Sun Devils Prepare For Super Regional
June 3, 2003
NCAA Tournament Links:
ASU Baseball Links:
College Baseball Links:
|June 6 vs. CS Fullerton, 4:05 p.m. PDT|
|ASU - TBA|
|CSF - Jason Windsor, RHP (9-2, 1.87 ERA)|
|June 7 vs. CS Fullerton, 12:05 p.m. PDT|
|ASU - Beau Vaughan, RHP (10-5, 4.34 ERA)|
|CSF - Ryan Schreppel, LHP (5-2, 1.86 ERA)|
|June 8 vs. CS Fullerton, 2:05 p.m. PDT|
|ASU - Ben Thurmond, RHP (7-0, 2.68 ERA)|
|CSF - Dustin Miller, RHP (8-2, 3.19 ERA)|
ASU in NCAA Tournament:
All-Time Record in NCAA: 127-51 (27)
Last Week: 3-0 at Tempe Regional
CWS Appearances (Last): 18 (1998)
CWS Titles (Last): 5 (1981)
National Rankings:Arizona State (53-12) 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 77 consecutive polls dating back to the start of the 2000 season.
Media ExposureAll postseason games will be broadcast over the radio in the Phoenix area on 1060 AM ('The Deuce') 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 Super Regional games with links available on www.TheSunDevils.com. All games will also be televised on ESPN's Grand Slam package.
Did You Know:The Sun Devils outscored their three regional opponents 45-3 and hit .387 during the NCAA Regional last weekend at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Over the last six games ASU is 6-0 and has pitched for a 1.00 ERA and is hitting .383. The Devils have scored 10 or more runs in 35 games this year and are averaging 10.35 runs per game to lead the NCAA. The 3.18 team ERA is the lowest by an ASU squad since 1975 (2.35).
The Storyline:Arizona State (53-12) swept through the NCAA Regionals last weekend by defeating Central Connecticut State, New Mexico State and UNLV by a combined score of 45-3. ASU will now travel to Fullerton, Calif., for a best-of-three super regional against the No. 7 national seed Cal State Fullerton Titans. ASU is ranked first among Pac-10 teams in hitting (.352), scoring (10.35 rpg) and pitching (3.18 ERA).
- Andre Ethier (2nd rd., A's) and Beau Vaughan (3rd rd., Red Sox) were ASU's first selections in the 2003 MLB Draft.
- Dustin Pedroia was named the Pac-10 co-Player of the Year with Stanford's Ryan Garko, while Ryan Schroyer,
- Andre Ethier, Jeff Larish and Steve Garrabrants all earned first-team honors.
- ASU has hit 14 grand slams this year to set the NCAA record breaking the old mark by Oklahoma State in 1996.
- Jeff Larish broke the ASU single-season record for grand slams with four, while Jeremy West and Steve Garrabrants each have three.
- ASU recorded a school record with a 28-1 start to the season that included a 19-game winning streak.
- The Sun Devils held three Pac-10 opponents (Cal, WSU, Arizona) to four runs or less in a three-game series.
- ASU outscored its regional opponents last weekend by a combined score of 45-3, hitting .387 and pitching for a 0.67 ERA.
- ASU ranks first in the nation in scoring (10.35 rpg), batting (.352), seventh in ERA (3.18) and 11th in fielding (.973).
- After 65 games the Devils are averaging 10.35 runs, 12.86 hits and 3.95 extra base hits per game this year.
- ASU has scored 10 or more runs in 35 games this year and recorded 10 or more hits in 50 of 65 games.
- ASU has scored in an NCAA record 498 consecutive games dating back to April 7, 1995. The old NCAA record was 349.
- The three runs given up in the WSU series are the least given up in a three-game Pac-10 series by ASU in 25 years.
- For the first time in ASU's 25-year history in the Pac-10, the Devils scored 20 runs twice in a conference series (WSU).
- The Jan. 16 season-opener was the second earliest start in ASU history and was the first collegiate game in 2003.
- The Devils have recorded 157 big innings (2 or more runs) this year, including four innings of 10 or more runs.
- Dustin Pedroia and Andre Ethier earned back-to-back Pac-10 Player of the Week honors (ASU's 71st all-time).
- SS Dustin Pedroia broke the ASU and Pac-10 single-season record with 34 doubles and leads the Pac-10 in hitting (.423).
- Pedroia has recorded 41 multi-hit games, four separate hitting streaks of 10 or more games and has 120 hits.
