May 28, 2003
TEMPE, Ariz. (www.TheSunDevils.com) -- While the Road to Omaha has just begun with the 2003 NCAA Tournament set to begin this weekend, the Arizona State Baseball team held its annual On Deck Circle team banquet Tuesday night in the Carson Student-Athlete Center Hall of Fame. Several Sun Devils earned awards for their success during the 2003 regular season and ASU's seven seniors were honored for their contributions to the Sun Devils Baseball legacy.
Arizona State finished the regular season with a 50-12 record and head into this weekend's NCAA Regional at Tempe Diablo Stadium as one of the 16 No. 1 seeds in the tournament. The Devils tied Florida State for the most wins by an NCAA team this year.
Sophomore shortstop Dustin Pedroia highlighted the evening winning numerous awards, including winning the On Deck Circle Most Valuable Player Award for the second straight year. Pedroia (Woodland, Calif.), who earlier in the day was named the Pac-10 co-Player of the Year with Stanford's Ryan Garko, was also honored for setting the school and league single-season record with 32 doubles. Pedroia won the regular season Pac-10 batting title hitting .418 (112-for-268) and recorded 38 multi-hit games.
Redshirt junior Mike Guerrero (Mesa) was selected as the Developmental MVP for his dedicated work ethic and improvement on the field over the past year. Heading into postseason play, Guerrero is hitting .359 with 12 doubles and two home runs. After transferring from South Mountain CC in 2001, Guerrero sat out the 2002 season as a redshirt.
Outfielder Travis Buck and left-handed pitcher Erik Averill shared the Freshman Newcomer Award. Buck (Richland, Wash.) hit .349 during the regular season with 13 doubles and four home runs. He has been invited to the USA Baseball National Team trials and was named honorable mention All-Pac-10. Averill (Orange, Calif.) went 8-1 in the regular season with a 3.48 ERA. Both players have etched their names in numbers categories of the ASU freshman record book.
Utility player Frank Mesa brought home the Junior College Newcomer Award. Mesa, a sophomore transfer from Yuma's Arizona Western, started at third and second bases for the Devils in 2003. He heads into the NCAA regional ranked fifth on the team in hitting at .363 (49-for-135) with six doubles and 23 RBI.
The Transfer Newcomer Award was presented to senior right-hander pitcher Ben Thurmond. Thurmond transferred to ASU after earning All-America honors at Winthrop College and has become one of the Sun Devils most reliable pitchers. Thurmond (Hopkins, S.C.) enters the postseason play with a 6-0 record and is ranked second in the Pac-10 with a 2.87 ERA.
The Mr. Fireman Award was awarded to junior closer Ryan Schroyer. Appearing in 27 games in 2003, Schroyer allowed only seven earned runs in 43.1 innings for a 1.45 ERA. The hard-throwing right-hander went 5-2 with eight saves and struck out 48 batters. He is currently tied for fourth in the ASU career record books with 16 saves. Schroyer was one of four Sun Devils to earn First-Team All-Pac-10 honors.
The Jim Henderson Courage Award was given to senior left-handed pitcher Carlos Arguello. The award that best exemplifies the courage and heart of one of the Sun Devil players, Arguello received a standing ovation from the crowd. Arguello (Albuquerque, N.M.) lost his younger brother during the off season when he was stabbed when he tried to break up a fight at a party. Arguello, who originally transferred to ASU from Cochise College, has been one of ASU's most clutch pitchers in 2003, going 3-0 with a 5.06 ERA.
The Jim Brock/Mr. Sun Devil Award was presented to senior left-handed pitcher and outfielder Bryce Kartler. Kartler has filled both roles for the Devils this year going 0-0 with a 5.21 ERA in 19.0 innings on the mound. Kartler recently became an ASU graduate and is widely regarded as a team leader after his four successful seasons in the program.
