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Sun Devils To Play Final Regular Season Homestand
Courtesy: Sun Devil Athletics
Release: 05/09/2000
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Courtesy: Sun Devil Athletics
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May 9, 2000

TEMPE, Ariz. - Arizona State (37-12, 12-6 Pac-10 and ranked No. 4 Baseball America, No. 3 USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll and No. 5 Collegiate Baseball) make their final regular-season homestand this weekend against Washington (23-23, 7-11 Pac-10) at Packard Stadium.

Friday, May 12 Washington 7 p.m.
Saturday, May 13 Washington 7 p.m.
Sunday, May 14 Washington 1 p.m.

On the radio:
This weekend's series with the Huskies can be heard on KGME 550 AM or via the internet at www.thesundevils.com. Tim Healey and Bob Eger will handle play-by-play and color commentary duties respectively.

EXTRA INNINGS:
The Devils are averaging 10.55 runs per game and as a team, are batting at a .339 clip ... Mitch Jones and Casey Myers are listed by Baseball America as players to watch for their National Player of the Year award as well as the Rotary Smith Award (given to the nation's top collegiate player) ... ASU's three grand slams vs. Southern Utah (Feb. 25) ties the NCAA record for a single game ... half of ASU's losses have been by two runs or less ... the Devils have recorded an extra base hit in 47 of 49 games to date ... Arizona State players have been hit a school record 96 times this season (1.96 HBP per game) ... ASU head coach Pat Murphy ranks first in career wins among active Div. I baseball coaches 43 and younger (561-279-3) ... Arizona State has not been shutout in its last 303 games (last time shutout was a 0-9 loss to USC on April 7, 1995) ... the NCAA record for consecutive games played without being shutout is 349 (held by Coastal Carolina) ... ASU's streak without being shutout which is the second longest active Div. I streak ... the 303 games ranks fourth all time in NCAA Div. I history and is the Pac-10 record ... ASU has had more players drafted in the past two years than any other Pac-10 school ... the 1999 squad led the nation in batting average (.356) and runs per game (11.4) ... among current Pac-10 coaches, no one has led a team to the national championship game faster than ASU's Pat Murphy (four years) ... Jonah Martin broke the single season hit by pitch record held by Rick Peters (18 in 1977) when he was hit for the 19th time this season vs. WSU - he now has been hit a team-leading 25 times ... Peters (1974-77) also holds the career record for most hit by pitches with 37.

ABOUT THE HUSKIES:
The Huskies are 23-23 overall, 7-11 Pac-10 heading into this weekend's matchup ... they will play two midweek games vs. Portland (Tuesday and Wednesday) ... they are coached by Ken Knutson (Washington '81, 8th year as head coach) ... last week the Huskies swept Washington State (W, 5-4, W, 17-6, W, 3-2) in a conference series ... probable pitcher for the Huskies: Fri., Matt Massingale (6-5, 4.95 ERA), Sat., Taylor Grant (2-4, 8.02 ERA), Sun., Jeff Carlsen (6-2, 5.80 ERA) ... they are led by Todd Linden (.378-5-41) and Ed Erickson (.351-10-40) ... last year the Sun Devils took 2-out-of-3 games from Washington in Seattle ... the all-time series record is tied 3-3.

POSTSEASON INFORMATION:

  • The 54th NCAA Division I Baseball Championship field will consist of 64 teams, 29 of which are automatic qualifiers as conference champions, including the Pac-10. The 16 regional sites will be announced on Monday, May 15 (Noon MT) while the 64-team bracket will be announce on Monday, May 22 on ESPN (2 p.m. CT). For more information, please contact the ASU media relations office at 480-965-6592.

  • With two weeks remaining in Pac-10 play, the conference race is tight with three teams within 1.5 games of each other at the top of the pack. Stanford, who will not play a league series this weekend, holds a half game advantage over UCLA, with the Devils just one game in back of the Bruins. Both UCLA and ASU host conference opponents this weekend with the Wildcats traveling to Los Angeles and the Huskies coming to Tempe. The Bruins could take the conference lead with a sweep this weekend, but face Stanford in their final league series.