- Jeremy West has hit eight home runs during his current 21-game hitting streak and is now tied for eighth with 36 career HR.
- Pedroia, Jeff Larish and Travis Buck have all been invited to the USA Baseball National Team Trials.
- During ASU's current six-game win streak, the pitching staff has an impressive 1.00 ERA and the hitters are batting .383.
- Andre Ethier is riding a current 20-game hitting streak in which he has gone 39x88 (.443) with seven home runs.
- Jeff Larish ranks sixth in the NCAA with 92 RBI (1.48 per game) and 77 walks (1.24 per game). He also has 17 HR.
- ASU has 78 home runs by 12 different players this year. ASU had only 38 total home runs in 58 games in 2002.
- Of ASU's 12 losses this year, five have been by one run and eight have been by three or less runs. ASU is 10-2 after a loss.
Consecutive Games Scoring Streak Reaches 498:
The Arizona State baseball program has now scored in an NCAA record 498 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 334-166-1 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 rankings, marking the first time being No. 1 since heading into the 1993 College World Series. ASU has been ranked for 77 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. After going 3-0 in the regional last weekend, ASU has 53 wins for the most by a Sun Devil squad since the 1988 edition of Sun Devil baseball went 60-13. 2003 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.
Seven Sun Devils Named To Tempe Regional All-Tournament Team:
Seven Arizona State players were named to the All-Tournament Team after the Devils completed a three-game sweep at the regional held at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Tuffy Gosewisch (C), Dennis Wyrick (3B), Dustin Pedroia (SS), Andre Ethier (OF), Beau Vaughan (P), Ben Thurmond (P) and Jeremy West were all voted on to the team by represented media at the tournament. Pedroia was 8-for-16 (.500) in the regional and played flawless defense and was named the Regional Most Outstanding Player.
ASU Dominates Regional At Tempe Diablo:
The Sun Devils dominated Central Connecticut State, New Mexico State and UNLV during last weekend's regional by outscoring the three teams 45-3. The 42 run margin of victory included a 14-2 win over CCSU, a 15-0 blanking of New Mexico State and brought home the regional championship with a 16-1 victory over UNLV. ASU hit at an impressive .387 clip in the regional and pitched for a 0.67 ERA in the three games.
Pedroia and Larish Named All-American:
Collegiate Baseball and USA Today Sports Weekly named sophomore shortstop Dustin Pedroia a first-team All-American. Collegiate Baseball named sophomore first baseman Jeff Larish a second-team All-American. Southern second baseman Rickie Weeks, a teammate of Pedroia's on the 2002 USA Baseball National Team, was named the Collegiate Baseball Player of the Year. Pedroia (Woodland, Calif.) added to his postseason honors after being named the Pac-10 Co-Player of the Year earlier in the week. The sophomore shortstop is hitting .423 with 34 doubles, four home runs and 52 RBI. Larish was named second-team All-American and enters the super regional with CS Fullerton hitting .372 (83-for-223) with 17 home runs and a Pac-10 best 92 RBI. The First-Team All-Pac-10 selection became only the second Sun Devil to join the 70-70 (RBI-BB) club with 92 RBI and 77 walks. He joins Alvin Davis (1982) as the only other Sun Devil to record over 70 walks and 70 RBI in a single season. Larish spent much of the 2003 season rewriting the ASU record books, setting an ASU single-season record with four grand slams, and tied single-game record with nine RBI (SDSU, 1/26/03) and four doubles (ARIZ, 5/25/03).
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 leads the Pac-10 in batting with a .423 batting average, runs scored (83), hits (120), doubles (34), at bats (284), total bases (172) and extra base hits (41). 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.
Devils Riding Six Game Winning Streak:
Heading into the super regional with Cal State Fullerton the Sun Devils have won six straight games. After sweeping the regular season finale against rival Arizona, the Devils breezed through the NCAA Regional without a test. During ASU's six-game win streak the Devils have put together some impressive statistics. The batting lineup has combined for a team .383 batting average with 13 doubles and eight home runs. The pitchers' have been even more impressive, giving up just six earned runs in 54.0 IP for a 1.00 ERA. Junior DH Jeremy West is hitting .560 (14x25) during the winning streak and sophomore first baseman Jeff Larish is 11-for-22 (.500) with two home runs and nine RBI. Senior RHP Beau Vaughan is 2-0 with a 0.87 ERA in his two starts during the win streak.
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, outscoring 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.
