April 22, 2001
TEMPE, Ariz. -- The nationally-ranked Arizona State Sun Devil baseball team will take on Gonzaga in a two-game, non-conference series starting Monday at Packard Stadium. ASU is 26-14-1 on the season and is riding a stretch of games in which they have won four of its last five. Gonzaga coming off a series sweep of St. Mary's and at 21-18 on the year are currently on top of the West Coast Conference standings. Game times Monday and Tuesday are scheduled for 7 p.m. at Packard Stadium on the Arizona State University campus.
The Sun Devils, who are awaiting a new national ranking after sitting at No. 15 in last week's Baseball America poll, are coming off a successful week on the road. ASU took two of three on a Southwest/Midwest road trip that saw them play three games in three days in three different cities. After dropping a 19-16 game at New Mexico State, ASU rebounded for consecutive extra-inning wins over Oklahoma (5-3) and No. 25 Oral Roberts (5-2). Both the Oklahoma and Oral Roberts games were played in 11 innings, marking the first time since 1995 an ASU squad has played consecutive extra inning games.
Freshman left fielder Rod Allen (Phoenix) was the hottest Sun Devil at the plate over the weekend. Pushing for All-America honors, Allen hit .615 (8x13) with five runs scored, a double, two home runs and seven RBI in the three games. For the season, Allen is leading the team with a .441 batting average, tabbing 10 doubles, a triple and four home runs. He is hitting .632 (12x19) with 10 RBI in his current 10-game hitting streak and is a .528 (19x36) hitter over his last 10 games.
Senior catcher Casey Myers (Case Grande) is second on the team with a .421 batting average and is tied with freshman first baseman Jeremy West (Las Vegas) with six home runs. Myers recently played in his 200th career game as a Sun Devils and with 52 RBI on the year now has 258 in his career, only 25 off the Pac-10 and ASU record of 283. The .389 career hitter leads the team with 26 multi-hit games this year and has 91 in his career.
On the mound, junior relief pitcher Andy Torres (Bell Gardens, Calif.) picked up his 10th and 11th wins of the season in consecutive games vs. Oklahoma and Oral Roberts. Torres is now 11-3 on the year with one save and a 3.97 ERA. His 11 wins in his rookie ASU campaign is currently tied for the NCAA lead with USC's Mark Prior (11-1) and Pepperdine's Noah Lowry (11-1). He pitched in all three games on the recent road trip and leads ASU with 18 appearances on the year. Redshirt freshman Aaron Klusman (Phoenix) has also been solid out of the bullpen with a 2.35 ERA after contributing 4.1 solid innings of one-run ball last week. Senior Drew Friedberg (Middleton, Wisc.) leads the team with a 2.31 ERA, striking out 38 and walking only seven 35.0 innings pitched.
Junior LHP Jon Switzer (4-3, 4.32) will get the start for ASU Monday with Tuesday's starter still to be determined. Gonzaga will throw a pair of freshman left-handers at the Sun Devils. With an order yet to be determined, Errol Simonitsch (2-2, 3.13) and Ed Clelland (1-1, 6.62) will go to the hill for the Bulldogs.
The Sun Devils will return to Pac-10 play this weekend with a crucial three-game series with rival University of Arizona (28-19). ASU and the Wildcats are currently tied for sixth place in the conference with identical 7-8 league records. The Wildcats are coming off a series loss to Cal in which they gave up 41 runs and 53 hits to the Golden Bears. The series will start Friday at 7 p.m. at Packard Stadium. Saturday and Sunday's games will start at 1 p.m. ASU is 23-13 vs. Arizona under current head coach Pat Murphy and have won five of the last six dating back to last year. The Devils outscored the `Cats 101-51 in the six games last year.
Copy By Jeff R. Evans
ASU Media Relations