  • Senior outfielder Mitch Jones (Orem, Utah) remains in first with 25 homeruns (0.51 per game) among the nation's long ball hitters. Jones ties the ASU single season homerun record held by Bob Horner (1978) against Oklahoma (4/25) with a towering shot to leftfield. The slugger leads the team and conference in runs scored (70), homeruns (25), and is second in total bases (162) and slugging percentage (.794). Jones has tallied 22 multiple-hit games as well as 18 multiple-RBI games. The outfielder is currently hitting at a .343 clip and is second in hits (70). Jones has notched 17 two-out RBI and has five multi-homer games this season. Half of his homeruns have been with runners on base . For his two year career at ASU, he has 36 homeruns and needs three more to tie for sixth in career homers with Stan Holmes (39 from 1978-81).

WHERE ASU RANKS NATIONALLY:
Arizona State is still leading the nation, averaging 10.55 runs per game heading into this weekend's games. As a team, they are ranked fourth in fielding (.972) and fifth in batting average (.339). Individually, Mitch Jones still leads the nation, averaging 0.51 homers per game and is ninth in RBI per game (1.49). Casey Myers checks in ranked fifth in RBI per game (1.53) and 24th in batting average (.417).

MYERS LEADS team IN BATTING AVERAGE:
Junior Casey Myers (Casa Grande) is batting at a team-leading .417 clip in 2000. The catcher is among a handful of players vying for Baseball America's National Player of the Year award as well as the Rotary Smith Award. Myers has certainly put up impressive numbers in 2000, leading the team in batting average (.417), RBI (75), hits (80), doubles (18) and on-base percentage (.515). He is second in homeruns (11) behind teammate Mitch Jones. Myers has quietly done an excellent job behind the plate , calling the pitches himself. He has been named conference player of the week three times during his career at ASU. He has reached base safely (hit, walk, hbp) in 45 of 49 games this year. Myers is leading the squad in multiple-hit games (26) and multiple-RBI games (22). He has hit safely in 41 of 49 games this season. Myers has notched 15 two-out RBI this year. He is hitting .481 with runners in scoring position and .460 with runners on base. Myers has 184 career RBI and needs just 13 more to enter the top 10 in the league.

MARTIN TAKES ONE (or two) FOR THE TEAM:
Junior transfer Jonah Martin (Wainae, Hi.) holds the school record for most hit by pitches in a single season (25) and still has six regular season games left.The 25 HBP ties him for 8th in the NCAA record books for a single season (five players with 25 HBP in a single season). He can move into a tie for 5th with one more hit by pitch (three players with 26 HBP in a single season). Nevada's Corky Miller is fourth in the NCAA record book with 29 HBP in 1998.

THE ICEMAN COMETH:
Junior Eric Doble has been as cool as ice this season with a team-leading seven saves on the year. The right-hander has taken over the closer role on the Devils pitching staff and has performed solidly. Doble has five saves in conference play as well as a 2-0 record with a 2.04 ERA. For the year, Doble is now 3-1 with seven saves and a 3.23 ERA. He is leading the conference in games finished (18), second in saves (7), fourth in games in relief (22) and tied for sixth in appearances (22). He is holding opponent batters to a .257 average at the plate and a .200 average with runners on base.

LIKE TO BE LIKE MIKE:
Junior third baseman Mike Lopez (Phoenix) is making a statement around the Pac-10 as a solid defensive infielder and a good hitter. Lopez is currently batting at a .366 clip (tied for second on the team) and leads the squad with a .365 average in conference games. Against the Trojans in Friday night's 3-1 win, Lopez singled to centerfield in the eighth inning scoring Brooks Conrad to give ASU an insurance run. He did not commit an error on the weekend. Lopez is hitting very well vs. lefties (.406). Offensively, he is batting .400 with runners in scoring position and .405 with runners on base. He has notched 11 multi-RBI and multi-hit games this year. Lopez currently has the longest hitting streak on the team at 12 games.

