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#5 National Seed Baseball Hosts NCAA Tournament This Weekend In Tempe
Courtesy: Sun Devil Athletics
Release: 05/31/2007
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Courtesy: Sun Devil Athletics
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May 31, 2007

TEMPE, Ariz. -

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Leading Off:

The 2007 Pac-10 Champion Arizona State Sun Devils will make their 31st all-time NCAA Tournament appearance this weekend, as they host the Tempe Regional at Winkles Field-Packard Stadium at Brock Ballpark. ASU has garnered the #5 National Seed, and will open the tournament against regional #4 seed Monmouth. This is the eighth straight NCAA Tournament appearance for the Sun Devils, and the first time they have been a national seed since 2004.

 

The Tempe Regional:

The Sun Devils have never faced the Monmouth Hawks, their opponent in the opening game. They have a long history with the regional's #2 seed, the UC Riverside Highlanders. ASU holds a 31-5 edge in the all-time series, but they have not faced each other since 1992. The Devils were frequent participants in the Riverside Tournament during the 1970's. Arizona State and Nebraska have a more recent history, as many fans will remember their battles during the 2005 College World Series. The Devils and Huskers split their two meetings in Omaha that year. ASU holds a 5-3 edge in that series, with the last non-CWS meeting taking place in Tempe in 1996.

 

National Seed:

Arizona State has earned a national top eight seed for the third time since they began using the format in 1999. The #5 seed this year is the highest ever for the Sun Devils. They were the #7 national seed in both 2000 and 2004.

 

Facing Tough Competition:

During the regular season, ASU had ten losses that have come at the hands of teams who have been ranked at some point this season, including one to Vanderbilt, who is the #1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament. The Sun Devils also have 24 wins against teams that have been ranked at some point this year, including a three-game sweep at Oregon State, who has been ranked as high as 2nd. Also, seven of the losses have been by one run, including an extra inning game with Vanderbilt. ASU faced eight teams that advanced to the 2007 NCAA Tournament, including four teams that were selected as Regional hosts.

Pac-10 Champions:

With their win on against Arizona on Wednesday May 23, the Sun Devils clinched the Pac-10 Conference championship for the first time since 2000, when they shared it with UCLA and Stanford. The outright conference crown is the first for Arizona State since 1993. It is the second Pac-10 title for head coach Pat Murphy and the seventh overall in school history. ASU also won 11 WAC titles from 1963 to 1978. The 19 conference wins ties the record for most wins since the divisions merged in 1999. Stanford (1999) and Oregon State (2005) each won 19 as well.

 

Pac-10 Player of the Year:

Sophomore 1B Brett Wallace, who currently leads the Pac-10 in all three Triple Crown categories, was named the 2007 Pac-10 Player of the Year. Wallace becomes the 12th Sun Devil to earn the honor, and the first since Dustin Pedroia shared the award in 2003.

 

Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year:

Junior 2B Eric Sogard was named the 2007 Pac-10 Defensive Player of the Year, the first Sun Devil to ever win the award. Sogard, who is also having an outstanding season at the plate, has helped to solidify one of the top defenses in the nation.

 

Pac-10 Coach of the Year:

Head Coach Pat Murphy has been named the 2007 Pac-10 Coach of the Year, the second time in his tenure at ASU that he has earned the award. Murphy also won the award in 2000. He has led the Sun Devils to a #5 National Seed, a Pac-10 title, and has won over 40 games for the 28th time in school history.

 

All Pac-10 Honors:

Arizona State had seven members of the All Pac-10 team, and an additional four Honorable Mentions. Eric Sogard, Ike Davis and Petey Paramore each earned All-Conference honors for the second straight year. They were joined by teammates Brett Wallace, Mike Leake, Josh Satow and Kiel Roling. Brian Flores, Andrew Romine, Matt Spencer and Tim Smith each honored Honorable Mentions. The seven honorees ties the school record for most All-Conference selections set in 1982. ASU led the conference with their seven players on the team.

 

40 Time:

The Sun Devils have reached the 40-win plateau for the 28th time in school history and the sixth time under head coach Pat Murphy. Arizona State baseball has topped the 30-win mark for the 45th consecutive season and 47th season overall in school history. Murphy has never failed to win at least 30 games as a Division I head coach. ASU has the longest 30-win season streak in the nation. Florida State has hit the mark 43 straight times, including 2007.

 

Home Sweet Home:

The loss to Arizona in the regular season finale ended ASU's 22-game home winning streak at Winkles Field-Packard Stadium at Brock Ballpark. The Devils finished the regular season 30-3 at home, with the other two losses coming to Long Beach State. The school record for consecutive home wins is 33, set from 1976 to 1977.

 

Hosting Time:

2007 marks the 17th time Arizona State has been selected as a Regional Host, and the fifth time since 2000. It's the 31st overall postseason appearance and eighth in a row for the Devils. ASU last hosted a regional in 2005, when they advanced to the College World Series. This is the third time since 2000 Packard Stadium will play host, as the regionals were played there in 2000 and 2005. Hohokam Park in Mesa hosted the 2002 regional, while Tempe Diablo was the site in 2003.

 

Lights Out Leake:

Mike Leake picked up his 12th win of the season last week against Arizona, helping to win the regular season wins title in the Pac-10 Conference. His 12 wins so far put him in alone in fourth place for the most wins by a freshman in school history. Kendall Carter set the mark in 1981, winning 19 games for the National Champs. Skip Hancock won 13 in 1964, as did Ken Jones in 1978.

 

Wallace Watch:

Sophomore 1B Brett Wallace was named one of 16 semi-finalists for the Dick Howser Trophy,  and was also named one of the first 11 members of the 2007 USA Baseball National Team.

