No. 8 Sun Devil Baseball Hosts Tony Gwynn And San Diego State Aztecs
Jan. 23, 2003
Previewing the SDSU Series:
The Arizona State Sun Devils (6-0) open the home portion of its 2003 season this weekend with a three-game series against the San Diego State Aztecs (0-0). The three-game series marks the first time the two schools have met since 1985 and the first three-game series since 1972 (Feb. 25-26). Since ASU started varsity baseball in 1959, the Devils hold a combined 12-6 record in the all-time series. The weekend series also marks the collegiate head coaching debut for future Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn. ASU is coming off a six-game series sweep of the Hawai'i-Hilo Vulcans last weekend as they were the first team in college baseball to take the field. The Devils outscored UHH 85-15 in the six games, averaging 14 runs, 16 hits and six extra base hits per game.
Probable Pitching Rotation:
Jan. 24 vs. SDSU, 7 p.m. MST
SDSU - Mike Moat (4-2, 5.36 ERA)*
ASU - Mark Sopko - RHP (1-0, 0.00 ERA)
Jan. 25 vs. SDSU, 1 p.m. MST
SDSU - TBA
ASU - Jered Liebeck - RHP (1-0, 3.00 ERA)
Jan. 26 vs. SDSU, 1 p.m. MST
SDSU - TBA
ASU - Erik Averill - LHP (1-0, 0.00 ERA)
**SDSU's pitcher's stats from 2002**
Arizona State (6-0) is ranked in all four preseason polls with its highest ranking of No. 8 by Baseball America. ASU is also No. 9 in the Sports Weekly/ESPN poll, No. 12 by Collegiate Baseball and No. 10 by NCBWA. The Sun Devils have now been ranked in the national polls for 59 consecutive weeks. SDSU (0-0) is 33rd in the BA preseason top 50.
All three games of the SDSU-ASU baseball series will be broadcast in the Phoenix Area on NBC 1190 AM with Tim Healey and Bob Eger calling all of the action. The games can also be followed via a live webcast at www.TheSunDevils.com. All three games can also be tracked via the LiveStats feature also at www.TheSunDevils.com.
Consecutive Games Scoring Streak Reaches 439:
The Arizona State baseball program has now scored in an NCAA record 439 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 one run scored in the 3-1 loss to Stanford (4/12/02) marked only the 13th 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 285-153-1 during the streak. Noteable 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), and Adam Pettyjohn (Fresno State).
Sun Devils Picked Second in Preseason Pac-10 Coaches Poll:
For the third time in the last six years, the Sun Devils have been tabbed to finish second in the conference in the annual Pac-10 preseason head coaches' poll. ASU received two first-place votes and trailed preseason favorite USC by only five votes. Despite being behind Stanford in both national preseason polls, ASU was picked to finish ahead of Stanford by nine points.
School -- (First Place Votes) -- Points
1. USC (6) 602. Arizona State (2) 553. Stanford 464. California (1) 425. Arizona 346. UCLA 317. Washington 258. Oregon State 159. Washington State 9
Four Sun Devils Earn Preseason All-American Honors:
Four Sun Devils enter the 2003 season with preseason All-America honors. Junior pitcher Ryan Schroyer, who led the Pac-10 with a 2.37 ERA and eight saves as a sophomore in 2002, was a second-team selection by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association and a third-team pick by Collegiate Baseball. Junior right fielder Andre Ethier is coming off a solid rookie campaign in which he hit .363 and enters the season as a third-team preseason All-American as selected by the NCBWA. Junior catcher/designated hitter Jeremy West was also a third-team pick by Collegiate Baseball and junior outfielder Rodney Allen was a third-team selection by Baseball America. The Devils also feature 2002 USA Baseball National Team member Dustin Pedroia and 2001 All-American pitcher Ben Thurmond, who transferred from Winthrop.
Devils Ranked As High As No. 8 in Preseason Polls:
The Sun Devils enter 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. Finishing the 2002 season ranked No. 19 by Baseball Weekly and No. 22 by Baseball America, the Sun Devils have now been ranked in 59 consecutive national polls dating back to the start of the 2000 season. The No. 8 preseason ranking is the highest by an ASU squad since opening the 1998 season ranked No. 5/6. The Devils went on to advance to the College World Series that year and played USC in the National Championship game in Omaha. While ranked No. 8 in the nation, they are still behind Pac-10 foes Stanford (#3) and USC (#6) in the Baseball America poll.
