Jan. 23, 2009
TEMPE, Ariz. - For the 23rd straight season, the longest streak in the nation, the Arizona State baseball program has been ranked in the preseason. The Sun Devils were ranked in all five preseason polls, ranging from 6th to 22nd.
Despite returning only 3 starters from the 2008 team, the Sun Devils ranking clearly reflects the 2009 newcomers being tabbed as the #1 recruiting class in the country. ASU came in at #6 in the Collegiate Baseball Poll, #7 in both the USA Today/ESPN coaches poll and National Collegiate Baseball Writer's Association poll, 13th in the Baseball America poll and 22nd in the Rivals.com poll.
"There is no question that these rankings are a sign of respect for the past success of Sun Devil Baseball since we only return four players with any significant Pac-10 experience," said head coach Pat Murphy. "We are very aware of the challenge ahead of us and the players and coaches are excited to tackle our great schedule. There is no question that this team will need our 10th man out in full force and we're counting on the tremendous atmosphere at our ballpark to get us a few wins."
Arizona State is one of four Pac-10 teams ranked in the Top 25. Stanford is ranked as high as #5, USC as high as #24 and UCLA as high as #12. In addition to the Pac-10 foes, ASU will face three other opponents ranked in the preseason. Missouri is ranked as high as #10, Arkansas as high as #22 and San Diego as high as #11.
The Sun Devils open up the 2009 season at home, when they host the Wisconsin-Milwaukee Panthers in a four-game series beginning February 20.