May 27, 2003
NCAA Tournament Links:
ASU Baseball Links:
College Baseball Links:
May 30 vs. Central Conn. State, 7 p.m. PDT
CCSU - Barry Hertzler, RHP (9-2, 1.52 ERA)
ASU - TBA
ASU VS. REGIONAL FIELD
All-Time vs. Tempe Regional Field: 75-15-1
vs. 64-Team NCAA Field in 2003: 10-6
Arizona State (50-12) is ranked in all three national polls and checks in this week as the No. 4 team in the nation by Sports Weekly/ESPN and Collegiate Baseball. The Devils are also No. 5 in the recent Baseball America poll. The Sun Devils have now been ranked in the national polls for 76 consecutive polls dating back to the start of the 2000 season.
All postseason games will be broadcast over the radio in the Phoenix area on NBC 1190 AM with Tim Healey and Bob Eger calling all the action. Fans can also listen over the internet on www.TheSunDevils.com. The NCAA will also provide LiveStats for all NCAA Regional games with links available on www.TheSunDevils.com. No live TV coverage is scheduled for the Tempe regional.
DID YOU KNOW?
That Arizona State ended the regular season leading the Pac-10 in hitting (.350) and pitching (3.30) and is second in fielding (.972). ASU also broke the NCAA record with 14 grand slams this year and is ranked second in the nation in hitting and in scoring (10.13 runs per game). ASU is making its 27th all-time appearance in the NCAA Tournament and hosting a regional for the third time in the last four years.
Arizona State (50-12) ended the 2003 regular season tied with Florida State for the most wins in the nation and will enter postseason play this weekend with the NCAA regional tournament at Tempe Diablo Stadium. ASU will host Central Connecticut State (31-15-2) on Friday at 7 p.m. No. 15 UNLV and New Mexico State will meet in the first game of the day at 1 p.m. on Friday.
Consecutive Games Scoring Streak Reaches 495:
The Arizona State baseball program has now scored in an NCAA record 495 consecutive games dating back to the 1995 season. The Devils made history on April 7, 2001 when they scored at least one run in their 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 Devils recently celebrated the eighth anniversary of the start of the streak with a 10-2 win over Grand Canyon on April 7. The one run scored in the 5-1 loss to Washington (5/17/03) marked only the 14th time during the streak that ASU has scored only one run. 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 the 1990 season. ASU is a combined 331-166-1 during the streak. Notable pitchers the Devils have faced during the streak include 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).
Arizona State remains a consensus top-10 team in all four national polls heading into the 2003 NCAA Tournament. ASU is ranked as high as No. 4 by Sports Weekly/ESPN, and also checks in at No. 4 by Collegiate Baseball and No. 6 by Baseball America. Ranked as high as No. 8 in the preseason polls, the Devils have spent virtually the entire season in the top 10 and for two weeks manned the top spot in two of the three national rakings, marking the first time being No. 1 since heading into the 1993 College World Series. ASU has been ranked for 76 consecutive national polls dating back to the start of the 2000 season. ASU entered the 2003 season ranked as high as No. 8 in the nation by Baseball America in the preseason collegiate polls. Arizona State also earned a preseason No. 9 ranking by Sports Weekly/ESPN, No .10 by NCBWA and No. 12 ranking by Collegiate Baseball. The No. 8 preseason ranking is the highest by an ASU squad since opening the 2001 season as the consensus No. 6 team in the nation.
Sun Devils Reach 50-Win Mark in Regular Season:
With the 15-2 victory over Arizona to clinch the series sweep, ASU recorded its 50th win in the final game of the 2003 regular season. The 2003 squad became just the fifth team in ASU history to win at least 50 regular season games. The other years were 1972, 1973, 1975, 1976, 1982, 1984 and 1988. The 50 wins are the most by a Sun Devil squad since the 1990 edition of Sun Devil baseball went 52-19 and marks the 16th time in program history with 50 or more wins in a season.
Sun Devils Set NCAA Single-Season Grand Slam Record:
ASU ended the regular season in grand fashion vs. Arizona (5/25), hitting two grand slams to set the NCAA record for grand slams in a season with their 13th and 14th of the year. The Devils broke the old record set by Oklahoma State in 1996 with 12. After hitting only one grand slam all of last year, the Sun Devils have gone on a binge this year hitting 14 in 2003. Sophomore first baseman Jeff Larish broke the single-season school record by hitting his fourth grand slam vs. UCLA (4/19). Larish broke the old record of three set by Dave Hudgens in 1977. Steve Garrabrants and Jeremy West each have three slams, Rod Allen has two (both pinch-hit grand slams) and freshmen Ryan Bosch and Travis Buck each have one.
Pedroia Earns Co-Pac-10 Player of the Year:
Sophomore shortstop Dustin Pedroia was named the Pac-10 Co-Player of the Year with Stanford senior catcher Ryan Garko. Pedroia finished the regular season with a .418 batting average, leading the conference in batting (.418), runs scored (75), hits (112), doubles (32), at bats (268), total bases (160) and is fourth with a .487 on-base percentage. With his selection Pedroia becomes the 10th Sun Devil to earn the Pac-10 Player of the Year award. Since the Pac-10 North and South divisions joined in 1999, ASU has had a player win the POY award in all but one season (1999: Willie Bloomquist; 2000: Casey Myers; 2001: Casey Myers; 2003: Dustin Pedroia).
Ethier, Schroyer, Larish and Garrabrants Named first-Team All-Pac-10:
Four Sun Devils earned first-team All-Pac-10 honors when the annual conference awards were handed out Tuesday from the conference office in Walnut Creek, Calif. Andre Ethier (Jr., OF), Steve Garrabrants (Jr., 2B), Ryan Schroyer (RHP, Jr.) and Jeff Larish (So., 1B) were the four ASU selections. Ethier was named for the second straight year. Arizona and Stanford also had four players selected to the first team. In addition, seven Sun Devils were named to the honorable mention All-Pac-10 team. Ben Thurmond (Sr., RHP), Jeremy West (Jr., DH), Travis Buck (Fr., OF), Jered Liebeck (RHP, Sr.), Frank Mesa (So., INF), Nick Walsh (Jr., UTL) and Tuffy Gosewisch (So., C) were all named honorable mention All-Pac-10 selections.