The Bobby Winkles Award for outstanding hustle and team leadership went to sophomore catcher Tuffy Gosewisch. Gosewisch's hard-nosed style of play and all-out hustle have quickly made him a fan favorite. After going through a rough freshman season in which he hit .128, Gosewisch heads into the 2003 NCAA Tournament hitting .341 with nine doubles, two home runs and 37 RBI. Gosewisch (Scottsdale) earned Pac-10 Honorable Mention honors.
Senior pitcher Jered Liebeck and Beau Vaughan shared the Pitcher of the Year Award. The two, who were high school teammates at Glendale's Mountain Ridge High School, combined for 16 wins in 2003. Vaughan came to ASU after transferring from New Orleans and has made himself into a top prospect for the 2003 MLB Draft by going 9-5 with a 4.66 ERA. Vaughan heads into postseason play ranked second in the Pac-10 with 97 strikeouts. Liebeck, a senior right-hander, went 7-0 during the regular season and leads the Pac-10 with a 2.64 ERA. Filling the role as a starter and lately a long reliever, Liebeck earned Pac-10 and National Pitcher of the Week honors after throwing a complete-game, three-hit shutout against nationally ranked Long Beach State.
Junior outfielder Andre Ethier was presented with the Outstanding Defensive Player Award. Spending time as both the starting center fielder and right fielder in 2003, Ethier recorded a team best five outfield assists. In addition to his stellar defense, Ethier made an impact at the plate hitting .369 (87-for-236) with nine home runs and 61 RBI. He heads into this weekend's NCAA regional with a career-high 17-game hitting streak. For the second straight year Ethier was named First-Team All-Pac-10.
The Outstanding Offensive Player of the Year Award was split between two Sun Devils who spent much of the 2003 season rewriting the record books. Junior designated Jeremy West (Las Vegas) hit .366 (64-for-175) during the regular season and leads the Devils with 17 home runs and has twice been named the Pac-10 Player of the Week. He had a record-breaking day against Washington State (4/27) in which he tied a pair of school record with three home runs and nine RBI. He is currently tied for eighth in ASU history with 36 career home runs.
Larish (Tempe) is second on the team in batting at .377 (80-for-212) with 16 home runs and a league-best 86 RBI. He tied or broke several ASU record during the 2003 season, including single-game marks for doubles (tied, 4) and RBI (tied, 9), and broke the ASU single-season record with four grand slams. Larish also became only the second Sun Devil to join the 70-70 (RBI-BB) club and is currently second in ASU single-season history with 72 walks. Larish was one of four Sun Devils to be named First-Team All-Pac-10.
ASU's seven seniors (Dennis Wyrick, Jered Liebeck, Beau Vaughan, Carlos Arguello, Ben Thurmond, Bryce Kartler and Robbie McClellan) were each presented with a framed jersey for their contributions during the 2003 season and their respective careers.
Family, friends and fans of ASU Baseball helped celebrate the 50-win regular season and wished the team off to a successful postseason run on the Road to Omaha.
2003 ASU Baseball Award Winners:
Developmental MVP: Mike Guerrero, Jr., OF/1B
Newcomer of the Year (Freshman): Erik Averill, Fr., LHP and Travis Buck, Fr. OF
Newcomer of the Year (Junior College): Frank Mesa, So., INF
Newcomer of the Year (Transfer): Ben Thurmond, Sr., RHP
Mr. Fireman Award: Ryan Schroyer, Jr., RHP
Jim Henderson Courage Award: Carlos Arguello, Sr., LHP
Jim Brock/Mr. Sun Devil Award: Bryce Karlter, Sr., LHP/OF
Bobby Winkles Award: Tuffy Gosewisch, So., C
Pitcher of the Year: Beau Vaughan, Sr., RHP and Jered Liebeck, Sr., RHP
Outstanding Defensive Player: Andre Ethier, Jr., OF
Outstanding Offensive Players: Jeremy West, Jr., DH and Jeff Larish, So., 1B
On Deck Circle MVP: Dustin Pedroia, So., SS