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No. 7 Baseball Hosts Arizona Tuesday At Packard Stadium
Courtesy: Sun Devil Athletics
Release: 02/23/2004
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Courtesy: Sun Devil Athletics
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Feb. 23, 2004

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    Feb. 24 vs. Arizona, 7 p.m. MST
    Arizona Baseball | Arizona Roster
    ARIZ - Kevin Guyette, RHP (1-1, 9.60 ERA)
    ASU - Brett Bordes, LHP (0-0, 27.00 ERA)

    The All-Time Series:
    All-Time Record vs. ARIZ: 184-219
    All-Time Record (1959-P): 161-102
    Last Year vs. ARIZ: May 23-25 in Tempe (ASU, 3-0 -- 5-2, 16-0, 15-2)
    Arizona State has had a firm grasp on the rivalry series during the Pat Murphy era, winning 30 of the 45 games, including 12 of the last 15. Since ASU adopted varsity baseball in 1959, the Devils also lead the series 161-102, but trail the all-time series dating back to 1907, 184-219. The Devils swept the three-game Pac-10 series last year at Packard Stadium by a combined score of 36-4.

    National Rankings:
    National Polls (Feb. 23, 2004)
    Arizona State (8-2) is ranked in all four national polls, including top-10 rankings in three of the four. ASU ranks as high as No. 7 by Collegiate Baseball and Sports Weekly. The Devisl also moved up four spots to No. 12 by Baseball America and remains No. 8 by NCBWA. The Sun Devils have now been ranked in the national polls for 82 consecutive polls. Arizona (5-3-1) is ranked No. 16 by Baseball America and No. 19 by Collegiate Baseball.

    Media Exposure:
    The first of five rivalry games between Arizona and ASU can be heard live in the Valley on KDUS 1060 AM with Tim Healey and Bob Eger calling all the action. The game is also available via Yahoo! webcast on ASU will also make its TV debut, with AZ-TV carrying the game locally. Doug Gerlach and George Allen will call the game from the Packard Stadium Press Box.

    Did You Know?
    Arizona State is currently 4-0 against ranked teams this year and will try to go for a fifth win Tuesday against Arizona. In ASU's four games against ranked opponents, the pitching has carried the load with a combined 3.75 ERA. Dustin Pedroia leads ASU hitting .353 in games against ranked opponents.

    What's On Tap:
    The Sun Devil Baseball team (8-2) begin a 25-game homestand Tuesday with a non-conference game against rival No. 16 Arizona. The Sun Devils and Wildcats will meet five times this year, with two non-conference games scheduled to be played in The Valley and three Pac-10 games to be played in Tucson May 21-23. ASU will continue its busy week with a three-game series against the University of Connecticut starting Friday at 7 p.m. at Packard Stadium.

    Recapping Last Weekend:
    The Sun Devils are coming off a successful trip to Texas in which they went 2-1 at the Coca-Cola Classic hosted by Rice University at Reckling Park in Houston. The Devils dropped a close 5-4 game to Lamar to open the tournament, then bounced back to beat Memphis (7-0) and No. 1 Rice (3-1). Lamar jumped into the national polls (No. 23) after the weekend tournament. ASU posted an impressive 2.08 team ERA during the three games and opened up the offense a bit with four home runs. Junior shortstop Dustin Pedroia led the game going 7-for-11 (.636) with three runs scored and three RBI in the tournament.

    Quick Hits:

  • Junior shortstop Dustin Pedroia has hits in nine of ASU's 10 games, including seven multi-hit games.
  • Jason Urquidez leads the team with a 3-0 record and a 0.90 ERA in his three starts. He has 23 K's in 20.0 IP.
  • Freshman Colin Curtis leads the team with two home runs and 10 RBI. He is hitting .361 (13-for-36).
  • Led by Pedroia's eight doubles, ASU already has 29 in 10 games this season. ASU had 160 in 68 games in 2003.
  • With the 2-1 victory Friday over Florida State, ASU is now 26-2 in season openers since 1977.
  • The Devils have been ranked in 82 consecutive national polls dating back to the start of 2000.
  • ASU features three freshman (Curtis, Bresnehan, Zinicola) that are among Baseball America's top 50 freshman.
  • ASU is scheduled to play 33 games at Packard Stadium and 40 of its 56 games in the state of Arizona.
  • ASU finished in the top 10 in the NCAA in 2003 in hitting (.347), pitching (3.32), scoring (10.02), fielding (.973).
  • Freshman LHP Pat Cassa struck out a career high nine batters and allowed only one hit in six innings against Memphis.

