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#1 Baseball Opens Pac-10 Play At Home With USC
Courtesy: Sun Devil Athletics
Release: 03/26/2008
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Courtesy: Sun Devil Athletics
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March 26, 2008

TEMPE, Ariz. -

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Leading Off:

The Sun Devils begin defense of their Pac-10 title, hosting USC in a three game conference series at Winkles Field-Packard Stadium at Brock Ballpark. The Trojans enter the weekend 11-11, including a 2-1 mark in the Pac-10. They took two of three from Arizona last weekend at Dedeaux Field in Los Angeles, then dropped two against LMU. ASU enters the weekend 22-1 after going 5-1 last week.

 

Devils vs. USC:

The Trojans lead the all-time series with Arizona State 93-88. The Devils took two out of three from USC last season at Dedeaux Field. Two of the most successful programs in the history of college baseball, Arizona State and USC have also met eight times in the College World Series, including four times in the National Championship game.

 

Pac-10 Play:

Arizona State begins its 30th season of Pac-10 play. Last year, ASU went 19-5 and won its seventh Pacific-10 Championship. The Devils are 475-338 all-time in Pac-10 play and 196-139 under Pat Murphy. This year's opening series with the USC Trojans also marks the third time under Coach Murphy (1995-Present) that the Sun Devils will open the Pac-10 portion of their schedule with USC. Last season Arizona State began Pac-10 play at Dedeaux Field in Los Angeles.

 

Hot Start:

The Sun Devils season-opening winning streak came to an end at 19, the second best start in school history. It was the best start to a season in 47 years, falling two games shy of the mark set by the 1961 squad, who started 21-0. The 19-0 start is the best start ever by a Murphy coached team.

 

Facing Tough Competition:

The Sun Devils will face one of the toughest schedules in the country in 2008. 13 of their opponents are or have been ranked at some point this season, including four who have spent time in the top five. Beginning with the series at Stanford that starts April 4, ASU will play 18 of their next 19 games against teams that are currently ranked.

 

Rankings:

Arizona State is ranked #1 in all five major polls, the second straight week they have been the unanimous #1 team.

 

Schaefer Tournament Recap:

The Sun Devils ran their season opening winning streak to 19 games in the opener of the Bob Schaefer Memorial Tournament on Thursday, beating Northern Colorado 13-3. Brett Wallace and Ike Davis each homered, while Jason Kipnis had four hits in the victory...The streak came to an end on Friday, as ASU stranded 13 runners in a 6-3 loss to Northern Colorado. The Devils loaded the bases in the seventh, eighth and ninth innings, but failed to score a single run...Arizona State got back in the win column on Saturday, sweeping a doubleheader from Florida International. Ike Davis drove in three runs and picked up the save in the 10-5 game one win, then recorded another save in game two. Brett Wallace and Kiel Roling each homered in the 8-4 game two triumph...Sunday was the much anticipated rematch of 2007 CWS teams, as the Devils battled the #5 UC Irvine Anteaters. UC Irvine jumped out to a 1-0 lead in the top of the first, but Mike Leake did not allow a run for the next seven innings, throwing a complete game in an 11-3 win. Ike Davis and Marcel Champagnie each drove in three while Leake fanned nine in the victory.

 

Wall Ball:

Ike Davis has been as hot as any player in the nation, and he proved it again over the weekend. Davis recorded three saves on the mound, but his biggest accomplishment was homering over the Green Monster on Sunday against UC Irvine. Davis became the 22nd player overall and 16th Sun Devil to homer over the Monster, joining Brett Wallace and Jason Kipnis as active Devils who have accomplished the feat. All the more impressive, Davis broke his bat on the swing,.

 

Mr. Double:

Ike Davis is climbing up the school's all-time doubles list. Davis now has 57 doubles in his career, tying him with Jeff Larish (2002-05) and Jeff Phelps (1998-2001) for seventh overall. Clay Westlake (1973-76) is the school's all-time leader with 88. Davis has 14 already this year after hitting 23 last season. The 14 doubles is tied for second most in the nation.