TEXAS LEFTY PICKS UP WIN NO. 9 VS. USC:
Sophomore lefty Jon Switzer(Houston, Tx.) pitched his second complete game of the season on Friday night in Los Angles, helping the Devils to a 3-1 win over USC. Switzer scattered four hits over nine innings allowing only one run while striking out 10. For his efforts, he was named Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week for the third time this season. Switzer is now 9-1 overall, 3-1 in conference play with a solid 3.17 ERA (his only loss is to then-No. 2 Stanford). He has been honred as Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week more than any other pitcher this season. He leads the team with 104 strikeouts and is holding opponent batters to a .204 average at the plate. He is ranked fourth in the conference in ERA (3.17), second in opposing batting average (.204), fifth in strikeouts (104) and third in wins (9). He is 3-0 in his last four starts. Righthanded batters are only hitting .200 vs. Switzer in 2000. For his career, he is 16-5 with 182 strikeouts.

LAST HOMERUN:
Brooks Conrad vs. USC (April 30, 2000)
Phil Downing vs. Washington State (April 14, 2000)
Jeff Duncan vs. Maine (March 17, 2000)
Brendan Hines vs. LSU (February 19, 2000)
Mitch Jones vs. Oklahoma (April 25, 2000)
Mike Lopez vs. UCLA (April 22, 2000)
Jonah Martin vs. Arizona (March 4, 2000)
Casey Myers vs. UCLA (April 20, 2000)
Jeff Phelps vs. UCLA (April 22, 2000)
Trent Pratt vs. Arizona (March, 4, 2000)

SWITZER INVITED TO 2000 USA BASEBALL NATIONAL TEAM TRIALS:
Sophomore lefty Jon Switzer (Houston, Texas) is among 20 invitees to the 2000 USA Baseball Team Trials to be held in June. Switzer will be joined by three other Pac-10 players: USC's Mark Prior, UCLA's Josh Karp and Stanford's Brian Sager. Depending on the draft, junior Casey Myers may also opt to try out for the national team. Myers (Casa Grande, Ariz.) was a member of the junior national team in '96 and was a '98 national team invitee.

MYERS ON 2000 COLLEGIATE CATCHER OF THE YEAR WATCH:
Junior Casey Myers is on a list of the nation's top 40 catchers up for the Johnny Bench National Collegiate Catcher of the Year award sponsored by the Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission. It is the first year for the award which will be presented annually at a sports banquet to the nation's top collegiate catcher, as voted on by a panel fo sportswriters, sportscasters, Division I coaches and scouts. The list will be narrowed down to ten semi-finalists by May 15. The finalists will be announced June 8 prior to the start of the College World Series.

OUCH!:
As a team, Arizona State has been hit by a pitch 96 times this season - an ASU school record. The Pac-10 single-season record is 101 held by Washington (1998) while the national record is held by Nevada (125 in 1997). ASU's 96 HBP in 2000 ranks 7th all-time in the NCAA record book. They can move into a tie for sixth with three more hit by pitches (Richmond had 99 in 1997).Washington is fifth with 101.

AIN'T LOVE GRAND:
Right-handed pitcher Luke Field (Littleton, Co.) proposed to his girlfriend in a very unique way over the holidays. On New Year's Eve, Field and his girlfriend, Casse Watkins (Ellinwood, Kan.), went to Packard Stadium. None of the stadium lights were on as they made their way to the press box. Field had made arrangement with a manager to be there. When the couple got to the press box, the manager turned on the field lights. Spelled out in bats and baseballs were the words "Will you marry me?". Field's girlfriend said yes. No date has been set yet.

MYERS AND JONES UP FOR NATIONAL PLAYER OF THE YEAR:
Arizona State's Casey Myers and Mitch Jones are both listed on Baseball America's "players to watch" for the National Player of the Year award as well as the watch list for the Rotary Smith Award (given to the nation's top collegiate player). Myers leads the squad in batting average and has been stellar behind the plate for the Sun Devils, calling the pitches himself. Jones leads the nation in homeruns and just tied the ASU single season homerun record (25) held by Bob Horner (1978).