A Clean Sweep of the Wildcats:
The Sun Devils continued their dominance over their rivals to the South, the Arizona Wildcats, by sweeping a three-game series to end the 2003 regular season. The Devils recorded the sweep in dominating fashion, out-scoring Arizona 36-4 in the three games. The Devils opened the series with a 5-2 win on Friday night scoring three in the bottom of the eighth to break a 2-2 tie. ASU then pounded UA over the next two games, winning 16-0 on Saturday and completed the sweep with a 15-2 victory on Sunday. For the series the Sun Devils hit .380 with eight doubles, seven home runs and recorded 78 total bases. The pitching was just as dominant with a 1.33 team ERA and for the third time this year in Pac-10 play held an opponent to under four runs in a series. Andre Ethier earned Pac-10 Player of the Week after hitting .500 (6-for-12) with three home runs in the series. Sophomore Jeff Larish also caught fire going 8-for-11 (.727) in the rivalry series to raise his season average from .358 to .377.
Comparing 2003 to 1981:
Arizona State has put together an amazing season in 2003 leading the league in pitching (3.30 ERA), hitting (.350), second in fielding (.972) and is among the national leaders in runs per game (10.13) and is tied for the NCAA lead with 50 wins. ASU's fifth and last national championship came in 1981 with a Sun Devil squad that is arguably the best to take the field in program history. The 1981 squad set school records in home runs (110), runs (694) and batting average (.356). Star performers on the 1981 club included Pac-10 Player of the Year Mike Sodders (.424, 22 HR), Alvin Davis (.395, 20 2B) and Kevin Romine (.410, 12 HR, 20 2B). Here is a comparison look at the two squads:
Injury Bug Bites The Sun Devils:
The Sun Devils not only had a tough road trip with six games in eight days, but also suffered two key injuries with the postseason looming. Junior outfielder Rod Allen broke a bone in his left hand during the series opener vs. Oregon State (5/12) when he fouled a ball off his hand. Allen, who was hitting .305 (36-for-118) with six home runs and 41 RBI, is out for the Arizona series and will be reevaluated before postseason play. Junior second baseman Steve Garrabrants is probable after injuring his left shoulder while trying to steal second base against Washington (5/19). Garrabrants, who also missed the Arizona series last year with a back injury, was hitting .351 (66-for-118) with seven home runs 53 RBI and is second in the Pac-10 with 23 stolen bases. He returned to the Sun Devil lineup Sunday vs. Arizona going 1-for-4 with a grand slam home run.
Andre Ethier Named Pac-10 and National Player of the Week:
For the second straight week an Arizona State baseball player has been named the Pac-10 Player of the Week. Junior outfielder Andre Ethier earned the weekly Pac-10 honor and was also named the Collegiate Baseball National Player of the Week after hitting four home runs and compiling a .471 batting average in ASU's four games last week. Ethier, from Phoenix, Ariz., went 8-for-17 (.471) with six runs scored, two doubles, two triples, four home runs and eight RBI in four games last week, including a three-game sweep over instate rival, Arizona. In the four games he compiled a 1.529 slugging percentage while the Sun Devils went 3-1 to reach the 50-win mark on the season (50-12). Ethier has recorded 27 multi-hit games and is currently in the midst of a career-high 17-game hitting streak. The Pac-10 Player of the Week honor is the second for Ethier in his career and the 71st selection all-time for Arizona State. Arizona State has now had four players for five total selections as the weekly player of the week honor. Jeremy West has earned the honor twice, while Dustin Pedroia, Travis Buck and Ethier have all earned one weekly award. West, senior right-handed pitcher Jered Liebeck and Ethier have all earned Collegiate Baseball National Player of the Week honors.
Pedro Wins Regular Season Pac-10 Batting Title:
Sophomore shortstop Dustin Pedroia went 4-for-13 (.308) in the Arizona series to end the regular season hitting .418 (112-for-268) to claim the 2003 Pac-10 regular season batting crown. His 112 hits are the most by a Sun Devil since Dan McKinley had 113 in 1997 and is already seventh best in ASU single-season history.
Pedroia Named Pac-10 Player of the Week:
Pedroia, from Woodland, Calif., helped the Sun Devils to three Pac-10 wins at Oregon State and Washington (5/12-5/18) going 10-for-23 (.435) during that stretch with eight runs scored, two doubles, one home run and four RBI. With his two doubles, he broke the ASU single-season record formerly held by Chris Bando (30, 1978) and tied the Pac-10 record of 31. While not factoring into the voting, Pedroia added to his impressive season in he Monday game against UW, going 3-for-5 in a 6-4 loss to the University of Washington. He broke the Pac-10 record with his 32nd double of the season, passing former Washington State Cougar and current Los Angeles Dodger Mike Kinkade (31 in 1994).
Arizona State has built up a 50-12 record heading into the NCAA Tournament. The Sun Devils have lost straight games this year only two times and have suffered a number of close losses this year. Of the Devils 12 setbacks this year, five have come by one run and eight by three or less runs. ASU's eight Pac-10 setbacks have come by way of four one-run games and two, two-run contests. Additionally, ASU has proven to be a strong bounce-back team going 10-2 after a loss.
Larish Becomes Second Sun Devil To Join 70-70 Club:
Sophomore Jeff Larish leads the Pac-10 with 86 RBI and 72 walks and has been a big reason behind ASU's 50-12 record in 2003. Larish's amazing season also includes 18 double and 16 home runs. Even more amazing is that Larish became only the second player in ASU Baseball history to join the 70-70 (RBI-BB) club. Former Sun Devil and major leaguer Alvin Davis, who played first base for the Sun Devils from 1979-82, is the only other member of that club after recording 91 RBI and a single-season school record 87 walks in 1982.
