April 13, 1998
Arizona State (27-14, 14-6 Pac-10 Southern Division and ranked No. 16 Baseball America and No. 11 Collegiate Baseball in the polls) will travel to Norman, Okla. for a single game with Oklahoma (29-8, 9-4 Big 12 South and ranked No. 11 Baseball America and No. 14 Collegiate Baseball) before hosting UCLA (17-23, 10-14 Pac-10 Southern Division) for a three-game conference series at Packard Stadium in Tempe.
THIS WEEK ON THE TV AND RADIO -- KMVP 860 AM, home of Sun Devil baseball, will broadcast the Oklahoma game and the UCLA series. Tom Dillon and Bob Eger will provide the play-by-play and color commentary respectively. FOX Sports Net will broadcast the Saturday game versus UCLA live. COX Sports (Channel 22) will broadcasts Sunday's game with the Bruins live. George Allen and Doug Gerlach will provide the play-by-play and color commentary respectively.
ABOUT THE SOONERS -- Oklahoma comes into this week's game with a 29-8 overall record ... They are coached by former ASU player Larry Cochell ... The Sooners are led by Willy Hill (.428-3-26), Casey Bookout (.403-20-51) and Derek Wathan (.403-5-35) ... The Sun Devil and Sooners split a pair of games earlier this year in Tempe with ASU winning the first game 7-6 and Oklahoma winning the second 9-5 ... ASU leads the all-time series with OU, 32-12.
ABOUT THE BRUINS -- UCLA comes into this weekend's series with a 17-23 overall record and a 10-14 mark in the Six-Pac... last week UCLA won two-of-three with Arizona in Los Angeles ... they are coached by Gary Adams (UCLA '61) now in his 24th season at the helm ... the Bruins are led by Garrett Atkins (.381-5-33) and Eric Valent (.310-19-48) ... UCLA is 6-4 in their last 10 games and 4-1 in their last five ... earlier this season, ASU took two-of-three from the Bruins in Los Angeles, 5-6, 14-6, 9-3 ... The Devils leads the all-time series with UCLA, 84-49.
DID YOU KNOW? -- The Devils have swept their last three conference opponents (Cal, Arizona and USC) ... ASU has posted back-to-back sweeps of ranked opponents (No. 24 U of A and No. 3 USC) ... In its last five games, ASU has outscored it opponents 81-28 ... Arizona State has not been shutout in its last 175 games (last time shutout was a 0-9 loss to USC on April 7, 1995) ... the Devils have allowed only 20 stolen base (20-for-37) through 41 games ... Coach Pat Murphy is averaging 42.6 wins per season at the Div. 1 level (429 wins over 10 years) ... ASU pitchers have thrown four two-hitters (one complete, three combined) and one one-hitter (combined) in 1998 as well as three shutouts (combined) ... Fourteen of ASU's games this year have been decided by two runs or less (ASU is 8-6 in those games).
Mills earns National Player of the Week honors -- Junior lefty Ryan Mills was honored as a Collegiate Baseball/Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week for his performance vs. then-No. 3 USC. Mills picked up his fifth win in a 18-3 rout of the Trojans. He went 8.0 innings, allowing only three hits, two earned runs, five walks and struck out a season-high 15 batters.
ON THE BRINK-- Junior Andrew Beinbrink (San Diego, Calif.), who has already picked up some preseason All-America accolades, will anchor ASU's infield from third base in 1998. The 6-3 infielder, who is a Rotary Smith Award nominee, is is one of only three players to start every game this season. He leads the team with nine homeruns, 16 doubles and 59 RBI. He is third on the team in runs scored (41) and third in hits (49). Twenty-seven of his 49 hits have been for extra bases. Beinbrink leads the team in two-out RBIs with 21 and is 13-14 in stolen bases. He has had 14 multi-hit games as well as 17 multi-RBI games. Beinbrink hit .600 vs. USC with seven runs scored and eight RBI as well as one double and three homeruns.
