Feb. 10, 2004
ASU Baseball Links:
College Baseball Links:
Feb. 13 vs. CS Northridge, 7 p.m. MST
CSUN - Peter Eberhardt, RHP (1-1, 7.00 ERA)
ASU - Jeff Mousser, RHP (0-0, 1.29 ERA)
Feb. 14 vs. Utah, 7 p.m. MST
UTAH - Doug Mackay, RHP (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
ASU - Jason Urquidez, RHP (1-0, 1.80 ERA)
Feb. 15 vs. Oklahoma, 3 p.m. MST
OKLA - David Purcey, LHP (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
ASU - TBA
Feb. 16 vs. Gonzaga, 7 p.m. MST (Packard Stadium)
GU - Patrick Donovan, LHP (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
ASU - TBA
What's On Tap:
The Sun Devil Baseball team will travel across the Valley this weekend for a three-game tournament in the Coca-Cola Surprise Spring Training College Baseball Classic. ASU faces Cal State Northridge (Friday; 7 p.m.), Utah (Saturday; 7 p.m.) and Oklahoma (Sunday; 3 p.m.) in tournament play. The Devils will also play a single game against Gonzaga on Monday at 7 p.m. at Packard Stadium in Tempe. This is the second year of the Coca-Cola Classic held at the Surprise Baseball Complex, the spring training home of the Kansas City Royals and the Texas Rangers. After Monday's contest with Gonzaga, the Devils will take to the road for a three-game tournament in Houston, Texas, hosted by defending national champion Rice. ASU will play Lamar (Feb. 20), Memphis (Feb. 21) and the Owls (Feb. 22) at Reckling Park.
Friday, Feb. 13, 2004 Oregon State vs. Utah, 11 a.m. Gonzaga vs. Oklahoma, 3 p.m. Arizona State vs. CS Northridge, 7 p.m.The Tournament Field:
Saturday, Feb. 14, 2004 Oklahoma vs. CS Northridge, 11 a.m. Oregon State vs. Gonzaga, 3 p.m. Arizona State vs. Utah, 7 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 15, 2004 CS Northridge vs. Oregon State, 9 a.m. Utah vs. Gonzaga, 12 p.m. Arizona State vs. Oklahoma, 3 p.m.
The second annual Coca-Cola Spring Training College Baseball Classic will host six teams at the spring training home of the Texas Rangers and Kansas City Royals. Only ASU (3-0) and Cal State Northridge (4-2) have played games during the early stages of the 2004 college season. Oklahoma (23-31 in 2003), Oregon State (25-28 in 2003), Gonzaga (26-25-1 in 2003) and Utah (24-32 in 2003) all open the season this weekend. ASU has a combined 117-37 (.760) record against the four teams they will face this weekend.
Sunday's game will be broadcast live in the Valley on KDUS 1060 AM with Tim Healey and Bob Eger calling all the action from the Surprise Stadium press box. The game can also be listened to over the internet for a small subscription rate on www.TheSunDevils.com. All three games will also feature the live statistical GameTracker on ASU's official website.
Tickets for the second annual Coca-Cola College Baseball Classic can be purchased in person at the Surprise Stadium Ticket Office (15960 N. Bullard Ave., Surprise, AZ 85374) or by phone through Ticketmaster at (480) 784-4444. Fans can also purchase tickets on the internet at www.ticketmaster.com. Single-game ticket prices are $8 for adults and $5 for seniors (55+) and youth. Fans can also purchase a tournament pass for all nine games for $20 for adults and $15 for seniors and youth. A free parking pass will be included with the all-tournament pass.