A Record Setting Season For Jeff Larish:
Jeff Larish has rewritten the ASU record books several times this year with countless memorable performances. Larish broke the ASU single-season record with four grand slams, tied the ASU single-game records with nine RBI (SDSU; 1/26) and four doubles (Arizona; 5/25) and with 72 walks is already second in the ASU single-season record books. He has also belted 16 home runs and his 86 RBI lead the Pac-10.
Pedroia Sets School and Pac-10 Doubles Record:
With three doubles on the recent road trip to Oregon State and Washington, sophomore Dustin Pedroia set the ASU and Pac-10 single-season record with 32 doubles of the year. He tied the record of 30 set by Chris Bando in 1978 in Monday's series opener vs. OSU (5/12) and broke the record with a first-inning double on Tuesday (5/13). Pedroia broke the Pac-10 record of 31 set by Washington State's Mike Kinkade in 1994 vs. Washington (5/18) with a shot down the left field line. Pedroia is the NCAA leader with his average of 0.52 doubles per game and is now only four doubles off the NCAA record of 36 doubles in a season.
|ASU Single Season Doubles:||Pac-10 Single-Season Doubles|
|1. Dustin Pedroia, 2003||32||1. Dustin Pedroia, ASU (2003)||32|
|2. Chris Bando, 1978||30||2. Mike Kinkade, WSU (1994)||31|
|3. Antone Williamson, 1993||29|
|Steve Willis, 1988||29||NCAA Single-Season Doubles (last):|
|5. Clay Westlake, 1976||26||1. Brad Hawpe, LSU (2000)||36|
|Arizona State Career Stats in NCAA Tournament:|
Buck, Larish and Pedroia Invited To USA Baseball Trials:
Arizona State Baseball players Travis Buck, Jeff Larish and Dustin Pedroia have been invited to the 2003 USA Baseball National Team Trials, to be held in Tucson, Ariz., from June 21-27. Buck, Larish and Pedroia were part of a selection show Thursday where 18 more players were invited to the Team USA Trials. One more wave of 10 invitees will be announced before the trials begin in June at Hi Corbett Field. Pedroia and Georgia Tech's Eric Patterson were selected after both playing for Team USA last summer. Phillip Humber (Rice) and Huston Street (Texas) also played in 2002 for Team USA and were part of the first wave of selections last month. Georgia Tech and ASU each had three players selected for the trials during the second wave. Buck, Larish and Pedroia are looking to become the latest in a long line of Sun Devils who have played for the USA Baseball National Team. ASU has sent five players to the national team in the last five years and eight total players since 1984. In recent years Willie Bloomquist (1998), Jon Switzer (2000), Casey Myers (2000), Mike Esposito (2001) and Pedroia (2002) have donned the Red, White and Blue for USA Baseball.
Scoring at Will:
Arizona State heads into the NCAA Tournament ranked fourth in the nation averaging 10.13 runs per game and has scored 10 or more runs in 32 of its 62 games (52%). The Devils have also scored 20 or more runs in three games this season and as a team are also ranked second in the nation (first in Pac-10) hitting .350. The 10.13 runs per game average is currently the fourth best during 45 years of ASU varsity baseball history. With 32 games of scoring 10 or more runs, ASU trails only the 1981 Sun Devils (36) for the most games with double-digits since ASU joined the Pac-10 in 1979.
Twice this year two Sun Devils have tied the ASU single-season record with nine RBI in a single game. Sophomore Jeff Larish was the first to do it in a 24-9 win over San Diego State (1/26). Larish accomplished the nine RBI with a two-run single, two-run home run, a grand slam home run and a bases loaded walk. Junior Jeremy West also had nine RBI in his record setting game vs. Washington State (4/27) in which he went 5-for-7 with three home runs. West recorded his nine RBI with a two-run homer, a three-run homer and a grand slam. The only other Sun Devil to record nine RBI in a game was Tommy Adams on May 2, 1990 vs. UNLV.
Nick Walsh on a Tear:
Junior utility player Nick Walsh has one goal in mind when he steps in the batters box... get on base. Walsh, a native of Alamo, Calif., was struggling up to the Cal series hitting only .238 (10-for-42) while playing in 32 games and making only five starts. But then he was inserted into the leadoff spot vs. the Golden Bears and finished the series 6-for-8 (.750) and since that series has been on a tear going 25-for-60 (.417) with seven multi-hit games to raise his season average 105 points to .351. He had a career-best game vs. Washington State (4/27) in which he went 6-for-6 with three doubles, seven RBI, five runs scored and recorded six different run-scoring hits. The three doubles, six hits and five runs scored were each one off the single-game ASU record and his seven RBI were two away from the school record.
|Walsh's Statistics Before April 13:|
|Walsh's Statistics After April 13:|
Pedroia Makes Case For Pac-10 Player of the Year:
Sophomore shortstop Dustin Pedroia (Woodland, Calif.) has been the spark plug to ASU's 50-12 record. ASU's only player to play and start in all 62 games, Pedroia ended the regular season leading the Pac-10 in hitting at .418 (112-for-268) with 32 doubles, four home runs and 49 RBI. He also leads the conference in hits (112), doubles (32) and leads ASU with 38 extra base hits. In 24 Pac-10 contests Pedroia hit .409 (45-for110) with 10 doubles and 17 RBI. He has also recorded 38 multi-hit games to pace the ASU offense. With his 112 hits Pedroia has become only the 22nd Sun Devil in school history to surpass the 100-hit plateau and the first since Willie Bloomquist in 1999. The 112 hits are currently seventh in ASU single-season history. His .418 average is currently eighth in the ASU single-season record books and his .384 career average currently ranks seventh. In a rare performance, Pedroia went 0-for-5 with two strikeouts in ASU's 4-2 win over LBSU (2/2) to have his career-long 22-game hitting streak come to a halt. The streak, which spanned 11 games each at the end of 2002 and 11 games to begin 2003, fell just two games off the top six in ASU Baseball history. It is the longest streak since current Houston Astros prospect Brooks Conrad had a 21-game streak in 2000. During the streak Pedroia combined to hit .390 (41x105). He also had streaks of 17, 13 and 12 games this year to combined for four separate hitting streak of 10 or more games. Pedroia now has a hit in 69 of his last 73 games dating back to the end of last year, including hits in all but four games this year (58 of 62). In his two years as a Sun Devil he already has 195 hits, 45 of which are doubles, and has never missed a start in 120 consecutive games. In the field Pedroia has also been the rock to ASU's solid .972 team fielding percentage. The slick fielding shortstop has committed only eight errors in 291 total chances for a .973 fielding percentage and not made an error in 20 straight games. Pedroia is one of ASU's leading hitter with runners in scoring position, going 41-for-84 (.488) with nine doubles and 44 RBI.
