May 31, 2004
TEMPE, Ariz. (www.TheSunDevils.com) -- The Arizona State Sun Devils earned the national No. 7 seed in the 2004 NCAA Baseball Tournament and will travel to Fullerton, Calif. for the regional featuring No. 2 seed Cal State Fullerton, No. 3 seed Minnesota and No. 4 seed Pepperdine.
Arizona State captured one of the top eight national seeds by finishing the year with a 40-16 record and a No. 3 projected RPI (BoydsWorld.com). ASU will face West Coast Conference champion Pepperdine (28-30) on Friday at 3 p.m. at Goodwin Field. The host Titans (36-20) will play the Golden Gophers (38-21) at 7 p.m. The double-elimination regional will continue with three games on Saturday and one or two games on Sunday.
"We played the toughest non-conference schedule in the nation and were rewarded by it with a national seed," said ASU head coach Pat Murphy. "It is a real credit to this team to how they rose above all the expectations and just played good baseball."
The winner will face the winner of the Mississippi regional (Mississippi, Washington, Tulane and Western Kentucky) in a best-of-three super regional (June 11-13 or 12-14) with a berth in the College World Series (June 18-28) on the line. Arizona State combined to play 33 games against the Field of 64 this season, going 21-12. ASU was also 14-5 against ranked opponents this season.
"We know going into any regional that the task at hand is going to be tough," added Murphy. "We have a great regional ahead of us with three other good teams. I like this team and the spirit they bring to the field every day. We won 40 games against a tough schedule with a real young team. We need to keep playing tough and be ready to go over there and compete for a spot in Omaha."
Arizona State, winners of 15 of the last 20 regular season games, will be making its 28th all-time appearance in the NCAA Tournament and fifth straight. The Sun Devils are winners of five national championships (1965, 1967, 1969, 1977, 1981) and own an all-time 128-53 record in NCAA tournament play. ASU has advanced to the NCAA regionals in seven of head coach Pat Murphy's 10 seasons, including playing for the national championship in 1998.
Arizona State is 10-4 all-time against Pepperdine, having last played in a pair of ASU wins (11-4, 10-5) in the 1988 NCAA Regional at Packard Stadium. ASU is also 5-1 all-time against Minnesota and 23-21 against Cal State Fullerton. The Sun Devils have played at Goodwin Field in the 2001 NCAA Tournament and the 2003 NCAA Super Regional.
The Sun Devils are hitting .326 as a team and are led by junior All-American shortstop Dustin Pedroia (.395, 24 2B, 9 HR, 48 RBI). Junior starting pitcher Jason Urquidez leads the team with 11 wins (11-3) and freshman closer Zechry Zinicola is 4-2 with seven saves and a 3.46 ERA.
Tickets can also be ordered through the Cal State Fullerton ticket office. Individual game tickets will be on sale via the INTERNET ONLY (www.titansports.org) beginning at 10 a.m. Monday. The athletic ticket office in Titan House on the Cal State Fullerton campus will be open for in-person sales from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday thru Thursday. ONLY all-session tickets may be ordered by telephone at (714) 278-2783.
Friday, June 4: Game 1: #1 Arizona State vs. #4 Pepperdine, 3 p.m. Game 2: #2 Cal State Fullerton vs. #3 Minnesota, 7 p.m.
Saturday, June 5: Game 3: Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2, 11 a.m. Game 4: Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2, 3 p.m. Game 5: Loser Game 4 vs. Winner Game 3 (elimination game)
Sunday, June 6: Game 6: Winner Game 4 vs. Winner Game 5, 1 p.m. Game 7: Winner Game 6 vs. Loser Game 6 (if necessary)