DRAFTED DEVILS:
A total of seventeen current players on the 2000 Arizona State squad have been taken in the Major League Baseball Amateur Draft.

Paul French1998Anaheim Angels3rd round
Mike Esposito1999Cincinnati Reds5thround
Robby Milner1997Texas Rangers13thround
Dennis Sarfate1999Texas Rangers15thround
Jason Fingers1997Boston Red Sox23rdround
Drew Friedberg1997Arizona Diamondbacks25thround
Mitch Jones1999Baltimore Orioles25thround
Jon Switzer1998Pittsburgh Pirates26thround
Mitch Jones1997Texas Rangers33rdround
Dennis Wyrick1999Detroit Tigers35thround
Jeff Phelps1997Pittsburgh Pirates36thround
Trent Pratt1998Texas Rangers38thround
Jeff Duncan1997Chicago Cubs41stround
Jason Fingers1998Boston Red Sox41stround
Ryan Coffin1999Boston Red Sox43rdround
John Gusich1998Chicago White Sox45thround
Jered Liebeck1999Arizona Diamondbacks45thround
Luke Field1999Minnesota Twins47thround
Mitch Jones1998Baltimore Orioles49thround
Mike Lopez1996Toronto Blue Jays52ndround

KGME TAKES OVER ASU BASEBALL ON THE AIRWAVES:
Last spring, ASU Athletics agreed to a five year partnership with a new multimedia rights holder, the Sun Devil Sports Network. This group, owned by Outdoor Systems Sports Marketing, will manage, produce and market ASU's radio and television network. The Sun Devil Sports Network signed a three year radio flagship deal with KGME (550 AM). The most powerful AM signal in Arizona. Tim Healey, Voice of the Sun Devils, and Bob Eger will provide play-by-play and color commentary respectively. KGME will broadcast all Pac-10 games as well as selected non-conference games. The games can also be heard via the internet at www.thesundevils.com

INJURY REPORT:
Senior LHP Will Waldrip has bone spurs in his pitching elbow. He will be able to DH and be used in spot pitching situations for the rest of the season. Freshman RHP Mike Esposito had successful Tommy John surgery on March 30 and is out for the rest of the season.

THE BEGINNING AND END OF IT:
Here are the pitching lines on ASU starters and relievers.

IPW-LERAHRERBBSO
Starters227.222-74.79219140121101221
Relievers204.115-53.922011048998195
Total432.037-124.38420244210199416

PLAYER BIO
Jered Liebeck ? Fr. ? RHP ? Glendale, Ariz. (Mountain Ridge)
High School: A 1999 graduate of Mountain Ridge High in Glendale, Ariz. ... all-conference selection in 1998 and '99 ... four-year letterwinner in baseball ... coached by Tony Cirrellie ... captained the baseball team his senior year ... pitched a no-hitter with 18 strikeouts against Lake Havasu HS ... participated in the Babe Ruth World Series ... holds the record for most strikeouts in school history ... 45th round draft pick of the Arizona Diamondbacks. Personal: Major is undecided ... parents are Michael Liebeck and Jere Hill ... has one sister, Michele (21) ...born on January 27, 1981 in Mission Viejo, Calif. ... likes to golf ... full name is Jered Michael Liebeck.

THE DEVILS ON TV:
Arizona State baseball will be making many television appearances in 2000. The following is a list of appearances on COX Sports (local Ch. 9): Friday, Feb. 4 vs. Florida State, 7 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 5 vs. Florida State, 1 p.m., Friday, Feb. 11 vs. Duke, 7 p.m., Friday, March 3 vs. Arizona, 7 p.m., Sunday, March 5 vs. Arizona, 1 p.m., Saturday, March 11 vs. Oklahoma, 7 p.m., Friday, March 31 vs. Stanford, 7 p.m., Friday, April 7 vs. OSU, 7 p.m., Thursday, April 20 vs. UCLA, 7 p.m. FOX Sports Net will broadcast the April 15 game at Washington State live at 1 p.m. College Sports Southeast will broadcast the February 18 game at LSU live at 6 p.m. CT. FOX Sports Bay Area will broadcast the March 26 game at California live at 1 p.m. PT.

