011 College Baseball Hall of Fame Class was announced by the College Baseball Foundation and Sun Devil Legend Oddibe McDowell was one of eight men to earn induction. McDowell will become the seventh member of the Hall of Fame to come from Arizona State. McDowell was a standout in the outfield from 1983 to 1984. He was a career .380 hitter with 30 home runs and 31 doubles. In 1984, he hit .405 with 23 home runs, a performance that earned him the Golden Spikes Award. That same year he was named Player of the Year by both Collegiate Baseball and Baseball America. He also was a two-time All-American and was the first Sun Devil to have his number retired.
Feeling The Draft:
There are 19 members of the 2011 Sun Devils who have had their name called during the annual Major League Baseball draft, including Xorge Carrillo, who was drafted last season but opted to return to school. Carrillo has been drafted three times, as has Kyle Ottoson.
Arizona State was picked to finish third in the 2011 Preseason Pac-10 Coaches' Poll. UCLA was picked to finish first, receiving eight first place votes, with Stanford second with two first place votes.
Players of the Week:
Junior Riccio Torrez was named the Pac-10 Player of the Week following opening weekend, the fourth straight season a Sun Devil has earned Player of the Week honors following the season's first action. He also earned the honor following the sweep at Cal. Matt Newman was named the Pac-10 Player of the Week following the Auburn series. Joey DeMichele was named the Player of the Week following the Arizona and Stanford games. Brady Rodgers was named the Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week following the Washington series.