Feb. 18, 2004
ASU Baseball Links:
College Baseball Links:
Feb. 21 vs. Memphis, 6 p.m. CST
Memphis Baseball | Roster
MEM - Derek Hankins, RHP (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
ASU - TBA
What's On Tap:
The Sun Devil Baseball (6-1) team will travel to Houston, Texas this weekend for the Coca-Cola Classic hosted by Rice University at Reckling Park. ASU will face Lamar (Friday, 2:30 p.m. CST), Memphis (Saturday, 6 p.m. CST) and defending national champion Rice (Sunday, 2:30 p.m. CST) in the six-team tournament. ASU will not play tournament participants Wake Forest and Cal State Northridge. The Devils are off to a 6-1 start after going 2-1 in the Coca-Cola Surprise Spring Training Classic last weekend and gaining a 10-7 victory over Gonzaga on Monday at Packard Stadium. After returning from Texas, ASU will play its next 25 games at home at Packard Stadium. The 25-game homestand begins with a single game against in-state rival Arizona (Feb. 24, 7 p.m.) and continues that weekend with a three-game set against BIG EAST member Connecticut (Feb. 27-29). ASU opens Pac-10 play against California Mar. 19-21.
Friday, Feb. 20, 2004 Memphis vs. Cal State Northridge, 11 a.m. Arizona State vs. Lamar, 2:30 p.m. Wake Forest vs. Rice, 6 p.m.The Tournament Field:
Saturday, Feb. 21, 2004 Lamar vs. Wake Forest, 11:00 a.m. Rice vs. Cal State Northridge, 2:30 p.m. Memphis vs. Arizona State, 6 p.m.
Sunday, Feb. 22, 2004 Cal State Northridge vs. Wake Forest, 11 a.m. Arizona State vs. Rice, 2:30 p.m. Lamar vs. Memphis, 6 p.m.
For the second straight week the Devils will participate in a Coca-Cola Classic. Last week the Devils went 2-1 in the Coca-Cola Spring Training Classic hosted by the City of Surprise (Ariz.) at the spring training home of the Kansas City Royals and the Texas Rangers. ASU is a combined 8-2 all-time against teams they will face in this weekend's tournament held at one of the best college baseball facilities in the nation, Reckling Park. ASU is 6-2 all-time against the defending national champion Rice Owls, last taking two of three in a series held Mar. 19-21, 1993 at Packard Stadium. ASU is also 2-0 against Lamar and will be playing the Memphis Tigers for the first time in school history.
The Devils will not be on radio this weekend, but all three games can be followed via the statistical GameTracker on www.TheSunDevils.com. Sun Devil fans with internet access can also purchase a live video webcast of the Rice-ASU game for $10 on www.msbn.tv/owlvision.
NCAA Record Consecutive Games Scoring Streak Ends at 506:
The Sun Devils had a piece of history come to an end when their NCAA record 506 consecutive games scoring streak came to an end Feb. 15 against Oklahoma. The Sooners ended a streak that began April 8, 1995, a day after the USC Trojans shut out the Sun Devils during Pat Murphy's first year at ASU. "The Streak" saw the Devils go 338-167-1 during the 506-game stretch, scoring 4,755 runs (9.40 per game average) from 1995-2004. The Devils made history on April 7, 2001 when they scored at least one run in their 350th consecutive game, breaking the 12-year-old NCAA record exactly six years to the day when they were last shut out. ASU was shut out 9-0 in that game on April 7, 1995 at Dedeaux Field by left-hander Randy Flores. Coastal Carolina previously held the NCAA record at 349 games set from 1983-1989. ASU also had a stretch of 278 games without being shut out from 1990 to 1994, meaning the program has only been shutout in four games dating back to the 1990 season. Notable pitchers the Devils have faced during the streak include Mark Prior (USC), Jeremy Guthrie (Stanford), Barry Zito (USC), Kirk Saarloos (CS Fullerton), Jason Young (Stanford), Ben Diggins (Arizona), Adam Johnson (CS Fullerton), Ryan Drese (Cal), Jeff Weaver (Fresno State), Chad Hutchinson (Stanford), Abe Alvarez and Adam Pettyjohn (Fresno State). Top prospect David Purcey and Jarod McAuliff led the Sooner to the shutout of the Devils.
