April 8, 2003
By Brian Gomez, TheSunDevils.com
The Arizona State Sun Devils not only marked a win Monday night that gave them confidence heading into this weekend's three-game series at California, but they also celebrated a pair of anniversaries that speak volumes about their illustrious baseball history.
In a 10-2 victory over Grand Canyon, the No. 7-ranked Sun Devils extended their NCAA-record scoring streak to 475 games on the eight-year anniversary of the last time they were shutout. The remarkable accomplishment coincided with the 29th anniversary of ASU's first game at Packard Stadium.
"I don't even think about it," Sun Devil head coach Pat Murphy said of his team's scoring streak. "It's not an issue and it's not something that comes into our heads. We just play the game."
"I didn't know it was that many games, but I knew we had the longest streak," ASU sophomore shortstop Dustin Pedroia said. "We don't really think about it. We're just trying to score more runs than them and we hope to get a win out of every game."
The last time the Sun Devils scored only one run was on May 12, 2002 when they fell 3-1 at Stanford. The Sun Devils have plated one run 12 times since they suffered a 9-0 loss at then-No. 16 Southern California in 1995.
"I was just a youngster playing Little League," Pedroia said of the last time ASU was shutout. "I had never even seen a college baseball game. Actually, I hadn't even been to a pro baseball game."
ASU's win marked its third on the anniversary of its scoring streak. The other two victories came over Pac-10 foes Oregon State (2000) and Washington State (2002). In 2001, the Sun Devils sustained a 5-1 loss at then-No. 12 USC on the six-year anniversary of their scoring streak.
During the current eight-year streak, ASU's hitters have faced several formidable pitchers, including Barry Zito (USC), Mark Prior (USC) and Kirk Saarloos (Cal State Fullerton). The Sun Devils have accumulated a 314-160-1 record during that span.
ASU has kept its scoring streak intact while playing at Packard Stadium and HoHoKam Park, its home during the 2002 season when its on-campus facility underwent a $1 million renovation. The Sun Devils have experienced great success at Packard, going 810-233-1 over the last 29 years.
Since moving to Packard from Phoenix Municipal Stadium and Sun Devil Field, and vaious other valley ball fields, the Sun Devils have won a pair of national championships (1977 and 1981). They also have made 20 appearances in the NCAA Regional.
Many of ASU's players say they take pride in helping establish a home-field advantage that is matched by few teams across the nation. With names such as Reggie Jackson and Barry Bonds occupying placards beyond the right-field fence, it's hard not to have confidence when playing at Packard Stadium.
"You always take pride when you play at home and you want to give the home fans a good show," said Sun Devil sophomore catcher Tuffy Gosewisch, who went 3-for-3 Monday with two RBIs. " I try not to think about the past players all the time. I try to focus on each day as it comes."
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