No. 11 Baseball Hits The Road For Tuesday Tilt With No. 9 Arizona

Feb. 14, 2005

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    #11 Arizona State (6-4, 0-0 Pac-10)
    2005 Statistics | ASU Baseball Pride Points | Season Outlook
    #9 Arizona (6-0, 0-0 Pac-10)
    Website | Schedule/Results | 2005 Stats

    Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2005, 4 p.m. - Kindall Field at Sancet Park; Tucson, Ariz.
    Eric Berger, LHP (1-0, 0.00 ERA) vs. TBA

    What's On Tap:
    The No. 11 Sun Devils (6-4, 0-0 Pac-10) begin a stretch of five straight road games and nine consecutive games against top 10 opponents this Tuesday with a non-conference game against rival Arizona (6-0). The Sun Devils went 3-1 last week, including a pair of wins in the Coca-Cola Spring Training Classic in Surprise, Ariz. Following the Tuesday tilt against the No. 9 Wildcats, ASU will cross the country for a three-game series against top-ranked Tulane (3-0) in New Orleans. After another road game at Arizona (Feb. 23), the Sun Devils return home to face No. 8 Baylor (3-0) in a three-game series at Packard Stadium (Feb. 25-27).

    Media Exposure:
    The first of five games this season against the Arizona will be broadcast live in the Phoenix area on KDUS 1060 AM. Tim Healey and Bob Eger will call all the action from the Sancet Park press box. The game will also be available on the internet at All 56 games this season will be able to be followed via LiveStats on ASU's official athletic website.

    ASU vs. Arizona:

    All-Time Record vs. Arizona:........188-220ASU-UA since 1959 (varsity):........165-103ASU-UA during Murphy Era:...........34-16ASU-UA since 2000:..................16-4

    Quick Hits:

    ... ASU has been ranked in 100 consecutive national polls dating back to the start of the 2000 season.... In 8.1 innings over the weekend, relievers Brett Bordes and Tony Barnette combined to not allow a run.... The starting pitching has been solid with a 3.75 ERA and 52 strikeouts and only seven walks in 57.2 IP.... So. LHP Erik Averill has thrown consecutive complete games and has 22 K's in the last 18.0 IP.... Eight players have at least one SB and the team is 20-for-26 on the season. At one point ASU had 17 straight SB.... Sophomore left fielder Colin Curtis has a hit in 8 of 10 games and leads the team with 11 RBI.... After 10 games the Sun Devils have four triples. The 2004 squad had only seven triples in 59 games.... The Devils are averaging 6.50 runs per game and have scored in double digits in three of 10 games.... ASU owns a 219-92-1 record for a .704 winning percentage this decade (2000-P).... Of ASU's 56 games this season, 28 will be played against teams that played in the 2004 NCAA Tournament (50%).... 14 of ASU's first 25 games come against teams ranked in the Sports Weekly/ESPN preseason top 25.... The Devils are one of only six schools in the nation to have five players active who were drafted in 2004.... Senior 3B Jeff Larish has 10 RBI this season and ranks ninth in school history with 178 career RBI.... ASU has hit over .300 in 33 of 46 varsity seasons, including a string of 17 straight and is hitting .330 under Murphy.... Sr. Tuffy Gosewisch is only the second player in ASU history to start three seasons at catcher (Don Wakamatsu).... ASU's 29 scheduled home games at Packard Stadium are the fewest since 1998 (28).... Redshirt freshman Rocky Laguna tied the single-game record with four stolen bases against NMSU (2/7).... Led by three from freshman OF J.J. Sferra, ASU has five bunt base hits this season.... ASU is hitting .323 (40-for-124) with runners in scoring position, but has only loaded the bases twice in 10 games.... Fr. SS  Andrew Romine has three or more assists in each of his last five games and has 26 straight flawless chances.... ASU is a perfect 6-0 this season when the starting pitcher goes five or more innings.... Senior Joey Hooft leads the team in hitting (.368) and has recorded at least one hit in eight of 10 games.... LHP Erik Averill and RHP Jason Urquidez have been named to the Clemens Award Watch List.... Sunday's game time of 2:15 was the fastest since a 2:10 game in 1999 played with wood bats against Utah (1/16).