A Note About Shutouts:
Vaughan, McClellan, Kartler, Schroyer and Arguello combined for ASU's 10th shutout of the year. The 10 shutouts are the most by an ASU squad since recording 11 in 1976. The previous most by a Pat Murphy coached squad six in 1999. The Devils had recorded only six shutouts combined between 2000, 2001 and 2002.
Comparing 2003 to 1981:
Arizona State has put together an amazing season in 2003 leading the Pac-10 and amongst the NCAA leaders in pitching (3.18 ERA), hitting (.352), fielding (.973) and is averaging 10.35 runs per game. The 53 wins are second in the NCAA only to Florida State's 54. 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:
Andre Ethier Named Pac-10 and National Player of the Week:
For consecutive weeks to end the 2003 regular season, an Arizona State baseball player was 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 against Washington and Arizona (5/19-5/25). Ethier, from Phoenix, Ariz., went 8-for-17 (.471) with six runs scored, two doubles, two triples, four home runs and eight RBI during the four-game stretch, 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 29 multi-hit games and is currently in the midst of a career-high 20-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. He added eight more hits in the NCAA Regional last weekend to raise his average to .423, which is currently tied for the sixth best batting average in ASU single-season history. His 120 hits are the most by a Sun Devil since Kevin Romine had 121 hits in 1982 and is already fourth best in ASU single-season history. Current Los Angels Dodger catcher Paul Lo Duca is the ASU record holder for hits in a season when he had 129 during his NCAA Player of the Year season in 1993.
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. He has since added to that record and has 34 on the season. 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 53-12 record heading into the super regionals this weekend. 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 92 RBI and 77 walks and has been a big reason behind ASU's 53-12 record in 2003. Larish's amazing season also includes 18 double and 17 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 77 walks is already second in the ASU single-season record books. He has also belted 17 home runs and his 92 RBI lead the Pac-10 and is ranked tied for sixth in the ASU single-season record books with Mitch Jones (2000). Larish needs just 11 more RBI and walks to set the single-season record in both categories.
Beau Vaughan Mows Down the Opposition:
Senior RHP Beau Vaughan has been one of ASU's best pitchers all year and leads the team with 10 wins heading into the super regional this weekend. The senior transfer has saved his best for last though as he is 2-0 with a 0.87 ERA in his last two starts against rival Arizona (5/25) and New Mexico State in the NCAA Regional. Vaughan is second in the Pac-10 with 105 strikeouts and has registered five games with eight or more strikeouts this year. Combined with senior classmates Jered Liebeck and Ben Thurmond, the trio is 25-5.
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||34||1.||Dustin Pedroia, ASU (2003)||34|
|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 Super Regionals this weekend leading the nation in scoring at 10.35 runs per game and has scored 10 or more runs in 35 of its 65 games (54%). 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 .352. The 10.35 runs per game average is currently the third best during 45 years of ASU varsity baseball history. With 35 games of scoring 10 or more runs, ASU trails only the 1981 Sun Devils (36) for the most games with double-digits in runs scored 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.
All-Time Series vs. Cal State Fullerton:
The Devils lead the all-time series against the Cal State Fullerton Titans 22-19. The Devils are 2-4 against the Titans in the last three years, going 0-1 in 2000, 1-1 in 2001 and 1-2 in 2002. ASU and CSF met in a three-game series last year at Hohokam Park in Mesa, Ariz., with the Titans winning the series 2-1.
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|
Home Run Notes:
Heading into the Super Regionals the Sun Devils have already doubled their entire season total from 2002 with 78 home runs. ASU has hit 56 of those home runs at Packard Stadium and 22 in its 28 road or neutral site games. Of the 37 games played at Packard Stadium the Devils 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 17 games. Sophomore Jeff Larish is tied with West at 17, including an ASU single-season record of four grand slams. The Devils have homered in 43 of their 65 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 22 solo shots, 27 two-run homers, 15 three-run home runs and 14 grand slams to account for 25% of the total run production in 2003 (162 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|
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 29-for-68 (.426) with eight multi-hit games to raise his season average 109 points to .355. 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 is Everybody's All-American:
Sophomore shortstop Dustin Pedroia (Woodland, Calif.) has been the spark plug to ASU's 53-12 record. ASU's only player to play and start in all 65 games, Pedroia leads the Devils in hitting at .423 with 120 hits, 34 doubles, three triples, four home runs and 52 RBI. The 2003 Pac-10 co-Player of the Year and first-team All-American also leads the conference in hits (120), doubles (34) and leads ASU with 41 extra base hits. In 24 Pac-10 contests Pedroia hit .409 (45-for110) with 10 doubles and 17 RBI. He has also recorded 41 multi-hit games to pace the ASU offense. He went 8-for-16 (.500) in last weekends NCAA Regional and was named the tournament most outstanding player. With his 120 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 120 hits are currently fourth in ASU single-season history. His .423 average is tied for sixth in the ASU single-season record books and his .388 career average also ranks tied for sixth . 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. The Pedroia now has a hit in 72 of his last 76 games dating back to the end of last year, including hits in all but four games this year (61 of 65). In his two years as a Sun Devil he already has 202 hits, 47 of which are doubles, and has never missed a start in 123 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 only eight errors in 307 total chances for a .974 fielding percentage and not made an error in 23 straight games. Pedroia is one of ASU's leading hitter with runners in scoring position, going 43-for-89 (.483) with 10 doubles and 48 RBI.
