March 8, 2011
TEMPE, Ariz. -
Following a 3-1 weekend at the Coca-Cola Classic at Surprise Stadium, the Devils now travel to SEC Country for a three-game series with the Auburn Tigers at Plainsman Park. ASU fell 2-1 to Cal State Bakersfield in 10 innings on Thursday, beat Northern Illinois 10-9 on Friday, outlasted Kansas 4-3 on Saturday then walked off with a 5-4 win in 11 innings over UC Riverside on Sunday.
Devils vs. Tigers:
ASU holds a 6-2* record all-time against Auburn. They last traveled to Auburn in 2007, where the Tigers won two of the three games*. Last season, the Devils won all three from Auburn at Packard Stadium. *- ASU vacated a victory against Auburn in 2007. On field record against AU is 7-2.
Newman’s Golden Glove:
Matt Newman’s seventh inning error against Kansas was the first of his Sun Devil career, which has spanned 183 games. Newman’s errorless streak reached 211 chances before it ended in right field at Surprise Stadium on a ground ball that Newman kicked away, allowing the runner to reach third on a double.
One (Run) Is The Loneliest Number:
Arizona State did something at Surprise Stadium it had not done since 2007: play four straight one-run games. ASU, who had 11 one-run games in 2010, played four in-a-row at the Coca-Cola Classic, going 3-1.
The Devils bookended the Coca-Cola Classic with extra inning games, playing 10 against the Cal State Bakersfield Roadrunners and 11 with the UC Riverside Highlanders. Arizona State played only three extra inning games last season, with two of them coming in the Super Regional against Arkansas. This is the earliest into the season (11 games) that ASU has played two extra innings games since 1973, when the Devils played two in the first seven games.
Coca-Cola Classic Recap:
It was a pitcher’s duel on Thursday night in the opener of the Coca-Cola Classic at Surprise Stadium. It took extra innings as Cal State Bakersfield outlasted ASU 2-1 in 10 innings in the first game of the weekend...the Devils needed a two-run eighth inning rally on Friday night, beating Northern Illinois 10-9. Zach Wilson tied his career high with five RBI and freshman Trevor Williams earned his first career win...Saturday was another one-run nail biter, as Mitchell Lambson and Arizona State beat Kansas 4-3. Lambson struck out the final six hitters of the game and Riccio Torrez drove in three runs in the win...Sunday was another extra inning affair, as the Devils and UC Riverside needed 11 innings to decide the winner. Torrez sent ASU back to Tempe happy with his walk off single in the bottom of the 11th to give ASU a 5-4 win. Lambson earned the win for the second straight night.
Honoring Cory Hahn:
As a tribute to injured Sun Devil Cory Hahn, the team will wear special wristbands with Cory’s name and #34 and also has had his number embroidered on the team’s stirrups. Players will also wear his initials and number on their hats.
More On Surprise:
This was the ninth straight year that Arizona State played at Surprise Stadium. The Sun Devils are 20-10 all-time at the Stadium, the only team to play there in each of the past nine seasons. Riccio Torrez and Mitchell Lambson were named to the Coca-Cola Classic All-Tournament Team.
Junior Johnny Ruettiger has added a new wrinkle to his already impressive repertoire, becoming a stolen base machine through the first three weeks of the season. Ruettiger, who entered 2011 with 22 career stolen bases, has already swiped 11 this season. His career high is 12, which he did as a freshman. He also has been a terror at the plate of opposing pitchers, batting .417 on the season as the leadoff man. On Sunday against UC Riverside he set a new career with four hits.
Brothers With Arms:
Junior lefty Mitchell Lambson made three appearances over the weekend, collecting a 2-1 record, including wins on both Saturday and Sunday. On Saturday against Kansas, he fanned the final six hitters of the game and on Sunday he threw 1.2 perfect innings to close out UC Riverside. Lambson has now made 75 career appearances, fifth most in ASU history. Last season he tied a school record with his 39 appearances. His brother, Mark, is a right handed reliever out of the ASU bullpen. Mark retired the first 11 hitters he faced in his Sun Devil career. Mitchell and Mark are the sixth set of brothers to play in the same season for Arizona State.
Most Career Pitching Appearances
1. Brett Bordes (2003-06)........ 109
2. Kendall Carter (1981-84)...... 102
3. Ryan Bradley (1995-97)....... 99
4. Kevin Dukes (1986-89(........ 82
5. Mitchell Lambson (2009-P) 75
Arizona State has already used 11 pitchers in 2011 after using 10 all of last year.
Golden Spikes Watch List:
Arizona State landed three student-athletes on the 2011 Golden Spikes Award Preseason Watch List. Johnny Ruettiger, Zack MacPhee and Deven Marrero were all on the list. MacPhee was a semifinalist a season ago.