Pedroia Proves to be Sparkplug:
Pedroia has ignited several ASU scoring rallies this year as is evident by his .537 (58x108) average as a leadoff hitter (inning and game). The percentage marks the amount of times he has reached base to either lead off the game or an inning for the Devils. All told, Pedroia has batted leadoff in 57 of ASU's 62 games this year with the Devils going 48-9 when his name is penciled in first on the lineup card. Amazingly, Pedroia has reached base safely in 30 of those games to lead off the game for the Devils, with 23 hits (nine extra base hits, 1 HR) and has scored ASU's first run in 19 of those games.
Averill Heads Into Postseason Play Behind Pair of Good Starts:
Freshman Erik Averill heads into the NCAA Tournament with a pair of good starts behind him. Averill defeated Arizona to improve to 8-1 on the year with seven shutout innings. Although he gave up five runs vs. Washington (5/17), the freshman had one of his better outings with command and control. For the season he has struck out 52 in 77.2 innings and with his eighth win moved into a tie for seventh place in the ASU freshman record books. Averill's win over the Wildcats (5/24) was his first since defeating California on April 11.
West and Ethier Streaking Heading Into Postseason Play:
Heading into the NCAA Regionals this weekend, Jeremy West and Andre Ethier each have hitting streaks of 10 or more games. West is currently riding a career-high 18-game streak dating back to April 2 when he went 2-for-3 vs. New Mexico. During the streak West has combined to go 33-for-71 (.465) with 18 runs scored, eight home runs and 31 RBI. Ethier is also in the midst of a career-high streak, spanning 17 games dating back to April 17 vs. UCLA. Ethier has combined to go 33-for-75 (.440) during the streak with 24 RBI, seven home runs, three triples and three doubles. Tuffy Gosewisch recently had his career-high eight-game hitting streak snapped. Gosewisch combined to go 12-for-29 (.414) during the streak. Here is a look at how West and Ethier have fared during their respective hitting streaks:
Thurmond and Liebeck Leading The Pac in ERA:
Senior right-handed pitchers Jered Liebeck and Ben Thurmond head into the NCAA Tournament ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in the Pac-10 in ERA. Liebeck is 7-0 on the season with a 2.64 ERA while making 19 pitching appearances and 13 starts. Thurmond, a senior transfer from Winthrop, is 6-0 with a 2.87 ERA in 69.0 innings. Thurmond had an impressive Pac-10 season going 2-0 with a 2.68 ERA.
The Return of Jeremy West:
Junior designated hitter Jeremy West has slowly but surely returned to his 2002 form in which he led the Pac-10 with 71 RBI and earned first-team all-conference honors. Riding a current 18-game hitting streak, West has gone 33-for-71 (.465) during that stretch with eight home runs and 31 RBI to raise his season average to .366 (64-for-175). Over his last 31 games, West has raised his season average from .280 to .366 going 44-for-103 (.427) with 41 RBI. In his last 14 games he has hit eight home runs, including his third multi-homer game of the season vs. UC Irvine (5/6). He recorded a record-breaking weekend vs. Washington State (4/25-27) in which he earned his fourth career Pac-10 Player of the Week award. In the three-game set vs. the Cougars, West combined to go 9-for-16 (.562) with five home runs, seven runs scored and 13 RBI. He homered in all three games (extending his consecutive games homer streak vs. WSU to six games), including hitting a walk-off two-run homer in the 10th inning in Saturday's 5-3 victory and belting an ASU single-game record tying three on Sunday. Going 5-for-7 in the series finale, West tied the single-game home run mark with a two-run, three-run and grand slam home run and also equaled the school record with nine RBI. For the season, West now has 17 home runs to lead the team, including a trio of multi-home run games, and with 36 career homers is now tied for 8th in the ASU career record books. His .648 career slugging percentage also ranks fifth in ASU history heading into the NCAA Regional.
|Best Slugging Percentage (min. 250 at-bats)|
|1.||Mitch Jones (1999-2000)||109||405||141||296||.731|
|2.||Bob Horner (1976-78)||186||683||262||492||.720|
|3.||Rick Morris (1985-86)||126||477||178||325||.681|
|4.||Roger Schmuck (1970-71)||112||420||160||273||.650|
|5.||Jeremy West (2001-P)||162||523||181||339||.648|
|6.||Todd Brown (1983-85)||119||452||160||292||.646|
|7.||Oddibe McDowell (1983-84)||141||550||209||354||.644|
|ASU Career Home Runs|
|1.||Bob Horner (1976-78)||56|
|2.||Mike Kelly (1989-91)||46|
|3.||Barry Bonds (1983-85)||45|
|4.||Dan Rumsey (1986-89)||44|
|5.||Andrew Beinbrink (1996-99)||40|
|6.||Casey Myers (1998-2001)||39|
|7.||Mitch Jones (1999-2000)||38|
|8.||Jeremy West (2001-P)||36|
|Ted Dyson (1983-87)||36|
|Mike Sodders (1980-81)||36|
Production at First Base:
The first base position has proven to be ASU's big run producer this year with Jeff Larish, Mike Guerrero and Jeremy West combining to torture opposing teams. In ASU's 62 games, Larish has played in 55 games, Guerrero in 14 games and West in two games at first base. The trio, when playing the position, have combined to go 97-for-239 (.406) with 27 doubles, 18 home runs and 97 RBI.