NCAA Record Consecutive Game Scoring Streaks:>
Arizona State 506 April 8, 1995 - Feb. 14, 2004 C. Carolina 349 April 16, 1983 - April 10, 1989 Wichita State 332 March 13, 1996 - Feb. 23, 2001 Nebraska 331 May 3, 1998 - June 1, 2003 Florida State 326 April 29, 1984 - Feb. 25, 1989
Arizona State (6-1) remained the same in all four major polls after going 3-1 last weekend. Ranked for the 81st consecutive week dating back to the start of the 2000 season, ASU remained No. 7 in the ESPN/Sports Weekly Coaches Poll, No. 8 in the NCBWA poll and No. 16 by Baseball America. ASU also remained No. 7 in the Collegiate Baseball poll. ASU entered the 2004 season ranked in all four of the national preseason polls (#7 CB, #10 SW, #11 NCBWA, #18 BA). ASU finished the 2003 season with a 54-14 record and earned a consensus top 10 ranking in all four national polls.
Sun Devil juniors Dustin Pedroia and Jeff Larish earned preseason All-America honors from every publication. Pedroia earned first-team honors from the NCBWA, Collegiate Baseball, CollegeBaseballInsider.com, and was a third-team pick by Baseball America. He was also selected as the preseason pick for Pac-10 Player of the Year by Baseball America. Larish, who moves to the outfield for the 2004 season, was a first-team pick by Collegiate Baseball, Baseball America, CollegeBaseballInsider.com, and was a second-team pick by the NCBWA. Larish was also selected as the preseason College Baseball Player of the Year by Street & Smith's.
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 StateOne Tough Schedule:
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
The Sun Devils are set to take on a brutally tough 56-game regular season schedule that has a strength of schedule rated No. 12 in the nation (www.Boydsworld.com). ASU is scheduled to play 24 games against teams that are listed in Baseball America's preseason top 25 and another 15 games against teams that are listed in the top 50. The Devils will also play 54% (30 of 56) of their games against teams that advanced to the NCAA Tournament last year and 71% (40 of 56) against teams that have advanced to the postseason in either of the last two years. ASU finished the 2003 season with a 54-14 record and an overall RPI ranked 12th in the nation. The 2004 schedule features six schools that are picked to finish first in their respective conferences: Stanford (Pac-10), Rice (WAC), Wichita State (Missouri Valley Conference), Oral Roberts (Mid-Continent), Tulane (Conference USA), Lamar (Southland).
Pedroia and Urquidez Named All-Tournament at Coca-Cola Classic:
Junior shortstop Dustin Pedroia and starting pitcher Jason Urquidez were both named to the Coca-Cola Spring Training Classic All-Tournament team over the weekend in Surprise. Pedroia hit .545 (6-for-11) in the three games against Cal State Northridge (13-3 win), Utah (11-0 win) and Oklahoma (6-0 loss). He also had two doubles, four walks and three RBI. Urquidez improved to 2-0 on the season with a dominating performance against Utah. He struck out seven in six scoreless innings to lower his season ERA to 0.82. ASU is now 5-1 all-time at Surprise Stadium in the Coca-Cola Classic.
Pedroia At The Plate And In The Field:
Junior shortstop Dustin Pedroia is off to a good start, leading the team hitting .484 (15-for-31) with 13 runs scored, eight doubles, six RBI and two stolen bases. He has hits in six of ASU's seven games, including five multi-hit affairs and three games with two or more doubles. 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 .385 (217-for-564) hitter, Pedroia ranks seventh in the ASU career record books. He has played and started all 133 games of his Sun Devil career and has recorded at least one hit in 113 games (85%). Additionally, the 2003 Collegiate Baseball Defensive Player of the Year has made only 13 errors in 566 total chances in the field for a career. 977 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.
