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Athletics
No. 17 Baseball Takes On #25 Tennessee This Weekend at Hohokam Stadium
Courtesy: Sun Devil Athletics
Release: 02/05/2002
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Courtesy: Sun Devil Athletics
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Feb. 5, 2002

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    Sun Devil Baseball Off To 4-0 Start. #25 Tennessee Volunteers Come To Town For Three This Weekend.

    The Games:
    Feb. 8 vs. Tennessee, 6 p.m. MST
    TENN - Jeffrey Terrell - LHP (0-0, 3.52)
    ASU - Ryan Schroyer - RHP (1-0, 0.00 ERA)

    Feb. 9 vs. Tennessee, 1 p.m. MST
    TENN - Patrick Hicklen - RHP (0-1, 4.91)
    ASU - Mike Esposito - RHP (1-0, 7.20 ERA)

    Feb. 10 vs. Tennessee, 1 p.m. MST
    TENN - Ben Riley - LHP (0-0, 3.86)
    ASU - Bryce Kartler - LHP (0-0, 5.40 ERA)

    The All-Time Series:
    Overall Record vs. Tennessee: ASU leads 7-1
    Last Year vs. Tennessee: May 1-2 in Knoxville
    Tennessee 9-5 (10), ASU 15-1

    Media Exposure:
    ASU will make its first appearances on radio this year Friday and Sunday vs.Tennessee (XTRA 910 AM) with Tim Healey, the voice of Sun Devil Athletics, calling all of the action. ASU Historian and longtime Valley sportswriter Bob Eger will also be in the booth to handle all the color analysis. All games this weekend can also be tracked via the Live Stats feature at the official website of ASU Athletics, www.TheSunDevils.com. Saturday's game can be listened to by visiting the Tennessee website at www.utsports.com.

    The Storyline:
    This weekend Tennessee makes it first trip to ASU since a three-game series in 1988. The Devils made a mid-season trip to Knoxville last year with both teams taking a game. ASU leads the all-time series 7-1, with Tennessee's only victory coming in a 10-inning affair. The two teams have met once on neutral soil in Riverside, Calif., in 1972 (ASU 11-2) and twice in NCAA Tournament play. Tennessee is one of three teams the Devils will play this year that advanced to the College World Series last year.

    What's On Tap:
    The Sun Devil Baseball team is off to a 4-0 start and will host 2001 College World Series participant Tennessee this weekend to a three-game series at Hohokam Stadium in Mesa. The Devils opened the 2002 campaign in perfect fashion last weekend, going 4-0 with two wins over Southern Utah, and one win each over Oral Roberts and Oregon State. The Volunteers are off to a 1-2 start after dropping two of three to open the season at defending National Champion Miami. Arizona State leads the all-time series with Tennessee 7-1 and split a pair of games in Knoxville last year. The last meeting between the two schools in Arizona was back in 1988.

    Sun Devil Baseball Turns It On In February:
    The Sun Devil Baseball program has an all-time 361-134 (.730) record in the month of February dating back to the 1959 baseball season. Head coach Pat Murphy, who is only nine wins short of his 600th career Division I victory, is 71-27 in the month of February during his eight seasons at Arizona State.

    Hohokam is ASU's Home Away From Home in 2002:
    While a $2 million renovation will begin in March to Packard Stadium, the Sun Devils will call Hohokam Park in Mesa home for the 2002 season for all but three home games. Hohokam Park is also the spring training home of the Chicago Cubs and the Arizona Fall League home of the Mesa Solar Sox. The facility will provide ASU with a first-class facility while Packard Stadium undergoes renovation. Hohokam Park, which opened in 1997, has a seating capacity of 12,623, with 8,000 theater-style seats.

    Schroyer Earns NCBWA and Collegiate Baseball National Pitcher of the Week Honors:
    Arizona State sophomore starting pitcher Ryan Schroyer has been named the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association and Collegiate Baseball National Pitcher of the Week after his 11-strikeout performance against Southern Utah on Feb. 1. Schroyer, a sophomore who was 2-2 and was a honorable mention freshman All-American in 2001, allowed only three hits in 6.2 shutout innings to help lead ASU to the 12-0 defeat of Southern Utah. A high school All-American at Canyon del Oro in 2000, Schroyer was a 16th round selection of the Detroit Tigers in the MLB June Amateur Draft.

    The Record Is In The Books. ASU Has Scored In 379 Straight Games:
    The Arizona State baseball program made history on April 7, 2001 when they scored at least one run in its 350th consecutive game. The Devils broke the 12-year-old NCAA record in a 5-1 loss to USC exactly six years to the day when they were last shut out. ASU was shut out 9-0 on April 7, 1995 at Dedeaux Field. The one run scored in the 3-1 loss to Arizona on April 28 marked only the 10th time during the streak that ASU has scored only one run. Entering the 2002 season, the streak is still intact at 379 consecutive games. ASU was neck-in-neck for the record with Wichita State, which had not been shutout in 332 games, but had its streak ended with a 1-0 loss to Louisiana-Lafayette in the middle of the 2001 season. 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 three games dating back to 1990.