    Recapping Last Weekend:
    The Sun Devils went 2-1 over the weekend in the third annual Coca-Cola Spring Training Classic played a Surprise Stadium in Surprise, Ariz. ASU got off to a quick start with consecutive wins over South Alabama (7-2) and Oklahoma (7-5), before dropping the tournament finale to Gonzaga (2-0). While hitting only .274 in the tournament, the pitching staff turned in several fine performances en route to a 1.67 ERA. Junior LHP Erik Averill shut down South Alabama with a eight strikeouts and allowed only five hits in a complete-game victory. The bullpen was especially tough in the remaining two games of the tournament, with juniors Brett Bordes and Tony Barnette combining to not allow a run in 8.1 innings of work. Sophomore second baseman Joe Persichina led the Sun Devils at the plate going 5-for-10 (.500) and recorded his first two multi-hit games of the season. Senior first baseman Jeff Larish also added an impressive weekend, going 4-for-12 (.333) with two home runs and six RBI.

    Four Sun Devils Named To Coca-Cola Spring Training Classic All-Tournament Team:
    After going 2-1 in the Coca-Cola Spring Training Classic over the weekend in Surprise, Ariz., four Sun Devils were named to the all-tournament team. Jeff Larish (1B), Joey Hooft (3B), Erik Averill (LHP) and Joe Persichina (2B) were each presented with a special crystal baseball commemorating their spot on the all-tournament team. Larish hit .333 (4-for-12) with two home runs and six RBI while tying for the tournament lead with 10 total bases. His six RBI gave him 10 for the season and 178 in his career, moving into ninth place in the ASU record books. Averill registered his second consecutive complete-game in picking up the win over South Alabama. The junior southpaw struck out eight and scattered five hits to improve to 2-1 on the season. Hooft recorded at least one hit in all three games over the weekend to extend his hitting streak to four games. He finished hitting .364 (4-for-11) with three runs and one RBI in the tournament and leads the team hitting .368 (14-for-38) overall with eight runs, three doubles and a .429 on-base percentage. Persichina led the tournament in hitting, going 5-for-10 (.500). He recorded his first two multi-hit games of the year and has raised his batting average 209 points (from .083 to .292) with his current four-game hitting streak (6-for-12).

    On the Road Again:
    The Sun Devils are in the midst of a stretch of games in which they will spend four of five weeks on the road. Following the Coca-Cola Spring Training Classic, ASU will play five consecutive road games at Arizona and top-ranked Tulane. The Sun Devils will travel to Tucson for a pair of non-conference games against rival Arizona Feb. 15 and Feb. 23, with a three-game series at Tulane (Feb. 18-20) sandwiched between. After a home series against nationally ranked Baylor (Feb. 25-27), ASU takes back to the road for the Keith LeClair Invitational hosted by East Carolina University (Mar. 4-6) and then two games each against LSU and Western Illinois (Mar. 11-13) in Baton Rouge, La.

    Starting Pitching Proves To Be Difference Maker:
    In each of ASU's six wins this season, the starting pitcher has gone five or more innings. Overall the starting pitchers have combined to go 3-4 with a 3.75 ERA. They have a solid K/BB ratio with only seven walks and 52 strikeouts in 57.2 innings pitched this year. Junior Erik Averill leads the staff with a 2-1 record and a 1.64 ERA.

    Pole Position:
    After going 3-1 last week, Arizona State improved one spot from No. 12 to No. 11 in the Baseball America top 25 poll. ASU is also ranked No. 15 (NCBWA), No. 18 (Sports Weekly/ESPN) and No. 23 (Collegiate Baseball). ASU extends a streak of being ranked for 100 consecutive weeks in the national polls dating back to the start of the 2000 season. ASU finished the 2004 season with a 41-18 record and ranked 20th in the Sports Weekly/ESPN poll. The Devils have ranked in the top 12 in four of the last eight years.

    Averill Earns National Pitcher of the Week Honors:
    Arizona State junior left-handed pitcher Erik Averill is off to a fast start to the 2005 season and has been named to the initial watch list for the Roger Clemens National Pitcher of the Year Award. He is 2-1 with a 1.64 ERA and is coming off back-to-back complete-game victories. He was named the Pro-Line Cap National Pitcher of the Week after throwing a complete-game, 14-strikeout shutout against New Mexico State (2/4) and backed that performance up with a complete-game, eight-strikeout win over South Alabama (2/12). The complete-game shutout against NMSU was the first by a Sun Devil since Jered Liebeck beat Long Beach State in 2003 to earn National Pitcher of the Week honors. His 14 strikeouts also were the most by a Sun Devil since Mike Esposito had 17 against Washington in 2002. The back-to-back complete games marks a first for the Sun Devils since 2002 (Robbie McClellan). For the season, Averill is 2-1 with a 1.64 ERA and 28 strikeouts and only one walk in 22.0 innings.

