No. 3 Baseball Takes To The Road For Crucial Series At Oregon State Starting Monday
May 9, 2003
ASU Baseball Links:
College Baseball Links:
May 12 vs. Oregon State, 5 p.m. PST
ASU - Ben Thurmond, RHP (6-0, 2.35 ERA)
OSU - Ben Rowe, RHP (3-5, 5.88 ERA)
May 13 vs. Oregon State, 5 p.m. PST
ASU - Beau Vaughan, RHP (8-3, 4.12 ERA)
OSU - Jake Postlewait, LHP (3-0, 2.74 ERA)
May 14 vs. Oregon State, 4 p.m. PST
ASU - Jered Liebeck, RHP (7-0, 2.35 ERA)
OSU - Stephen Copeland, RHP (4-5, 7.50 ERA)
Arizona State (44-9) is ranked in all three national polls and checks in this week as the No. 3 team in the nation by Sports Weekly/ESPN and No. 4 by Collegiate Baseball. The Devils also moved to No. 6 in the recent Baseball America poll. The Sun Devils have now been ranked in the national polls for 73 consecutive polls. Oregon State (21-24, 5-13) is not ranked in any of the three national polls.
The last nine games of the Arizona State Baseball regular season and 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. The statistical GameTracker on www.TheSunDevils.com will not be made available for the road games at Oregon State or Washington. All three of ASU's games vs. Arizona will be on AZ-TV.
Did You Know:
That Arizona State currently leads the Pac-10 in hitting (.351) and pitching (3.26) and is second in fielding (.973). ASU is also third in the nation in scoring averaging 12.36 runs per game. With one more double Dustin Pedroia will tie the ASU single-season record of 30 set by Chris Bando in 1978 and with two more will tie the Pac-10 record of 31 set by WSU's Mike Kinkade in 1994.
The Sun Devils their longest road trip of the year with six consecutive Pac-10 road games in a stretch of eight days. Due to ASU's final exams, OSU and ASU will play Monday through Wednesday and then the Devils will travel up to Seattle to play the Huskies in a rare Saturday-Monday series. ASU heads into the road swing with a 17-2 record while playing away from Packard Stadium.
Consecutive Games Scoring Streak Reaches 486:
The Arizona State baseball program has now scored in an NCAA record 486 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 3-1 loss to Stanford (4/12/02) marked only the 12th 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 323-162-1 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 with the current six-game winning streak. ASU is ranked as high as No. 3 by Sports Weekly/ESPN, and also check 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 73 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.
44 Wins In The Bag:
With an overall 44-9 record the 2003 Sun Devils have already matched the most wins in a season under current head coach Pat Murphy. The 2000 team finished the year 44-15 after losing in the regional final to Texas. The 44 wins also marks the third time during the Murphy era that the Devils have reached the 40-win plateau, with the 2000 and the 1998 (41-23) teams also achieving that milestone. ASU's last 50-win season was in 1990 when the Devils went 52-16.
The Grand Salami:
With a pinch-hit grand slam from Rod Allen in the seventh inning at Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City on April 30, Arizona State tied the NCAA record for grand slams in a season with their 12th of the year. The Devils are currently tied with Oklahoma State that also hit 12 in 1996. After hitting only one grand slam all of last year, the Sun Devils have gone on a binge this year hitting 12 in their first 53 games. 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, Rod Allen and Jeremy West each have two slams, while Ryan Bosch and Travis Buck each have one.
Arizona State has built up a 44-9 record heading into the final nine (9) games of the 2003 regular season. 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 nine losses this year, five have come by one run and seven by three or less runs. ASU's five Pac-10 setbacks have come by way of four one-run games and a two-run contest to Stanford. ASU is currently on a six-game win streak heading into the Oregon State series.
Larish Looking to Join 70-70 Club:
Sophomore Jeff Larish leads the Pac-10 with 79 RBI and 65 walks and has been a big reason behind ASU's 44-9 record in 2003. Larish's amazing season also includes 12 doubles, 15 home runs and with a current career-high 14-game hitting streak intact is hitting .367 (65-for-177). Even more amazing is that Larish needs only five more walks to become 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.
Devils on the Road:
The Sun Devils will take to the road this weekend as they embark on its longest road trip of the season. Although the Devils opened the season with six games at Hawaii-Hilo, the upcoming trip to Oregon State and Washington will feature six consecutive Pac-10 contests in a stretch of eight days. The Devils, who own an impressive 17-2 record this season while playing away from Packard Stadium, will leave Saturday for Corvallis and then play Monday (5 p.m.), Tuesday (5 p.m.) and Wednesday (4 p.m.) against the Beavers. ASU will then bus up Interstate-5 to Seattle and play the Huskies in a three-game set starting Saturday (1 p.m.) and continuing Sunday (1 p.m.) and Monday (6:30 p.m.). The Devils had the schedule the rough stretch of games to accommodate the ASU's final exams that took place this week.