Recapping Last Weekend:
Game 1: ASU 2, FSU 1 | Game 2: ASU 10, FSU 9 | Game 3: ASU 12, FSU 6
The Devils are off to a 3-0 start for the third straight year after sweeping Florida State... the meeting with the No. 18 Seminoles marked the first time in recent history that ASU has opened the season against a ranked opponent... in the three game series, the Devils slugged 13 doubles and made only one error... freshman Joe Persichina (Rolling Hills Estates, Calif.) is ASU's leading hitter at .364 (4-for-11) with a double and plated the game-winning in Saturday's 10-9 victory... freshman Colin Curtis hit ASU's only homer of the weekend... junior All-American Dustin Pedroia continues to be a doubles machine, adding three more to his career totals over the weekend... after setting the ASU and Pac-10 record with 34 last year, Pedroia now has 50 career doubles (10th best in ASU history)... junior Jeff Larish went 3-for-10 with two runs scored and three RBI against FSU... the three-game series drew 9,684 fans in the season-opening series at Packard Stadium... ASU scored nine of its 12 runs on Sunday with two outs... the Devils played 12 newcomers during the weekend series and three players that redshirted last season... five freshman pitchers, two JC transfers and one Division 1 transfer saw action on the mound... junior Jason Urquidez struck out nine and allowed only one hit in five innings to pick up the win Sunday... senior Jeff Mousser scattered three hits and one run in seven solid innings in Friday's season opener to keep the game close... Mousser, a product of Tempe's Marcos de Niza High School, spent his first three seasons at BYU... junior catcher Tuffy Gosewisch drilled the game-winner Friday with a two-run, two-out bases loaded double in the bottom of the ninth inning... ASU was within one out and one strike of having their NCAA record 501 games consecutive games scoring streak (dating back to April 7, 1995) halted... the streak now stands at 504 games... freshman two-way player Zechry Zinicola saw action as a DH (1-for-3, RBI) and as a pitcher (1-0, 2.0 IP, 0.00 ERA)... ASU is now 26-2 in season openers dating back to 1977... ASU has won 16 straight games in the month of February after going 13-0 last year... the Devils also have an 11-game winning streak at Packard Stadium.
Consecutive Games Scoring Streak Reaches 504:
The Arizona State baseball program has scored in an NCAA record 504 consecutive games dating back to the 1995 season. The Devils made history on April 7, 2001 when they scored at least one run in their 350th consecutive game. The Devils broke the 12-year-old NCAA record in a 5-1 loss to USC exactly six years to the day when they were last shut out. ASU was shut out 9-0 in that game on April 7, 1995 at Dedeaux Field. The one run scored in a pair of games to Cal State Fullerton in the Super Regional last season marked only the 15th and 16th times during the streak that ASU has scored only one run. Coastal Carolina previously held the NCAA record at 349 games set from 1983-1989. ASU also had a stretch of 278 games without being shut out from 1990 to 1994, meaning the program has only been shutout in three games dating back to the 1990 season. ASU is a combined 336-167-1 during the streak and has combined to score 4,731 runs (9.39 average). Notable pitchers the Devils have faced during the streak include Mark Prior (USC), Jeremy Guthrie (Stanford), Barry Zito (USC), Kirk Saarloos (CS Fullerton), Jason Young (Stanford), Ben Diggins (Arizona), Adam Johnson (CS Fullerton), Ryan Drese (Cal), Jeff Weaver (Fresno State), Chad Hutchinson (Stanford), Abe Alvarez and Adam Pettyjohn (Fresno State).
Keeping The Streak Alive:
With the thrilling 2-1 win over the No. 18 Florida State Seminoles in the season opener, ASU did much more than improve their opening day record to 26-2 dating back to 1977. With its NCAA consecutive games scoring streak record on the line at 501, ASU was down to its last out and its last strike when junior catcher Tuffy Gosewisch drilled the game winner with a two-run double to the right field gap. The scoring streak, now at 504 games, dates back to April 7, 1995 when the Devils were last shut out with a 9-0 loss at USC (Dedeaux Field). During the streak, ASU has scored only one run in 16 games, with Friday's close call being the first time they have extended the streak in its last at-bat since 2001.
Arizona State (3-0) moved up in the polls after the sweep of Florida State. Ranked for the 80th consecutive week dating back to the start of the 2000 season, ASU went from No. 10 to No. 7 in the ESPN/Sports Weekly Coaches Poll. The Devils also moved up three spots from No. 11 to No. 8 in the NCBWA poll and two spots from No. 18 to No. 16 by Baseball America. ASU remains No. 7 in the Collegiate Baseball poll. 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. ASU has been ranked in 80 consecutive national polls dating back to the start of the 2000 season.
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, CollegeBaseballInsider.com, 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, CollegeBaseballInsider.com, 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.
