Feb. 17, 1998
TEMPE, Ariz.--- Arizona State (10-3, 0-0 Pac-10 Southern Division and ranked No. 8 Baseball America and No. 11 Collegiate Baseball in the polls) hosts Brigham Young (5-2) in a mid-week matchup before hitting the road to open Six-Pac play with California (2-5-1, 0-2 Six-Pac) in Berkeley, California over the weekend.
Wed. Feb. 18 Brigham Young 4 p.m. MST Fri., Feb. 20 at California 3 p.m. MST Sat., Feb. 21 at California 2 p.m. MST Sun., Feb. 22 at California 2 p.m. MST
THIS WEEK ON THE RADIO -- KMVP 860 AM, home of Sun Devil baseball, will broadcast the BYU game and all three games over the weekend with Cal. Tom Dillon and Bob Eger will provide the play-by-play and color commentary respectively.
ABOUT THE GOLDEN BEARS -- The Bears enter this weekend with a 2-5-1 record after droppong two games to UCLA over the weekend (the third game was rained out and will be made up at a later date) ... California will play Santa Clara today (weather permitting) ... they are coached by Bob Milano (California '61), now in his 21st year at the helm ... Junior Jason Hill currently leads the club with a .387 average (12-for-31) with a team-leading nine RBI and three stolen bases ... ASU leads the all-time series with the Golden Bears, 75-46 ... last year, the Devils won five-of six games in the series, taking two-fo-three at Evans Diamond.
ABOUT THE COUGARS -- Brigham Young enters this weekend's games with a 5-2 record after falling to Southern Utah, 9-13 on Monday ... they are coached by Gary Pullins ... ASU holds a 35-8 advantage in the overall series ... in their last meeting, Arizona State defeated BYU, 9-3 (2/28/97).
DID YOU KNOW? -- Arizona State has not been shutout in its last 147 games (last time shutout was a 0-9 loss to USC on April 7, 1995) ... The ASU pitching staff has a solid 2.63 ERA through 13 games ... the Devils have allowed only two stolen base (2-10) this season ... ASU has held its opponents to a .192 batting average through 13 games this season ... Coach Pat Murphy is averaging 42.6 wins per season at the Div. 1 level (429 wins over 10 years) ... the Sun Devils have outscored its opponents 121-44 through its first 13 games this year ... ASU pitchers have thrown three two-hitters (one complete, two combined) and one one-hitter (combined) in 1998 ... Arizona State starting pitchers have earned the decision in 12 of the 13 contests this season.
talk about tough -- Once again, Arizona State has arguably one of the toughest schedules in the nation this year. The Sun Devils will play 34 games versus Top 25 teams (preseason top 25 by Baseball America). Five Six-Pac teams were ranked in the preseason top 25.
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).
ON THE BRINK-- Junior Andrew Beinbrink (San Diego, Calif.), who has already picked up some preseason accolades, will anchor ASU's infield from third base in 1998. The 6-3 infielder batted .380 last year with 92 hits, 72 RBI, 60 runs scored, nine homeruns and 23 doubles. Beinbrink is is one of only three players to start every game this season. He leads the team with five doubles, two triples and 18 RBI and has batted safely in nine of the last 10 games. He is third on the team in runs scored (14) and tied for third in hits (15). Nine of his 15 hits have been for extra bases.
leon pulls double-duty -- Senior Richy Leon (San Luis, Ariz.) will once again split his time in the field and on the mound in 1998. Leon will see time at shortstop/second base and as a righthanded middle reliever/closer or spot starter for the Devils. He pitched 30.1 innings with a 1-1 record, two saves with a 2.08 ERA in 16 appearances last season. Through 13 games, he is batting .300 with 13 runs scored and eight RBI. In two relief appearance, he has a 0.00 ERA (2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K). Leon hit his first homerun of the season with a two-run shot vs. Washington State (2/15).
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 five wins and a 1.47 ERA. Mills pitched 17.0 consecutive scoreless innings for the Devils before allowing a run and sports an incredible 0.92 ERA through four starts. Lowery is right behind him with a 2.08 ERA. Mills is holding opponent batters to a .167 average while Lowery is holding batters to a .220 average. 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).
COUNTDOWN TO 500 -- Arizona State head coach Pat Murphy will reach the 500-win mark during the 1998 season. His career record stands at 491-238-3 over 13 seasons as a head coach. Murphy need just nine victories to reach the 500-win plateau.
