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No. 5 Baseball Gets Ready For Pac-10 Play With Non-Conference Tilts With Oklahoma State
Courtesy: Sun Devil Athletics
Release: 03/16/2004
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Courtesy: Sun Devil Athletics
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March 16, 2004

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    Probable Starting Rotation:
    Mar. 16 vs. Oklahoma State, 7 p.m. MST
    OSU - Daniel Rew, RHP (3-0, 0.90 ERA)
    ASU - Pat Cassa, LHP (1-1, 3.80 ERA)

    Mar. 17 vs. Oklahoma State, 7 p.m. MST
    OSU - Spencer Grogan, LHP (4-0, 2.88 ERA)
    ASU - Zechry Zinicola, RHP (1-1, 3.60 ERA)

    All-Time Series vs. Oklahoma State:

    Overall vs. OSU:      10-7
    In Tempe:             4-3
    Neutral Site:         2-1
    In Omaha (CWS):       4-3
    Last Game vs. OSU:    7-3 (Feb. 15, 2003) -- Surprise, Ariz.

    National Rankings:
    National Polls (Mar. 15, 2004)
    Arizona State (17-3) enters the midweek series with Oklahoma State as a consensus top 10 team in the nation in all four national polls. ASU ranks as high as No. 5 by Collegiate Baseball and No. 6 by Sports Weekly/ESPN. The Devils also moved up two spots to No. 8 by Baseball America and remained No. 7 by NCBWA. The Sun Devils have now been ranked in the national polls for 85 consecutive polls. Oklahoma State (12-5) is ranked No. 33 by NCBWA and was the preseason No. 37 selection by Baseball America.

    Media Exposure:
    Wednesday's 7 p.m. game against Oklahoma State will be broadcast live on the radio (1060 AM) and over the internet. All three games of the California series will also be broadcast with Tim Healey and Bob Eger calling all the action from Packard Stadium. Every game during the 2004 season will also have the statistical GameTracker on

    Did You Know:
    ASU improved to 10-1 against ranked opponents this year by winning two of three from No. 11 Tulane last weekend... Jason Urquidez is off to a 6-0, 1.77 ERA start to his ASU career... Dustin Pedroia ranks fifth in the ASU career record books with 59 doubles... Travis Buck became the first Sun Devil since 1984 to earn back-to-back Pac-10 Player of the Week awards (Oddibe McDowell).

    Stat of the Week:
    Travis Buck became the first Sun Devil since Mitch Jones in 2000 to record a home run in five straight games. Buck had his streak ended in Saturday's 11-3 win over Tulane. He leads the team with six HR and 31 RBI.

    What's On Tap:
    The Sun Devil Baseball team (17-3) continues their 25-game homestand this week with a busy schedule of five games in six days. The Devils start the slate with a pair of non-conference tilts against Oklahoma State (12-5) on Tuesday (7 p.m.) and Wednesday (7 p.m. at Packard Stadium. After 20 games the Devils have 17 wins and are off to the second best start during the Pat Murphy era (1995-P). ASU's only better start was when they went 28-1 to begin the 2003 campaign. ASU is coming off a solid series win over No. 11 Tulane and are 10-1 against ranked opponents. ASU opens their 27th season of Pac-10 play this weekend with a three-game series against California.

    Recapping The Tulane Series:
    The Devils earned a key series win over the No. 11 Tulane Green Wave last weekend in impressive fashion to improve to 17-3 overall and 10-1 against ranked opponents. ASU bounced back from a tough 5-3 loss in the opener to take the next two games by decisive scores of 11-3 and 5-1. After losing Friday's opener the Devils won or tied the next 18 innings of baseball. Junior shortstop Dustin Pedroia ended an 0-for-10 slump by goin g 6-for-8 with six RBI in the last two games. Junior starting pitcher Jason Urquidez (6-0) and sophomore reliever Erik Averill (2-0) picked up the wins as the pitching staff tamed the Green Wave for a 2.33 ERA in the series.

    Quick Hits:

  • Junior shortstop Dustin Pedroia has hits in 17 of ASU's 120games and is hitting .439 with 12 2B, 4 HR and 22 RBI.
  • Freshman relief pitcher Pat Bresnehan is 2-0 with four saves and 22 strikeouts in his last six appearances (17 IP).
  • Jason Urquidez leads the team with a 6-0 record and a 1.77 ERA in his six starts. He has 33 K's in 35.2 IP.
  • ASU picked up its 2,000th all-time varsity (1959-P) victory with Saturday's 11-3 win over Tulane.
  • Travis Buck became the first Pac-10 player to earn back-to-back Player of the Week honors since 1998.
  • Travis Buck leads the team in two of the three Triple Crown categories with six home runs and 31 RBI.
  • The Devils have been ranked in 85 consecutive national polls dating back to the start of 2000.
  • ASU features three freshman (Curtis, Bresnehan, Zinicola) that are among Baseball America's top 50 freshman.
  • Sophomore LHP Brett Bordes is 1-0 with a 5.54 ERA and has 21 strikeouts in just 13.0 IP (14.54 K/9.0 IP).