    Allen and Esposito Earn Preseason All-America Awards:
    Sun Devil players Rod Allen and Mike Esposito both earned preseason All-America honors. Allen, who hit .389 and set an ASU freshman record in 2001, was named a first-team preseason All-American by Collegiate Baseball. Esposito, who recorded a 5-2 record in 2001 and is coming off an impressive summer with Team USA, was named to a third-team preseason All-American by Baseball America.

    Murphy is Nine Short of 600 Division I Victories:
    Sun Devil Head Coach Pat Murphy is now just nine (9) wins short of reaching the 600 plateau for Division I victories in his 15 years of coaching at the top level of collegiate baseball. Fashioning a career 646-314-4 in his 18 seasons as a head coach, 55 of those wins came at Maryville (Tenn.) College and Claremont-Mudd Scripps. In his 15 years at the D1 level, Murphy has averaged nearly 40 wins per year.

    Sun Devil Bullpen Catches Fire On Opening Weekend:
    Only four games into the 2002 baseball season, the ASU bullpen is off to a nearly perfect start, not allowing an earned run in 14.0 combined innings. J.J. Jackson, Mark Sopko, Josh Perrault, Aaron Klusman, Josh Smith, Robbie McClellan and Jered Liebeck have combined to give up only four hits and have struck out 12 in 14.0 innings of work. McClellan picked up the win in the Oral Roberts (2/2) game by striking out six in 4.0 innings. The starters have also put up impressive numbers to give the pitching staff an overall 2.00 ERA. Ryan Schroyer, Mike Esposito, Miguel Sanchez and Bryce Kartler have combined for a 3.27 ERA in the four starts in 2002.

    Team USA Reunion:
    This weekend's series with the University of Tennessee will reunite 2001 Team USA members Mike Esposito and Volunteer starting catcher Javi Herrera (Miami, Fla.) Esposito and Herrera were members of the Team USA National Team last summer that toured Japan and the United States en route to an impressive 27-7-1 record. Esposito earned second-team Baseball America Summer All-America honors after going 3-1 with a 1.56 ERA for the Red, White and Blue. Herrera hit .128 with a double and three RBI.

    ASU Head Coach Pat Murphy:
    Since inheriting the Sun Devil program in August of 1994, Arizona State Baseball Head Coach Pat Murphy has carefully nurtured the tradition of excellence in Tempe, at the same time establishing himself as one of the top collegiate head coaches in the nation. He has guided Arizona State to top-12 national rankings in three of the past five years, including an appearance in the 1998 College World Series national championship game. Murphy is 273-143-1 in his seven seasons in Tempe and posts an all-time 22-16 record in NCAA Tournament action. With a career 646-314-4 record in 17 seasons as a head coach, Murphy is the winningest active baseball coach under the age of 43 at any collegiate level. He also became the youngest collegiate coach to reach 500 career victories (with 75 percent of the wins at the Division I level) on March 22, 1998, with a 7-6 victory over California. Murphy is now only nine wins short of 600 career Division 1 wins.

    Last Year Against Tennessee:
    Taking a break from the Pac-10 schedule late in the season, the Sun Devils traveled to Knoxville for a two-game series with the Volunteers May 1-2, 2001. Meeting for the first time since the 1994 NCAA Tournament at Lindsay Nelson Stadium, the Devils and Volunteers split the two-game series. Tennessee won the opener 9-5 on a grand slam home run by SEC Player of the Year and All-American Chris Burke in the bottom of the 10th inning. The Devils came back the next day by handing the Volunteers their worst loss of the season with a 15-1 victory. ASU starting pitcher Mike Esposito earned Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week with his performance against Tennessee, allowing only two infield singles and striking out six in 6.0 innings.

    ASU And Team USA Connections:
    Arizona State baseball has had a longstanding tradition of sending players to play for the USA National team during the summers. ASU has had six players don the Red, White and Blue for Team USA since 1984, with the first being Oddibe McDowell in the 1984 Olympics played at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. Jim Austin played for Team USA in 1990 and ASU has had four players play with Team USA in the last four years. 1999 Pac-10 Player of the Year Willie Bloomquist played in the summer of 1998, 2000-2001 Pac-10 Player of the Year Casey Myers played in the summer of 2000 and was also a member of the Team USA Junior National Team before arriving at ASU in 1998. Current Tampa Bay Devil Ray prospect Jon Switzer was also a member of the 2000 National Team and current pitcher Mike Esposito was 3-1 with a 1.56 ERA last summer. Current Sun Devils Dustin Pedroia, Dennis Wyrick and Ryan Schroyer all played for one of the Team USA Junior teams during their respective prep careers.