Sun Devils Picked To Finish Second in Pac-10:
The Sun Devils enter the season as the preseason pick to finish second in the Pac-10 in a poll of the league coaches. Stanford was picked first, while Arizona, USC and Washington round out the top five. ASU was also picked to finish second by Collegiate Baseball and third by Baseball America. Here is a look at the three preseason Pac-10 baseball polls:
Pac-10 Poll (Coaches): 1. Stanford 2. Arizona State 3. Arizona 4. USC 5. Washington 6. California 7. UCLA 8. Oregon State 9. Washington StateOne Tough Schedule:
Pac-10 Poll (Baseball America): 1. Stanford* 2. Arizona* 3. Arizona State* 4. California* 5. USC* 6. Washington* 7. UCLA 8. Oregon State 9. Washington State *predicted to make NCAA Tournament
Pac-10 Poll (Collegiate Baseball): 1. Stanford 2. Arizona State 3. USC 4. Arizona 5. Washington 6. UCLA 7. California 8. Oregon State 9. Washington State
The Sun Devils are set to take on a brutally tough 56-game regular season schedule that has a strenghth of schedule rated No. 12 in the nation (www.Boydsworld.com). ASU is scheduled to play 24 games against teams that are listed in Baseball America's preseason top 25 and another 15 games against teams that are listed in the top 50. The Devils will also play 54% (30 of 56) of their games against teams that advanced to the NCAA Tournament last year and 71% (40 of 56) against teams that have advanced to the postseason in either of the last two years. ASU finished the 2003 season with a 54-14 record and an overall RPI ranked 12th in the nation. The 2004 schedule features six schools that are picked to finish first in their respective conferences: Stanford (Pac-10), Rice (WAC), Wichita State (Missouri Valley Conference), Oral Roberts (Mid-Continent), Tulane (Conference USA), Lamar (Southland).
Pedroia At The Plate And In The Field:
Junior shortstop Dustin Pedroia had a good start to the 2004 season, going 5-for-15 (.333) with five runs scored, three doubles and a stolen base. 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 in the NCAA record books. With three more doubles against Florida State, he now has 50 in his career, ranked 10th in the ASU career record books. A career .378 (207-for-548) hitter, Pedroia has played and started all 129 games of his Sun Devil career and has recorded at least one hit in 110 games (85%). Additionally, the 2003 Collegiate Baseball Defensive Player of the Year has made only 12 errors in 556 total chances in the field for a career. 978 fielding percentage. 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.
Larish A Walk And RBI Machine:
It will be hard for junior left fielder Jeff Larish to match his sensational 2003 season when he hit .372 (87-for-234) with 18 home runs and 95 RBI, but he is off to a good start. Larish, who is at his third position as a Sun Devil in as many years (3B in 2002, 1B in 2003), went 3-for-10 (.300) with a double and three RBI and showed his patience with six walks. Last season, Larish became only the second Sun Devil to join the 70-70 club (RBI-BB) when he had 95 RBI (fifth most in ASU history) and led the NCAA with 78 walks. The Tempe native is a career .355 (132-for-372) hitter with 122 RBI and 113 walks (.503 on-base percentage).
Last Year In Surprise:
Arizona State went 3-0 in the inaugural Coca-Cola College Baseball Classic in Surprise, Ariz. The Devils beat Gonzaga (8-4), Oklahoma State (7-3) and Oregon State (9-4). They also played Gonzaga in a single game at Packard Stadium on Monday and beat the Bulldogs 17-5. Four Sun Devils were named to the all-tournament team (Steve Garrabrants, Rod Allen, Mark Sopko, Dustin Pedroia) and Pedroia was named the tournament's most outstanding player after going 5-for-12 (.417) with a double, triple, home run and four RBI. ASU played all three of its games at Billy Parker Field in under three hours.
A Long Awaited Debut For Urquidez:
Junior starting pitcher Jason Urquidez took a long path to make his Sun Devil debut last Sunday against Florida State... but what a debut it was. Urquidez, a junior college transfer from Central Arizona College, struck out nine and allowed only one run in five innings to pick up the win and help the Devils to the series sweep. Urquidez, a native of Simi Valley, Calif., first laid eyes on ASU in the summer of 2000 and signed his first NLI with the program in November, 2000. A non-qualifier academically, Urquidez ended up at Central Arizona College and played two years under former Sun Devil catcher Clint Myers. Going 19-5 and winning a NJCAA National Championship during his career at CAC, Urquidez made his dream of playing in the Maroon and Gold a reality when arrived on campus last August. Urquidez, who was slated to open the season as ASU's closer, is scheduled to make his second start Saturday against Utah.
The Sun Devil pitching staff registered 29 strikeouts in the three-game series against Florida State, averaging nearly 10 K's per game. Sunday's 12-6 victory featured a trio of pitchers combined to strike out 17 Seminoles. Starter Jason Urquidez fanned nine batters in five innings, including five of the first eight FSU batters he faced. Freshman Josh Blake (1.2 IP) and Quentin Andes (2.1 IP) also had four strikeouts each in their Sun Devil debuts.