      Most Doubles, ASU History

      1. Clay Westlake, 1973-76....       88

     2. Andrew Beinbrink, 1996-99 75

     3. Dustin Pedroia, 2002-04....       71

     4. Antone Williamson, 1992-94..... 70

     5. Casey Myers, 1998-2000..       64

     6. Dan Rumsey, 1986-89......       58

     7. Jeff Phelps, 1998-2001.....       57

       Jeff Larish, 2002-05..........       57

       Ike Davis, 2006-P............         57

 

Walk This Way:

Petey Paramore led the Pac-10 in bases on balls last season, totaling 53 in 64 games. His good eye has continued so far in 2008, as he has already drawn 28 walks in 23 games. Paramore now has 115 walks in his career and is only the 22nd Sun Devil to ever draw over 100. The 115 walks is 13th most in school history. Alvin Davis (1979-82) is the all-time leader with 207.

 

Keeping A Weather Eye:

Arizona State is drawing a ton of walks as a team, drawing 155 so far this season. Last season they drew 319 free passes as a team. The school record for bases on balls in a season is 482, set in 1982. The Devils have also been hit by 23 pitches this year.

Sold Out:

The game against Arizona packed 4,235 raucous fans into Winkles Field-Packard Stadium at Brock Ballpark. It was the highest attendance for a regular season game since January 28, 2005, when 4,783 saw ASU face Long Beach State in the season opener. For the Arizona game, temporary bleachers were set up in the right field berm area and ticket brokers were asking for a reported $75 a ticket.

 

Players of the Week:

Ike Davis has named to the College Baseball Foundation's National All-Star Lineup three straight weeks, and was named a Collegiate Baseball National Player of the Week. He was also named Pac-10 Player of the Week consecutive weeks, the first person since Travis Buck in 2004 to earn that distinction. Brett Wallace was named the Pac-10 Player of the Week following opening weekend.

 

Call To The Hall For Bane and Bannister:

Legendary Sun Devil pitchers Eddie Bane and Floyd Bannister have been named to the College Baseball Hall of Fame Class of 2008. Bane pitched for ASU from 1971 to 1973, recording a 40-4 career record with a 1.64 ERA. He threw the only perfect game in Sun Devil history, striking out 19 in a 9-0 win over Cal State Northridge in 1973. Bane is the school's leader in career strikeouts, fanning 535 in his three seasons in Maroon and Gold. Floyd Bannister went 38-6 with a 1.88 ERA from 1974 to 1976, throwing 29 career complete games, second most in school history. He won 19 games in 1976, tied for the school single season record, and struck out an ASU record 217 in 1975. He was the #1 overall pick in the 1976 MLB draft. Bane and Bannister join Bobby Winkles, Jim Brock and Bob Horner as Sun Devils in the College Baseball Hall of Fame.

 

Family Matters:

Freshman OF/LHP Matt Newman has Maroon and Gold in his blood. His father, Randy, was a pitcher for the Sun Devils in 1981 and 1982, winning 15 career games and the 1981 National Championship. Freshman catcher Andrew Pollak is the brother of former Sun Devil football great Mike Pollak, who played center for the Devils from 2004 to 2007. Mike was a two-time All-Pac-10 performer. Andrew wears number 76, the same number Mike wore on the gridiron. UTL Mike Murphy is no relation to head coach Pat Murphy, although he is the first player named Murphy Pat Murphy has ever coached. New assistant coach Josh Holliday is the son of former Oklahoma State head baseball coach Tom Holliday and the brother of current Colorado Rockies outfielder Matt Holliday.

