Sun Devils Prepare For Three Road Games
April 23, 2002
What's On Tap:
The 17th-ranked Sun Devils take back to the road with three gamesthis week away from Hohokam Park. ASU travels to Oklahoma City forits 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 witha 9-6 mark. Only 10-10 in their last 20 game, the Devils have slippedin the national polls, ranked No. 17 by Baseball Weekly and No. 30 byCollegiate Baseball. ASU endured a tough 2-1 series loss toCalifornia over the weekend for its first conference series loss inover a year. After the brief one-game series in Oklahoma City, ASUwill then travel to South Bend, Ind., for a two-game set with NotreDame.
More Quick Hits:
The Streak Continues. ASU Enters Weekend With Scoring Streak at 415:The Arizona State baseball program made history on April 7, 2001 whenthey scored at least one run in its 350th consecutive game. TheDevils broke the 12-year-old NCAA record in a 5-1 loss to USC exactlysix years to the day when they were last shut out. ASU was shut out9-0 in that game on April 7, 1995 at Dedeaux Field. The one runscored in the 11-1 loss to Arizona (3/24) marked only the 12th timeduring the streak that ASU has scored only one run. The streakcontinues at 415 consecutive games with ASU scoring in each of the 40games this year. The Devils have extended the streak early in amajority of its games, with a run in the first inning 22 times in2002. ASU was neck-in-neck for the record with Wichita State, whichhad not been shutout in 332 games, but had its streak ended with a1-0 loss to Louisiana-Lafayette in the middle of the 2001 season.Coastal Carolina previously held the NCAA record at 349 games setfrom 1983-1989. ASU also had a stretch of 278 games without beingshut out from 1990 to 1994, meaning the program has only been shutoutin three games dating back to 1990. ASU celebrated its 7thanniversary 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 seasonin style by being named the National Collegiate Baseball WritersAssociation and Collegiate Baseball National Pitcher of the Weekafter his 11-strikeout performance against Southern Utah on Feb. 1.Schroyer has since been moved into the closer role where he hasrecorded an amazing 31 strikeouts in just 21.2 innings of work as areliever. For the season he is 4-1 with three saves and a Pac-10 best2.40 ERA. Overall he has struck out 57 batters in just 41.1 inningsof work. In 21.2 bullpen innings, Schroyer is 3-0 with three savesand 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 alsoranked eighth with 57 strikeouts, fifth with three saves and thirdwith 13 games finished. Schroyer has picked up a win in each of hislast three outings, allowing only six hits and one run in his last10.0 innings of work.
When Murph Returns To Notre Dame...:
When ASU head coach Pat Murphy returns to Notre Dame next weekend, itwill mark the first time he will step foot in South Bend sinceleaving for the head job at ASU in 1994. In seven seasons at NotreDame, Murphy turned the program into a national power, going318-116-1 during his tenure. He led the Irish to its first appearancein the NCAA Tournament in 19 years in 1989 and averaged over 46 winsper season. ASU assistant coach Mike Rooney also played for Murphy atNotre 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 15runs with two outs. Looking back at all 40 games this year, ASU hasscored just about half of their runs with two outs. The Sun Devilshave tabbed 63 runs with no outs, 88 with one out and a remarkable154 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 ofthe Week honor when he earned the award after the Washington Stateseries. West, from Las Vegas, helped lead ASU to a series win overWSU by hitting a home run in each game against the Cougars. ThePlayer of the Week honor was the first for West in his career. It isthe 65th selection all-time for Arizona State. ASU has now had twoPac-10 Player of the Week awards this year in addition to two Pac-10Pitcher of the Week awards. Andre Ethier has also been named thePac-10 Player of the Week this year (Mar. 26), while Mike Esposito(Apr. 1) and Robbie McClellan (Mar. 12) have been named Pac-10Pitcher's of the Week.
The Sun Devils have been through four catchers this year, but seemsas if they have found their match in senior Cesar Castillo. Thesenior backstop from Yuma, Ariz., has started the 10 of the last 11games and now has 12 career starts under his belt. While hitting .250(11x44) on the year, Castillo has been stellar in the last two Sundayseries finales vs. Washington State and UCLA. Castillo, who is13-for-51 (.255) in his two-year career as a Sun Devil, has combinedto go 5-for-7 (.714) with five RBI and two doubles in the last twoSunday games. Castillo was injured in Saturday's 4-3 win overCalifornia on a play at the plate. He is listed as day-to-day and isexpected to be 100% by the Stanford series.
Looking to find the perfect starting lineup as the Sun Devils playtheir final 15 regular season games, head coach Pat Murphy has used adifferent starting lineup in 23 of the last 24 games and 31 differentlineups in the 2002 season. Mixing and matching with a number ofplayers earning starts, only two starting batting order has remainedthe same since back-to-back games vs. Loyola Marymount (3/3) and NewMexico State (3/5). ASU has also mixed and matched for 24 differentstarting lineups by position.