An Odd Note About Tony Gwynn and ASU Baseball:
With future Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn coming to town this weekend to make his collegiate coaching debut for the SDSU Aztecs, here is an interesting note linking him to ASU's new Director of Baseball Affairs and Operations Bob Welch. Welch, who was 211-146 in his 17-year major league pitching career, is the only pitcher to ever strike out Gwynn three times in a game. The date was Apr. 14, 1986 when Welch struck out Gwynn three times for the only time in his 2,440-game career.
Pedroia Riding 17-Game Hitting Streak:
Sophomore shortstop Dustin Pedroia carries a 17-game hitting streak into the weekend series with San Diego State. After going 11-for-21 (.524) with six doubles in the series at Hawaii-Hilo, Pedroia continued the 11-game streak he ended his 2002 freshman year with. During the 17-game streak Pedroia is hitting at a .451 clip (32x71). He is eight games off the ASU top five for longest hitting streaks.
Schroyer Ranks Eighth With Nine Career Saves:
Junior RHP Ryan Schroyer picked up his first save of 2003 vs. Hawaii-Hilo (1/17), moving him into eighth place in the ASU career record books with nine. After recording a Pac-10 high 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 5. Dave Graybill, 1982-84 13 6. Mitch Dean, 1976-80 11 7. Eric Doble, 1999-2001 10 8. Ryan Schroyer, 2001-P 9
Averill Pitches 1-Hit Gem in ASU Debut:
Freshman LHP Erik Averill almost made history the first time he donned the Maroon and Gold of ASU Baseball. Averill (Orange, Calif.), took a no-hitter into the eighth inning in his first pitching appearance on Jan. 18 vs. Hawaii-Hilo. He gave up a one-out double, but ended giving up only one hit and struck out seven in 7.1 IP to pick up the win.
A Tough Schedule Ahead For ASU Baseball:
The Sun Devils 2003 schedule will once again be one of the toughest in the nation, which includes 11 teams that are listed on Baseball America's Preseason Top 50. The 62-game regular-season schedule also features 25 games against nine teams that advance to the NCAA Tournament a year ago.
Guerrero is Off To Hot Start As A Sun Devil:
After redshirting in 2002, junior 1B/DH Mike Guerrero made the most of his early-season playing time. Guerrero was 8-for-10 (.800) with two doubles and two triples on the recent six-game series at Hawaii-Hilo. In his only start, Guerrero went 4-for-5 with a double and a triple and three RBI. His slugging percentage is an uncanny 1.400 heading into the weekend series with SDSU.
Ethier Tabs Seven Consecutive Hits vs. Hawaii-Hilo:
Preseason All-American Andre Ethier was ASU's second leading hitter at .363 in 2002, so his 2-for-11 (.182) start to the season raised some eyebrows. After switching bats to the new TPX Genex bat, Ethier went on a tear by tabbing seven consecutive hits to raise his season mark to .474 (9x19). The seven hits in consecutive at-bats, which included a career-high-tying 4-for-4 game vs. UHH (1/19) is the eighth most in ASU history.
Most consecutive Hits:
9: Mike Pagel, 19829: Hubie Brooks, 19788: Mark Ernster, 19998: Jerry Mantlo, 19728: Paul Ray Powell, 19698: Duffy Dyer, 19668: Richy Leon, 19957: Andre Ethier, 2003
Beau Vaughan Is No Ricky 'Wild Thing' Vaughan:
Senior transfer Beau Vaughan (New Orleans) wasted little time putting his name in the ASU record books during his opening weekend as a Sun Devil. Vaughan struck out the side in his first appearance in a 9-0 win over UHH (1/16) and then came back the next day to strike out nine batters in 4.2 innings to pick up his first win (1/17). During his nine-strikeout effort, Vaughan struck out eight consecutive batters from the third through fifth innings to ranks as the second most consecutive K's in ASU single-game history.
