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No. 3 Baseball Squad Travels To USC
Courtesy: Sun Devil Athletics
Release: 04/26/2000
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April 26, 2000

ASU -- Arizona State (36-10, 11-4 Pac-10 and ranked No. 3 Baseball America, No. 3 USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll and No. 3 Collegiate Baseball) travel to Los Angeles for a critical three-game conference series with USC (28-17, 8-7 Pac-10 and ranked No. 21 ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll and No. 23 Collegiate Baseball) at Dedeaux Field.

On the radio -- This weekend's series with the Trojans 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 11.06 runs per game and as a team, are batting at a .347 clip ... Mitch Jones and Casey Myers are listed by Baseball America as players to watch for their National Player of the Year award ... Mike Lopez is on a nine-game hitting streak ... 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 44 of 46 games to date ... Arizona State players have been hit a school record 91 times this season (1.98 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 300 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 300 games ranks fifth 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 ... Peters (1974-77) also holds the career record for most hit by pitches with 37 ... Jeff Phelps is on an eight game hitting streak.

Upcoming Schedule

Friday, April 28#21 Southern California6 p.m. PT
Saturday, April 29#21 Southern California1 p.m. PT
Sunday, April 30#21 Southern California1 p.m. PT

ABOUT THE TROJANS -- The Trojans are 28-17 overall, 8-7 Pac-10 heading into this weekend's matchup ... on Tuesday, USC defeated UC-Santa Barbara, 9-3 in a midweek contest ... they are coached by Mike Gillespie (in his 14 season at the helm) ... last week the Trojans dropped two-out-of-three games to the fourth-ranked Cardinals in a conference series ... probable pitcher for the Trojans: Fri., Rik Currier (10-2, 3.76 ERA), Sat., Mark Prior (5-6, 3.66 ERA), Sun., Anthony Reyes (9-6, 4.78 ERA) ... they are led by Justin Gemoll (.383-14-44) and Beau Craig (.290-15-50) ... last year the Trojans took 2-of-3 games from the Sun Devils in Tempe ... USC leads the all-time series between the two schools, 81-76.

Jones TIES ASU SINGLE SEASON HOMERUN RECORD -- Senior outfielder Mitch Jones (Orem, Utah) hit homerun No. 25 in ASU's 20-6 win over #19 Oklahoma on Tuesday night. With the homer, Jones ties the ASU single season homerun record held by Bob Horner (1978). The slugger leads the team and conference in runs scored (70), homeruns (25), RBI (73) total bases (161) and slugging percentage (.847). He is on pace to eclipse the single season slugging percentage at ASU held by Horner (.819 in 1978). Jones has tallied 22 multiple-hit games as well as 18 multiple-RBI games. The outfielder is currently hitting at a .363 clip and is second in doubles (13) and hits (69). Jones has notched 17 two-out RBI. Half of his homeruns have been with runners on base. Jones has drawn at least one walk in eight of the last 10 games and has hit four homers in the last five games. 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).

MYERS LEADS CONFERENCE IN BATTING AVERAGE -- Junior Casey Myers (Casa Grande) won the battle with UCLA's Bill Scott for top batting average this week, coming in with a .416 aveage at the plate. He further improved on his average by going 4-for-5 vs. Oklahoma on Tuesday. He is now at .427. The catcher is among a handful of players vying for Baseball America's National Player of the Year award. Myers has certainly put up impressive numbers in 2000, leading the team in batting average (.427), RBI (70), hits (76), doubles (17) and on-base percentage (.529). 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. Myers is leading the squad in multiple-hit games (25) and multiple-RBI games (22). He has hit safely in 40 of 46 games this season. Myers has notched 15 two-out RBI this year. He is hitting .494 with runners in scoring position and .472 with runners on base. Myers has 182 career RBI and needs just 15 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 (24) and still has nine regular season games left.The 24 HBP ties him for 13th in the NCAA record books for a single season. He can move into a tie for 8th with one more hit by pitch (five players with 25 HBP in a single season) or 5th with two hit by pitches (three players with 26 HBP in a single season).

the iceman cometh -- Junior Eric Doble was as cool as ice when he notched his team-leading seventh save this weekend, pitching a shutout ninth inning in ASU's 10-8 win over UCLA on Thursday. 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), games in relief (22) and second in saves (7).

CONRAD HITS GAME WINNER IN ASU'S 10-8 VICTORY -- Sophomore second baseman Brooks Conrad came up big over the weekend driving in the winning runs in ASU's come-from-behind win over UCLA on Thursday night. With two outs on the board and the Devils trailing 7-8 in the bottom of the eighth inning, Conrad hit a two-run blast to right centerfield off of Bruins reliever Jon Brandt to seal the win. For the series, the infielder hit .500 (5-for-10) with three runs scored and three RBI. On the year, Conrad checks in with a .345 avearge at the plate and is second on the squad with 57 runs scored (second in the league). He leads the team with 19 two-out RBI's on the season and is tied for seventh in the loop in stolen bases with 11. He is batting .364 with runners in scoring position.

TEXAS LEFTY GETS NO-DECISION VS. UCLA -- Sophomore lefty Jon Switzer(Houston, Tx.)took a no-decision in Thursday night's game vs. UCLA. In only his second outing under 5.0 innings this season, he pitched 3.2 innings before leaving the game. He made his first appearance in relief on Tuesday vs. #19 Oklahoma (2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 3 K). Switzer is now 8-1 overall, 2-1 in conference play with a solid 3.39 ERA (his only loss is to then-No. 2 Stanford). He has been honred twice this year at Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week. He leads the team with 91 strikeouts and is holding opponent batters to a .208 average at the plate. He is ranked fifth in the conference in ERA (3.39) and strikeouts (94) and fourth in opposing batting average (.208) and innings pitched (90.1). Righthanded batters are only hitting .205 vs. Switzer in 2000. For his career, he is 15-5 with 172 strikeouts.