FOR THE RECORD:
A start-by-start breakdown of LHP Jon Switzer and RHP Chad Pennington :

Jon SwitzerIPHRERBBSOW/L
vs. Utah7.031109W (1-0)
vs. FAU5.051123W (2-0)
vs. #5 FSU7.052116ND
vs. Duke7.020016W (3-0)
vs. #4 LSU9.042155W (4-0)
vs. New Mexico5.055539ND
vs. #25 Arizona3.187516ND
vs. Oklahoma5.233146W (5-0)
vs. Maine7.0211410W (6-0)
vs. California6.122256ND
vs. #2 Stanford8.165526L (6-1)
vs. Oregon State8.0600310W (7-1)
vs. Washington State6.082235W (8-1)
vs. #19 UCLA3.298804ND
vs. #21 USC9.0411610W (9-1)

Chad PenningtonIPHRERBBSOW/L
vs. Utah4.042202ND
vs. BYU6.062127W (1-0)
vs. #5 FSU4.179814ND
vs. Duke5.020046W (2-0)
vs. #4 LSU4.155572ND
vs. SUU3.112244W (3-0)
vs. #25 Arizona5.063325W (4-0)
vs. Oklahoma5.054417ND
vs. Maine7.0500111W (5-0)
vs. California6.272226W (6-0)
vs. #2 Stanford3.054211ND
vs. Oregon State2.067712L (6-1)
vs. Washington State8.071137W (7-1)
vs. #19 UCLA1.256411L (7-2)

ASU BASEBALL TICKET INFORMATION:
Catch all the excitement of Sun Devil baseball in 2000. Single game ticket prices are $7 for field level, $5 for adult reserved, $4 for juniors/seniors reserved, $4 for adult general and $3 for juniors/seniors general seating. Group discount tickets are available for single games ($2 per ticket). For information on season tickets or single game tickets, please contact Mark Bruner, account executive, at 480-727-7022.

THIS WEEKEND's PROMOTIONS:
On Friday, May 12, free Jeff Phelps trading card (last in a series of four) will be given to the first 1,000 fans through the gates. Alice Cooper and ASU baseball alum Brian Weymouth '80, Cooper's business partner, will throw out the first pitches on May 12. Some of the Sun Devils will wear their eye black circa Alice Cooper, and Cooper's music will be the theme throughout the night. On Sunday, May 14, it's "Shirt Off Your Back Day" - buy raffle tickets to win an ASU player or coaches jersey. It's also Free Group Day. Kids 15 and under Run the Bases after the game.

ALL IN THE FAMILY:
Three father/son combinations have played at Arizona State including current Sun Devils Casey Myers and Brian Berger. Myers father Clint played at ASU from 1971-73 while Berger's father Bill played for the Devils from 1970-71-73. Father Eddie Bane (1971-73) and son Jaymie Bane (1997) round out the trio of father/son combos to don the Sun Devils uniform. Seven sets of brothers have graced the ASU rosters through the years: Chris (1975-78) and Sal (1964-65) Bando, Kevin (1978-81) and Pat (1980-82) Dukes, Byron (1979), Dale (1976-79) and Larry (1976-78) Eiler, Greg (1968) and Skip (1964) Hancock, Darrell (1974-77) and Dwayne (1979) Jackson, Jeff (1994) and Mike (1993) Rensmeyer, and John (1971-73) and Tom (1973-75) Sain. Of the seven sets, three sets played at least one year together at Arizona State.

Thursdays at the Ballpark:
Head coach Pat Murphy and the Sun Devil baseball team will host Thursdays at the BallPark , a post-practice barbecue, February 3, March 2, April 6 and May 11 at Packard Stadium from 5-7 p.m. during the 2000 season. Meet the Arizona State baseball team and coaching staff to talk about the upcoming series, grab a bite to eat, get autographs and win raffle prizes. Food will be available for purchase or you can bring your own sack lunch. It's an event for the entire family. For more information, please contact the ASU baseball office at 480-965-6085.