Larish A Walk And RBI Machine:
It will be hard for junior left fielder Jeff Larish to match his sensational 2003 season when he hit .372 (87-for-234) with 18 home runs and 95 RBI. Larish, who is at his third position as a Sun Devil in as many years (3B in 2002, 1B in 2003), has combined to go 6-for-26 (.231) with six RBI and leads the team with nine walks (.417 OB%). Last season, Larish became only the second Sun Devil to join the 70-70 club (RBI-BB) when he had 95 RBI (fifth most in ASU history) and led the NCAA with 78 walks. The Tempe native is a career .348 (135-for-388) hitter with 125 RBI and 116 walks (.495 on-base percentage and 1096 OPS). The 2004 preseason All-American is listed as a top prospect for the annual June Amateur Draft by Baseball America.
A Long Awaited Debut For Urquidez:
Junior starting pitcher Jason Urquidez took a long patch to make his Sun Devil debut against Florida State (2/8)... but what a debut it was. Urquidez, a junior college transfer from Central Arizona College, struck out nine and allowed only one run in five innings to pick up the win and help the Devils to the series sweep. He improved to 2-0 last weekend with a victory against Utah, striking out seven in six scoreless innings. He is 2-0 with a 0.82 ERA with 16 strikeouts in 11.0 IP. Urquidez, a native of Simi Valley, Calif., first laid eyes on ASU in the summer of 2000 and signed his first NLI with the program in November, 2000. A non-qualifier academically, Urquidez ended up at Central Arizona College and played two years under former Sun Devil catcher Clint Myers. Going 19-5 and winning a NJCAA National Championship during his career at CAC, Urquidez made his dream of playing in the Maroon and Gold a reality when arrived on campus last August. Urquidez, who was slated to open the season as ASU's closer, is scheduled to make his third start Sunday against defending national champion Rice.
The Sun Devils opened the 2004 season with a bang, sweeping No. 18 Florida State for the first time in school history. ASU opened the series with a pair of games that some call the best back-to-back games in the history of Packard Stadium. The Devils scored two runs on a two-out, two-strike double off the bat of junior catcher Tuffy Gosewisch in the bottom of the ninth to win Fridays contest 2-1. The victory not only improved ASU to 26-2 in season openers dating back to 1977, but it also prevented the Devils from being shutout for the first time in 501 games (NCAA record). Not be outdone, the Devils spotted FSU a 7-1 lead in Saturdays contest, before storming back and eventually scoring three runs in the bottom of the ninth to earn a 10-9 victory. The ninth-inning rally started with a two-out single from freshman Zechry Zinicola and a hit-by-pitch to junior college transfer Josh Asanovich. Freshman center fielder Colin Curtis tied the game with a double down the left field line and freshman first baseman Joe Persichina followed with a game-winning single to center field. The last time ASU won back-to-back one-run games was in 1998 against Washington (3/29) and Arizona (4/3). Both games were on the road.
Pedroia And Buck Lead It Off:
Dustin Pedroia and Travis Buck have hit No. 1 and No. 2 in the lineup in five of ASU's seven games this year and have been the catalyst behind ASU's quick starts. The Devils have scored in the first inning in four of those games, with Pedroia and Buck reaching base in their first at-bats in five consecutive games. Against FSU (2/8) and Cal State Northridge (2/13), Buck and Pedroia each hit doubles to plate a run each time. Pedroia has a knack for getting on base while leading off a game (5 of 7) or an inning (6-for-10, 4 2B).
Through ASU's first seven games, the Devils have combined to hit 25 doubles (3.57 per game average). Led by doubles machine Dustin Pedroia (eight doubles), ASU has hit four or more doubles in four contests this year, including a season-high seven against Cal State Northridge (2/13). Pedroia's eight doubles include three multi-double games and a career-high three against Gonzaga (2/16). The Devils recorded 160 doubles during the record-breaking 2003 season, ranking fifth in the school single-season record books and finished 14th in the NCAA averaging 2.35 doubles per game. Pedroia set the ASU and Pac-10 single-season record last year with 34 doubles, tied for third most in a season in the NCAA record books.