THE LAST HURRAH -- Senior outfielder Mikel Moreno will end a long and successful career at ASU after this season. Through 13 games, he is batting .368 with 15 RBI and 21 hits. He has also swiped five bases in the young 1998 season. The speedy rightfielder has started all 13 contests and put together a 21-game hitting streak dating back to the 1997 season before going 0-for-5 vs. FSU (2/7). He is on a three-game hitting streak and has posted back-to-back multiple hit games. Moreno, atwo-year starter, should leave his mark in several Sun Devil career categories including career doubles, runs and hits.
pitchers corner -- A lot of new faces will grace the bullpen in 1998, including junior transfer Chuck Crumpton (Mesquite, Texas) who has been tabbed as ASU's setup man. Crumpton has pitched 12.1 innings of relief for the Devils in 1998 and was a part of both of ASU's combined shutout victories. He sports a gaudy 0.73 ERA and has only allowed one earned run in 12.1 innings while striking out 11. 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 (1-0), in his first collegiate start, pitched 7.2 innings of two-hit ball in a 14-0 win over Hawaii-Hilo. Transfer Aaron Kramer (Grand Canyon U.) has also joined the ASU pitching staff. He picked up his first win at ASU vs. Washington State on Saturday, pitching 2.0 innings of relief. All are expected to see time on the mound as well as sophomore Jay Gehrke (2-1, 6.17 ERA) and Colin Call (1-0, 2.84 ERA)..
INJURY REPORT -- Sophomore Kevin Tillman, who strained his left hamstring a couple weeks ago, is still listed as doubtful for this weekend's games ... senior Rudy Arguelles has been upgraded to probable for this week's games.
THE HIT MAN -- Sophomore Willie Bloomquist (Port Orchard, Wash.) has started the 1998 season on a tear. The infielder/outfielder is batting .478 (22-for-46) and leads the team in runs scored (17), stolen bases (8) and walks (17). Bloomquist has drawn at least one walk in 11 of 13 games this season and had multiple-hit games in seven of 13. He was invited to the USA National Team Trials held in Tucson, Ariz. in November. While at the trials, the middle infielder hit .556 (five-for-nine) with three runs scored and one RBI. Bloomquist will be evaluated throughout the 1998 season and if all goes well, receive another invitation to the trials in the summer.
UP NEXT -- ASU will host Grand Canyon in a mid-week game at Packard Stadium on February 24 at 7 p.m. ... the Devils will then host the top-ranked Stanford Cardinal in a Six-Pac matchup February 27-March 1 at Packard Stadium.
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.
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
Sun Devils On The Radio -- KMVP 860 AM continues its association with Arizona State baseball with a package of 56 home and away games to be broadcast this season. Tom Dillon calls the play-by-play while Bob Eger will handle color commentary duties. The following is a list of the six games that will not be broadcast by KMVP: Jan. 22 vs. CS Northridge, Jan. 24 vs. Florida International, Jan. 31 vs. Hawaii-Hilo (DH), Feb. 25 vs. Anaheim Angels (exhib.) and Feb. 27 vs. Stanford. You can also listen to the Sun Devils via audionet at www.audionet.com
FABULOUS FRESHMEN -- ASU'S freshmen class is already making a big impact on the 1998 season. Freshman Casey Myers (Casa Grande, Ariz.) is getting the job done in the designated hitters spot for the Devils. Myers is batting .361 (13-for-36) in 11 stints as the DH and is on a three-game hitting streak. He has scored seven runs and has five RBI. Infielder Jeff Phelps (Yuma, Ariz.) is hitting at a .409 clip (9-for-22) with 10 runs scored and three RBI. Phelps has made seven starts this season at first base and right field for ASU. Freshman pitchers Chad Pennington, Robby Milner and Drew Friedberg have all made solid contributions. Friedberg (Middleton, Wisconsin) pitched two strong innings of shutout ball in ASU's Sunday loss to WSU while Pennington picked up the win in his first collegiate start (vs. Hawaii-Hilo, 2/1).
PRESEASON PAC-10 COACHES POLL -- Arizona State is picked to finish second in the 1998 Pac-10 Coaches Preseason Poll as voted on by the six head coaches from each of the Six-Pac schools. Here is the complete poll:
1. Stanford (4)
2. Arizona State (2)
( ) - denoted first place votes