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Sun Devils Prepare For Three Road Games
Courtesy: Sun Devil Athletics
Release: 04/23/2002
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Courtesy: Sun Devil Athletics
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April 23, 2002

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What's On Tap:
The 17th-ranked Sun Devils take back to the road with three games this week away from Hohokam Park. ASU travels to Oklahoma City for its annual meeting with the Oklahoma Sooners at Bricktown Ballpark, the Triple-A home of the Oklahoma Redhawks (Pacific Coast League). ASU is 25-15 overall and currently in second place in the Pac-10 with a 9-6 mark. Only 10-10 in their last 20 game, the Devils have slipped in the national polls, ranked No. 17 by Baseball Weekly and No. 30 by Collegiate Baseball. ASU endured a tough 2-1 series loss to California over the weekend for its first conference series loss in over a year. After the brief one-game series in Oklahoma City, ASU will then travel to South Bend, Ind., for a two-game set with Notre Dame.

Quick Hits:

  • Pat Murphy coached in his 1,000th career game Sunday vs. Cal. He is six short for 300 wins in his ASU career.
  • Jon Sheaffer is currently out with a leg injury, and is missed with his .367 average. He has at least one hit in 25 of his last 31 games.
  • Dustin Pedroia is hitting .391 in Pac-10 play and has only two errors in the field in 153 total chances (.987 FLD %).
  • The Sun Devils had their string of eight consecutive Pac-10 series victories snapped last weekend vs. Cal.
  • Andre Ethier and Dustin Pedroia are the only Devils to play and start in all 40 games this year.
  • Since hitting home runs in all three games vs. WSU (4/5-5/7), Jeremy West is only 4-for-20 (.200) in his last six games.
  • Starting catcher Cesar Castillo is hitting .714 (5x7) with two doubles and five RBI in the last two Sunday games.
  • Of ASU's 305 runs scored this year, 154 (51%) have come with two outs. ASU also has 88 1-out runs and 63 0-out runs.
  • Robbie McClellan is 5-1 as a starter this year and is fourth in the Pac-10 with his 70 strikeouts.
  • Through 37 games, ASU has four complete games. The Devils had only one all of last year (Jon Switzer).
  • The Devils have scored in the first inning in 22 of their 40 games (55%). ASU is 17-5 when scoring in the first.
  • The Sun Devils have used 31 different lineups this year, including a string of 23 different lineups in the last 24 games.
  • ASU has scored in a NCAA record 415 consecutive games dating back to April 7, 1995. The old record was 349.
  • In his 13 appearances out of the bullpen (21.2 IP), sophomore Ryan Schroyer has struck out 32 batters (0.83 ERA).

    More Quick Hits:
  • Andre Ethier leads the team in hitting at .373 and has 16 multi-hit games. He has at least one hit in 31 of 40 games this year.
  • Ryan McKenna hit his first career home run in the loss to UNLV (4/1). McKenna is hitting .360 over his last nine games.
  • Freshman Nick Cadena blasted his first career home run in ASU's 22-4 win over Washington State (4/7).
  • Sophomore Mike Esposito is ranked third in the Pac-10 with 71 strikeouts in 76.0 innings pitched this year.
  • ASU's 26 home runs is only seven short of the entire total from last year with 18 regular season games remaining.
  • The Sun Devils have given up seven home runs in the last six games after allowing only 15 in the first 35 games of 2002.
  • Led by Ryan McKenna (5x9, 2 2B, 1 HR), the Sun Devils pinch-hitters are a combined 18-for-65 (.292) this year.
  • ASU is hitting .311 with runners in scoring position. Andre Ethier is an amazing 20-for-45 (.444) with RISP.
  • ASU is 5-5 against ranked opponents this year and have played 19 of their 40 games against teams appearing in the polls.
  • ASU has already had four players earn Pac-10 Player of the Week honors and two players earn National Pitcher of the Week.
  • Cesar Castillo has started 10 of the last 11 games at catcher, adding to his two previous career starts. He is hitting .250.
  • The Devils ended their recent seven-game road trip with a 4-3 record, hitting .312 as a team and pitching for a 5.08 ERA.
  • Ryan Schroyer leads the Pac-10 with a 2.40 ERA. He is 4-1 overall with wins in each of his last three appearances.
  • Relief pitcher Mark Sopko has been tough when inheriting base runners, allowing only three of 22 inherited runners score.
  • The Devils have struggled in Sunday games, going 6-5, each time wearing their maroon uniforms.
  • The Devils are currently in second place in the Pac-10 with a 9-6 record. They next play at #4 Stanford (5/10-5/12).
  • Junior reliever Carlos Arguello has a 0.87 ERA in 10.1 bullpen innings. He has posted five consecutive shutout innings.

