March 30, 2011
TEMPE, Ariz. -
After finishing up their second straight five-game week, the Sun Devils continue their home stand with a three-game Pac-10 series with the Oregon Ducks. Last week, ASU split a two-game midweek series at Cal State Fullerton then won two out of three from Arizona in the the first Pac-10 series of the season.
Devils vs. Ducks:
The Sun Devils and Ducks have met 10 times, with Arizona State holding a 8-2 edge in the all-time series. ASU took two of three last season in Eugene in the first ever meeting between the schools on Oregon's home field.
Arizona State baseball just finished its own version of March Madness. The Devils just completed a stretch where they played 13 games in 17 days, including three travel days. That included a bus trip to Fullerton, California. In the month of March, ASU traveled 4,710 miles, going from Tempe to Surprise (76 miles roundtrip), Tempe to Atlanta to Auburn (3,900 miles roundtrip) and Tempe to Fullerton (734 miles roundtrip). Of their 18 games in March, 10 came against teams ranked in the Top 25.
Packing Them In:
With in-state rival Arizona in town over the weekend, tickets for the games Winkles Field-Packard Stadium at Brock Ballpark were a hot item. All three games with the Wildcats sold out, giving Arizona State five sell out crowds of 4,371 this season. Both games of the Oklahoma series also were sell outs. ASU is averaging 3,417 fans per game this season after averaging 3,506 fans per game last season.
Junior catcher Austin Barnes has been a beast at the plate for the Devils this season. Barnes, who hit the game-winning homer against Arizona on Sunday, leads the team with his .426 average and .672 slugging percentage. He has collected 10 doubles and scored 15 runs while handling the pitching staff from his catcher position.
Joey D. Delivering:
A pleasant surprise for the Sun Devils this season has been the bat of sophomore Joey DeMichele. DeMichele, who had only nine at bats last season, is hitting .383 (23-60) and slugging .667. The Phoenix product collected five hits in a win over Auburn, leads the team with three triples and has taken over in the clean-up spot in the order.
Cal State Fullerton/Arizona Recap:
The Sun Devil offense couldn't get things going at Cal State Fullerton in the series opener, as the Titans took game one 7-3...Alex Blackford pitched a gem in the second game of the quick series and Zach Wilson's three-run homer was the big blow in a 10-1 Sun Devil victory...a late inning error allowed the winning run to score for Arizona in the Pac-10 opener, as ASU fell 5-2 on Friday night...Brady Rodgers was dominant in game two, allowing only two hits over seven innings in a 5-1 win...The Devils took the series with an 8-1 win on Sunday. Austin Barnes hit a two-run home run to put the Devils up for good in the seventh inning.
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.
Give Me A K:
The Arizona State pitching staff has been a well-oiled strike out machine over the first third of the 2011 season. Sun Devil pitchers have punched out 205 hitters over 217.0 innings, led by Jake Barrett's 39 Ks in his 35.1 innings of work. Eight members of the pitching staff have already recorded 20+ strikeouts. Last season, ASU pitchers fanned 553 batters in 558.0 innings.
The Champ Is Here!:
Junior righty Kramer Champlin turned in a career effort against Oral Roberts on March 18, throwing his first career complete game in a 5-1 victory. Champlin, who threw six complete games at Western Nevada over the past two years, limited the Golden Eagles to six hits over the nine innings, striking out eight.
Junior Johnny Ruettiger has added a new wrinkle to his already impressive repertoire, becoming a stolen base machine in 2011. Ruettiger, who entered 2011 with 22 career stolen bases, has already swiped 17 this season. That is a new career high, breaking the previous high of 12 which was set during his freshman season.
20 Game Winner:
While in Auburn, junior lefty Mitchell Lambson picked up his 20th career victory. Lambson is 20-9 in his career, making 84 appearances with only one start. His one start, at Washington in 2009, was a complete game. Lambson's 20 wins puts him third 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 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 on 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.
Brothers With Arms:
With four appearances last week Mitchell Lambson has now made 84 career appearances, passing Kevin Dukes for 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.
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) 84
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.
Take Your Base:
Zack MacPhee has shown off a keen eye this season, drawing a team-leading 22 walks. He drew a career-high 41 last season. His 22 walks lead the Pac-10.
Several Sun Devils have established single game career highs already this season. 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; 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 has twice tied his career high with three hits, against Delaware on February 26 and at Auburn on March 11; Andrew Aplin tied a career high with three hits against Oral Roberts on March 18.
The Sun Devils are ranked #5 by Baseball America, #7 in the Collegiate Baseball poll, #4 in the NCBWA poll and #9 in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches poll.
Golden Spikes Watch List:
Arizona State landed three student-athletes on the 2011 Golden Spikes Award Preseason Watch List. Johnny Ruettiger, Zack MacPhee and Deven Marrero were all on the list. MacPhee was a semifinalist a season ago.
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.
Junior OF Brandon Magee is no stranger to ASU athletics, playing linebacker for the Sun Devil football team. Magee was second on the team in tackles this past season, totaling 73 including five for loss and 1.5 sacks.
2011 Pre-Season Honors:
Zack MacPhee was named a Preseason First Team All-American by the NCBWA, ESPN and by Collegiate Baseball and was a Second Team choice by Baseball America. Deven Marrero and Johnny Ruettiger were also Second Team picks by Baseball America, while Mitchell Lambson and Riccio Torrez joined Marrero as Third Team choices by Collegiate Baseball. Zach Wilson was a Third Team choice by Baseball America. Lambson was also named to the Stopper of the Year Watch List. Lambson and Marrero were also named Preseason All-Americans by Perfect Game.
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.
Player 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. Matt Newman was named the Pac-10 Player of the Week following the Auburn series.
The Sun Devils will play 27 games this season against teams ranked in the Preseason Top 30. 10 of the 27 games will come against Preseason Top 10 teams.
Did You Know:
Former Sun Devil Brett Wallace tied for the Astros team lead in batting average during their Grapefruit League games. Wallace was 25-66 with seven doubles and 18 RBI.
The Sun Devils head to Tucson for a non-conference game with Arizona Tuesday before heading to Corvallis, Oregon for a three-game Pac-10 set with Oregon State.