About the 19-Game Winning Streak:
After starting the year 9-0, ASU suffered its first setback with an 11-5 loss at nationally ranked Long Beach State on Jan. 31. After that loss, ASU went on a 19-game winning streak combining to go 13-0 in February and won the first six games in March before losing 6-5 to No. 30 Oklahoma (3/14). The 19-game winning streak is the longest by an ASU squad since the 1990 team won 23 straight games. Dustin Pedroia led ASU during the streak hitting .432 (35-for-81) with 11 of his Pac-10 leading 28 doubles. As a team the Sun Devils hit at a .344 clip and pitched for an impressive 2.56 ERA.
Sun Devils Record Best Start in School History:
Arizona State's 28-1 start to the season goes down in the record books as the best start in school history. The 28-1 record includes an 11-game winning streak to start the season before a loss at nationally ranked Long Beach State (Jan. 31) and a 19-game win streak up until suffering a 6-5 loss to Oklahoma (3/14). During the 28-1 start to the season ASU's pitchers posted an impressive 3.11 ERA and the hitters combined for a .360 team batting average. Here is a look at ASU's best starts in school history:
ASU in NCAA National Rankings:
The NCAA releases the national statistical rankings each Tuesday and the Sun Devils are listed among the national leaders. NCAA statistics are based on per game averaged to offset the different number of games played by each school. Below is a look at where ASU ranks in the NCAA as of May 27:
|Team Stats||Rank||Actual||National Leader||Actual|
|Batting Average||2||0.350||Southern U.||0.36|
|Earned Run Average||10||3.40||VCU||2.61|
|W-L Pct||4||.806||Southern U.||0.896|
|Individual Stats||Player||Rank||Actual||National Leader||Actual|
|Batting Average||Dustin Pedroia||16||0.418||Rickie Weeks, So.U||0.493|
|Runs Batted In Per Game||Jeff Larish||6||1.46||Billy Becher, NMSU||1.90|
|Doubles Per Game||Dustin Pedroia||2||0.52||Jordan Foster, Lamar||0.53|
The Jeff Larish Watch:
Sophomore first baseman Jeff Larish started off with a bang in 2003 hitting 11 home runs in his first 29 games. Although he has cooled off a little as of late, Larish is still having a banner season hitting .377 (80-for-212) with 16 home runs, 18 doubles and leads the conference with 86 RBI. Larish has recorded at least one hit in 49 of 59 games and one RBI in 42 of 59 games this year. He also leads the conference with 72 walks (1.22 per game) and has an unbelievable on-base percentage of .531 (second in Pac-10). For the season he is slugging .708 (second in Pac-10) and is second on the team with 36 extra base hits. He has connected on four grand slams this year, breaking the single-season school record set by Dave Hudgens in 1977. In addition, he is batting .700 (14x20) with the bases loaded and leads the team with 34 two-out RBI. Larish, who was supposed to redshirt in 2002 but played midway through the season, hit .328 with three home runs in 34 games last year. Drafted in the 32nd round in 2001 by the Chicago Cubs, Larish etched his named in the ASU record books with a memorable game in the series finale vs. San Diego State (1/26). In what turned out to be a 24-9 ASU route, Larish was 3-for-4 and tied the school single-game record with nine RBI. He had a two-run single in the first inning, a two-run home run in the third, a grand slam homer in the fourth and then tied the 13-year-old school record (Tommy Adams) by walking with the bases loaded in the eighth. He also tied the single-game record with four doubles vs. Arizona (5/25).
Larish Breaks Single-Season Record With Four Grand Slams:
With his fourth grand slam of the season in the eighth inning of ASU's 17-1 blowout of UCLA on April 19, sophomore Jeff Larish broke the single-season record for grand slams. Dave Hudgens set the previous record of three in 1977. ASU also broke the single-season NCAA record with 14 grand slams. Here is a look at Larish's four grand slams this year:
|GS||HR #||Game #||Date||Opponent||Pitcher||Inning|
|1.||5||9||Jan. 26||San Diego State||Coon||4|
|2.||8||21||Feb. 22||Notre Dame||Ogilvie||5|
|3.||9||23||Feb. 28||Penn State||Stidfole||4|
McClellan Mows Them Down:
Senior right-handed reliever Robbie McClellan has emerged as one of ASU's best pitchers after enduring some struggles earlier in the season. McClellan, who entered the year as the Pac-10's leading strikeout pitcher after recording 91 as a junior in 2002, is 7-0 this year with a 3.44 ERA. Pitching in 25 games, McClellan has made four starts going 2-0 with a 2.81 ERA and is 5-0 with a 3.69 ERA out of the bullpen. He has come on strong as of late going 2-0 with a 1.29 ERA in his last seven outings (14.0 IP).
ASU has recorded a Pac-10 best 151 doubles on the year (2.44 per game average). Sophomore shortstop Dustin Pedroia leads the team and Pac-10 with a school and league record 32. Junior Jeff Larish is second on the team with 18 after recording a record-tying four vs. Arizona (5/25). The team record for doubles in a season is 185 set in 1988, while the individual season record was previously 30 by Chris Bando in 1978. ASU needs only seven more doubles to move into the top five for doubles in a single season.
Home Run Notes:
Through the end of the 2003 regular season the Sun Devils have already doubled their entire season total from 2002 with 77 home runs. ASU has hit 56 of those home runs at Packard Stadium and 21 in its 25 road or neutral site games. Of the 37 games played at Packard Stadium the Devils have hit at least one home run in 27 games. A total of 12 different players have hit at least one home run and nine players have two or more home runs. Junior Jeremy West leads the team with 17 round-trippers after hitting eight in his last 14 games. Sophomore Jeff Larish is second with 16, including an ASU single-season record of four grand slams. The Devils have homered in 41 of their 62 games (66%), including 22 multi-home run games. The Devils also have an NCAA record 14 grand slams on the season with Larish (4), Steve Garrabrants (3), Jeremy West (3), Rod Allen (2) and freshmen Ryan Bosch and Travis Buck all leaving the yard with the bases loaded to tie the NCAA record. ASU had only one grand slam in 2002 and four in 2001. ASU's home run breakdown includes 21 solo shots, 27 two-run homers, 15 three-run home runs and 14 grand slams to account for 28% of the total run production in 2003 (161 runs). Listed below are ASU's home run totals since the NCAA adopted the current bat rules for the 1999 season.