The Sun Devil pitching staff registered 29 strikeouts in the three-game series against Florida State, averaging nearly 10 K's per game. The 12-6 victory on Sunday that clinched the series sweep featured a trio of pitchers combining to strike out 17 Seminoles. Junior starter Jason Urquidez fanned nine batters in five innings, including five of the first eight FSU batters he faced. Freshman Josh Blake (1.2 IP) and Quentin Andes (2.1 IP) also had four strikeouts each in their Sun Devil debuts. Urquidez leads all ASU hurlers with 16 punchouts in 11.0 IP in his two starts (13.1 K per 9.0 IP). Freshman closer Zechry Zinicola is 1-0 with a save and a 0.00 ERA in his two outings (4.0 IP). He has six strikeouts for a 13.5 K per 9.0 IP average and Blake owns an eye-popping 21.6 K per 9.0 IP average. In 63.0 IP this season, the pitching staff has combined for 69 strikeouts (9.86 per game average).
Welcome To College Baseball:
Going into the season, preseason prognosticators tabbed the Sun Devils as a young and inexperienced team. Having lost 12 players to the annual MLB draft and returning only two pitchers from the Pac-10's leading pitching staff, the Devils have had to look to several newcomers to become impact players. Through ASU's first seven games, 13 newcomers and three redshirts have seen action.
Curtis And Persichina Leading The Way:
Someone forgot to tell freshmen Colin Curtis and Joe Persichina that playing big-time college baseball was a bit different than high school. After the thrilling three-game set with Florida State, both have emerged as two of the top hitters in the Sun Devil lineup. Curtis, a freshman center fielder from Issaquah, Wash., combined to go 4-for-12 (.333) with a double, six RBI and hit ASU's only home run during the weekend. After the Coca-Cola Classic, Curtis is third among ASU's regulars hitting .360 (9-for-25), while leading the team with eight RBI and four stolen bases. Persichina (Rolling Hills Estates, Calif.) is second on the team hitting .364 (8-for-22) with two multi-hit games. Both players were pivotal to the three-run rally in the bottom of the ninth that capped the 10-9 come-from-behind victory (2/7). Curtis drilled a two-out, two-run double to tie the game at 9-9 and Persichina followed with a sharp single to center field for the game winner.
Of the 11 pitchers that have seen action on the mound this season, nine are wearing a Sun Devil uniform for the first time. All but 12.1 of the 63.0 IP have been newcomers to the Sun Devil pitching staff... and they have helped ASU to the first sweep of FSU in school history and a 6-1 start. Six of the nine are freshmen (Josh Blake, Quentin Andes, Pat Cassa, Pat Bresnehan, Travis Webb, Zechry Zinicola), with three others transfers (Jeff Mousser, Jason Urquidez, Ty Marotz). Zinicola, Bresnehan and Urquidez have picked up wins, while Andes and Zinicola each have a save. Sophomore left-handers Brett Bordes (0-0, 27.00 ERA) and Erik Averill (1-0, 5.59 ERA) are the lone returnees on Chris Sinacori's staff that finished with a 3.32 ERA in 2003.
Zinicola and Bresnehan Form Freshman 1-2 Punch:
Freshman pitchers Zechry Zinicola (San Bernadino, Calif.) and Pat Bresnehan (Sherborn, Mass.) combined for an amazing pitching performance in Monday's 10-7 victory over Gonzaga. The freshman duo combined for 11 strikeouts in seven innings out of the bullpen to help the Devils to their sixth victory of the year. Coming in with the game tied at 7-7, Bresnehan struck out seven in five innings, allowing only four hits to pick up his second victory of the year. Zinicola, who was battling the flu and had two bags of IV fluid earlier in the day, came on in the eighth to strike out four in two innings for his first collegiate save.
Buck Moves Up In Lineup To Produce:
Sophomore Travis Buck had high expectations coming into the 2004 season and no one was more disappointed in his 1-for-9 start than himself. Batting in the No. 3 spot in the lineup for the first two games, Buck moved back to his more familiar No. 2 spot and responded by doing 3-for-3 with four RBI and three walks in Sunday's 12-6 victory. Since moving into the No. 3 spot in the lineup, Buck is hitting .467 (7-for-15) with seven runs scored and six RBI. For the season, Buck is hitting .333 (8-for-24) with eight runs scored, three doubles and six RBI. Buck started 39 of ASU's 68 games last year in the No. 2 spot in the lineup, responding by hitting .347 (50-for-144) with eight doubles, two triples, two home runs and 30 RBI.