    Garrabrants and Pedroia A Tough 1-2 Punch:
    Sophomore designated hitter Steve Garrabrants and freshman second baseman Dustin Pedroia have done a nice job of setting the table for ASU's big hitters Rod Allen, Jeremy West and Andre Ethier. Garrabrants and Pedroia have combined to go 15-for-31 (.484) with 15 runs scored, two double and two triples. Pedroia is hitting .438 (7x16) and Garrabrants leads all regular Sun Devils with a .533 average (8x15).

    Heart of the Lineup Doing its Job:
    The No. 3-4-5 spots in the Sun Devil lineup have not changed this year, with sophomores Rod Allen, Jeremy West and newcomer Andre Ethier producing 18 of ASU's 36 runs this year. Allen and West each have one home run, while West leads the Devils with nine RBI in just four games. Ethier has recorded a hit in all four games and has knocked in five runs.

    The Apollo Connection:
    Arizona State and Apollo High School in Glendale has formed quiet a relationship. Former Sun Devil All-American and Major Leaguer Bob Horner started the tradition back in the late 1970's and still holds the ASU career record for home runs with 56. Current Los Angeles Dodger Paul Lo Duca, who was the Sporting News College Player of the Year in 1993 and holds the ASU single-season batting average record at .446 was also a prep standout at Apollo High School. The latest in the line of ASU players to come from Apollo High School is freshman infielder Nick Cadena. Cadena broke the school and state home run records for a career set by Horner and also bettered several of Lo Duca's long-standing records. To add to the connection, ASU Baseball beat writer Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic is also an Apollo graduate.

    A Tough Schedule in 2002 For ASU:
    The Sun Devils face a tough schedule in 2002, with 12 combined games against teams that participated in the 2001 College World Series (3 - Tennessee, 3 - USC, 3 - Stanford, 3 - Cal State Fullerton). ASU will play 22 of its 55 (40%) scheduled games against teams that advanced to the NCAA Tournament last year. The Devils schedule includes road contests against Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Flordia State, Stanford and UCLA.

    Allen and Esposito Named Summer All-Americans:
    Sun Devil sophomores Rod Allen and Mike Esposito were named to Baseball America's second-team Summer All-America team. Allen was ranked as the No. 8 prospect out of the Alaskan League after hitting .314 with 24 stolen bases to help lead the Anchorage Glacier Pilots to the National Baseball Congress (NBC) World Series Championship in Wichita, Kan. Esposito was 3-1 with a 1.56 ERA for Team USA. Junior pitcher Robbie McClellan also had great summer success, helping lead the Liberal BeeJays (Kansas) to the NBC World Series. McClellan was named an NBC All-American after going 2-0 with a 0.52 ERA in the 2001 World Series.

    Team USA Reunion:
    This weekend's series with the University of Tennessee will reunite 2001 Team USA members Mike Esposito and Volunteer starting catcher Javi Herrera (Miami, Fla.) Esposito and Herrera were members of the Team USA National Team last summer that toured Japan and the United States en route to an impressive 27-7-1 record. Esposito earned second-team Baseball America Summer All-America honors after going 3-1 with a 1.56 ERA for the Red, White and Blue. Herrera hit .128 with a double and three RBI.

    Last Year Against Tennessee:
    Taking a break from the Pac-10 schedule late in the season, the Sun Devils traveled to Knoxville for a two-game series with the Volunteers May 1-2, 2001. Meeting for the first time since the 1994 NCAA Tournament at Lindsay Nelson Stadium, the Devils and Volunteers split the two-game series. Tennessee won the opener 9-5 on a grand slam home run by SEC Player of the Year and All-American Chris Burke in the bottom of the 10th inning. The Devils came back the next day by handing the Volunteers their worst loss of the season with a 15-1 victory. ASU starting pitcher Mike Esposito earned Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week with his performance against Tennessee, allowing only two infield singles and striking out six in 6.0 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 three years, averaging 11.32 runs per game in 1999 and 10.97 runs per game in 2000. The Devils paced the Pac-10 in 2001, hitting at a .327 clip and averaging 8.26 runs per game to rank 17th in the nation. 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 seven seasons in Tempe, the Sun Devils have been a scoring machine with 3,849 runs, averaging 9.32 runs per game and hitting at an overall .331 clip.

