Feb. 28, 2007
TEMPE, Ariz. -
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After sweeping UAB last weekend and shellacking their in-state rivals 22-8 in Tucson on Tuesday, the Sun Devils head to Auburn, Alabama for a three-game series with the Auburn Tigers at Plainsman Park. Auburn is ranked 24th in Collegiate Baseball and 23rd in the NCBWA poll.
The Sun Devils vs. The Tigers:
Arizona State leads the all-time series with Auburn 3-0 after sweeping the Tigers in three games last season in Tempe. ASU won 14-2, 12-3 and 8-1. This road trip marks the first time the Arizona State baseball program has ever traveled to the state of Alabama.
Triple Your Pleasure:
The Sun Devils turned a triple play against Arizona, almost exactly 13 months to the day of their previous triple play. After the Wildcats collected back-to-back hits to begin the fourth inning on Tuesday, Joey Parigi induced a line drive to Eric Sogard at second base. Sogard threw to Brett Wallace at first to double off the runner. Wallace then threw the ball to Andrew Romine covering second, who stepped on the bag to get the lead runner and complete the feat. ASU last turned a triple play on January 28, 2006 against Cal State Northridge.
Through the first month of play in 2006, the Sun Devils sat at 11-5 with 109 runs scored. This season, ASU is 11-3 with 163 runs scored, including three games with 20 or more runs. Last season Arizona State scored more than 20 runs only once. At the same point in 2005, the ASU bats had produced 107 runs and an 8-10 record.
On The SEC Road:
This will be ASU's first trip to an SEC school since playing Tennessee in Knoxville in 2001. The Devils and Volunteers split that two game series.
ASU moved up two spots to #12 in the Collegiate Baseball poll while they rose three spots to #10 in the NCBWA poll. They stayed at #5 in the Rivals.com poll and remained at #14 in Baseball America.
The Arizona State bats awoke over the weekend, as ASU outscored UAB 36-10 in the three games. Petey Paramore went 6-10 over the weekend, scoring seven runs and drawing four walks. He also played third base for two innings on Sunday, the first time he has played a defensive position other than catcher in his ASU career. Pitching was a key to the series, as the ASU bullpen was solid for much of the weekend. Mike Leake continued his success, and Dustin Brader was able to turn in a solid performance on Sunday to pick up a win. The bullpen totaled 14 innings of work, allowing only ten hits and striking out 13 batters.
The Sun Devils put their offense on display for their rivals to the south, scoring six times in the top of the first before Arizona had even recorded an out. ASU jumped out to a 13-0 lead before finishing off the Wildcats 22-8 on Tuesday night in Tucson. Brett Wallace knocked in seven runs, part of his 3-4, two walk performance that included a two-run bomb. Matt Hall went 3-4 with four RBI, five runs scored and a two-run homer of his own. Joey Parigi picked up the victory after throwing five innings and allowing only one run on four hits.
Leaders In The Pac:
The Sun Devils continue to pace the Pac-10 Conference in most offensive categories. Entering Tuesday's game with Arizona, ASU led the conference in eight offensive categories. Arizona State topped the Pac-10 in batting average, slugging percentage, on base percentage, runs scored, hits, runs batted in, doubles and total bases. Preston Paramore was tops in the conference in batting average, walks and on base percentage, while Matt Spencer was the leader in slugging percentage and runs batted in. Ike Davis was the conference leader in doubles, while Brett Wallace was second in batting average, third in slugging percentage and is tied for the lead in runs scored, hits and stolen bases. ASU was also well represented in the pitching stats. Mike Leake leads the conference in ERA and opposing batting average and is tied for the lead in wins. Josh Satow is second in strike outs and tied for the lead in wins. Brian Flores is second in opposing batting average. None of the Pac-10 stats include the ASU/UA game from Tuesday night.
Countdown to 500:
Having already collected his 800th career Division I victory this season, ASU Head Coach Pat Murphy is just nine wins away from 500 victories at Arizona State.
Sophomore catcher Petey Paramore was named a College Baseball Foundation National Honor Roll Player of the Week for his performance against UAB last weekend. Paramore batted .600 against the Blazers, scoring seven times and knocking in three runs. He also played third base for the first time in his career, taking over as a defensive replacement in the eighth inning on Sunday. He would once again play third against Arizona Tuesday night in the late innings.
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.
That's The Pick:
In a poll of all Pac-10 baseball coaches, Arizona State was picked to win the Pac-10 conference. This marks the first time that the Sun Devils have ever been picked to win the conference in the preseason coaches vote. Oregon State was picked second and Stanford was third.