TWO-SPORT ATHLETE?
A little known fact around the ballpark is that centerfielder Jeff Duncan is a big hockey fan. The native of Illinois played hockey as a kid growing up all the way through high school. What position you ask? Center, of course.

CHICKS DIG THE LONG BALL:
The Sun Devils rank second in the conference behind UCLA (97) in homeruns with 74 on the season. The 74 homers is the most by the club since 1994 when they notched 76 round-trippers. The single-season team record is 110 set by the 1981 club.

PHELPS HAVING A GRAND TIME:
Infielder Jeff Phelps (Yuma) has hit two grand slams this season and three for his career. The ASU record for most grand slams in a season is three, held by Dave Hudgens (1977). Phelps is having the best year of his career at ASU, batting at a .366 clip with 67 hits and seven homeruns. He has a .471 on-base percentage - second best on the squad. The junior is batting well vs. both lefties (.372) and righthanders (.364) and is batting .390 with runners on base. Phelps is one of four players to start all 49 games for the Devils this year.

THE FIREMAN:
Sophomore reliever Franco Pezely has been putting out "fires" all season long for the Devils. And in the process, has posted a 6-2 record to go along with a 3.93 ERA. The lefty has been a key reliever out of the bullpen making 22 appearances. He has picked up a win in relief vs. Stanford, Oregon State, Washington State and Oklahoma in the month of April. On Tuesday, Pezely pitched 3.2 innings vs. Oklahoma allwoing only two runs on four hits to pick up win No. 6. The six wins ranks third on the pitching staff. He is holding opponent batters to a .261 average at the plate.

2000 Pac-10 Standings
(as of 5/9/00)

TeamConf.Ovrall
Stanford15-637-12
UCLA13-530-22
Arizona State12-637-12
USC10-831-18
California11-1325-27
Oregon State8-1027-22
Arizona 7-1125-25
Washington 7-1123-23
Washington St.4-1716-32

Homeruns (74)
Solo: (28) Hines 4, Conrad 2, Jones 12, Myers 3, Phelps 3, Stocker 1, Pratt 1, Martin 1, Downing 1
2-run:
(21) Jones 7, Myers 4, Hines 2, Conrad 3, Martin 1, Lopez 1, Duncan 1, Phelps 1, Downing 1
3-run:
(19) Duncan 1, Jones 5, Myers 4, Lopez 5, Conrad 2, Downing 1, Phelps 1
Grand Slam:
(5) Conrad 1, Phelps 2, Jones 1, Downing 1
Two in One Game:
(10) Jones 5, Hines 1, Conrad 1, Myers 1, Downing 1, Phelps 1
Inside the Park:
(1) Jeff Duncan 1
Pinch hit:
(1) Phil Downing 1

NATION'S HOMERUN LEADERS (as of May 7, 2000)

1. Mitch Jones, ASU25
2. Brad Cresse, LSU23
3. Jesse Gutierrez, Tx. Pan-Am21
Aaron Sisk, New Mexico21
Chad Smith, Georgia St.21

Pac-10 Single Season Homerun Leaders

1. Troy Glaus, UCLA (1997)34
2. Mark McGwire, USC (1984) 32
3. Eric Valent, UCLA (1998) 30
4. Jim Auten, UCLA (1979)29
Paul Ells, UCLA (1990)29
10. Mitch Jones, ASU (2000) 25
Rick Lundblade, STAN (1985) 25
Casey Kelley, WSU (1998) 25

ASU Single season homerun leaders

1. Mitch Jones, 200025
Bob Horner, 197825
3. Barry Bonds, 198523
Oddibe McDowell, 198423
5. Bob Horner, 197722
Mike Sodders, 198122

ASU single season slugging percentage

1. Bob Horner, 1978.819
2. Mitch Jones, 2000.794
3. Mike Sodders, 1981.762
4. Oddibe McDowell, 1984.761
5. Rick Morris, 1986.747
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