Baseball Picked Tied For Third In Pac-10 Preseason Coaches Poll

Jan. 14, 2005

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    TEMPE, Ariz. ( -- The Arizona State baseball team has been picked in a tie for third place in a vote of the league's coaches for the annual Pacific-10 Conference Baseball Coaches Preseason Poll. Two-time defending Conference Champion Stanford was chosen as the favorite to win the 2005 league title.

    In one of the closest pre-seasons polls since the Pac-10 Northern and Southern divisions merged in 1999, the Cardinal received four first place votes and 58 overall points. Second-place Washington received two first place nods and 52 points overall, while Arizona State and Arizona tied for third with 51 points. The Sun Devils also received two first place votes, while the Wildcats collected one.

    Stanford, ranked fourth in Baseball America's pre-season Top-25, finished last season with a league-best 46-14 record, including a 16-8 mark in Conference play. Washington, Arizona State and Arizona are ranked eighth, ninth and 12th, respectively, in the preseason Baseball America poll.

    The 2005 baseball season gets underway Fri., Jan. 28, when UCLA, Stanford and Arizona State host non-conference foes. The Conference season begins on Thu., March 24 with three Pac-10 match-ups, starting with Washington State at California at 2 p.m. ASU opens league play with consecutive road series' at USC (Mar. 24-26) and California (Apr. 8-10).

    The Sun Devils return 15 letterwinners and 12 starters after going 41-18 last season and advancing to the NCAA Tournament for the seventh time in the last eight seasons. The club is led by a trio of preseason All-Americans in outfielder Travis Buck (Richland, Wash.), 3B/1B Jeff Larish (Tempe, Ariz.) and right-handed pitcher Jason Urquidez (Simi Valley, Calif.). The Sun Devils also return three-year starting catcher and Johnny Bench Catcher of the Year semifinalist Tuffy Gosewisch (Scottsdale, Ariz.) and junior starting pitcher Erik Averill (Orange, Calif.). Head Coach Pat Murphy begins his 11th season at ASU with an impressive 401-196-1 career record at the helm of the Sun Devils.

    Results of the poll are as follows. Eight points are awarded for a first-place vote, seven points for a second-place vote, and so on. Coaches are not allowed to vote for their own team.

    2004 PACIFIC-10 CONFERENCE BASEBALL COACHES PRESEASON POLL:      School (First Place Votes)         Points1.    Stanford (4)                       582.    Washington (2)                     523.    Arizona State (2)                  51      Arizona (1)                        515.    USC                                366.    Oregon State                       257.    California                         238.    UCLA                               209.    Washington State                   8

    --Sun Devil Baseball--
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