Pedroia Proves to be Sparkplug:
Pedroia has ignited several ASU scoring rallies this year as is evident by his .540 (61x113) 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 60 of ASU's 65 games this year with the Devils going 51-9 when his name is penciled in first on the lineup card. Amazingly, Pedroia has reached base safely in 31 of those games to lead off the game for the Devils, with 24 hits (nine extra base hits, 1 HR) and has scored ASU's first run in 20 of those games.
West, Ethier, Pedroia and Wyrick Streaking Heading Into Super Regionals:
Heading into the NCAA Super Regionals this weekend, Jeremy West and Andre Ethier each have hitting streaks of 20 or more games. West is currently riding a career-high 21-game streak dating back to April 2 when he went 2-for-3 vs. New Mexico. During the streak West has combined to go 42-for-86 (.488) with 23 runs scored, eight home runs and 38 RBI. Ethier is also in the midst of a career-high streak, spanning 20 games dating back to April 17 vs. UCLA. Ethier has combined to go 39-for-88 (.443) during the streak with 29 RBI, seven home runs, three triples and three doubles. Dustin Pedroia is also aiming for his fifth hitting streak of 10 or more games with a current eight-game streak intact heading into the series with Cal State Fullerton. Dennis Wyrick has a six-game streak dating back to the start of the Arizona series. 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, Ethier, Pedroia and Wyrick have fared during their respective hitting streaks:
|Player||Current Streak||Statistics During Streak|
|Jeremy West||18 Games||.488, 42-for-86, 23 R, 38 RBI, 4 2B, 1 3B, 8 HR|
|Andre Ethier||17 Games||.443, 39-for-88, 30 R, 39 RBI, 3 2B, 3 3B, 7 HR|
|Dustin Pedroia||8 Games||.462, 18-for-39, 18 R, 6 RBI, 3 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR|
|Dennis Wyrick||6 Games||.478, 11-for-23, 6 R, 10 RBI, 3 2B, 2 3B|
Thurmond and Liebeck Leading The Pac-10 in ERA:
Senior right-handed pitchers Jered Liebeck and Ben Thurmond head into the super regionals ranked No. 1 and No. 2 in the Pac-10 in ERA (with pitching minimums). Liebeck is 8-0 on the season with a 2.57 ERA while making 20 pitching appearances and 13 starts. Thurmond, a senior transfer from Winthrop, is 7-0 with a 2.68 ERA in 74.0 innings. Thurmond had an impressive Pac-10 season going 2-0 with a 2.68 ERA. Both players recorded victories in the NCAA Regionals. Classmate Beau Vaughan leads ASU with 10 wins and is second in the Pac-10 with 105 strikeouts.
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 21-game hitting streak, West has gone 42-for-86 (.488) during that stretch with eight home runs and 38 RBI to raise his season average to .384 (73-for-190). He also has 71 RBI, eight doubles, one triple and is second in the Pac-10 with a .705 slugging percentage. He was named to the Tempe Regional All-Tournament Team hitting .600 (9-for-15) with seven RBI and is now second on the team in batting at .384. Over his last 34 games, West has raised his season average from .280 to .384 going 53-for-118 (.449) with 50 RBI. 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 .651 career slugging percentage also ranks fourth and his 176 RBI are tied for ninth in ASU history heading into the NCAA Super Regional this weekend.