    Sun Devils Picked To Finish Second in Pac-10:
    The Sun Devils enter the season as the preseason pick to finish second in the Pac-10 in a poll of the league coaches. Stanford was picked first, while Arizona, USC and Washington round out the top five. ASU was also picked to finish second by Collegiate Baseball and third by Baseball America. Here is a look at the three preseason Pac-10 baseball polls:

    Pac-10 Poll (Coaches):
    1.	Stanford
    2. 	Arizona State
    3.	Arizona
    4.	USC
    5.	Washington
    6.	California
    7.	UCLA
    8.	Oregon State
    9.	Washington State

    Pac-10 Poll (Baseball America): 1. Stanford* 2. Arizona* 3. Arizona State* 4. California* 5. USC* 6. Washington* 7. UCLA 8. Oregon State 9. Washington State *predicted to make NCAA Tournament.

    Pac-10 Poll (Collegiate Baseball): 1. Stanford 2. Arizona State 3. USC 4. Arizona 5. Washington 6. UCLA 7. California 8. Oregon State 9. Washington State

    A Clean Sweep of the Wildcats In 2003:
    The Sun Devils continued their dominance over their rivals to the South, the Arizona Wildcats, by sweeping a three-game series to end the 2003 regular season. The Devils recorded the sweep in dominating fashion, outscoring Arizona 36-4 in the three games. The Devils opened the series with a 5-2 win on Friday night scoring three in the bottom of the eighth to break a 2-2 tie. ASU then pounded UA over the next two games, winning 16-0 on Saturday and completed the sweep with a 15-2 victory on Sunday. For the series the Sun Devils hit .380 with eight doubles, seven home runs and recorded 78 total bases. The pitching was just as dominant with a 1.33 team ERA and for the third time in Pac-10 play held an opponent to under four runs in a series. Andre Ethier earned Pac-10 Player of the Week after hitting .500 (6-for-12) with three home runs in the series. Jeff Larish also caught fire going 8-for-11 (.727) in the rivalry series to raise his season average from .358 to .377.

    Pedroia Off To Torrid Start:
    Junior shortstop Dustin Pedroia is off to a good start, leading the team hitting .524 (22-for-42) with 16 runs scored, eight doubles, one home run and nine RBI. He has hits in nine of ASU's 10 games, including seveng multi-hit affairs and three games with two or more doubles. He combined to hit .688 (11-for-16) in ASU's four games last week, including his first homer of the year to lead off the Lamar game. As a sophomore, Pedroia hit .404 (120-for-297) and was named the Pac-10 Co-Player of the Year. He led the NCAA with 34 doubles, setting the ASU and Pac-10 single-season record and tied for third in the NCAA record books. With eight doubles, he now has 55 in his career, tying for eighth in the ASU career record books. A career .390 (224-for-575) hitter, Pedroia ranks fourth in the ASU career record books. He has played and started all 136 games of his Sun Devil career and has recorded at least one hit in 116 games (85%). Additionally, the 2003 Collegiate Baseball Defensive Player of the Year has made only 15 errors in 582 total chances in the field for a career. 974 fielding percentage. He was a two-year starter for the USA Baseball National Team and was named to the all-tournament team in the 2003 Pan American Games in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

    Urquidez Tames No. 1 Rice To Earn National Pitcher of the Week Honors:
    Junior starting pitcher Jason Urquidez was named the Collegiate Baseball National Pitcher of the Week after his complete-game three-hitter against No. 1 and defending national champion Rice on Sunday. Urquidez, a junior college transfer from Central Arizona, limited the top-ranked Owls to only one run on three hits, while striking out seven and walking only one. He gave up his only run in his 138-pitch effort with a two-out single in the bottom of the ninth inning. With his third victory of the year, Urquidez went head-to-head with and beat the nation's top pitching prospect in Rice ace Jeff Niemann. Niemann recorded his first loss since late in the 2002 season after going 17-0 as a sophomore in 2003. For the season, the Simi Valley, Calif., native is 3-0 with a 0.90 ERA. He has allowed only 12 hits and struck out a team-leading 23 in 20.0 IP.

    Pitching To Perfection:
    The Sun Devil pitching staff has been a big reason behind ASU's solid 8-2 start to the season. Returning only two pitchers from last year's staff that ranked first in the Pac-10 and eighth in the nation with a 3.32 ERA, ASU has relied primarily on its younger pitchers to build a solid 3.24 ERA. Junior Jason Urquidez leads the team with a 3-0 record and a 0.90 ERA. He has struck out 23 batters in 20.0 IP and opponents are hitting only .174 off him. ASU received several stellar pitching performances over the weekend in the Coca-Cola Classic, including a complete-game, three-hit gem by Urquidez against No. 1 Rice. Freshman lefty Pat Cassa added six scoreless innings while giving up only one hit against Memphis to pick up his first win as a Sun Devil. As a staff, the Devils had a combined 2.08 ERA in the Coca-Cola Classic, giving up only six runs and 14 hits in 26.0 innings.

    Tough Against Ranked Foes:
    With the 3-1 win over No. 1 Rice on Sunday, ASU improved to a perfect 4-0 on the season against ranked opponents. The Devils opened the season with a three-game sweep of preseason No. 18 Florida State and then handed the defending national champion Owls only their second loss of the year. The Devils will face a ranked opponent in four of their next 10 games.

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