    The Streak Continues. ASU Enters Weekend With Scoring Streak at 415: 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 in that game on April 7, 1995 at Dedeaux Field. The one run scored in the 11-1 loss to Arizona (3/24) marked only the 12th time during the streak that ASU has scored only one run. The streak continues at 415 consecutive games with ASU scoring in each of the 40 games this year. The Devils have extended the streak early in a majority of its games, with a run in the first inning 22 times in 2002. 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. ASU celebrated its 7th anniversary of the streak with a 22-4 win over WSU on Apr. 7, 2002.

    Schroyer + Bullpen = Dominating:
    Arizona State sophomore pitcher Ryan Schroyer opened his 2002 season in style by being 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 has since been moved into the closer role where he has recorded an amazing 31 strikeouts in just 21.2 innings of work as a reliever. For the season he is 4-1 with three saves and a Pac-10 best 2.40 ERA. Overall he has struck out 57 batters in just 41.1 innings of work. In 21.2 bullpen innings, Schroyer is 3-0 with three saves and an amazing 0.83 ERA, allowing only two earned runs and 10 hits. In addition to leading the league with his 2.40 ERA, he is also ranked eighth with 57 strikeouts, fifth with three saves and third with 13 games finished. Schroyer has picked up a win in each of his last three outings, allowing only six hits and one run in his last 10.0 innings of work.

    When Murph Returns To Notre Dame...:
    When ASU head coach Pat Murphy returns to Notre Dame next weekend, it will mark the first time he will step foot in South Bend since leaving for the head job at ASU in 1994. In seven seasons at Notre Dame, Murphy turned the program into a national power, going 318-116-1 during his tenure. He led the Irish to its first appearance in the NCAA Tournament in 19 years in 1989 and averaged over 46 wins per season. ASU assistant coach Mike Rooney also played for Murphy at Notre Dame and earned monograms in 1991-92.

    Devils Prove To Be Clutch With Two Outs:
    In the 15-2 win over UCLA (4/14), Arizona State scored 12 of its 15 runs with two outs. Looking back at all 40 games this year, ASU has scored just about half of their runs with two outs. The Sun Devils have tabbed 63 runs with no outs, 88 with one out and a remarkable 154 of 305 with two outs. As a team the Sun Devils are hitting .296 (128x433) with two outs and have recorded 103 two-out RBI.

    West Continues Season Trend By Being Named Pac-10 Player of the Week: Jeremy West became the fourth ASU player to earn a Pac-10 Player of the Week honor when he earned the award after the Washington State series. West, from Las Vegas, helped lead ASU to a series win over WSU by hitting a home run in each game against the Cougars. The Player of the Week honor was the first for West in his career. It is the 65th selection all-time for Arizona State. ASU has now had two Pac-10 Player of the Week awards this year in addition to two Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week awards. Andre Ethier has also been named the Pac-10 Player of the Week this year (Mar. 26), while Mike Esposito (Apr. 1) and Robbie McClellan (Mar. 12) have been named Pac-10 Pitcher's of the Week.

    Hail Cesar:
    The Sun Devils have been through four catchers this year, but seems as if they have found their match in senior Cesar Castillo. The senior backstop from Yuma, Ariz., has started the 10 of the last 11 games and now has 12 career starts under his belt. While hitting .250 (11x44) on the year, Castillo has been stellar in the last two Sunday series finales vs. Washington State and UCLA. Castillo, who is 13-for-51 (.255) in his two-year career as a Sun Devil, has combined to go 5-for-7 (.714) with five RBI and two doubles in the last two Sunday games. Castillo was injured in Saturday's 4-3 win over California on a play at the plate. He is listed as day-to-day and is expected to be 100% by the Stanford series.

    31 Flavors:
    Looking to find the perfect starting lineup as the Sun Devils play their final 15 regular season games, head coach Pat Murphy has used a different starting lineup in 23 of the last 24 games and 31 different lineups in the 2002 season. Mixing and matching with a number of players earning starts, only two starting batting order has remained the same since back-to-back games vs. Loyola Marymount (3/3) and New Mexico State (3/5). ASU has also mixed and matched for 24 different starting lineups by position.

    The Streak Stops at Eight:
    The Sun Devils had their impressive streak of eight straight Pac-10 series wins come to an end last weekend vs. Cal. Starting last Apr. 12-14 with a 2-1 series win over Washington State, the Devils had not lost since with series wins against Arizona (2-1), Washington (3-0), UCLA (2-1), at Arizona (2-1), Washington (2-1), at Washington State (2-1) and at UCLA (2-1).

