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Baseball Hosts Missouri Thursday Before Heading To Surprise For the Coca-Cola Classic
Courtesy: Sun Devil Athletics
Release: 02/13/2007
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Courtesy: Sun Devil Athletics
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Feb. 13, 2007

TEMPE, Ariz. -

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Leading Off:

Coming off a 2-1 weekend at the Houston College Classic, Arizona State will return home for a meeting with Missouri before heading to Surprise for the Coca-Cola Classic. The tournament will be played at Surprise Stadium, Spring Training home of the Kansas City Royals and Texas Rangers.

 

Coca-Cola Classic:

This is the fifth year of the Coca-Cola Classic in Surprise, with both ASU and Gonzaga having played in all of them. This will be Oregon State's fourth appearance, having only missed the 2005 edition. Missouri will make its first appearance in Surprise.

 

The Sun Devils vs. The Tigers:

The Devils are 1-1 all-time against Missouri. The last meeting was in 1985 in Riverside, Calif., where ASU scored a 14-7 victory. The only other meeting was in the 1964 College World Series, when the Tigers topped the Devils 7-0.

 

The Sun Devils vs. The Bulldogs:

Arizona State holds a 10-2 advantage in the all-time series against Gonzaga, but the Bulldogs have beaten the Sun Devils in their last two meetings, both in Surprise. Last year the Zags beat ASU 9-1.

 

The Sun Devils vs. The Beavers:

ASU is 31-15 all-time against Oregon State, going 2-2 against them in 2006.

 

Rankings:

ASU moved up one spot to #11 in the Collegiate Baseball poll, while Baseball America jumped them up three spots to #13. The Devils rose two spots to #12 in the NCBWA poll. They moved up one spot in the Rivals.com poll to #5.

 

Houston College Classic Wrap-Up:

It was a wacky weekend at Minute Maid Park for the Sun Devils. Friday night they took on Texas A&M in the tournament opener. Matt Spencer wowed the Houston crowd as his 409 foot upper deck shot helped the Sun Devils to take an early lead on the Aggies. But the game was in doubt until Brett Wallace stole home to give ASU a 5-4 victory. Saturday was a top ten match-up with Vanderbilt that took extra innings to decide. The game ended when Ike Davis threw a wild pitch on an intentional walk, allowing the runner on third to score and giving the Commodores a 7-6 win in ten innings. Arizona State responded on Sunday, scoring 11 runs, including another homer by Spencer, for Josh Satow, who recorded the first complete game for ASU since 2005 in an 11-1 victory over Houston.

 

Houston College Classic All-Tournament Team:

The Sun Devils led all schools with six selections to the 2007 Houston College Classic All-Tournament Team. Matt Spencer was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player thanks to his .500 average, two mammoth home runs and five RBI. Joining Spencer on the team were RHP Mike Leake, LHP Josh Satow, 1B Brett Wallace, 2B Eric Sogard and C Petey Paramore.

 

You Complete Me:

LHP Josh Satow did something on Sunday 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 Classix, and the first since the inaugural year in 2001.

 

Pac-10 Pitcher Of The Week:

Thanks to his complete game, Josh Satow was named the Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week. It is the first time in Satow's career that he has been honored by the conference and he becomes the 49th all-time Sun Devil to earn the Pac-10 weekly honor. Last season, three Sun Devils picked up Player of the Week awards from the Pac-10, but Satow is the first ASU hurler to be honored since Pat Bresnehan earned the award in March of 2005.

 

Surprise, Surprise:

Now in its fifth year of existence, the Coca-Cola Classic welcomes back Arizona State and Gonzaga back for the fifth straight season. Both Arizona State and Gonzaga are 7-5 all-time in the tournament, including last season when Gonzaga went 3-0 and ASU went 0-3. Oregon State will be playing in the Coca-Cola Classic for the fourth time this year. They are 7-2 all-time in Surprise after going 2-1 a season ago.

 

Big League Stuff:

This weekend's games at Surprise Stadium will be the second weekend in a row that ASU will play in a Major League facility. Last weekend they played at Minute Maid Park, home of the Houston Astros. On February 27, they will play Arizona at Chase Field in the Second Annual Challenge at Chase. Surprise Stadium is the Spring Training home of the Royals and Rangers.

 

Lights Out Leake:

Freshman Mike Leake had a memorable weekend in Houston. picking up his first career win on Friday night. Leake threw five innings of shutout relief against Texas A&M, allowing only one hit and striking out five in the Devils 5-4 win. Leake also started in centerfield on Sunday afternoon. He earned All-Tournament Team honors for his performance.

 

Preseason Honors:

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.

 

Fabulous Freshman:

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 be the closer this year, was a seventh round draft pick of the Oakland A's in last years draft.

 

Talented Transfers:

The Sun Devils had two transfers make the top ten of Baseball America's Top 25 Transfers list. LHP Brian Flores, who comes 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.

 

Arms Race:

The Sun Devil pitching staff looks a little different from what it was at the end of the 2006 season. The 2007 staff features 13 new arms, with only three returners from last year (Urlaub, Satow, Trink). Leading the charge of newcomers is LHP Brian Flores, who is expected to take over the Friday night starter role. Last season, ASU used 11 different starting pitchers, the most ever in the Pat Murphy era.

 

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.

 

Road To ASU Baseball:

Freshman UTL Tyler Hoechlin is adjusting to life as a college student and baseball player, but  he is well versed in the glitz and glamour of the big screen. Hoechlin starred with Tom Hanks in the 2002 motion picture "Road To Perdition". Hoechlin played Michael Sullivan, Jr., the son of Hanks' character. Hoechlin also appears in the CW's "7th Heaven", playing the character of Martin Brewer. Hoechlin will balance school, baseball and the show this semester, filming episodes during off days.

 

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 here 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.

 

Challenge At Chase:

The Second Annual Challenge at Chase will be played on Wednesday March 28th, when the Sun Devils and Arizona Wildcats meet in a non-conference battle at the home of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

 

Feeling The Draft:

There are 18 members of the 2007 Sun Devils who have had their name called during the annual Major League Baseball draft, including four players who have had their name called twice.

            Player             Round    Team        Year

            Mike Leake     7th        Athletics    2006

          Matt Hall       8th        Angels      2005

          Derik Olvey    13th      Dodgers    2003

          Jarred Bogany 15th      Pirates      2005

          Tim Smith      17th      Brewers    2005*

          Ike Davis       19th      Devil Rays 2005

          Tim Smith      21st      Mets        2004*

          Brian Flores    21st      White Sox 2004*

          Petey Paramore          22nd        Mets     2005

          Matt Spencer 24th      Red Sox    2004

          Jason Jarvis   25th      Cardinals   2006

          Jeff Urlaub     26th      Devil Rays 2005

          Kiel Roling      31st      D-Backs    2006

          Andrew Romine           36th         Phillies   2004

          Matt Trink      36th      Blue Jays  2003*

          Scott Mueller  37th      D-Backs    2005*

          Brian Flores    37th      White Sox 2005*

          Matt Trink      39th      Blue Jays  2004*

          Scott Mueller  41st      Reds        2004*

          Brett Wallace 42nd      Blue Jays  2005

          Tommy Rafferty          42nd        Astros   2004

          Kyle Williams   47th      White Sox 2006

          *-Denotes players drafted twice

 

Up Next:

Arizona State will host the UAB Blazers for a three-game series at Winkles Field-Packard Stadium at Brock Ballpark beginning next Friday night.

 

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