PAC-10 (SOUTHERN DIVISION) STANDINGS-
Team W-L Pct. GB This Week 1. Stanford 13-4 .765 -- at Arizona 2. Arizona State 14-6 .700 0.5 UCLA 3. USC 14-7 .667 1.0 California 5. UCLA 10-14 .416 6.5 at ASU 4. Arizona 8-13 .381 7.0 Stanford 6. California 2-17 .105 12.0 at USC
MURPHY YOUNGEST TO REACH 500 WINS -- Arizona State head coach Pat Murphy reached the 500-win mark with a 7-6 victory over California. His career record now stands at 508-242-3 over 13 seasons as a head coach. He becomes the youngest coach, at age 39, to reach the 500-win mark (with 75% of wins from Division 1 schools). Murphy joins the ranks of such greats as Ron Fraser, Miami (age 41), Cliff Gufstason, Texas (age 47), Bobby Winkles, ASU (age 41), Ron Polk, Mississippi State (age 41), Rod Dedeaux, USC (age 49), Jim Brock, ASU (age 45) and Gene Stephenson, Wichita State (age 52).
THE LAST HURRAH -- Senior outfielder Mikel Moreno will end a long and successful career at ASU after this season. Through 41 games, he is batting .331 with 36 RBI and 60 hits. He has also swiped 14 bases in the 1998 season and is batting well against righthanders (.361). The speedy rightfielder has started all 41 contests and put together a 21-game hitting streak dating back to the 1997 season before going 0-for-5 vs. FSU (2/7) earlier this year. He has had 19 multiple-hit game and 11 multiple RBI games this year. Moreno, a two-year starter, has moved into fourth all-time in career runs scored at ASU with 206.
Pitchers Corner -- A lot of new faces will grace the bullpen in 1998, including junior transfer Chuck Crumpton (Mesquite, Texas) who has been excellent as ASU's No. 1 closer. Crumpton has pitched 43.2 innings of relief for the Devils in 1998 and was a part of two of ASU's combined shutout victories. He sports an impressive 2.06 ERA and a 2-2 record with four saves and a team-high 24 appearances. The 6-4 righthanded pitcher helped lead Northeast Texas CC to the '96 Junior College National Championship and was the winning pitcher in the championship game over Meridian JC.
Freshman pitchers joining the roster are LHP Drew Friedberg, RHP Robby Milner and RHP Chad Pennington. Pennington (3-1, 3.62 ERA), picked up his third win of the season pitching 4.2 innings of relief in ASU's 4-3 win over Arizona. The freshman from Hamilton, Ohio allowed only one hit while striking out eight with no walks. He retired 13 of 14 batters faced. Transfer Aaron Kramer (Grand Canyon U.) has also joined the ASU pitching staff and has been strong out of the bullpen.
In his first start of the 1998 season vs. Grand Canyon, Kramer went 5.0 innings, allowing only two hits, no runs, one walk while striking out a career-high 10 batters. He is 4-2 overall with a 3.82 ERA in 15 appearances. Kramer picked up his fifth win vs. Southern California on Friday, going 3.2 innings, allowing three hits, one earned run with two walks and two strikeouts. All are expected to see time on the mound as well as sophomore Jay Gehrke (2-1, 8.31 ERA) and Colin Call (1-0, 6.52 ERA).
THE HIT MAN -- Sophomore Willie Bloomquist (Port Orchard, Wash.) leads the Arizona State offense in '98. The infielder/outfielder is batting .415 and leads the team in hits (66), runs scored (53), stolen bases (20), triples (7) and walks (42). Bloomquist, a Rotary Smith Award nominee, has drawn at least one walk in 29 of 41 games this season and had multiple-hit games in 21 of 41 and has 13 multiple RBI games. He is batting .475 with runners in scoring position, .381 vs. lefties and .427 vs. righthanders. He is second on the team in two-out RBI with 15 on the year and hit his first homerun of the season vs. Washington (3/27). Bloomquist hit .438 on the weekend vs. USC, going 7-for-16 with four runs scored, nine RBI, a double, a triple and his third homerun of the season. Bloomquist was invited to the summer camp for the 1998 USA Baseball National Team. Training camp is scheduled to open June 1 at Hi Corbett Field in Tuscon, Arizona.