The Streak Stops at Eight:
The Sun Devils had their impressive streak of eight straight Pac-10series 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 notlost 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 seniorinfielder Sergio Garcia will face his former team in the OklahomaSooners. After playing in junior college at Cerritos CC in SouthernCalifornia, Garcia transfered to Oklahoma where he hit .311 whileplaying in all 59 games for the Sooners last year. He was namedhonorable mention all-Big 12 and recorded 20 multi-hit games. Garciatransfered to ASU in the fall and has been a consistent sparkplug forASU when inserted into the lineup. Garcia was 3-for-5 with two runsscored last weekend vs. Cal and is now hitting .321 (18x56) on theyear with four multi-hit games. In the three games vs. Oklahomaearlier 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 afterplaying there last year, Robbie McClellan played with OU pitcherCurtis White at Seward County CC last year. Sooner catcher RyanRichardson (.290) returns home to Mesa where he starred at DobsonHigh School and Central Arizona CC. OU head coach Larry Cochelllettered for ASU in 1963 under Bobby Winkles and in his only year inthe Maroon and Gold was 2-for-3 at the plate and 0-1, 6.63 on themound.
Last Year at Bricktown:
As part of a three-city, three-game tour in the middle of the Pac-10season in April, the Sun Devils defeated Oklahoma 5-3 in 11 inningson April 18, 2001 at Southwestern Bricktown Ballpark in OklahomaCity, 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 thebullpen. 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 betweenthe Sooners and Arizona State this year. Oklahoma won the three gameseries 2-1 held March 15-17 at Hohokam Park in Mesa, Ariz. Making hisfirst appearance as a Sun Devil, freshman Jeff Larish put aside hisredshirt season to go 4-for-7 with two triples in two starts at thirdbase. 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 nearlyevery offensive category and is three weeks removed from being namedthe Pac-10 Player of the Week. West hit a home run in each of ASU'sthree games at Washington State and now has a team-leading 11 homeruns on the year. He has five of his 11 home runs in the last 13games. Despite going only 4-for-20 in his last six games, West isstill fourth on the team with a .352 batting average. He is currentlytied for the league lead with 15 doubles, second with a .724 sluggingpercentage and third with 48 RBI. He also leads the team with 29extra base hits, 18 multi-hit games and 12 multi-RBI games. He hastabbed 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 combinedbetween his freshman and sophomore years:
|Most Home Runs By a Sun Devil in Freshman-Sophomore Years:|
|Rank||Player||Fr.||So.||Total||Career (ASU Rank)|
|1.||Bob Horner||9||22||31||56 (1st)|
|Mike Kelly||10||21||31||46 (2nd)|
|3.||Jim Austin||7||17||24||39 (6th)|
|4.||Barry Bonds||11||11||22||45 (3rd)|
|Dan Rumsey||5||12||17||44 (4th)|
|8.||Andrew Beinbrink||9||5||14||40 (5th)|
|Casey Myers||8||6||14||39 (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 33players on the roster listed as underclassman. Losing seven of itstop position players from the 2001 team and several top pitchers, avery young team Sun Devil team will take the field this year. Thenormal starting lineup has five sophomores, two true freshman and atleast one senior on the field. When the Devils made the cross countrytrek to Tallahassee for the FSU series, 13 of the 27 on the travelroster were making their first road trip as a Sun Devil. The startinglineup this weekend figures to have three freshman, five sophomoresand one senior. The starting rotation figures to have one sophomoreand two juniors, one of which is a newcomer after transferring from ajunior college. To show how young ASU really is, when ASU played atUCLA two weeks ago, no player on the roster had ever played at JackieRobinson Stadium.
Murphy Picks Up Career Division 1 Victory #600:
With a convincing 10-0 win over UNLV in seven innings March 8, SunDevil Head Coach Pat Murphy reached the 600 plateau for Division Ivictories in his 15 years of coaching at the top level of collegiatebaseball. Murphy has now fashioned a career 667-329-4 record the1,000 career games of his 18 seasons as a head coach, with 55 ofthose wins came at Maryville (Tenn.) College and Claremont-MuddScripps. In his 15 years at the D1 level, Murphy has averaged nearly40 wins per year and is 294-158-1 in his eight-year ASU career. Herecently coached in his 1,000th career game April 21, 2002 in theseries finale against Cal. He is also only six wins short of the 300mark in his eight-year ASU career.
Why Not #9 Murphy:
Most who are close to the ASU Baseball program know what the No. 9means to head coach Pat Murphy. Often his slogan to 'Play all 9Innings', Murphy and No. 9 are synonymous with each other... untilthis year. In a preseason meeting with team, Murphy gave a speech onhow you have to be able to give up anything for the team. In thiscase, he even offered up his prize No. 9, knowing no one would takeit. That is, until ASU's sophomore Steve Garrabrants raised his handand said, I'll take it, and with that, the leader of the Devils iswilling to give up anything for the team and will wear No. 7 thisyear.
Sun Devil Baseball Successful in April:
The Sun Devil baseball program now has an all-time 519-222 record inthe month of April dating back to the 1959 season when varsitybaseball started. The Devils are 5-5 to start the busiest month ofthe 2002 season. ASU was 10-6 last year in April and have a 26-14record dating back to 2000 in the month of April. ASU head coach PatMurphy is a combined 75-45 in the month of April in his eight yearsin Tempe.