Oct. 8, 2003
TEMPE, Ariz. -- For the second time in the last three years, the Arizona State Baseball program was the top drawing college baseball team on the west coast. Averaging 2,840 fans for the 40 home dates, the Sun Devils ranked 13th nationally in the annual NCAA attendance rankings.
ASU had 113,580 total fans go through the turnstile during the record breaking 2003 season, including a season-high crowd of 4,184 against rival Arizona (5/24). Overall, the Sun Devils packed Packard Stadium with crowds of over 3,000 fans 14 times and had four separate three-game series with over 10,000 fans in attendance.
The 2003 season also included an average of 2,758 fans for ASU's three NCAA regional games at Tempe Diablo Stadium. LSU again dominated the attendance rankings for the fifth straight year, averaging 7,449 fans. The next closest west coast school to ASU was Fresno State, ranking 16th with an average crowd of 2,694.
In addition to being one of the top drawing college baseball teams in the country, 2003 was a banner season for the Sun Devils. ASU finished in the top 10 in the NCAA in the four major statistical categories (hitting, scoring, pitching, fielding) and made several 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 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.
Year Overall NCAA Avg. NCAA West Coast 1999 73,796 16th 2,170 16th 2nd 2000 114,021 9th 2,715 14th 2nd 2001 93,732 11th 2,757 10th 1st 2002* 83,165 21st 2,248 20th 3rd 2003 113,580 9th 2,840 13th 1st *played home games at Hohokam Park in Mesa, Ariz.