PAT MURPHY -- now in his fourth season at Arizona State after spending seven years at Notre Dame, Pat Murphy has left his mark on Arizona State baseball. In his first year, Murphy guided ASU to a 34-21 record and put together the No. 1 recruiting class in the country. In 1996, he directed ASU to a 35-21 record and a No. 25 final ranking by Baseball America. His recruiting class was ranked third in the country. Last year marked ASU's return to postseason play as ASU went 3-2 in the NCAA Atlantic Regiona, narrowly missing out on a trip to Omaha. The Devils finished with a 39-22 record and a No. 11 ranking by Baseball America and No. 14 ranking by Collegiate Baseball. Murphy has also started the Pitch-by-Pitch Baseball Academy which holds baseball camps and clinics year round, not only in Phoenix, but around the country as well. His 426-180-1 Division I record gives him a winning percentage of .702, seventh-best among active NCAA coaches with a minimum of five years of Division I experience.
Murphy's Notre Dame teams recorded 45 or more wins in each of the past six seasons and advanced to the finals of an NCAA Regional each of the last three seasons.
The Syracuse, N.Y., native was hired August 17, 1994, and immediately set to work on building his program.
He also has international coaching experience, guiding the Dutch National Team to the European championship in the summer of 1987, and helping to develop baseball in Australia as a state manager in New South Wales in 1984.
CASEY AT BAT -- Freshman designated hitter Casey Myers is batting at a .391 clip (45-for-115) with 14 doubles (second on the team) and two homeruns. He has made 31 starts in 33 appearances and hit his second homerun of the season vs. Washington on March 27. Myers has hit 12 doubles in his last 15 games. Versus USC, Myers went five-for-12 with one run scored and two RBI. He was named Six-Pac Player of the Week for his performance vs. Arizona (4/6).
UP NEXT -- Arizona State will host in-state rival Arizona in a three-game conference series at Packard Stadium (4/24-4/26) in Tempe.
THE DYNAMIC DUO -- The one-two punch of junior lefties Ryan Mills (Scottsdale, Ariz.) and Phill Lowery (Petaluma, Calif.) have proven to be formidable in 1998. Mills and Lowery have combined for 12 wins and a 4.22 ERA.
Lowery (7-4, 4.16 ERA) picked up his seventh win of the season on Sunday, going 5.0 innings, allowing five hits and two runs while striking out five batters in a 24-4 rout of then-No. 3 USC.
Mills sports a 4.28 ERA through 13 starts and picked up his fifth win of the year on Thursday, going 8.0 innings allowing three hits, two earned runs and striking out a season-high 15 batters.
Lowery is holding batters to a .217 average (.209 vs. righthanded batters). Last year both were among the conference leaders in ERA (Mills, 2.88 ERA ranked 1st and Lowery's 4.13 ERA ranked 7th) and hits per nine inning (Mills, 7.61 hits ranked 1st and Lowery's 8.26 hits ranked 4th).
ASU Baseball on the Internet -- Fans can catch-up on the latest news in Sun Devil Baseball on the internet at the official Arizona State Athletics homepage - http://www.thesundevils.com
INJURY REPORT -- Sophomore Kevin Tillman, who has been bothered with a left hamstring strain, will apply for a medical redshirt at the end of this season and is out for the rest of the year. Junior Chip Gosewisch had surgery on his left shoulder on Saturday and is out for the remainder of the season.
PACKARD STADIUM TABBED AS ONE OF NATION'S FINEST -- Baseball America recently ranked the top 15 college baseball stadiums in the country and ASU's own Packard Stadium checked in as the 10th best collegiate ballpark. Packard Stadium was the only Six-Pac facility to make the publications list and one of only five West coast ballparks.
PRESEASON ACCOLADES -- Two Sun Devils received multiple preseason honors by several publications to kick off the 1998 season: LHP Ryan Mills, first-team All-American (Baseball America), first-team All-American (The Sporting News) and second-team All-American (Collegiate Baseball); 3B Andrew Beinbrink, first-team All-American (The Sporting News), second-team All-American (Baseball America) and second-team All-American (Collegiate Baseball).