    A Very Young Team Indeed:
    The Sun Devils feature a very young team in 2002, with 22 of the 33 players on the roster listed as underclassman. Losing seven of its top position players from the 2001 team and several top pitchers, a very young team Sun Devil team will take the field this year. A projected starting lineup will have five sophomores, two true freshman and at least one senior at the field.

    ASU Varsity Breezes Past Alumni in Annual Game:
    TheSun Devil Varsity 9 defeated a talented group of alumni players in the annual Alumni game held Jan. 26 at Packard Stadium. The Sun Devils defeated the Alumni 9-3 behind strong pitching and an offensive showcase by sophomore Rod Allen. Starter Bryce Kartler threw four strong innings, allowing only one hit and striking out four. The relief corps of J.J. Jackson, Miguel Sanchez, Aaron Klusman, Mark Sopko and Robbie McClellan allowed only three hits and one run over the final five innings. At the plate, Allen was 2-for-3 with a two-run home run and a run-scoring double. The Alumni squad featured former Sun Devil All-Americans Mitch Jones, Ryan Bradley, Willie Bloomquist, Ken Phelps and recent Devils Brooks Conrad and Mike Lopez.

    2002 Newcomers Highly Touted By National Publications:
    The group of 17 players that make up the newcomers for the 2002 season have been highly touted as the No. 8 recruiting class in the nation by Collegiate Baseball and the No. 11 class by Baseball America. The group includes starting shorstop Ian Kinsler (Central Arizona CC), starting right fielder Andre Ethier (Chandler-Gilbert CC), starting second baseman Dustin Pedroia (Woodland, Calif.), starting catcher Tuffy Gosewisch (Horizon HS) and ace relief pitcher Robbie McClellan (Seward County CC) to name just a few.

    He's Back:
    After earning All-State honors at St. Mary's High School as a senior in 2000, Sun Devil right fielder Andre Ethier followed his dreams and came to Arizona State University to play baseball. With playing time not working out, Ethier decided to play his freshman year at Chandler-Gilbert CC. Making a name for himself by leading the junior college circuit with 94 hits and hitting .468, Ethier spurned an offer from the Oakland Athletics after being drafted in the 37th round and came back to Arizona State.

    Blood Lines:
    If the last name and number you see behind the plate for ASU this year looks familiar, don't worry, you aren't having flashback to the late '90s. Tuffy Gosewisch, the brother of former Sun Devil ChipGosewisch, wears the same No. 39 as his brother and carries the same tough mentality on the field. The older Gosewisch played for Pat Murphy from 1996-99 as a catcher and infielder, hitting at a career .338 clip and playing in 160 career games. Tuffy Gosewisch was an all-state catcher at Horizon High School in Scottsdale last year and is slated to be ASU's opening day starting catcher.

    Why Not #9 Murphy:
    Most who are close to the ASU Baseball program know what the No. 9 means to head coach Pat Murphy. Often his slogan to "Play all 9 Innings", Murphy and No. 9 are synonmous with each other... until this year. In a preseason meeting with team, Murphy gave a speech on how you have to be able to give up anything for the team. In this case, he even offered up his prize No. 9, knowing no one would take it. That is, until ASU's sophomore Steve Garrabrants raised his hand and said, I'll take it, and with that, the leader of the Devils is willing to give up anything for the team and will wear No. 7 this year.

    Arizona State On The Tube:
    Fox Sports Net will televeise four Pac-10 Baseball games this year, including the March 23 game between Arizona State and Arizona in Tucson. The game, originally scheduled for 1 p.m. at Frank Sancet Field, has been pushed back to a 2 p.m. start to accomodate the TV start time.Arizona State will also play Florida State on Feb. 16 on Fox Sports Arizona at 12 p.m. MST. Listed below is a complete schedule of Pac-10 Baseball games scheduled to air on Fox Sports Net in 2002. Please check your local listings for exact start times and channel:

    -- Saturday, Feb. 16, 2002 -- Arizona State at Florida State, 12 p.m. MT
    -- Saturday, March 23, 2002--Arizona State at Arizona, 1 p.m.  PT/2 p.m. MT
    -- Saturday, April 13, 2002--USC at Stanford, 1 p.m. PT
    -- Saturday, May 4, 2002--UCLA at Washington, 1 p.m. PT
    -- Saturday, May 11, 2002--Oregon State at California, 1 p.m. PT
    
    Monday's With Murphy:
    New for the 2002 baseball season is a weekly coaches radio show for ASU head coach Pat Murphy. Held every Monday from 6-6:30 p.m. on XTRA 910 AM, Murphy and the voice of ASU Baseball, Tim Healey, will preview upcoming ASU Baseball games and talk Sun Devil baseball. A roundtable discussion on ASU and College Baseball is held from 5:30-6 p.m. and is open to the public and all media. Players will also be present at the weekly event.
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