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No. 15 Baseball Faces Arch-Rival Arizona
Courtesy: Sun Devil Athletics
Release: 02/29/2000
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Feb. 29, 2000

ASU -- Arizona State (15-4, 0-0 Pac-10 and ranked No. 17 Baseball America, No. 15 USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll and No. 18 Collegiate Baseball) host in-state rival Arizona (13-8, 0-0 Pac-10 and ranked No. 25 Baseball America) in a three-game non-conference series at Packard Stadium.

Friday, March 3     #25 Arizona  7 p.m. MT
Saturday, March 4   #25 Arizona  1 p.m. MT
Sunday, March 5     #25 Arizona  1 p.m. MT

LOCAL T.V. COVERAGE -- COX Sports (Cable Ch. 9) will carry the Friday and Sunday games with Arizona live locally. George Allen and Doug Gerlach will handle the play-by-play and color commentary duties respectively.

THIS WEEK ON THE RADIO -- KGME 550 AM will broadcast all three games this weekend with Arizona. Robby Robinson and Bob Eger will handle the play-by-play and color commentary duties respectively.

EXTRA INNINGS -- ASU's three grand slams vs. Southern Utah (Feb. 25) ties the NCAA record for a single game ... three out of ASU's four losses have been by two runs or less ... all four losses were to teams ranked in the top 5 nationally ... the Devils have recorded an extra base hit in all 19 games to date ... Arizona State players have been hit 41 times this season (2.16 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 273 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 current streak of 273 games without being shutout is the longest active Div. I streak ... the 273 games ranks fifth all time in NCAA Div. I history ... 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).

ABOUT THE WILDCATS -- The Wildcats are 13-8 overall, 0-0 Pac-10 heading into this weekend's matchup ... they are coached by Jerry Stitt (entering his fourth year) ... the Wildcats are 99-149 vs. the Sun Devils since 1959 ... they are led by Keoni DeRenne (.370-3-15), Ben Diggins (484-5-18) and Shelley Duncan (.363-8-27) ... U of A is coming off of a sweep of Tulane ... the Wildcats are batting at a .349 clip as a team and have an team ERA of 5.74 ... probable pitching rotation: Fri.- Ben Diggins (2.16 ERA, 4-0), Sat. - Brian Pemble (6.59 ERA, 3-2), Sun. - Rob Shabansky (3.18 ERA , 1-0).

JONES NAMED NATIONAL/PAC-10 PLAYER OF THE WEEK -- Senior Mitch Jones was honored as the Collegiate Baseball/Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week and the Pac-10 Player of the Week for his stellar performance over the weekend. Jones, from from Orem, Utah, hit four home runs in three games, batting .600 (9-for-15) with 14 RBI and nine runs scored. Six of his nine hits were for extra bases. He had 23 total bases on the weekend and a 1.533 slugging percentage. In Sunday's 22-4 win over Southern Utah, Jones set career highs in hits (5) and total bases (13). The 13 total bases ranks third in ASU history for a single game. In Friday's 25-3 win over Southern Utah, Jones set a career high with seven RBI. In Saturday's 9-7 win over New Mexico, Jones drove in the winning run in the bottom of eighth with a single down the leftfield line, breaking a seven-all tie. He was perfect in the field with 10 putouts in 10 chances. Jones leads the team with 14 homers, 29 runs scored, 75 total bases and a .974 slugging percentage.

PEZELY PITCHES PERFECT INNINGS TO PICK UP WIN -- Sophomore reliever Franco Pezely (Taylorsville, Utah) pitched two shutout innings on Saturday against New Mexico to pick up his first victory of the season as ASU won 9-7. Pezely retired all six batters he faced, including the top of the order for the Lobos. He struck out two batters - one of them third baseman Aaron Sisk who was 2-for-2 with a homerun coming into the at bat.

MYERS BATS .545 DURING PACKARD CLASSIC -- Junior Casey Myers (Casa Grande) had an outstanding weekend going 6-for-11 with two doubles and two homers. He collected six runs and six RBI over three games and posted a 1.273 slugging percentage. Myers has been named Pac-10 Player of the Week three times (twice as a freshman and once as a sophomore). Myers leads the squad in multilple-RBI games with nine and is hitting .425 with runners on base. He has a team-leading four sacrifice flies and has recorded at least one hit in 15 of 19 games. Myers was also a 1999 GTE Academic All-American (first-team). He is a double major with a 4.0 GPA in math and economics.

