Jan. 13, 2003
TEMPE, Ariz. (www.TheSunDevils.com) -- The Arizona State Sun Devil Baseball team enters the season picked No. 2 in the annual Pac-10 Baseball preseason poll. After finishing in third place in each of the last two seasons behind USC and Stanford, the Devils slid into second place behind USC with two first-place votes. USC, ranked as high as No. 3 in the preseason polls, garnered six first place votes and will enter 2003 as the back-to-back defending Pac-10 champion.
Despite being selected ahead of Arizona State in both preseason polls, the No. 3 (Baseball America) Stanford Cardinal came in third in the preseason conference poll. California and Arizona round out the top five.
The Sun Devils open the 2003 season this weekend with a six-game series at Hawai'i-Hilo. The Jan. 16 season-opener is the second earliest start in 92 years of Sun Devil Baseball history and is the first schedule college baseball game of the season. Earning their highest preseason ranking at No. 8 (Baseball America) since 1998, the Devils return 21 letterwinners and four preseason All-Americans from the 2002 squad that finished 37-21 overall and hosted an NCAA regional for the second time in the last three years.
The preseason selection marks the third time under current head coach Pat Murphy that the Devils have been picked second by the conference coaches. ASU was also second in 1998 and 2001.
2003 Pac-10 Baseball Preseason Coaches' Poll:
School (First Place Votes) 1. USC (6) 2. Arizona State (2) 3. Stanford 4. California (1) 5. Arizona 6. UCLA 7. Washington 8. Oregon State 9. Washington State