Welcome To College Baseball:
Going into the season, preseason prognosticators tabbed the Sun Devils as a young and inexperienced team. Having lost 12 players to the annual MLB draft and returning only two pitchers from the Pac-10's leading pitching staff, the Devils have had to look to several newcomers to become impact players. During the three-game sweep of nationally ranked Florida State, 12 newcomers and three redshirts from last year saw action.
The Sun Devils opened the 2004 season with a bang, sweeping No. 18 Florida State for the first time in school history. ASU opened the series with a pair of games that some call the best back-to-back games in the history of Packard Stadium. The Devils scored two runs on a two-out, two-strike double off the bat of junior catcher Tuffy Gosewisch in the bottom of the ninth to win Friday's contest 2-1. The victory not only improved ASU to 26-2 in season openers dating back to 1977, but it also prevented the Devils from being shutout for the first time in 501 games (NCAA record). Not be outdone, the Devils spotted FSU a 7-1 lead in Saturday's contest, before storming back and eventually scoring three runs in the bottom of the ninth to earn a 10-9 victory. The ninth-inning rally started with a two-out single from freshman Zechry Zinicola and a hit-by-pitch to junior college transfer Josh Asanovich. Freshman center fielder Colin Curtis tied the game with a double down the left field line and freshman first baseman Joe Persichina followed with a game-winning single to center field. The last time ASU won back-to-back one-run games was in 1998 against Washington (3/29) and Arizona (4/3). Both games were on the road.
For the third year in a row the Sun Devils have started the season with a perfect 3-0 record. Since Pat Murphy took over the program in 1995 the Sun Devils have won nine of 10 season openers and have swept the first three games in eight seasons. The Devils set a school record last year when they opened with a 28-1 record.
Games 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 1 1-0 1-0 1-0 1-0 1-0 1-0 0-1 1-0 1-0 1-0 2 2-0 2-0 2-0 2-0 2-0 2-0 1-1 2-0 2-0 2-0 3 3-0 3-0 2-1 3-0 3-0 3-0 2-1 3-0 3-0 3-0 4 4-0 4-0 2-2 4-0 4-0 4-0 3-1 4-0 4-0 --- 5 5-0 5-0 3-2 5-0 5-0 5-0 4-1 5-0 5-0 --- 6 5-1 5-1 3-3 6-0 6-0 6-0 5-1 6-0 6-0 --- 7 6-1 6-1 4-3 7-0 7-0 7-0 6-1 7-0 7-0 ---Curtis And Persichina Leading The Way:
Someone forgot to tell freshmen Colin Curtis and Joe Persichina that playing big-time college baseball was a bit different than high school. After the thrilling three-game set with Florida State, both have emerged as two of the top hitters in the Sun Devil lineup. Curtis, a freshman center fielder from Issaquah, Wash., combined to go 4-for-12 (.333) with a double, six RBI and hit ASU's only home run during the weekend. Persichina (Rolling Hills Estates, Calif.) went 4-for-11 (.364) with a double and two runs scored over the weekend. Both players were pivotal to the three-run rally in the bottom of the ninth in Saturday's 10-9 victory. Curtis drilled a two-out, two-run double to tie the game at 9-9 and Persichina followed with a sharp single to center field to give the Devils the victory.
Of the 10 pitchers that saw action during ASU's three-game sweep of Florida State, eight were wearing a Sun Devil uniform for the first time. All but 5.2 of the 27.0 innings pitched were by newcomers to the Sun Devil pitching staff... and they walked away with the first sweep of FSU in school history. Five of the eight are freshmen (Josh Blake, Quentin Andes, Pat Cassa, Pat Bresnehan, Zechry Zinicola), with three others transfers (Jeff Mousser, Jason Urquidez, Ty Marotz). Zinicola, Bresnehan and Urquidez picked up wins, while Andes picked up a save with four strikeouts in 2.1 innings in Sunday's 12-6 victory. Sophomore left-handers Brett Bordes (0, 81.00 ERA) and Erik Averill (0-0, 1.80 ERA) are the lone returnees on Chris Sinacori's staff that finished with a 3.32 ERA in 2003.
Buck Moves Up In Lineup To Produce:
Sophomore Travis Buck had high expectations coming into the 2004 season and no one was more disappointed in his 1-for-9 start than himself. Batting in the No. 3 spot in the lineup for the first two games, Buck moved back to his more familiar No. 2 spot and responded by doing 3-for-3 with four RBI and three walks in Sunday's 12-6 victory. For the season, Buck is hitting .333 (4-for-12) with four runs scored, a pair of doubles and four RBI. Buck started 39 of ASU's 68 games in the No. 2 spot in the lineup, responding by hitting .347 (50-for-144) with eight doubles, two triples, two home runs and 30 RBI.
