Seven Baseball Players Earn Freshman All-America Honors
June 7, 2001
TEMPE, Ariz. -- Led by first-teamers Rod Allen and Jeremy West, seven Arizona State Sun Devil baseball players that comprised what has been tabbed as the best freshman class in school history, earned Louisville Slugger Freshman All-America honors by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper. The freshman class entered 2001 as a billing by several publications as the best in the nation, and it didn't disappoint, landing the most representatives on the team than any other college baseball program.
Allen, who hit .389 with six home runs in his rookie campaign and became ASU's first freshman to ever make the All-Pac-10 first team, finished 2001 with the highest batting average ever recorded by a Sun Devil freshman. In addition to Allen's impressive offensive numbers, the Phoenix native made the transition to left field and led ASU with five outfield assists. His 53 RBI are fourth most by a freshman in ASU history, while his 70 hits ties him with former Sun Devil Mike Kelly for the freshman school record.
Despite cooling off at the plate late in the season, West (Las Vegas) earned first-team honors at the designated hitter position. Hitting .307 with six home runs and 34 RBI, West played in 49 games, making 35 starts. His six home runs were second on the team and tied him with Allen for the fifth most in freshman school history. West also earned honorable mention status at the infield position, where he started 28 games at first base and maintained a .989 fielding percentage.
Three ASU pitchers earned honorable mention status on Collegiate Baseball's annual team. Mike Esposito (Las Vegas), Aaron Klusman (Phoenix) and Ryan Schroyer (Oracle, Ariz.). Esposito, who emerged as ASU's Friday night starter after coming back from Tommy John Surgery, was 5-2 with a 4.06 ERA. He is one of 29 players that have been invited to play for Team USA this summer. Klusman has a stellar year, maintaining a 3.31 ERA in 25 relief appearances. He struck out 49 in 35.1 innings and opposing batters hit only .215 off of him. Schroyer was a regular in the ASU rotation through much of the early season, but battled sickness and wildness to finish the season with a 2-2 record. He will be playing for Falmouth in the Cape Cod League this summer.
West and second baseman/shortstop Steve Garrabrants (Phoenix) were named honorable mention infielders. Garrabrants, a product of Moon Valley High School, hit .307 with a team-leading five triples and knocked in 23 runs. His 16 stolen bases (25 attempts) tied him for the ASU freshman record with former Sun Devil greats Barry Bonds (1983) and Kelly.
Redshirt freshman Nick Walsh (Alamo, Calif.) was a mainstay late in the season starting the last 16 games at designated hitter for the Sun Devils. Walsh hit .264 with one home run and had three game-winning hits in his freshman season. A sparkplug when inserted into the top of the lineup, ASU was 13-6-1 when Walsh hit leadoff. He was named an honorable mention outfielder, despite starting only six games in right field.
ASU's 2001 Freshman All-Americans:
Copy By Jeff R. Evans
ASU Media Relations