The 2011 Sun Devil team features a unique connection for four student-athletes. Senior OF Matt Newman has Maroon and Gold in his blood, as his father, Randy, was a pitcher for the Sun Devils in 1981 and 1982, winning 15 career games and the 1981 National Championship. Matt and Randy joined a select list as a father-son combo who both played in the College World Series. But Matt Newman is not the only Sun Devil who has a father with an ASU National Championship ring. Freshman Trever Allen is the son of Jamie Allen, who played three seasons at ASU, including the 1977 National Championship year. Jamie was a lifetime .333 hitter at ASU and he also went 6-2 on the mound. He was a two-time All-WAC team member and was a member of the 1977 All-College World Series team. Joining Newman and Allen as Legacy Devils are freshmen Tucker Esmay and Michael Benjamin. Esmay is the son of Head Coach Tim Esmay and Benjamin is the son of assistant coach Mike Benjamin. The elder Esmay and Benjamin were teammates on the 1986 and 1987 Sun Devils.
Junior 3B Riccio Torrez’s brother Raoul was a four-time letterman and two-time team captain, including teaming with Riccio the last two years...Redshirt freshman catcher Beau Maggi is the brother of Drew Maggi, who starred at ASU the last two years...Junior Mitchell Lambson will be joined by his brother Mark on the 2011 Sun Devils...Junior OF Johnny Ruettiger is the nephew of Rudy Ruettiger, the former Notre Dame football player who had a movie about his life made....Sophomore shortstop Deven Marrero is the cousin of Chris Marrero, a rising star in the Washington Nationals’ system.
In each of the last two seasons, the Sun Devils boasted a set of brothers who started next to each other in the infield, marking the first time in school history that brothers started next to each other on the diamond. Raoul and Riccio Torrez became the fifth set of brothers to play for the same Sun Devil team. The other Sun Devil brothers to play on the same teams are Kevin and Pat Dukes (1980-81), Dale and Larry Eiler (1976-78), John and Tom Sain (1973) and Brett and Greg Bordes (2005). Drew and Beau Maggi were both on the team last season, but Beau sat out the year utilizing his redshirt season. This year, Mitchell Lambson is joined on the pitching staff by his brother Mark.
Junior OF Brandon Magee is no stranger to ASU athletics, playing linebacker for the Sun Devil football team. Magee was second on the team in tackles this past season, totaling 73 including five for loss and 1.5 sacks.
2011 Pre-Season Honors:
Zack MacPhee was named a Preseason First Team All-American by the NCBWA, ESPN and by Collegiate Baseball and was a Second Team choice by Baseball America. Deven Marrero and Johnny Ruettiger were also Second Team picks by Baseball America, while Mitchell Lambson and Riccio Torrez joined Marrero as Third Team choices by Collegiate Baseball. Zach Wilson was a Third Team choice by Baseball America. Lambson was also named to the Stopper of the Year Watch List. Lambson and Marrero were also named Preseason All-Americans by Perfect Game.
Hall “O” Famer:
The 2011 College Baseball Hall of Fame Class was announced by the College Baseball Foundation and Sun Devil Legend Oddibe McDowell was one of eight men to earn induction. McDowell will become the seventh member of the Hall of Fame to come from Arizona State. McDowell was a standout in the outfield from 1983 to 1984. He was a career .380 hitter with 30 home runs and 31 doubles. In 1984, he hit .405 with 23 home runs, a performance that earned him the Golden Spikes Award. That same year he was named Player of the Year by both Collegiate Baseball and Baseball America. He also was a two-time All-American and was the first Sun Devil to have his number retired.
Feeling The Draft:
There are 19 members of the 2011 Sun Devils who have had their name called during the annual Major League Baseball draft, including Xorge Carrillo, who was drafted last season but opted to return to school. Carrillo has been drafted three times, as has Kyle Ottoson.
Arizona State was picked to finish third in the 2011 Preseason Pac-10 Coaches’ Poll. UCLA was picked to finish first, receiving eight first place votes, with Stanford second with two first place votes.
Player of the Week:
Junior Riccio Torrez was named the Pac-10 Player of the Week following opening weekend, the fourth straight season a Sun Devil has earned Player of the Week honors following the season’s first action. Torrez was the leader of the ASU offense against the Lobos, driving in seven runs in the three games. It is the second career Player of the Week honor for Torrez and the 96th by an ASU player, most in Pac-10 history.
Did You Know:
There are four former Sun Devils currently coaching in the Major Leagues. Pat Listach with the Chicago Cubs, Ron Romanick with the Oakland A’s, Jeff Pentland with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Don Wakamatsu with the Toronto Blue Jays.
The Sun Devils will play 27 games this season against teams ranked in the Preseason Top 30, including a stretch of 10 straight games against ranked opponents. 10 of the 27 games will come against Preseason Top 10 teams.
Arizona State will host the Oklahoma Sooners in a two-game midweek series before hosting Oral Roberts in a three-game weekend series.