Friday Night Mousser:
Senior transfer Jeff Mousser had a memorable homecoming in the season opener against Florida State. Spending the first three years of his college career at BYU, Mousser, who prepped at Tempe's Marcos de Niza High School, limited FSU to only three hits and one run in seven solid innings in his Sun Devil debut. He backed that up with another solid outing against Cal State Northridge (2/13), but again walked away with the no-decision after giving up only one earned run in 6.1 IP. In his two starters, Mousser is 0-0 with a 1.35 ERA. The right-hander combined for a 17-11 record at BYU with 181 strikeouts in 222.2 innings.
Murphy's Teams Know How To Score:
A true icon of the Pat Murphy system is scoring runs. The Sun Devils have done plenty of that since he arrived in 1995. ASU has led the NCAA in scoring in two of the last five years, averaging 11.32 runs per game in 1999, 10.97 runs per game in 2000 and finished second averaging 10.03 runs per game in 2003. The Devils paced the Pac-10 in 2001 and 2003, hitting at a .327 clip in 2001 and a .347 mark in 2003. ASU also led the nation in batting average with a team total of .356 in 1999 and fell just percentage points shy of matching that feat a second year in a row in 2000 with a .346 mark, trailing Stony Brook by one point. During Pat Murphy's 10 seasons at ASU, the Sun Devils have been a scoring machine with 5,395 runs in 546 games. During that stretch ASU has averaged 9.23 runs per game and scored in an NCAA record 544 of the 546 games. The Devils are hitting at an overall .331 clip during the Pat Murphy era. Below is an offensive team breakdown of Murphy's ASU teams:
Year G AB R H HR BA 1995 55 1939 395 595 35 .307 1996 56 2075 552 702 73 .338 1997 61 2252 540 735 56 .326 1998 64 2277 557 723 57 .318 1999 60 2199 679 782 67 .356 2000 59 2134 647 738 86 .346 2001 58 2049 479 669 33 .327 2002 58 1994 450 618 38 .310 2003 68 2471 682 858 80 .347 2004 7 243 58 70 1 .288 Totals 546 19,633 5,039 6,490 526 .331A Record Breaking Season... 2003 in Review:
In addition to finishing in the top 10 in the NCAA in the four major statistical categories, the 2003 season also brought about a number of entries into the single-season record books. The 2003 team ranked third in runs scored (682), sixth in hits (858), fifth in doubles (160), second in RBI (630), third in walks (406), tied for third in batting average (.347), fifth in pitching shutouts (10) and third in ERA during the aluminum bat era (3.32). The 54 wins are the most by a Sun Devil squad since the 1988 team finished with 60 victories. ASU also set an NCAA record with 14 grand slams and extended its NCAA record consecutive games scoring streak to 501 games (dating back to April 7, 1995). Individually, several Sun Devils also had record-breaking seasons. Shortstop Dustin Pedroia became only the 22nd player with 100 hits and the 16th player to hit .400. He ranks fourth all-time with his 120 hits and 15th by hitting .404. He set an ASU and Pac-10 record with 34 doubles. First baseman Jeff Larish broke into the record books in several categories, including ranking fifth with 95 RBI and second with 78 walks. He broke the school record with four grand slams and tied the single-game records with nine RBI and four doubles. Jeremy West also tied the single-game records with nine RBI and three home runs.
Pedroia and Larish Pick Up All-America Awards in 2003:
The 2003 season was an All-American year for ASU sophomores Jeff Larish and Dustin Pedroia. Collegiate Baseball, NCBWA, CollegeBaseballInsider.com, ABCA and USA Today/Sports Weekly named sophomore shortstop Dustin Pedroia a first-team All-American. He was also named the NCBWA District VIII Player of the Year and Pedroia also earned second-team All-America honors from Baseball America. Larish earned second-team honors from Collegiate Baseball and Baseball America, and third-team honors from the ABCA and NCBWA. Pedroia (Woodland, Calif.) added to his postseason honors after being named the Pac-10 Co-Player of the Year. The sophomore shortstop finished the year hitting .404 (120-for-297) with 34 doubles, four home runs and 52 RBI. Larish hit .372 (87-for-234) with 18 home runs and a Pac-10 best 95 RBI. The First-Team All-Pac-10 selection became only the second Sun Devil to join the 70-70 (RBI-BB) club with 95 RBI and 78 walks.