ASU TO PLAY EXHIBITION WITH ANGELS FOR CHARITY -- The ASU baseball team will play the Anaheim Angels in an exhibition game on Wednesday, March 1 at 7 p.m. at Tempe Diablos Stadium. All proceeds benefit the East Valley Boys & Girls Club. Tickets may be purchased through the ASU ticket office (480-965-2381) or Ticketmaster (480-784-4444).

SWITZER TIES CAREER HIGH WITH NINE STRIKEOUTS -- Arizona State's Jon Switzer (Houston, Tx.) tied a career high with nine strikeouts vs. New Mexico despite getting a no-decision for the game. Switzer went 5.0 innings allowing five runs on five hits. Switzer is now to 4-0 on the year with a solid 2.03 ERA. He is holding opponent batters to a .167 average at the plate through six starts.

HERE COMES THE BOOM -- Freshman shortstop Dennis Wyrick (Azusa, Calif.) went 5-for-7 (.714) with four runs scored and four RBI over the weekendto improve his overall batting average to .361. He drove in the insurance run in the 9-7 win over New Mexico on Saturday with a single to rightfield scoring teammate Mitch Jones. Wyrick is having a solid season as the only freshman in the Sun Devils starting lineup. He is batting .464 with runners in scoring position and has notched six 2-out RBI on the year. He is batting well against both lefties (.385) and righthanders (.354).

PHELPS LEADING THE WAY -- Junior infielder Jeff Phelps has continued to be a model of consistency in 2000. He is batting at a .433clip through 19 games and leads the team with 29 hits. He has tallied nine multiple hit games as well as scoring 18 runs. Phelps has been hitting well against both lefties and righthanded pitchers (.444 vs. left and .429 vs. right). He is also batting .458 with runners in scoring position and has notched nine 2-out RBIs.

AIN'T LOVE GRAND -- Righthanded 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.

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.

LAST HOMERUN --

Brooks Conrad   vs.  New Mexico (February 26, 2000)
Phil Downing    vs. Southern Utah (February 25, 2000)
Jeff Duncan     vs. Utah (January 23, 2000)
Brendan Hines   vs. LSU (February 19, 2000)
Mitch Jones     vs. Southern Utah (February 27, 2000)
Casey Myers     vs. Southern Utah (February 27, 2000)
Jeff Phelps     vs. Southern Utah (February 27, 2000)
Trent Pratt     vs. Washington State (April 11, 1999)

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. 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.

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 French 1998 Anaheim Angels 3rd round
Mike Esposito 1999 Cincinnati Reds 5th round
Robby Milner 1997 Texas Rangers 13th round
Dennis Sarfate 1999 Texas Rangers 15th round
Jason Fingers 1997 Boston Red Sox 23rd round
Drew Friedberg 1997 Arizona Diamondbacks 25th round
Mitch Jones 1999 Baltimore Orioles 25th round
Jon Switzer 1998 Pittsburgh Pirates 26th round
Mitch Jones 1997 Texas Rangers 33rd round
Dennis Wyrick 1999 Detroit Tigers 35th round
Jeff Phelps 1997 Pittsburgh Pirates 36th round
Trent Pratt 1998 Texas Rangers 38th round
Jeff Duncan 1997 Chicago Cubs 41st round
Jason Fingers 1998 Boston Red Sox 41st round
Ryan Coffin 1999 Boston Red Sox 43rd round
John Gusich 1998 Chicago White Sox 45th round
Jered Liebeck 1999 Arizona Diamondbacks 45th round
Luke Field 1999 Minnesota Twins 47th round
Mitch Jones 1998 Baltimore Orioles 49th round
Mike Lopez 1996 Toronto Blue Jays 52nd round

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 -- Freshman RHP Mike Esposito has a strained right elbow and will be out for four weeks.

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.

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

IP W-L ERA H R ER BB SO
Starters 93.1 10-0 3.77 75 49 39 41 92
Relievers 72.2 5-4 3.99 71 36 32 36 71
Total 166.0 15-4 3.85 146 85 71 77 163

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.

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

Jon Switzer IP H R ER BB SO W/L
vs. Utah 7.0 3 1 1 0 9 W (1-0)
vs. FAU 5.0 5 1 1 2 3 W (2-0)
vs. Florida State 7.0 5 2 1 1 6 ND
vs. Duke 7.0 2 0 0 1 6 W (3-0)
vs. LSU 9.0 4 2 1 5 5 W (4-0)
vs. New Mexico 5.0 5 5 5 3 9 ND
Chad Pennington IP H R ER BB SO W/L
vs. Utah 4.0 4 2 2 0 2 ND
vs. BYU 6.0 6 2 1 2 7 W (1-0)
vs. Florida State 4.1 7 9 8 1 4 ND
vs. Duke 5.0 2 0 0 4 6 W (2-0)
vs. LSU 4.1 5 5 5 7 2 ND
vs. SUU 3.1 1 2 2 4 4 W (3-0)

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.