Most Consecutive Strikeouts:
9: Jim Otten, 5/23/73 vs. BYU8: Beau Vaughan, 1/17/03 vs. UHH8: Eddie Bane, 3/2/73 vs. CS Northridge (Perfect Game)7: Jon Switzer, 2/2/01 vs. Southern Utah
Up Next For the Sun Devils:
After hosting San Diego State to a three-game series this weekend, the Devils will take back to the road for a three-game series at No. 16 Long Beach State (Jan. 31-Feb. 2). Game times at The Beach are scheduled for 6:30 p.m., 1 p.m., 1 p.m. (PST) with none of the games to be on radio. All three games will be able to be viewed using the LiveStats feature on www.TheSunDevils.com. ASU is 1-0 all-time vs. the 49ers with the only match-up having been played in the 1998 College World Series (14-4 win).
Home Sweet Home:
ASU returns to Packard Stadium in 2003 after playing in Mesa in 2002. The Devils have an all-time 788-228-1 record at Packard Stadium dating back to 1974. ASU will play 40 of its 62 games in the state of Arizona and 37 at Packard Stadium this year. After playing nine of its first 12 games on the road, the Devils will spend 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 now have a combined 133-43-1 (.754) home record in the last five years dating back to 1998.
Arizona State in Home Games (1998-2002):
2002: 29-102001: 25-9-12000: 33-81999: 27-71998: 19-9Total: 133-43-1
ASU Traditionally Hot in January:
As tradition would have it, the Devils are usually a fast-starting team. Dating back to the start of varsity baseball in 1959, ASU is a combined 64-6 in the month of January and 365-139 in the month of February. ASU head coach Pat Murphy has also enjoyed great success in the early months of the season, combining to go 37-3 in January in his nine seasons at the helm of the Sun Devil program. The 6-0 start marks the fourth time since 1998 that ASU is 6-0.
Sun Devils Dominate 2002 All-Pac-10 Team:
Arizona State baseball players Jeremy West, Andre Ethier and Dustin Pedroia were all named to the All-Pacific-10 Conference First Team and nine other Sun Devils earned honorable mention distinction when the 2002 Pac-10 Baseball awards were announced. In addition to West, Ethier and Pedroia being named to the first team, senior catcher Cesar Castillo (Yuma), sophomore pitcher Mike Esposito (Las Vegas), senior infielder Sergio Garcia (Paramount, Calif.), sophomore utility player Steve Garrabrants (Phoenix), freshman third baseman Jeff Larish (Tempe), junior pitcher Jered Liebeck (Glendale), junior pitcher Robbie McClellan (Liberal, Kan.), sophomore relief pitcher Ryan Schroyer (Casa Grande) and senior outfielder Jon Sheaffer (Mesa) all earned honorable mention awards.
An Early Season Opener:
The Jan. 16 season opener at Hawai'i-Hilo was the second earliest start in ASU Baseball history and the earliest start by any collegiate team in 2003. The Devils opened the 1999 season at home with a game at Packard Stadium against the University of Utah on Jan. 15. Arizona State's previous earliest start before 1999 was a Jan. 19 home contest against Grand Canyon (W, 12-2) in 1990. With the 9-0 blanking of UHH on 1/16, ASU is now 25-2 in season-opening games (dating back to 1977) and head coach Pat Murphy is 8-1 in season-openers at ASU (15-1 at D1).
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 4,384 runs in 477 games, averaging 9.19 runs per game and hitting at an overall .330 clip.
Sun Devils Storm Past Alumni With 18-2 Victory:
The Sun Devils unofficially opened the 2003 season on Jan. 11 with the annual Alumni game at Packard Stadium. The current group of varsity players routed the alumni squad by a score of 18-2. Sophomore first baseman Jeff Larish had a big game going 2-for-2 with five RBI, including a two-run double in the first inning and a three-run home run in the third. Redshirt freshman starting pitcher Matt Leaf made his debut as a Sun Devil and picked up the win by striking out two and allowing only one hit in two innings of work. Junior Robbie McClellan struck out five of the seven batters he faced in his two-inning stint. The alumni squad scored both of its runs on a two-run home run by former big leaguer Ken Phelps. Other players dotting the alumni roster included three-time All-American catcher Casey Myers, former big league pitcher Doug Henry, former Seattle Mariner Blas Minor, ASU single-season home run champion Mitch Jones and 1991 Golden Spikes Award winner Mike Kelly.
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