 

2008 Pre-Season Honors:

ASU has several pre-season All-Americans on its roster. Brett Wallace and Josh Satow were both named First Teamers by the NCBWA as well as Collegiate Baseball. Petey Paramore joined them on the NCBWA list. Mike Leake was named a Second Team selection by both the NCBWA and Collegiate Baseball. Kiel Roling was named to the Second Team by the NCBWA. Ike Davis was a Third Team selection by both the NCBWA and Collegiate Baseball. Wallace, Davis and Paramore were all named Second Teamers by Baseball America.

 

Pac-10 Picks:

The Sun Devils were picked to finish second in the Pac-10 in the annual preseason coaches poll. ASU got three first place votes, while Arizona was picked to win with six first place votes. Arizona State won the Pac-10 last season. Arizona finished second.

 

Golden Spikes Watch List:

Ike Davis, Petey Paramore and Brett Wallace have all been named to the 2008 Golden Spikes Award Watch List. ASU has had three Golden Spikes winners, Bob Horner, Odibe McDowell and Mike Kelly.

 

Wallace Award Watch List:

Arizona State has four players on the Wallace Award Watch List. Brett Wallace, Josh Satow, Mike Leake and Petey Paramore are all on the initial list. Wallace was Semi-Finalist for the award last season.

 

Captain and the Bench Award Watch List:

Head coach Pat Murphy has named junior catcher Petey Paramore as the captain of the 2008 Sun Devils. Paramore has also been named to the Watch List for the Johnny Bench Award, the third straight year he has made the list.

 

Home Sweet Home:

Arizona State is finishing up a stretch that will see them play 22 consecutive home games. The Devils will play those 22 home contests in a span of 29 days. ASU will not hit the road until the series at Stanford that begins April 4, meaning that the Sun Devils will have played their first 28 games of the season in the state of Arizona.

 

Coach Murphy Honored:

Pat Murphy has been inducted into the Florida Atlantic University Baseball Hall of Fame. Murphy played for the Owls from 1981 to 1982, then coached three years at the school.

 

Schedule Strength:

Arizona State will once again face one of the toughest schedules in the country this season. ASU will play three teams (Oregon State, UC Irvine and Cal State Fullerton) that went to Omaha last year, in addition to Super Regional teams Wichita State, Michigan and UCLA.

 

Inter-Conference Battles:

In addition to facing the schools in the Pac-10, the Devils will also take on teams from 11 different conferences in 2008. ASU will face two teams from the SEC (Arkansas, Vanderbilt), two from the Big West (Cal State Fullerton, UC Irvine), two from the Sun Belt (Troy, Florida International), two from the Western Athletic (New Mexico, Hawai'i), two from the West Coast Conference (Portland, Loyola Marymount) and one each from the Big 12 (Kansas State), Atlantic 10 (UMass), Mid-American (Miami,Ohio), Big 10 (Michigan), Missouri Valley (Wichita State) and Southern (Wofford). ASU will also face Northern Colorado, who is an independent.

 

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 2007, 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.

 

Fandemonium:

Not only were the 2007 Devils dominant on the field at Winkles Field-Packard Stadium at Brock Ballpark, but they were dominant at the turnstiles as well. The Devils went 35-3 at home and led the West Coast in attendance for the third straight season. 116,205 fans came out to see the Sun Devils in 2007, the highest attendance since 1984. ASU finished 17th nationally in average attendance, averaging 3,141 fans per game.

 

Tournaments:

The Sun Devils hosted three tournament in 2008. The DeMarini Invitational with Vanderbilt, Oregon State and Miami,OH was opening weekend, then the 6th Annual Coca-Cola Classic, featuring ASU, Hawai'i, Michigan, Portland and Northern Illinois, took place the following weekend, with games being played in both Surprise and Tempe. The Bob Schaefer Memorial Tournament spanned four days and featured Florida International, Northern Colorado and UC Irvine.

 

Up Next:

Arizona State will host Wofford on Tuesday and Wednesday before departing on its first road trip of the season. The Sun Devils will continue Pac-10 play in a three-game series at Stanford beginning on Friday night at Sunken Diamond.

 

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