|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.||Jeremy West (2001-P)||165||538||190||350||.651|
|5.||Roger Schmuck (1970-71)||112||420||160||273||.650|
|6.||Todd Brown (1983-85)||119||452||160||292||.646|
|7.||Oddibe McDowell (1983-84)||141||550||209||354||.644|
|ASU Career Home Runs||ASU Career RBI|
|1.||Bob Horner (1976-78)||56||1.||Andrew Beinbrink (1996-99)||283|
|2.||Mike Kelly (1989-91)||46||2.||Casey Myers (1998-2001)||275|
|3.||Barry Bonds (1983-85)||45||3.||Clay Westlake (1973-76)||250|
|4.||Dan Rumsey (1986-89)||44||4.||Bob Horner (1976-78)||229|
|5.||Andrew Beinbrink (1996-99)||40||5.||Alvin Davis (1979-82)||200|
|6.||Casey Myers (1998-2001)||39||6.||Mike Kelly (1989-91)||194|
|7.||Mitch Jones (1999-2000)||38||Ken Landreaux (1974-76)||194|
|8.||Jeremy West (2001-P)||36||8,||Alan Bannister (1970-72)||177|
|Ted Dyson (1983-87)||36||9.||Willie Bloomquist (1997-99)||176|
|Mike Sodders (1980-81)||36||Jeremy West (2001-P)||176|
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 65 games, Larish has played in 58 games, Guerrero in 14 games and West in two games at first base. The trio, when playing the position, have combined to go 100-for-250 (.400) with 27 doubles, 19 home runs and 103 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 has recorded a Pac-10 best 156 doubles on the year (2.40 per game average). Sophomore shortstop Dustin Pedroia leads the team and Pac-10 with a school and league record 34. 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. The 2003 squad currently ranks sixth in the single-season record books with 156 doubles:
|ASU Single-Season Doubles:|
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 June 2:
|Team Stats||Rank||Actual||National Leader||Actual|
|Batting Average||1||.352||Arizona State||.352|
|Earned Run Average||7||3.18||VCU||2.54|
|Fielding Percentage||11||.973||Long Beach State||.981|
|W-L Pct||4||.815||Southern U.||.863|
|Individual Stats||Player||Rank||Actual||National Leader|
|Batting Average||Dustin Pedroia||8||.423||Rickie Weeks, SU||.479|
|RBI Per Game||Jeff Larish||6||1.48||Billy Becher, NMSU||1.93|
|Doubles Per Game||Dustin Pedroia||1||0.52||Dustin Pedroia, ASU||0.52|
|ERA||Jered Liebeck||49||2.57||Tom Mastny, Furman||1.09|
|Wins||Beau Vaughan||10||21||Jeff Nieman, Rice||15.0|
|K's Per 9.0 IP||Beau Vaughan||29||10.4||Ryan Wagner, Houston||16.8|
The Big Inning:
The Sun Devils have been a scoring machine leading the NCAA with 10.35 runs per game this year. ASU has also proven to be an explosive team at the plate, recording 157 big innings (2 or more runs). The team has also recorded 36 innings when they score five or more runs and have scored over 10 runs in an inning four times. ASU's biggest run production in a single frame was 12 in the opening game vs. Washington State (4/25) and 12 in the ninth inning vs. NMSU (5/31). ASU has also produced two first innings with 10 or more runs (Arizona; 5/24, WSU; 4/27).
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 .372 (83-for-223) with 17 home runs, 18 doubles and is currently tied for sixth in ASU single-season history with 92 RBI. Larish has recorded at least one hit in 51 of 62 games and one RBI in 45 of 62 games this year. He also leads the conference with 77 walks (1.24 per game) and has an unbelievable on-base percentage of .532 (first in Pac-10). For the season he is slugging .700 (third in Pac-10) and is second on the team with 37 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 .727 (16x22) with the bases loaded and leads the team with 35 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).
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.
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 .338 (77-for-228) 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 1.61 ERA allowing only eight earned runs in 44.2 innings pitched. The preseason All-American has scattered 39 hits in his 29 outings and has struck out 50 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 1.54 ERA and 16 saves. During that stretch he has 100 strikeouts in 85.2 innings (50 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||16n|
Pitching Shutouts in Pac-10 Play:
ASU has 10 pitching shutouts this year after recording only six in the previous three years. Included in the 10 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 3.18 ERA, marking the best staff ERA since ASU joined the Pac-10 in 1979 and the second lowest during the aluminum bat era (1974 to present).
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 4,972 runs in 536 games, averaging 9.28 runs per game and hitting at an overall .332 clip. ASU leads the Pac-10 in hitting again this year at .352 and is averaging 10.35 runs per game (with 35 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 Packard Stadium 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 at Packard Stadium (1998-2003):
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.
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.
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 outscored 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.
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.'