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#6 Baseball Hosts Utah Valley State, Heads To Oregon State
Courtesy: Sun Devil Athletics
Release: 05/16/2007
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Courtesy: Sun Devil Athletics
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May 16, 2007

TEMPE, Ariz. -

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Leading Off:

After sweeping UCLA, the Sun Devils take on the Utah Valley State Wolverines in their final non-conference game before heading to Corvallis for a series with Oregon State. UVSC enters the contest 22-27, while Oregon State holds a 36-13 record, 8-10 in the Pac-10.

 

The Sun Devils vs. The Wolverines:

Utah Valley State has never lost to Arizona State, shocking the Devils in Tempe 9-6 in 2005.

 

The Sun Devils vs. The Beavers:

Arizona State leads the all-time series with Oregon State 31-16. The Beavers beat the Devils 12-4 earlier this year in Surprise. Last season the teams split their four games.

 

Dr. Jim Brock, Hall of Famer:

Former Sun Devils head coach Jim Brock has been named a 2007 College Baseball Hall of Fame inductee. Brock, who coached at ASU from 1972 until his death in 1994, will become the third Sun Devil in the Hall of Fame, joining fellow coach Bobby Winkles and former Golden Spikes Award winner Bob Horner.

 

Facing Tough Competition:

So far in 2007, ASU has nine losses that have come at the hands of teams who have been ranked at some point this season, including one to Vanderbilt, who is the top ranked team in the nation. The Sun Devils also have 19 wins against teams that have been ranked at some point this year, including a 22-8 win over Arizona, who has been ranked as high as 7th. Also, seven of the losses have been by one run, including an extra inning game with Vanderbilt. ASU has faced or will face seven teams ranked in the Top 25 in the latest ISR rankings on BoydsWorld.com, where the Sun Devils are currently ranked 3rd. Arizona State has 13 teams on their 2007 schedule that are currently ranked or have been ranked at some point this season, continuing the Sun Devil tradition of playing one of the most difficult schedules in the nation. They have faced five opponents that have been ranked in the Top 10 at some point this season.

 

UCLA Recap:

It was not a weekend for the faint of heart if you are a Devils fan, as all three games against the Bruins weren't decided until late...It looked like it would be blowout early on Friday, as ASU jumped out to a 7-1 lead after three innings. But UCLA put on a furious rally, eventually taking a 14-7 lead into the sixth inning. The Devils didn't panic, scoring nine times in the final three innings to pull out a 16-14 victory. Three-run homers by Kiel Roling and Brett Wallace helped the cause, as did the eventual game winning, two-run triple by Andrew Romine...Saturday was a much lower scoring affair, but just as dramatic. Despite two solo homers by Matt Spencer, the Sun Devils found themselves down 4-3 heading to the ninth. Tim Smith's RBI single with two strikes tied the game, then Spencer ended it with a walk-off RBI single to left that gave ASU a 5-4 win...Looking for the sweep on Sunday, Arizona State did not start off well, falling into a 7-0 hole after four. The never-say-die Devils just kept chipping away, eventually tying the game at nine on an Eric Sogard three-run blast. After the Bruins jumped back ahead with an unearned run in the seventh, Ike Davis and Matt Spencer led off the home half with back-to-back doubles to tie the game, then a Tim Smith sac fly gave ASU the lead at 11-10. Jason Jarvis slammed the door in the ninth, giving ASU the win and a series sweep.

 

National and Pac-10 Player of the Week:

Junior OF/LHP Matt Spencer was rewarded for his huge weekend by being named the Pro-Line Athletic National Hitter of the Week by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. Spencer hit .750 (9-12) with a double, a triple, two homers, seven RBI, six runs scored and two hit by pitches. He also had two mound outings and made some spectacular defensive plays in left, including throwing a runner out at home. This is the third time this year that Spencer has been named a National Player of the Week. He was also honored by the Pac-10 Conference as their Player of the Week. It is the first time in Spencer's career he has been named the Pac-10 Player of the Week and the 83rd time a Sun Devil has won the award, including the sixth time this season.

 

NCAA RPI:

2007 marks the first time in history that the NCAA will be releasing current RPI numbers for Division I baseball. The Sun Devils come in at #7 after sweeping UCLA last weekend. ASU is the highest ranked Pac-10 team, and has already faced four teams in the top 20: Vanderbilt (#2), Texas A&M (#5), Long Beach State (#6) and Louisiana-Lafayette (#13). Of Arizona State's two remaining conference opponents, Oregon State is #35 and Arizona is #27.

 

Dandy Dozen:

The Sun Devils' 12-game win streak was snapped by Cal on April 27th, ending the longest win streak for ASU since 2003. Arizona State won 19 straight from February 1st until March 9th that year. This year's streak was the first win streak in double-digits since an 11-game run from April 27th to May 22nd in 2004. The school record for longest win streak? 32 games, accomplished by Hall of Famer Jim Brock's 1972 squad. That team went 64-6 and lost in the national championship game.

 

Lights Out Leake:

With his eight inning, five-hit performance against Cal on April 28th, freshman righty Mike Leake picked up his 10th win of the season. He is the first Sun Devil to get 10 wins in a year since Erik Averill and Jason Urquidez did it in 2005. Averill finished 11-4, while Urquidez ended up 10-4 for the team that finished 3rd in the nation. The 10 wins in his freshman season puts Leake in a tie for fourth most wins by a freshman in school history. Kendall Carter set the mark in 1981, winning 19 games for the National Champs. Skip Hancock won 13 in 1964, as did Ken Jones in 1978. Leake is tied with Kaipo Spenser, who won 10 in 1994, and Doug Newstrom, who did it in 1991.