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.

ARIZONA STATE VS. ARIZONA --

Player GP AB R H RBI HR Ave.
Brooks Conrad 4 4 1 2 1 0 .500
Jeff Duncan 6 21 5 9 3 0 .429
Brendan Hines 4 14 3 3 2 0 .214
Ty Johnson 1 2 0 0 0 0 .000
Mitch Jones 6 18 8 7 4 2 .389
Casey Myers 9 38 9 21 14 2 .553
Jeff Phelps 7 11 4 4 7 1 .364
Trent Pratt 6 14 4 5 3 0 .357
Pitcher G-GS W-L ERA SV IP ER
Eric Doble 1-0 0-0 6.75 0 4.0 3
Drew Friedberg 4-0 0-0 12.27 0 2.2 3
Robby Milner 3-0 1-0 10.00 0 7.2 8
Chad Pennington 5-0 1-0 8.92 1 11.1 11
Jon Switzer 2-1 1-0 4.44 0 8.1 4
Will Waldrip 2-2 0-1 5.27 0 13.2 8

LAST WEEK AT THE PACKARD CLASSIC -- The Sun Devils went 3-0 at the Packard Classic, picking up wins over Southern Utah (W, 25-3, W, 22-4) and New Mexico (W, 9-7). Both games vs. the Thunderbirds were called after seven innings. Arizona State batted .441 as a team and hit 11 homeruns (including three grand slams in one game). Out of 45 hits collected by ASU batters, 21 were for extra bases. The Devils held their opponents to a .224 batting average for the weekend. ASU pitchers posted a 4.30 ERA for the Classic with 23 strikeouts. On Sunday, ASU's Mel Stocker was a double away from hitting for the cycle.

HUBIE BROOKS TO BE HONORED -- Former Arizona State player Hubie Brooks will be honored in a pre-game ceremony on Saturday, March 2 at Packard Stadium. Brooks had a outstanding collegiate career while at ASU, garnering first-team all-america honors in 1977 and '78. He put together a 36 game hitting streak in 1978 which stands as the third longest in ASU history. His '78 batting average of .432 ranks fourth all-time at Arizona State. His career batting average of .396 (197-for-497) ranks second in Sun Devil history. Brooks was the third pick overall by the Mets in 1978 and played for the Mets, Expos, Dodgers, Angels and Royals during his major league career.

ASU Record Breakdown

Pac-10 0-0
Non-Conference 15-4
Vs. Ranked Teams 2-4
Vs. Unranked Teams 13-0
Home Games 14-2
Road Games 1-2
Day Games 12-2
Night Games 3-2
Vs. Right-Hand Starters 10-3
Vs. Left-Hand Starters 5-1
One-Run Decisions 2-2
Two-Run Decisions 1-1
Extra Innings 0-1
Shutouts 1-0
ASU Scores First 10-4
Opponent Scores First 5-0
Led After Seven 12-1
Trailed After Seven 1-3
Tied After Seven 2-0
Led After Eight 12-1
Trailed After Eight 0-2
Tied After Eight 1-1
Out-hit Opponents 13-1
Out-hit by Opponents 2-1
January 7-0
February 8-4
March 0-0
April 0-0
May 0-0
Last 5 Games 5-1
Last 10 Games 7-3
Current Streak W4

Homeruns (32)

Solo: (14) Brendan Hines 4, Brooks Conrad 1, Mitch Jones 6, Casey Myers 1, Jeff Phelps 1, Mel Stocker 1
2-run: (9) Mitch Jones 4, Casey Myers 2, Brendan Hines 2, Brooks Conrad 1
3-run: (5) Jeff Duncan 1, Mitch Jones 3, Casey Myers 1

Grand Slam: (4) Brooks Conrad 1, Jeff Phelps 1, Mitch Jones 1, Phil Downing 1

Two in One Game: (3) Mitch Jones 1, Brendan Hines 1, Brooks Conrad 1

Inside the Park: (0)

Pinch hit: (0)

Did You Know?

  • Jason Fingers cousin Bobby Fingers played at ASU in 1982.
  • In the FAU game (1/28) second baseman Brooks Conrad, who is a switch hitter, hit homeruns from both sides of the plate.