    Poll Mechanics:
    Arizona State (17-3) remained the same in all three major college polls after going 2-1 to earn a series win over No. 11 Tulane. The Devils are ranked No. 5 in the recent Collegiate Baseball poll, No. 8 byBaseball America and No. 6 by ESPN/Sports Weekly. With a 10-1 record against ranked opponents, ASU is in its third week as a consensus top 10 team. The Devils have now been ranked for 85 consecutive weeks dating back to the start of the 2000 season. ASU entered the 2004 season ranked in all four of the national preseason polls (#7 CB, #10 SW, #11 NCBWA, #18 BA). ASU finished the 2003 season with a 54-14 record and earned a consensus top 10 ranking in all four national polls.

    Preseason All-Americans:
    Sun Devil juniors Dustin Pedroia and Jeff Larish earned preseason All-America honors from every publication. Pedroia earned first-team honors from the NCBWA, Collegiate Baseball,, and was a third-team pick by Baseball America. He was also selected as the preseason pick for Pac-10 Player of the Year by Baseball America. Larish, who moves to the outfield for the 2004 season, was a first-team pick by Collegiate Baseball, Baseball America,, and was a second-team pick by the NCBWA. Larish was also selected as the preseason College Baseball Player of the Year by Street & Smith's.

    Travis Buck Continues Torrid Streak:
    Sophomore right fielder Travis Buck could be the hottest hitter in college baseball. Buck is hitting .581 (18-for-31) over his last nine games with 11 runs scored, five doubles, five home runs, 21 RBI and a 1.226 slugging percentage. He had a stretch of hitting a home run in five straight games and earned back-to-back Pac-10 Player of the Week honors. During his torrid stretch he has raised his season batting average 140 points from .278 on Feb. 24 to its current team-leading mark of .418 (28-for-67). Buck leads the team in two of the three Triple Crown categories with six home runs and 31 RBI. He also has three outfield assists and is 5-for-5 stealing bases. He was named Pac-10 Player of the Week and the Collegiate Baseball/Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week after going 10-for-12 (.833) with 13 RBI in the three-game series against UConn (2/27-29).

    Buck Repeats As Pac-10 Player of the Week:
    After going 5-for-10 with home runs in all three games against East Carolina, Travis Buck earned his second consecutive Pac-10 Player of the Week award. With his third career Pac-10 POW award, he became the 16th conference player and first since 1998 to repeat since Cal's Xavier Nady earned the award in consecutive weeks in 1998 (Apr. 27, May 4). He is the first Sun Devil since Oddibe McDowell in 1984 to earn back-to-back conference honors.

    Five Times The Fun:
    Travis Buck had a recent string of hitting a home run in five straight games dating back to the Sunday victory over Connecticut (2/29). He is the first Sun Devil to hit homers in five straight since single-season home run record holder Mitch Jones cleared the fences in five straight games during that save 2000 season against Florida State (2/6), Duke (2/11-13) and LSU (2/18).

    Bresnehan Inching Towards Freshman Saves Record:
    Only 20 games into his ASU career, freshman Pat Bresnehan is on the fast track to demolish the ASU freshman record for saves in a season. Through 20 games, Bresnehan already has four saves to rank tied for third in the record books with Larry Eiler (1976). The hard-throwiing right-hander has been especially hot with two wins and four saves in his last six games.

    Pedroia Off To Another Torrid Start:
    Junior shortstop Dustin Pedroia is off to a solid start leading the team hitting .439 (36-for-82) with 32 runs scored, 12 doubles, four home runs and 22 RBI. He has hits in 17 of ASU's 20 games, including 10 multi-hit affairs and four games with two or more doubles. Pedroia earned his second career Pac-10 Player of the Week award after hitting .688 during a four-game stretch against Gonzaga, Lamar, Memphis and Rice. He is coming off another solid weekend, going 6-for-11 (.545) with six RBI in the three-game series against Tulane. He recently ended an 0-for-10 slump by going 6-for-8 in the last two games of the series against the Green Wave, including a career-high five RBI while going 4-for-4 in Saturday's 11-3 victory. As a sophomore, Pedroia hit .404 (120-for-297) and was named the Pac-10 Co-Player of the Year. He led the NCAA with 34 doubles, setting the ASU and Pac-10 single-season record and tied for third all-time in the NCAA record books. With 12 doubles, he now has 59 in his career, ranking fifth in the ASU career record books. A career .387 (238-for-615) hitter, Pedroia ranks seventh in the ASU career record books. He has played and started all 146 games of his Sun Devil career and has recorded at least one hit in 124 games (85%). Additionally, the 2003 Collegiate Baseball Defensive Player of the Year has made only 17 errors in 628 total chances in the field for a career. 973 FLD%. He was a two-year starter for the USA Baseball National Team and was named to the all-tournament team in the 2003 Pan American Games in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

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