Leaders of the Pac:
Through 53 games the Sun Devils continue to lead the Pac-10 in several key offensive and defensive statistical categories. The offense paces the league hitting .351, with Dustin Pedroia (.419) ranked first and Frank Mesa (.385) ranked seventh. The Devils are also first in runs scored (549), hits (675), doubles (129) RBI (509), on-base percentage (.456) and second with 66 home runs. ASU's pitchers have dominated thus far leading second place Stanford by nearly a full point with a 3.26 team ERA. The Devils also rank second in the conference with a team .973 fielding percentage.
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.
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.
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 gone on a tear going 20-for-38 (.426) to raise his season average 137 points to .375. 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. He is currently ranked fifth in the Pac-10 with a .500 on-base percentage.
Walsh's Statistics Before April 13:Avg. GP-GS AB R H 2B 3B RBI OB%.238 32-5 42 13 10 1 0 5 .407
Walsh's Statistics After April 13:Avg. GP-GS AB R H 2B 3B RBI OB%.526 10-10 38 12 20 5 1 13 .609
The Return of Jeremy West:
Junior designate 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 nine-game hitting streak, West has gone 20-for-37 (.541) during that stretch with seven home runs and 21 RBI to raise his season average to .362 (48-for-133). Over his last 22 games West has raised his season average from .280 to .362 going 31-for-69 (.449) with 31 RBI. In his last five games he has hit seven home runs, including his third multi-homer game of the season Tuesday vs. UC Irvine. He recorded a career-best weekend vs. Washington State 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 16 home runs to lead the team, including a trio of multi-home run games, and with 35 career homers is now tied for 10th in the ASU career record books. His .654 career slugging percentage also ranks fourth in ASU history heading into the Oregon State series this weekend.
Last Time at Goss Stadium at Coleman Field:
The Devils have an all-time 3-3 record at Goss Stadium at Coleman Field on the Oregon State campus. The Devils went 2-1 in their inaugural trip to Corvallis in 1999 and suffered a 2-1 series loss in 2001. After winning the series opener 10-2 in 2001, the Beavers stormed back to win game two 4-1 and took the rubber game in convincing fashion with a 12-2 victory. Current senior Dennis Wyrick has had success in Corvallis in his only trip there going 6-for-12 (.500) with a double and Jeremy West went 3-for-7 (.429) as a freshman. The normally potent ASU offense combined to hit only .260 with two extra base hits in its last trip to Corvallis (2001).
Earlier This Year vs. Oregon State:
The Sun Devils and Beavers met earlier this year on Feb. 16 in the final game of the Surprise Spring Training Classic in Surprise, Ariz. ASU defeated the Beavers 9-4 to improve to 17-1 with senior RHP Jered Liebeck picking up the win. The Devils did all of the damage in only three innings, taking a 1-0 lead after the first inning and then scored four runs in each the third and fifth frames. Dustin Pedroia went 3-for-4 with three runs scored and blasted a solo home run. Steve Garrabrants and Rod Allen also homered at the spring training complex of the Kansas City Royals and Texas Rangers. OSU's starter Stephen Copeland, who is Wednesday's scheduled starter, took the loss giving up three hits and three runs in 2.2 IP.
Scoring at Will:
Arizona State heads into the Oregon State series ranked third in the nation averaging 10.36 runs per game and has scored 10 or more runs in 27 of its 53 games (51%). The Devils have also scored 20 or more runs in three games this season and as a team are also ranked third in the nation hitting .351.
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 53 games, Larish has played in 46 games, Guerrero in 14 games and West in one game at first base. The trio when playing the position have combined to go 82-for-204 (.402) with 21 doubles, 17 home runs and 90 RBI.
Pitching To Near Perfection:
A big reason behind ASU's stellar 44-9 season is because of the Chris Sinacori led pitching staff. Through 53 games the pitchers have combined for a Pac-10 best 3.26 ERA while striking out 437 and walking 181. On 27 different occasions the staff has combined to walk three or less batters, including not allowing a walk in three games, most recently in a 10-2 win over Grand Canyon. ASU's pitchers have also combined to strike out eight or more batters in 31 games, including a season-high 16 vs. Utah (3/8) and vs. UCLA (4/18). The starters have been especially hot, combining to go 24-2 with a 3.13 ERA, while the relievers are 20-7 with seven saves and a 3.38 ERA. Senior Beau Vaughan has the distinction of leading the team in both wins (8) and losses (3). He also has the team lead with 88 strikeouts, good for second place in the Pac-10. ASU ranks 11th nationally in pitching with a 3.26 ERA, marking the lowest ERA by a Sun Devil squad since joining the Pac-10 in 1979 and tied for the second lowest since college baseball adopted the aluminum bat and the designated hitter. The lowest combined team ERA during the eight-year Pat Murphy era (1995-P) was 4.40 by last year's team.