2000 ASU Baseball Superlatives

Team

Longest Win Streak 7 games (1/21-1/30)
Longest Losing Streak 2 (2/18-2/19)
Most Runs, Game:
ASU 30 (FAU, 1/28)
Opp. 11 (FSU, 2/4)
Most Runs, Inning:
ASU 10 (FAU, 1/28)
Opp. 5 (FSU, twice)
Most Hits, Game:
ASU 25 (FAU, 1/28)
Opp. 16 (LSU, 2/18)
Most Hits, Inning:
ASU 6 (four times)
Opp. 4 (three teams)
Most Doubles, Game:
ASU 7 (FAU, 1/28)
Opp. 4 (LSU, 2/19)
Most Triples, Game:
ASU 2 (three times)
Opp. 1 (two teams)
Most Home Runs, Game:
ASU 5 (twice)
Opp. 3 (FSU, 2/6)
Most Stolen Bases, Game:
ASU 5 (FSU, 2/6)
Opp. 6 (BYU, 1/27)
Most Double Plays (turned),
Game:
ASU 2 (FSU, 2/4)
Opp. 3 (LSU, 2/18)
Most Errors, Game:
ASU 3 (2/6)
Opp. 6 (BYU, 1/29)
Most Strikeouts (pitching),
9-Inning Game:
ASU 15 (FAU, 1/28)
Opp. 12 (FSU, 2/4)
Most Walks (pitching),
9-Inning Game:
ASU 8 (three times)
Opp. 6 (three times)
Largest Win. Margin 26 (FAU, 1/28)
Largest Loss Margin 4 (LSU, 2/18)
Largest Crowd, Home 4,312 (FSU, 2/6)
Smallest Crowd, Home 1,012 (FAU, 1/28)
Largest Crowd, Road 7,853 (LSU, 2/20)
Smallest Crowd, Road 7, 825 (LSU, 2/18)
Longest Hit Streak 13 (Jones, 1/22-2/18)
Most Hits, Game 5 (Jones, 2/27)
Most Runs, Game 5 (Conrad, 1/28)
Most Doubles, Game 2 (three players tied)
Most Triples, Game 1 (5 players tied)
Most HRs, Game 2 (three players)
Most RBIs, Game 7 (Jones, 2/25)
Most SBs, Game 2 (Duncan & Conrad)

Most Strikeouts, Game:
ASU Pitcher 9 (Switzer, 1/23 & 2/26)
Opp. Pitcher 7 (two pitchers)
Fewest Hits Allowed (CG Effort)
ASU Pitcher 4 (Switzer, 2/20)
Opp. Pitcher N/A
Most Walks, Game:
ASU Pitcher 7 (Pennington, LSU, 2/19)
Opp. Pitcher 6 (Albers, UNM, 2/26)
Most Consecutive Scoreless Innings:
Starter 18.1 (Switzer, 2/4-2/20)
Reliever 6.1 (Doble, 1/27-2/18)

Head Coach Pat Murphy

Sixth season at Arizona State: 188-108
Div. I Record (12th year): 506-224-1
Career Record (15th year): 561-279-3

  • The Murphy team? Always plays hard, likes to play the tough schedule, disciplined, plays well in the postseason, plays the little game well - stolen bases, walks, no excuses.

  • Became the youngest coach to 500 wins (with 75% of wins coming from Div. I level) at age 39.

  • All but one player under Coach Murphy has been drafted higher in the MLB Draft.

  • Named Baseball America's Coach of the Year in 1998.

  • Murphy is averaging 42.2 wins per year as a coach at the Div. I level (.693 winning percentage).

  • Ten out of the last 12 years, his teams have finished in the top 30.

  • His last five squads to make playoff appearances have made it to the Sweet 16 or better.

  • The last five regionals a Pat Murphy team has played in, the squad has beaten the No. 1-ranked team on its home field.

  • Murphy has had a total of 80 Div. I players sign professional contracts after playing under him.

  • Murphy in the community: started the Guadalupe Project, hosts free baseball clinics with the Tempe Diablos, speaks to UNI 100 classes on the ASU campus, to name a few....

More Notes & Quotes

  • Murphy is the first coach in the era of aluminum bats to have his players practice exclusively with wood bats in practice.

  • Murphy has never had a player declared ineligble for a season.

  • "From those modest beginnings, Murphy has carved a unique college career, first as a player but most of all as a coach. ... And he's risen to the top of his profession."
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