Sept. 20, 2000
TEMPE, Ariz. --Academics has long been an integral and outstanding part of the Arizona State University baseball program. Long after players leave the rich tradition of the program, the academic integrity of the university and the program remain as several players from the past are back at ASU completing their college degrees.
Nine former ASU baseball players and four current Sun Devils are nearing completion of their college degrees, and are scheduled to graduate in coming semesters. The list of current players who will graduate this year includes All-American catcher Casey Myers and four-year starter Jeff Phelps. Myers, who was the 2000 Pac-10 Player of the Year and the GTE CoSIDA Baseball Academic All-American of the year, is scheduled to graduate in May, 2001 with a degree in Mathematics and Economics.
Phelps, who is a .344 career hitter for the Sun Devils, and a native of Yuma, Ariz., will also graduate in the spring with a major in Communications. The senior infielder was named to the Pac-10 all-academic team last year with a 3.41 GPA. Ty Johnson, a catcher and pitcher for Pat Murphy's club, has already completed his degree in Secondary Education with an emphasis in history, and is nearing his Master's in Curriculum and Instruction in Secondary Education. Johnson is a native of Cherry Creek, Colo. The last current Sun Devil who will graduate this year is third baseman Mike Lopez. Lopez, who hit .370 for ASU last year after transferring from Yavapai JC, will graduate in December with a degree in Justice Studies.
The list of the nine former Sun Devils who are back on campus to complete their degrees is headed by former Pac-10 Player of the Year and current Seattle Mariner prospect Willie Bloomquist. The former Sun Devil hit .394 for his career and led the Sun Devils to a second-place showing at the 1998 College World Series. Bloomquist finished his second professional season with the Triple-A Tacoma Rainiers and was recently ranked as the top up-and-coming prospect in the Mariners' organization. The Port Orchard, Wash., native is one semester short of his degree.
Ian "Chip" Goeswisch (1996-99) is scheduled to graduate with a degree in Family Studies this fall. Goeswisch, who was former walk-on for the Sun Devils, is currently playing professional baseball in the Anaheim Angles farm system. Dustin Delucchi (1997-99) is also nearing his degree in Family Studies and will graduate in December.
Brian Berger (1999-2000) is only one-year removed from the program, but is finishing his degree in Exercise Science. Berger is expected to graduate in May and is helping out the ASU baseball team as a graduate assistant coach.
Wil Waldrip (1999-2000) is also just one-year removed from the program, and will graduate with a degree in Interdisciplinary Studies in May.
Jeff Cermak (1996-97) is one of several former ASU players playing professional in the Valley for the independent Valley Vipers Baseball Club. Cermak will graduate in May with a degree in History.
Phill Lowery (1996-98), who was an integral part of the 1998 College World Series team on the mound, is 26 hours short of his Communications degree and is scheduled to graduate in May.
Greg Halvorson (1996-98) is using his offseason away from professional baseball to complete his degree in Finance. Halvorson, who played last year with the Capital City Bombers in the New York Mets system last year, is expected to receive his diploma in December.
Widd Workman (1996) was a right-handed pitcher for the Sun Devils in 1996, appearing in 14 games, while starting 11. Workman, who was 3-3 in his career at ASU, is back completing his degree in Exercise Science.