Friday Night Mousser:
Senior transfer Jeff Mousser had a memorable homecoming in the season opener against Florida State. Spending the first three years of his college career at BYU, Mousser, who prepped at Tempe's Marcos de Niza High School, limited FSU to only three hits and one run in seven solid innings in his Sun Devil debut. Mousser combined for a 17-11 record at BYU with 181 strikeouts in 222.2 innings.
Murphy's Teams Know How To Score:
A true icon of the Pat Murphy system is scoring runs. The Sun Devils have done plenty of that since he arrived in 1995. ASU has led the NCAA in scoring in two of the last five years, averaging 11.32 runs per game in 1999, 10.97 runs per game in 2000 and finished second averaging 10.03 runs per game in 2003. The Devils paced the Pac-10 in 2001 and 2003, hitting at a .327 clip in 2001 and a .347 mark in 2003. ASU also led the nation in batting average with a team total of .356 in 1999 and fell just percentage points shy of matching that feat a second year in a row in 2000 with a .346 mark, trailing Stony Brook by one point. During Pat Murphy's 10 seasons at ASU, the Sun Devils have been a scoring machine with 5,005 runs in 542 games. During that stretch ASU has averaged 9.23 runs per game and scored in an NCAA record 504 consecutive games. The Devils are hitting at an overall .331 clip during the Pat Murphy era.
A Record Breaking Season... 2003 in Review:
In addition to finishing in the top 10 in the NCAA in the four major statistical categories, the 2003 season also brought about a number of entries into the single-season record books. The 2003 team ranked third in runs scored (682), sixth in hits (858), fifth in doubles (160), second in RBI (630), third in walks (406), tied for third in batting average (.347), fifth in pitching shutouts (10) and third in ERA during the aluminum bat era (3.32). The 54 wins are the most by a Sun Devil squad since the 1988 team finished with 60 victories. ASU also set an NCAA record with 14 grand slams and extended its NCAA record consecutive games scoring streak to 501 games (dating back to April 7, 1995). Individually, several Sun Devils also had record-breaking seasons. Shortstop Dustin Pedroia became only the 22nd player with 100 hits and the 16th player to hit .400. He ranks fourth all-time with his 120 hits and 15th by hitting .404. He set an ASU and Pac-10 record with 34 doubles. First baseman Jeff Larish broke into the record books in several categories, including ranking fifth with 95 RBI and second with 78 walks. He broke the school record with four grand slams and tied the single-game records with nine RBI and four doubles. Jeremy West also tied the single-game records with nine RBI and three home runs.
Pedroia and Larish Pick Up All-America Awards in 2003:
The 2003 season was an All-American year for ASU sophomores Jeff Larish and Dustin Pedroia. Collegiate Baseball, NCBWA, CollegeBaseballInsider.com, ABCA and USA Today/Sports Weekly named sophomore shortstop Dustin Pedroia a first-team All-American. He was also named the NCBWA District VIII Player of the Year and Pedroia also earned second-team All-America honors from Baseball America. Larish earned second-team honors from Collegiate Baseball and Baseball America, and third-team honors from the ABCA and NCBWA. Pedroia (Woodland, Calif.) added to his postseason honors after being named the Pac-10 Co-Player of the Year. The sophomore shortstop finished the year hitting .404 (120-for-297) with 34 doubles, four home runs and 52 RBI. Larish hit .372 (87-for-234) with 18 home runs and a Pac-10 best 95 RBI. The First-Team All-Pac-10 selection became only the second Sun Devil to join the 70-70 (RBI-BB) club with 95 RBI and 78 walks.
In a recent ranking provided by Boydsworld.com, the website dedicated to college baseball rankings and RPI, the Arizona State Baseball program ranked No. 9 in the nation for sustained excellence over the past three and five years. The ranking is a direct reflection of the strength of the recently departed recruiting class (the three-year ranking) or the strength of the program in general (the five-year ranking). The rankings are the result of a system of calculations designed to properly weight a team's winning percentage and strength of schedule, while taking inter-regional play into account. Over the last three years, ASU has combined to go 128-55 with a strength of schedule ranked 17th. Over the past five years, Murphy's squads have combined for an impressive 211-91 (.699) record and a strength of schedule listed as No. 24. The Sun Devils have advanced to the NCAA Tournament in six of the last seven years and have finished in the top 12 in the nation in four of those seven years.