|Year||Games||HR||HR Per Game|
Pedroia Named To Initial Watch List For Golden Spikes Award:
Arizona State sophomore shortstop Dustin Pedroia was included among 25 players named to the initial watch list for the 2003 Golden Spikes Award, given annually to the nation's top amateur baseball player. The 2002 Team USA member was one of only two Pac-10 players to be named to the initial watch list (Carlos Quentin, Stanford). The five finalists were named this week without Pedroia making the final cut. Arizona State has a long tradition of Golden Spikes Award winners as three past Sun Devils have won the award. Bob Horner (1978), Oddibe McDowell (1984) and Mike Kelly (1991) have all won the award. Only Florida State and Cal State Fullerton have matched ASU's legacy also with three winners of the annual Golden Spikes Award.
Beau is No "Wild Thing" Vaughan:
One of ASU's most valuable pitchers this year comes in the form or a senior transfer who virtually had no success at any of the other three colleges he played for. Hard-throwing right-hander Beau Vaughan has blossomed under the tutelage of pitching coach Chris Sinacori and leads the team with nine wins and is second in the Pac-10 97 strikeouts. After starring at Mountain Ridge High School in Glendale, Vaughan played at Phoenix College, South Mountain Community College and last year at New Orleans where he was only 1-0 with an 8.84 ERA in 19.1 innings pitched. As a Sun Devil Vaughan, who played in high school with teammate Jered Liebeck, has been stellar in both relief and as a starter. He is 5-2 with a 4.21 ERA out of the bullpen and is 4-3 with a 5.21 ERA as a starter. In his second appearance of the year back on Jan. 17 vs. Hawaii-Hilo, Vaughan registered eight straight strikeouts for the second most in ASU pitching history.
The Sun Devils capped off one of the programs most successful Aprils in recent years with a 9-4 win over Oklahoma (4/30) at Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City. ASU finished the month with a 9-3 record, including going 7-2 in Pac-10 play. Junior slugger Jeremy West paced the ASU offense hitting .545 (18-for-33) in the month with five home runs and 17 RBI. Junior Nick Walsh made sure his name will be penciled into the lineup on a regular basis going 19-for-39 (.487) in 11 games in April with five doubles and 13 RBI. As a team the Devils hit .358 with 22 doubles, five triples and 19 home runs. The pitchers continued their success in 2003 by maintaining an impressive 2.87 ERA in the 12 games. Senior Ben Thurmond went 2-0 with a 0.64 ERA in three games and 14.0 IP in April.
Freshman Records About To Go Down:
Freshman Travis Buck and Erik Averill are making a serious dent in the ASU freshman record books as the Devils head into the NCAA Tournament. Averill is already tied for seventh with his eight wins, eighth in ERA (3.48), and ninth with 52 strikeouts. Buck is ranked third with 75 hits, tied for fifth with 13 doubles and second with 55 runs scored.
National Players of the Week:
Three Sun Devils have earned national player of the week honors this year. Senior RHP Jered Liebeck earned national acclaim after his complete-game, three-hit shutout against nationally ranked Long Beach State on Feb. 1. He was named the Collegiate Baseball and NCBWA pitcher of the week for his performance. Junior designated hitter Jeremy West earned Pac-10 Player of the Week and Collegiate Baseball and CollegeBaseballInsider.com national player of the week after hitting five home runs in three games against Washington State (4/25-27). Junior Andre Ethier is the latest to add his name to the list earning Pac-10 and Collegiate Baseball National Player of the Week honors (5/26). Freshman Travis Buck also earned CBI's western regional player of the week honor after his impressive series vs. USC (3/28-30).
Travis Buck Hits For The Cycle:
Freshman outfielder Travis Buck went 5-for-5 with even RBI and hit for the cycle in ASU's 19-0 win over Southern Utah (3/7). He became only the seventh Sun Devil in recorded history to record the elusive cycle and became the first freshman in Pac-10 history to hit for the cycle. Buck capped his perfect night with a grand slam home run as part of an eight-run sixth inning to become ASU's first player to hit for the cycle since Mitch Jones on May 21, 2000 at Arizona. Buck, ASU's normal starting left fielder who was making only his second start in right field, had a single in the first, a double in the third and a triple in the fifth before connecting on his second home run of the year for the cycle. He also added a run-scoring single in the fourth and tied a career high with two stolen bases. For the season Buck, who was named the Pac-10 Player of the Week after going 8-for-11 (.727) vs. USC, is hitting .349 (75-for-215) with 13 doubles and four home runs. Below is a list of ASU player who have hit for the cycle:
Travis Buck March 7, 2003 vs. Southern Utah
Mitch Jones May 21, 2000 vs. Arizona
Dan McKinley April 1, 1997 vs. Grand Canyon
Antone Williamson May 27, 1993 vs. George Mason
Kevin Higgins May 1, 1988 vs. UCLA
Todd Brown March 18, 1984 vs. USC
Paul Ray Powell March 21, 1969 vs. Michigan
Schroyer Tied For Fourth in ASU History With 16 Career Saves:
Junior closer Ryan Schroyer has been nearly unstoppable in 2003 out of the bullpen. The hard-throwing right-hander is 5-2 with eight saves this year and has a 1.45 ERA allowing only seven earned runs in 43.1 innings pitched. The preseason All-American has scattered 36 hits in his 27 outings and has struck out 48 batters. His save over Arizona (5/23), in which sealed ASU's 5-2 win over the Wildcats with a scoreless ninth inning, moved him into a tie for fourth place in the ASU career record books with his 16th career save. Since becoming ASU's closer midway through the 2002 season, Schroyer has been dominating going 8-2 with a 1.49 ERA and 16 saves. During that stretch he has 98 strikeouts in 84.1 innings (48 appearances). Schroyer also put together a solid summer going 1-0 with seven saves and a 0.00 ERA to help lead the Alaska Goldpanners to the NBC World Series title. After recording eight (8) as the league's top pitcher (2.37 ERA) in 2002, Schroyer is looking to continue to move up the charts. Here is a look at ASU's top save leaders in school history:
|ASU's Career Saves Leaders:|
|1.||Doug Nurnberg, 1965-67||25|
|2.||Kevin Dukes, 1978-81||20|
|3.||Noah Peery, 1993-94||17|
|4.||Ryan Bradley, 1995-97||16|
|Ryan Schroyer, 2001-P||16|
As a team the Sun Devils are hitting .300 (33-for-110) in pinch-hitting opportunities with four doubles, two triples and three home runs. Junior Rod Allen has been ASU's leading pinch-hitter as of late going 6-for-10 (.600) with nine RBI, two doubles and two grand slam home runs. Senior Dennis Wyrick (.357, 5-for-14), Nick Walsh (.318, 7-for-22) and Mike Guerrero (.348, 8-for-23) have also been solid off the bench for ASU this year.