 

Save Me!:

With two saves against UCLA, freshman righty Jason Jarvis is now in sole position of third place on the school's freshman saves list with seven. He trails only Mitch Dean (1976) and Zechry Zinicola (2004), who each recorded eight during their rookie years.

 

I'm Gonna Knock You In:

Last season, Ike Davis set a new Pac-10 freshman record and led the team with his 65 runs batted in. Brett Wallace has already put that number in his rear view mirror, as he now has 70 RBI so far this year.

 

Pac-10 Players of the Week:

Five Sun Devils have earned weekly honors from the Pac-10 so far this season, including Kiel Roling twice. Roling, Matt Spencer and Brett Wallace have both been named Pac-10 Player of the Week while Josh Satow and Brian Flores have both earned Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week recognition. Spencer is the reigning Player of the Week.

 

National Honor Roll Honorees:

Brett Wallace, Matt Spencer, Josh Satow, Petey Paramore, Brian Flores and Kiel Roling have all been named College Baseball Foundation National Honor Roll Players of the Week so far this season. Roling has twice earned the distinction.

 

30 Is Nothing New:

Arizona State baseball has now topped the 30-win mark for the 45th consecutive season and 47th season overall in school history. Head coach Pat Murphy has never failed to win at least 30 games as a Division I head coach. ASU has the longest 30-win season streak in the nation. Florida State has hit the mark 43 straight times, including 2007.

 

O Captain! My Captain!:

Head coach Pat Murphy named junior OF Rocky Laguna the team captain, prior to the season. This is the first time in the 13 years that Murphy has been at ASU that he has named a team captain. Laguna is a redshirt junior who is in his fourth year with the program. The Yuma, Ariz. product is a key reserve, providing a steady glove in the outfield and an experienced bat.

 

Consistency In The New Millennium:

Since the 2000 season, Pat Murphy and Arizona State Sun Devils have the highest winning percentage in the Pac-10 entering this weekend, and the 13th highest winning percentage in the nation. ASU enters this weekend at 329-146-2 since 2000, a winning percentage of .692. Stanford is the next highest Pac-10 club, with a 333-161 record this millennium, a winning percentage of .674. ASU has the 17th most victories (329) in the NCAA since 2000.

 

Big League Splash:

Former Sun Devil Travis Buck, who played at ASU from 2003-2005, became the 87th Sun Devil to play Major League Baseball when he started in right field for the Oakland A's on opening day. Buck is one of nine Sun Devils on opening day rosters. He is joined by Barry Bonds (Giants), Willie Bloomquist (Mariners), Paul Lo Duca (Mets), Chris Duffy (Pirates), Ian Kinsler (Rangers), Dustin Pedroia (Red Sox), Andre Ethier (Dodgers) and Jon Switzer (Devil Rays). Switzer is currently on the 60-day DL for Tampa. Only USC and Texas have produced more Major Leaguers than Arizona State.

 

Quick Hits:

Petey Paramore has been a walks machine this season. Paramore has drawn 45 walks already this year, tops in the conference. He was third on the team last season with 34 free passes...Andrew Romine has 15 bunt singles this season...The Challenge at Chase marked the third time in 2007 ASU has played in a Major League facility. They played at Minute Maid Park, home of the Houston Astros and at Surprise Stadium, Spring Training home of the Texas Rangers and Kansas City Royals...Sophomore LHP Jeff Urlaub is expected to undergo Tommy John surgery in June. His expected recovery time is 10-16 months...Tim Smith is hitting .429 in the leadoff spot, a role he assumed against Washington on March 28.

 

500 Club:

Arizona State Head Coach Pat Murphy achieved a coaching milestone against USC, collecting his 500th victory as skipper of the Sun Devils. Earlier this season, Murphy won his 800th career Division I game. ASU's first head coach, Bobby Winkles, totaled 524 wins in his 13 years at ASU. Jim Brock amassed 1,100 victories in his 23 years at the helm. Murphy is in his 13th season at Arizona State.

 

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 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. Also, senior infielder Joe Persichina is a Tillman Scholar. A Tillman Scholar is a student that must possess passion, leadership abilities and an entrepreneurial spirit.  Tillman Scholars commit to a two-semester experience that begins each fall.

 

Preseason Honors:

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.

 

Fabulous Freshman:

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 was a seventh round draft pick of the Oakland A's in last year's draft.

 

Talented Transfers:

The Sun Devils had two transfers make the top ten of Baseball America's Top 25 Transfers list. LHP Brian Flores, who came 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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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. Not to be outdone, LHP Brian Flores threw his first career complete game against the Kansas State Wildcats, striking out eight in a 6-2 victory on March 14. Satow outdid himself against USC on March 23, throwing a complete game shut out in a 10-0 win over the Trojans. He threw his third complete game of the year against UW.

 

Up Next:

The Sun Devils wrap up the regular season with a three-game series against their in-state rivals, the Arizona Wildcats. The series starts Wednesday night at Winkles Field-Packard Stadium at Brock Ballpark.

 

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