Thurmond Shows His Stuff:
Senior Ben Thurmond came to ASU in the offseason with impressive credentials earning All-America status in 2001 at Winthrop and played for the USA Baseball National team that summer. After enduring minor arm injuries last year, Thurmond started the season slow, but has since turned into one of ASU's best pitchers. For the season Thurmond is 6-0 with a Pac-10 tying best ERA of 2.35. He has struck out 49 batters in 57.1 IP and has walked only 17. He has won four straight starts and over that stretch of games has a 0.53 ERA giving up only one run in 17 innings with 15 strikeouts.
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 eight wins and is second in the Pac-10 88 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 3-1 with a 3.96 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.
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:
Year Start Final Record2003 28-1 ???1972 23-1 64-61978 17-1 56-121988 17-1 60-13
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.
Home Run Notes:
Through 53 games of the 2003 season the Sun Devils have nearly doubled their entire season total from 2002 with 66 home runs. ASU has hit 49 of those home runs at Packard Stadium and 17 in its 19 road or neutral site games. Of the 34 games played at Packard Stadium the Devils have hit at least one home run in 25 games. A total of 12 different players have hit at least one home run and eight players have two or more home runs. Junior Jeremy West leads the team with 16 round-trippers after hitting seven in his last five games. Sophomore Jeff Larish is second with 15, including an ASU single-season record of four grand slams. The Devils have homered in 35 of their 53 games, including 20 multi-home run games, and a string of eight straight games with at least one home run. The Devils also have 12 grand slams on the season with Larish (4), Steve Garrabrants (2), Jeremy West (2), 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 16 solo shots, 23 two-run homers, 15 three-run home runs and 12 grand slams to account for 28% of the total run production in 2003 (155 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 Game1999 60 67 1.122000 59 86 1.462001 58 33 0.572002 58 38 0.662003 53 66 1.25
Pedroia On Fire at the Plate:
Sophomore shortstop Dustin Pedroia (Woodland, Calif.) has been the spark plug to ASU's early season success and an integral part to ASU's 44-9 record. ASU's only player to play and start in all 53 games, Pedroia currently leads the Pac-10 in hitting at .419 (95-for-227) with 29 doubles and 44 RBI. He also leads the conference in hits (95), doubles (29) and leads ASU with 34 extra base hits. He has also recorded 32 multi-hit games to pace the ASU offense. 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 a 17-game and 13-game hitting streaks earlier this year, and is one game away from notching his fourth hitting streak of 10 or more games. During his current nine-game hitting streak Pedroia is hitting .415 (17-for-41). Pedroia now has a hit in 61 of his last 64 games dating back to the end of last year, including hits in all but three games this year (50 of 53). In his two years as a Sun Devil he already has 177 hits, 42 of which are doubles, and has never missed a start in 111 consecutive games. In the field Pedroia has also been the rock to ASU's solid .973 team fielding percentage. The slick fielding shortstop has committed eight errors in 242 total chances for a .967 fielding percentage and not made an error in 11 straight games.
Pedroia Going For School and Pac-10 Doubles Record:
With his leadoff double in the first inning against UC Irvine (5/6), sophomore Dustin Pedroia notched his 29th double of the season. He is now just one off the school record of 30 set by Chris Bando in 1978 and two off the Pac-10 record of 31 set by Washington State's Mike Kinkade in 1994. Pedroia is ranked second in the NCAA with his average of 0.55 doubles per game.
Single Season Doubles:1. Chris Bando, 1978 302. Dustin Pedroia, 2003 29 Antone Williamson, 1993 29 Steve Willis, 1988 295. Clay Westlake, 1976 26
Pedroia Proves to be Sparkplug:
Pedroia has ignited several ASU scoring rallies this year as is evident by his .538 (49x91) 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 48 of ASU's 53 games this year with the Devils going 42-6 when his name is penciled in first on the lineup card. Amazingly, Pedroia has reached base safely in 26 of those games to lead off the game for the Devils, with 20 hits (seven extra base hits) and has scored ASU's first run in 16 of those games.
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.
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 .367 (65-for-177) with 15 home runs, 12 doubles and leads the conference with 79 RBI. Larish has recorded at least one hit in 42 of 50 games and one RBI in 37 of 50 games this year. He also has a current 14-game hitting streak in which he has gone 20-for-58 (.345). He also leads the conference with 65 walks (1.30 per game) and has an unbelievable on-base percentage of .536. For the season he is slugging .712 and is second on the team with 29 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 .684 (13x19) with the bases loaded and leads the team with 32 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.
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. The previous record of three was set by Dave Hudgens in 1977. Here is a look at Larish's four grand slams this year:
GS HR # Game # Date Opponent Pitcher Inning1. 5 9 Jan. 26 San Diego State Coon 42. 8 21 Feb. 22 Notre Dame Ogilvie 53. 9 23 Feb. 28 Penn State Stidfole 44. 14 48 Apr. 19 UCLA Miltenberger 8