Jan. 27, 2004
Pedroia and Larish were named to each of the four preseason All-America squads, with each earning three first-team mentions. Pedroia was a first-team pick by Collegiate Baseball, NCBWA and CBI, and a third-team selection by Baseball America. Larish was a first-team pick by Collegiate Baseball, Baseball America and CBI, and a second-team pick by the NCBWA.
Pedroia (Woodland, Calif.) was the 2003 Pac-10 Co-Player of the Year after hitting .404 (120-for-297) with a Pac-10 and ASU single-season record 34 doubles. He was only the 11th Sun Devil to record over 100 hits and hit .400 in the same season. He enters his junior campaign as a .379 hitter and the Collegiate Baseball National Defensive Player of the Year has made only 12 errors in 542 chances during his career (.978 FLD%).
Larish (Tempe, Ariz.) is a two-year starter for the Devils and will make the transition from first base to the outfield for 2004. He is regarded as one of the top prospects for the MLB June Amateur Draft, ranking as the No. 5 college prospect for the 2004 MLB draft by Baseball America. Larish hit .372 (87-for-234) as a sophomore while leading the team with 18 home runs and 95 RBI. He also led the nation with 78 walks and became only the second Sun Devil to record at least 70 walks and 70 RBI in a single season (Alvin Davis). Larish also teamed with Pedroia to help the USA Baseball National Team to a silver medal in the Pan Am Games. He led the team with 23 RBI and eight home runs.
The Sun Devils open the 2004 season Feb. 6-8 with a three-game series against perennial national power Florida State. ASU enters the season ranked as high as No. 7 (Collegiate Baseball) in the preseason polls and is set to face a tough schedule comprising of 39 games against teams listed on Baseball America's preseason top 50. The Devils currently have a string of advancing to the NCAA Tournament in six of the last seven years and have been ranked in the national polls for 79 consecutive weeks.