The Big Inning:
The Sun Devils have been a scoring machine this year ranking fourth in the nation averaging 10.13 runs per game this year. ASU has also proven to be an explosive team at the plate, recording 147 big innings (2 or more runs). The team has also recorded 33 innings when they score five or more runs and have scored over 10 runs in an inning three times. ASU's biggest run production in a single frame was 12 in the opening game vs. Washington State (4/25). ASU has also produced two first innings with 10 or more runs (Arizona; 5/24, WSU; 4/27).
Kartler Knows His Role:
Senior left-handed pitcher Bryce Kartler knows he has a role of coming in and getting one or two hitters out and he has succeeded greatly in that role. Making 20 pitching appearances this year, Kartler has pitched in 19.0 innings and has maintained a 5.21 ERA. While his ERA is one of the highest on the team, if you were to take way his first two relief appearances of the year against San Diego State (Jan. 24, Jan. 26) where he gave up nine runs in two-thirds of an inning, Kartler would have a 0.98 ERA giving up only two earned runs in 18.1 innings.
Led by the 38 from Dustin Pedroia, 10 different Sun Devils have 10 or more multi-hit games to their credit this year. Amazingly, Pedroia has recorded 25 two-hit games, 10 three-hit contests and three four-hit affairs for his 38 multi-hit games. Andre Ethier (27), Jeff Larish (24), Steve Garrabrants (21), Travis Buck (21), Jeremy West (18), Tuffy Gosewisch (14), Frank Mesa (13), Dennis Wyrick (12), and Rod Allen (10) all have 10 or more multi-hit games. Last year seven Sun Devils finished the season with 10 or more multi-hit games, led by the 27 from Pedroia. Larish also leads the team with 17 multi-RBI games.
ASU has already pitched nine shutouts this year, after recording only six in the previous three years. Included in the nine shutouts, of only one is a complete-game shutout by Jered Liebeck, four have come in Pac-10 play. Since the Pac-10 North and Pac-10 South (Six Pac) merged in 1999, the four Pac-10 shutouts are more than the previous four years combined in league play. ASU currently leads the conference with a 3.30 ERA, marking the best staff ERA since ASU joined the Pac-10 in 1979.
How They Compare To Past Years:
The Sun Devils are 50-12 through the end of the 2003 regular season after recording the best start in school history at 28-1. The 50 are the most by an ASU squad since going 46-20 in 1993. Here is a look at how the Devils have fared in games 55-66 since 1995.
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 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 nine seasons at ASU, the Sun Devils have been a scoring machine with 4,927 runs in 533 games, averaging 9.24 runs per game and hitting at an overall .331 clip. ASU leads the Pac-10 in hitting again this year at .350 and is averaging 10.13 runs per game (with 32 games with 10 or more runs). Below is an offensive team breakdown of Murphy's ASU teams:
Home Sweet Home:
ASU returned to Packard Stadium in 2003 after playing in Mesa (Hohokam Park) in 2002. The Devils recorded their 800th career victory at Packard Stadium (3/1 vs. PSU) and have an all-time 818-235-1 dating back to 1974. ASU played 40 of its 62 regular-season games in the state of Arizona and 37 at Packard Stadium. After playing nine of its first 12 games on the road, the Devils spent nearly the entire months of February and March in the state of Arizona with only three games away from Packard Stadium at the new spring training facility of the Texas Rangers/Kansas City Royals in Surprise. After going 29-10 in designated home games last year, the Devils were 30-7 at home this year now have a combined 163-50-1 (.764) home record in the last five years dating back to 1998. ASU is hitting .354 with 56 home runs in 37 home games and pitching for a 3.27 team ERA on the mound.
Arizona State in Home Games (1998-2003):
ASU Mixes Things Up:
After mixing and matching for 41 different starting batting lineups in 58 games last year, head coach Pat Murphy continues to keep the lineup fresh in 2003. Through the first 62 games of the season the Devils have mixed and matched for 52 different batting lineups and 33 different positional lineups.
The Big First Inning:
Arizona State has scored in the first inning in 29 of its 62 games this year and owns a record of 26-3 when they put at least one run on the board in its first at-bat. ASU's biggest opening frame of the year was an 11-run first inning vs. Arizona (5/24) in the second game of the three-game series sweep of the Wildcats. ASU did not hit a home run in the first inning vs. Arizona, but recorded eight hits and capitalized on two errors. ASU also tallied a 0-run outburst vs. Washington State (4/27) en route to a lopsided 25-0 victory. ASU scored its 10 runs in the inning by way of nine hits, two home runs and sent 15 batters to the plate. The nine hits in the inning are tied for fourth most in ASU single-season history, last accomplished vs. UNLV in 1983.
Attendance Marks Impressive at Packard Stadium:
Arizona State is always in the national top 10 for attendance marks when playing at Packard Stadium and once again fans keep coming through the turnstile in 2003. In ASU's 37 home games this year, the Devils averaged a home crowd of just under 3,000 (2,846) with a total of 105,306 fans attending the games. ASU's largest single-game crowd was the second game vs. Arizona (4,184) during the last weekend of the season. The home season opener vs. San Diego State also had a good crowd drawing 3,972 fans. ASU also had 10,043 attend the three-game series against San Diego State and 7,008 attend the two games against Notre Dame. The Oklahoma three-game series had a total of 10,861 fans for the three-game set, while the largest three-game crowd was established vs. Arizona with 10,950 turning out for the series.