LAST HOMERUN --
Brooks Conrad vs. UCLA (April 20, 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 91 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 91 HBP in 2000 ranks 7th all-time in the NCAA record book. They can move into a tie for sixth with eight more hit by pitches (Richmond had 99 in 1997).

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. Myers leads the league 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).

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 while the 64-team bracket will be announce on Monday, May 22 on ESPN (2 p.m. CT).

SUN DEVILS FOUND AMONG NATION'S BEST -- Arizona State can be found among the nation's elite in several Division I categories (as of April 23): Mitch Jones leads the nations averaging 0.53 homeruns per game, Jones ranks sixth in RBI per game (1.56) while Casey Myers checks in at No. 9 (1.53), as a team, ASU ranks fifth in the country in batting average (.344) and eighth in fielding percentage (.971), they are tied for fifth with a .778 winning percentage.

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 Reds5th round
Robby Milner1997Texas Rangers13th round
Dennis Sarfate1999Texas Rangers15th round
Jason Fingers1997Boston Red Sox23rd round
Drew Friedberg1997Arizona Diamondbacks25th round
Mitch Jones1999Baltimore Orioles25th round
Jon Switzer1998Pittsburgh Pirates26th round
Mitch Jones1997Texas Rangers33rd round
Dennis Wyrick1999Detroit Tigers35th round
Jeff Phelps1997Pittsburgh Pirates36th round
Trent Pratt1998Texas Rangers38th round
Jeff Duncan1997Chicago Cubs41st round
Jason Fingers1998Boston Red Sox41st round
Ryan Coffin1999Boston Red Sox43rd round
John Gusich1998Chicago White Sox45th round
Jered Liebeck1999Arizona Diamondbacks45th round
Luke Field1999Minnesota Twins47th round
Mitch Jones1998Baltimore Orioles49th round
Mike Lopez1996Toronto Blue Jays52nd 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 -- 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
Starters214.121-54.7520613111391207
Relievers192.215-53.93190968494188
Total407.036-104.36396227197185395

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. and Friday, May 12 vs. Washington, 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

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.

LAST WEEK VS. UCLA -- The Sun Devils took 2-out-of-3 games from conference opponent UCLA in Tempe over the weekend (W, 10-8, L, 3-13, W, 18-3) ... Mitch Jones hit homeruns No. 23 and 24 ... freshman Jered Liebeck, making his first collegiate start went 5.1 innings, allowing five hits, two runs with two strikeouts to notch up his first win ... Eric Doble picked up his seventh save of the year pitching a shutout inning on Thursday ... The Devils outscored the Bruins 31-24 for the series ... Jeff Phelps hit two homeruns on Saturday, turning in a 3-for-6 performance at the plate ... reliever Jason Fingers had a solid weekend, pitching 4.0 innings, allowing one unearned run on five hits with three strikeouts ...in Thursday night's come-from-behind win, ASU scored seven runs in the bottom of the eighth ... the Devils were hit six times during the series.

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 (81) in homeruns with 73 on the season. The 73 homers is the most by the club since 1996 when they also notched 73 round-trippers. The single-season team record is 110 set by the 1981 club.

ASU VS. OKLAHOMA -- The Sun Devils put on a dominating performance in a midweek game vs. Oklahoma in Oklahoma City, Okla. ... Casey Myers and Phil Downing each collected four hits for the Devils while Downing and Mitch Jones knocked in four runs each ... Jones tied the school's single season homerun record with his 25th homer - a towering shot to leftfield ... in a long Sun Devil fifth inning, Downing batted twice going 2-for-2 with three RBI ... in that same inning, eight runs scored on only four hits courtesy of three hit batsmen and four walks (as well as three different Oklahoma pitchers) ... Myers has been the "Sooner killer" this year going 7-for-10 in his three previous meetings this year - he picked up where he left off in Oklahoma City, with a 4-for-5 effort at the plate bringing his season average vs. OU to .733 (11-for-15).

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 .376 clip with 65 hits and seven homeruns. He has a .481 on-base percentage - second best on the squad. The junior is batting well vs. both lefties (.381) and righthanders (.374) and is batting .396 with runners on base. Phelps is one of five players to start all 46 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.

ASU Record Breakdown

Pac-1011-4
Non-Conference25-6
Vs. Ranked Teams10-7
Vs. Unranked Teams26-3
Home Games29-7
Road Games7-3
Day Games25-4
Night Games11-6
Vs. Right-Hand Starters23-8
Vs. Left-Hand Starters13-2
One-Run Decisions5-4
Two-Run Decisions6-1
Extra Innings0-1
Shutouts3-0
ASU Scores First22-6
Opponent Scores First14-4
Led After Seven32-1
Trailed After Seven2-9
Tied After Seven2-0
Led After Eight32-1
Trailed After Eight1-8
Tied After Eight1-1
Out-hit Opponents29-1
Out-hit by Opponents6-7
January7-0
February8-4
March11-4
April10-2
May0-0
Last 5 Games4-1
Last 10 Games8-2
Current StreakW2

Homeruns (73)
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:
(18) Duncan 1, Jones 5, Myers 4, Lopez 5, Conrad 1, Downing 1, Phelps 1
Grand Slam:
(5) Conrad 1, Phelps 2, Jones 1, Downing 1
Two in One Game:
(6) Jones 2, Hines 1, Conrad 1, Myers 1, Downing 1, Phelps 1
Inside the Park:
(1) Jeff Duncan 1
Pinch hit:
(1) Phil Downing 1

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