 

Double Digit Delight:

With his win against Oregon State on May 19, junior lefty Josh Satow picked up his 10th win of the year, joining Mike Leake as a ten-game winner. ASU last had two ten-game winners in 2005, when Erik Averill and Jason Urquidez did it. Averill finished 11-4, while Urquidez ended up 10-4 for the team that finished 3rd in the nation. Leake currently 12-1 while Satow is 11-3.

 

Save Me!:

With another save against Arizona, freshman righty Jason Jarvis upped his ASU freshman record saves total to ten. Mitch Dean (1976) and Zechry Zinicola (2004), who each recorded eight during their rookie years, previously held the record. Jarvis was not declared eligible to participate until Pac-10 play began in late March.

 

O Captain! My Captain!:

Head coach Pat Murphy named junior OF Rocky Laguna the team captain, prior to the season. This is the first time in the 13 years that Murphy has been at ASU that he has named a team captain. Laguna is a redshirt junior who is in his fourth year with the program. The Yuma, Ariz. product is a key reserve, providing a steady glove in the outfield and an experienced bat.

 

Consistency In The New Millennium:

Since the 2000 season, Pat Murphy and Arizona State Sun Devils have the highest winning percentage in the Pac-10, and the 13th highest winning percentage in the nation. ASU enters the tournament at 335-147-2 since 2000, a winning percentage of .694. Stanford is the next highest Pac-10 club, with a 339-161 record this millennium, a winning percentage of .678.

 

Quick Hits:

Petey Paramore has been a walks machine this season. Paramore has drawn 48 walks already this year, tops in the conference. He was third on the team last season with 34 free passes...Andrew Romine has 16 bunt singles this season...The Challenge at Chase marked the third time in 2007 ASU has played in a Major League facility. They played at Minute Maid Park, home of the Houston Astros and at Surprise Stadium, Spring Training home of the Texas Rangers and Kansas City Royals...Sophomore LHP Jeff Urlaub is expected to undergo Tommy John surgery in June. His expected recovery time is 10-16 months.

 

500 Club:

Arizona State Head Coach Pat Murphy achieved a coaching milestone against USC, collecting his 500th victory as skipper of the Sun Devils. Earlier this season, Murphy won his 800th career Division I game. ASU's first head coach, Bobby Winkles, totaled 524 wins in his 13 years at ASU. Jim Brock amassed 1,100 victories in his 23 years at the helm. Murphy is in his 13th season at Arizona State and is just one shy of tying Winkles for second most wins in school history.

 

Honoring Pat Tillman:

Former ASU football player and American Hero Pat Tillman had strong ties to the ASU Baseball program. In addition to his brother Kevin playing for ASU, Pat became extremely close with head coach Pat Murphy. Murphy wears jersey #42 in honor of Tillman, and in January Murph donated $100,000 to the baseball program for the construction of the Tillman Training Room, a room that will honor both Pat and Kevin and their commitment to both Arizona State University and the United States of America. The team wears a memorial "PT*42" patch on their jerseys in honor of Pat. Also, senior infielder Joe Persichina is a Tillman Scholar. A Tillman Scholar is a student that must possess passion, leadership abilities and an entrepreneurial spirit.  Tillman Scholars commit to a two-semester experience that begins each fall.

 

Preseason Honors:

Junior second baseman Eric Sogard earned three Preseason All-American mentions, including two First Team honors. Both the NCBWA and Rivals.com had Sogard as a First Team Preseason All-American, while Collegiate Baseball listed him as a Third Team Preseason All-American.

 

Fabulous Freshman:

RHP/OF Mike Leake was rated the 39th best freshman in the country by Baseball America as part of their Fabulous 50 Freshmen list. Leake was a seventh round draft pick of the Oakland A's in last year's draft.

 

Talented Transfers:

The Sun Devils had two transfers make the top ten of Baseball America's Top 25 Transfers list. LHP Brian Flores, who came to ASU from New Mexico Junior College, checked in at #7, while OF Tim Smith, who played the last two years at Midland College in Texas, was #10. The list did not include Matt Spencer, who came to ASU from North Carolina. Spencer had not yet completed his transfer to ASU when the list was released.

 

You Look Mahvelous!:

The Sun Devils got a surprise during a practice before the season, as actor/comedian Billy Crystal took a break from his performances at Gammage to practice with the Devils. Crystal donned the Maroon and Gold, complete with a jersey with his name and #10 on the back, and took part in drills and batting practice. After practice, he invited the coaching staff to his show, "700 Sundays" at Gammage Auditorium.

 

2007 ASU Baseball Team Award Winners:

Arizona State Baseball held their 23rd annual Awards banquet on May 29, where they announced the winners of the 2007 team awards. The winners were:

Mr. Fireman....................................... Mike Leake

Jim Henderson Courage Award............ Kiel Roling

Casey Myers Academic Award.............. Petey Paramore

Phill Lowery Comeback Player............. Tim Smith

Alvin Davis Leadership Award.............. Rocky Laguna

Developmental MVP............................ Joe Van Meter

Newcomer of the Year......................... Brian Flores & Matt Spencer

Outstanding Offensive Player.............. Brett Wallace

Outstanding Defensive Player............. Petey Paramore & Andrew Romine

Pitcher of the Year.............................. Josh Satow

The Tillman........................................ Eric Sogard

Jim Brock - Mr. Sun Devil Award........... Ike Davis

Bobby Winkles Award......................... Raoul Torrez

On Deck Circle MVP............................. Brett Wallace

 

Did You Know:

2007 Pac-10 Coach of the Year Pat Murphy was the only head coach on the 2007 NCAA Baseball Tournament Committee. Murphy flew to Indianapolis immediately following the May 25th game against Arizona and returned to Tempe on Monday the 28th. He is on the committee for the next three years.

 

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