Pitching and Defense Dominate in Cal and WSU Series:
The pitching staff dominated the California Golden Bears and Washington State Cougars in a pair of Pac-10 three-game sets in recent weeks. ASU gave up only four runs (three earned) and tallied an 1.00 ERA in the series against Cal and combined to out-score WSU 51-3 while posting two pitching shutouts. The four runs given up in a three-game Pac-10 series are the least dating back to giving up seven runs in three-game sweep vs. Cal in 1993 (11-1, 11-4, 11-2) and the three given up to WSU tied the school mark for the least amount of runs given up in a three-game conference series. The 1990 Sun Devils limited rival Arizona to three runs (3-0, 3-1, 9-2) Mar. 16-18 at Packard Stadium. In Sunday's doubleheader vs. Cal (4/13) the Devils allowed only one run in 18 innings and outscored the Bears 16-1. Giving up the only run of the second game in the seventh inning, ASU nearly recorded its first back-to-back shutouts in Pac-10 play. Behind every good pitching note is an even better defensive stat. ASU turned six double plays (two in each game) during the Cal series and committed only two errors.
Two Out Rallies:
Over the last two years the Sun Devils have had a flare for scoring runs with two outs. In 2002 the Devils scored 232 of their 450 total runs (52%) with two outs. ASU is back at it again in 2003 scoring 245 of their 628 runs (39%) after two outs have been recorded. During the season-high nine-run sixth inning that led to ASU's 14-8 come-from-behind victory over Notre Dame (2/23), all nine runs came with two outs after a full-count walk to Jeff Larish. Larish leads the team with 32 two-out RBI, while designated hitter Jeremy West leads the team hitting .444 (24x54) with two outs. As a team the Devils are batting .327 (231x706) after two outs have been recorded.
Buck and Bosch Among Fab 50 Freshmen:
ASU's freshman outfield tandem of Travis Buck and Ryan Bosch has both been tabbed as part of Baseball America's Freshman Fab 50 prior to the start of the 2003 season. Buck, a 23rd round draft choice of the Seattle Mariners last June, is ranked No. 25 on the list. Buck has started 51 of ASU's 53 games and is hitting .356 with three home runs and 38 RBI. Bosch, ranked No. 41, has started 26 games in center field and is hitting .210 with 22 hits, four home runs and 23 RBI.
A Series to Remember vs. Washington State:
The scoreboard told it all in ASU's three-game sweep of Washington State posting 20 runs and 20 hits in two of the three games. ASU out-scored the Cougars 51-3 in the series and for the first time since joining the Pac-10 in 1979 posted a pair of 20-run games in a conference series. The 25 runs scored in the Sunday series finale marked the third most runs scored in a league game for ASU and the 51 combined runs are the fourth most scored in a league series. ASU's pitchers also dominated the Cougars throwing a pair of shutouts, also marking the first time in 25-years of play in the Pac-10 that two shutouts in a series had been accomplished. The three runs allowed also tied for a pitching low in ASU's 25 years in Pac-10 play.
A Record Breaking Day For Walsh and West:
Nick Walsh and Jeremy West put together one of the best combined offensive performances in a single game when ASU defeated Washington State 25-0 (4/27). West went 5-for-7 with three home runs, nine RBI and scored three runs. Walsh went 6-for-6 with seven RBI, five runs scored, drilled three doubles and had six different run-scoring hits. The duo combined to collectively go 11-for-13 (.846) with 16 RBI and six extra base hits. West tied the ASU single-game records with the three homers and nine RBI, and his 14 total bases tied for second. Walsh was one off of three separate single-game records with his three doubles, six hits and five runs scored. He is the first Devil to record six hits in a game since Mark Ernster also went 6-for-6 vs. BYU in 1999.
Liebeck Sweeps Pac-10 and National Pitcher of the Week Honors:
Senior RHP Jered Liebeck swept the national and Pac-10 awards (Feb. 4) after throwing a complete-game, three-hit shutout against the No. 13 Long Beach State 49ers. Liebeck struck out two and did not allow a hit past the fifth inning to improve to 2-0. He allowed only one runner reach second base and until issuing his first walk of the game in the ninth inning, had retired 10 straight LBSU batters down the stretch. The complete-game shutout (9.0 IP) was the first by a Sun Devil since Drew Friedberg one-hit Hawaii-Hilo in 1999. He was named the Collegiate Baseball and NCBWA National Pitcher of the Week and became the 45th ASU pitcher to earn Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week acclaim.
Four Sun Devils Bring Home Midseason Honors:
Four Sun Devils earned mention in Baseball America's midseason review. Freshmen Travis Buck (OF) and Erik Averill (LHP) both were named to the midseason All-America freshman team, while sophomores Dustin Pedroia (SS) and Jeff Larish (DH) were picked for their respective class. Here is what BA had to say about Larish being named the "Biggest Surprise of the First Half of the Season":
"Larish slowed down a bit after a torrid start to the 2003 season. He came down with back spasms in mid-March and missed a couple of games, but few college players have ever put together a better half season than Larish, a sophomore who was supposed to redshirt last year but was pressed into the lineup at midseason and hasn't stopped hitting. A left-handed hitter, he was batting .372-13-64. He had driven in all those runs in just 38 games despite drawing 51 walks, and his .551 on-base percentage probably has Athletics general manager Billy Beane drooling for the '04 draft."
Sun Devils Dominate at Bricktown:
The Sun Devils made their annual trek to Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City to play Oklahoma on April 30th. The Devils improved to 4-1 all-time at Bricktown with a 9-4 win over the Sooners and have now won four straight at the Triple-A ballpark of the Oklahoma City Redhawks. ASU also notches wins at Bricktown in 2000 (20-6), 2001 (5-3, 11 innings) and 2002 (7-5).