    Garcia To Face Old Mates This Weekend:
    In probably the most interesting match-up Wednesday, ASU's senior infielder Sergio Garcia will face his former team in the Oklahoma Sooners. After playing in junior college at Cerritos CC in Southern California, Garcia transfered to Oklahoma where he hit .311 while playing in all 59 games for the Sooners last year. He was named honorable mention all-Big 12 and recorded 20 multi-hit games. Garcia transfered to ASU in the fall and has been a consistent sparkplug for ASU when inserted into the lineup. Garcia was 3-for-5 with two runs scored last weekend vs. Cal and is now hitting .321 (18x56) on the year with four multi-hit games. In the three games vs. Oklahoma earlier this year he hit .222 with two hits in nine at-bats.

    More ASU-Oklahoma Connections:
    In addtion to Garcia having strong connections with Oklahoma after playing there last year, Robbie McClellan played with OU pitcher Curtis White at Seward County CC last year. Sooner catcher Ryan Richardson (.290) returns home to Mesa where he starred at Dobson High School and Central Arizona CC. OU head coach Larry Cochell lettered for ASU in 1963 under Bobby Winkles and in his only year in the Maroon and Gold was 2-for-3 at the plate and 0-1, 6.63 on the mound.

    Last Year at Bricktown:
    As part of a three-city, three-game tour in the middle of the Pac-10 season in April, the Sun Devils defeated Oklahoma 5-3 in 11 innings on April 18, 2001 at Southwestern Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City, Okla. Mike Esposito started and recorded the no-decision, striking out six and allowing only one earned run in five innings. Andy Torres vultured for the win with two strong innings out of the bullpen. Dennis Wyrick picked up the game-winning hit with a two-out, two-run single to right field in the top of the 11th.

    The First Time Around vs. Oklahoma:
    Wednesday's game with Oklahoma will mark the fourth meeting between the Sooners and Arizona State this year. Oklahoma won the three game series 2-1 held March 15-17 at Hohokam Park in Mesa, Ariz. Making his first appearance as a Sun Devil, freshman Jeff Larish put aside his redshirt season to go 4-for-7 with two triples in two starts at third base. First baseman Jeremy West also had a good game, going 5-for-12 (.417) with a home run and four RBI.

    The Wild, Wild West:
    Sophomore first baseman Jeremy West leads the Sun Devils in nearly every offensive category and is three weeks removed from being named the Pac-10 Player of the Week. West hit a home run in each of ASU's three games at Washington State and now has a team-leading 11 home runs on the year. He has five of his 11 home runs in the last 13 games. Despite going only 4-for-20 in his last six games, West is still fourth on the team with a .352 batting average. He is currently tied for the league lead with 15 doubles, second with a .724 slugging percentage and third with 48 RBI. He also leads the team with 29 extra base hits, 18 multi-hit games and 12 multi-RBI games. He has tabbed at least one RBI in 24 of his 39 games played this year (62%). Below is a list of how West ranks with his 17 home runs combined between his freshman and sophomore years:

    Most Home Runs By a Sun Devil in Freshman-Sophomore Years:
    RankPlayer Fr. So. Total Career (ASU Rank)
    1.Bob Horner9223156 (1st)
    Mike Kelly10213146 (2nd)
    3.Jim Austin7172439 (6th)
    4.Barry Bonds11112245 (3rd)
    5.Antone Williamson4141833
    6.Jeremy West611 1717
    Dan Rumsey5121744 (4th)
    8.Andrew Beinbrink951440 (5th)
    Casey Myers861439 (6th)
    * thru 40 games of 2002 season.

    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. The normal starting lineup has five sophomores, two true freshman and at least one senior on the field. When the Devils made the cross country trek to Tallahassee for the FSU series, 13 of the 27 on the travel roster were making their first road trip as a Sun Devil. The starting lineup this weekend figures to have three freshman, five sophomores and one senior. The starting rotation figures to have one sophomore and two juniors, one of which is a newcomer after transferring from a junior college. To show how young ASU really is, when ASU played at UCLA two weeks ago, no player on the roster had ever played at Jackie Robinson Stadium.

    Murphy Picks Up Career Division 1 Victory #600:
    With a convincing 10-0 win over UNLV in seven innings March 8, Sun Devil Head Coach Pat Murphy reached the 600 plateau for Division I victories in his 15 years of coaching at the top level of collegiate baseball. Murphy has now fashioned a career 667-329-4 record the 1,000 career games of his 18 seasons as a head coach, with 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 and is 294-158-1 in his eight-year ASU career. He recently coached in his 1,000th career game April 21, 2002 in the series finale against Cal. He is also only six wins short of the 300 mark in his eight-year ASU career.

    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 synonymous 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.

    Sun Devil Baseball Successful in April:
    The Sun Devil baseball program now has an all-time 519-222 record in the month of April dating back to the 1959 season when varsity baseball started. The Devils are 5-5 to start the busiest month of the 2002 season. ASU was 10-6 last year in April and have a 26-14 record dating back to 2000 in the month of April. ASU head coach Pat Murphy is a combined 75-45 in the month of April in his eight years in Tempe.

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