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, who is expected to play in the outfield as well as pitch, was a seventh round draft pick of the Oakland A's in last year's draft.
The Sun Devils had two transfers make the top ten of Baseball America's Top 25 Transfers list. LHP Brian Flores, who comes 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.
The Sun Devil pitching staff looks a little different from what it was in 2006 season. The 2007 staff features 13 new arms, with only three returners from last year (Urlaub, Satow, Trink). Leading the charge of newcomers is LHP Brian Flores, who is expected to take over the Friday night starter role. Last season, ASU used 11 different starting pitchers, the most ever in the Pat Murphy era.
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.
Road To ASU Baseball:
Freshman UTL Tyler Hoechlin is adjusting to life as a college student and baseball player, but he is well versed in the glitz and glamour of the big screen. Hoechlin starred with Tom Hanks in the 2002 motion picture "Road To Perdition". Hoechlin played Michael Sullivan, Jr., the son of Hanks' character. Hoechlin also appears in the CW's "7th Heaven", playing the character of Martin Brewer. Hoechlin will balance school, baseball and the show this semester, filming episodes during off days.
Oh Captain, My Captain:
Head coach Pat Murphy has named junior OF Rocky Laguna the team captain. This is the first time in the 13 years that Murphy has been at ASU that he has named a team captain.
Back For More:
Former ASU baseball standouts Mikel Moreno and Michael Collins are both back with the program for the 2007 season as managers. Moreno was a four-year starter for the Devils from 1995 to 1998, when he earned All-American accolades and helped lead ASU to the National Championship game. Collins played from 1996 to 1998 before leaving ASU to sign a contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Collins and Moreno join fellow manager Jeff Mousser as former Sun Devil baseball players to join the baseball staff in 2007.
Challenge At Chase:
The Second Annual Challenge at Chase will be played on Wednesday March 28th, when the Sun Devils and Arizona Wildcats meet in a non-conference battle at the home of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
You Complete Me:
LHP Josh Satow did something on February 11 that no Sun Devil pitcher had done since 2005: throw a complete game. Satow's masterpiece against Houston was the first complete game thrown by an ASU pitcher since Erik Averill beat Florida 6-1 on June 22, 2005 in the College World Series. Satow allowed only one run on six hits while fanning eight Cougars. It was only the second complete game in the seven-year history of the Houston College Classic, and the first since the inaugural year in 2001.
Pac-10 Pitcher Of The Week:
Thanks to his complete game, Josh Satow was named the Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week following the Houston College Classic. It marked the first time in Satow's career that he had been honored by the conference and he became the 49th all-time Sun Devil to earn the Pac-10 weekly honor. Last season, three Sun Devils picked up Player of the Week awards from the Pac-10, but Satow is the first ASU hurler to be honored since Pat Bresnehan earned the award in March of 2005.
Feeling The Draft:
There are 18 members of the 2007 Sun Devils who have had their name called during the annual Major League Baseball draft, including four players who have had their name called twice.
Player Round Team Year
Mike Leake 7th Athletics 2006
Matt Hall 8th Angels 2005
Derik Olvey 13th Dodgers 2003
Jarred Bogany 15th Pirates 2005
Tim Smith 17th Brewers 2005*
Ike Davis 19th Devil Rays 2005
Tim Smith 21st Mets 2004*
Brian Flores 21st White Sox 2004*
Petey Paramore 22nd Mets 2005
Matt Spencer 24th Red Sox 2004
Jason Jarvis 25th Cardinals 2006
Jeff Urlaub 26th Devil Rays 2005
Kiel Roling 31st D-Backs 2006
Andrew Romine 36th Phillies 2004
Matt Trink 36th Blue Jays 2003*
Scott Mueller 37th D-Backs 2005*
Brian Flores 37th White Sox 2005*
Matt Trink 39th Blue Jays 2004*
Scott Mueller 41st Reds 2004*
Brett Wallace 42nd Blue Jays 2005
Tommy Rafferty 42nd Astros 2004
Kyle Williams 47th White Sox 2006
*-Denotes players drafted twice
The Waiting Is The Hardest Part:
Arizona State is still waiting to hear a ruling from the NCAA on the eligibility of Jason Jarvis. Jarvis was able to practice with the team during the first two weeks of the season, but has not been able to participate in drills since Feb. 12. A ruling is expected by the end of this week.
The Sun Devils host perennial power Long Beach State at Winkles Field-Packard Stadium at Brock Ballpark. The three-game series starts Friday night, March 9 at 7 p.m. in Tempe.