    Averill Proves To Be Strikeout Machine Since Summer in the Cape:
    Adding in his stellar summer performance with the Orleans Cardinals in the prestigious Cape Cod League, junior LHP Erik Averill has registered 90 strikeouts and walked only 16 in the last 85.2 IP. Averill went 5-3 with one save and a 1.70 ERA in 10 games with Orleans and is off to a 2-1, 1.65 start in three games for the Sun Devils in 2005. Including the summer, Averill is 7-4 with a 1.68 ERA in his last 13 games.

    ASU Pitchers of the Week Common in February:
    Erik Averill becomes the eighth Sun Devil (sixth pitcher) since 2001 to earn national player of the week honors from Collegiate Baseball. Ironically, an ASU pitcher has also earned a National Player of the Week honor in each of the last five February's (Averill - 2005, Jason Urquidez - 2004, Jered Liebeck - 2003, Ryan Schroyer - 2002, Jon Switzer - 2001).

    Averill And Urquidez Named To Clemens Award Watch List:
    Erik Averill and Jason Urquidez are among 42 pitchers who have been named to the initial watch list for the Roger Clemens Award, which is presented to the nation's top collegiate pitcher at the conclusion of the 2005 season. Averill was added to the list after his dominating 14-strikeout, complete-game shutout over New Mexico State (2/4) that earned him NCBWA and Collegiate Baseball National Pitcher of the Week honors. For the season, he is 2-1 with a 1.64 ERA and 28 strikeout and only one walk in 22.0 IP. Urquidez was named to the watch list for the second consecutive year after also being nominated during his junior season in which he led Pac-10 with 12 victories (12-3, 3.41 ERA). The senior right-hander is 1-0 this season and has compiled a 13-3 career record with a 3.91 ERA in his two seasons in the Maroon and Gold.

    Hitting Streaks:
    Three Sun Devils currently have hitting streaks of four or more games. Senior catcher Tuffy Gosewisch currently has a career-high tying eight-game streak in which he is hitting .394 (13-for-33) with five doubles and nine RBI. Sophomore infielder Joe Persichina has also tied a career high with a four-game streak, going 6-for-12 (.500) with two runs and a double during the streak. Here is a look at ASU players with current hitting streaks:

    Player              Current Streak    Statistics During StreakTuffy Gosewisch     8 Games           .394, 13-for-33, 5 R, 5 2B, 9 RBIJoe Persichina      4 Games           .500, 6-for-12, 2 R, 2BJoey Hooft          4 Games           .375, 6-for-16, 3 R, 2 2B, 3 RBI

    Welcome To the Show:
    A total of 12 players have made their ASU debuts in the first 10 games of the season. Four newcomers were in the starting lineup on opening day, including Joey Hooft (DH), Andrew Romine (SS), J.J. Sferra (CF) and Vinny Biancamano (2B). Willy Fox, Rocky Laguna, DJ Butler and Jeff Landry recorded their first at-bats as a Sun Devil and Kevin Dryanski (RHP), Tony Barnette (RHP) and Seth Garrison (RHP) all made their debuts in the maroon and gold. The Sun Devil roster consists of 17 of 30 active players that have never seen action before this season.

    A Nice Debut For Laguna:
    Redshirt freshman Rocky Laguna is off to a fast start in his collegiate career, hitting .308 (4-for-13) with a double and four RBI in limited action. The Yuma native is expected to see more action as ASU's designated hitter. Laguna made his first career start against New Mexico State (2/7) and responded by going 3-for-5 with four stolen bases. The four stolen bases tied the ASU single-game record.

    Team Speed:
    The Sun Devils are 20-for-26 on the season stealing bases, including a streak of 17 consecutive that ended during the Coca-Cola Classic. Led by five from redshirt freshman Rocky Laguna and three each from J.J. Sferra, Joey Hooft and Colin Curtis, eight different Sun Devils have recorded a stolen base and six players have two or more stolen bases.

    Dominating the Arizona Baseball Rivalry:
    Arizona and Arizona State are the only two Division I baseball programs in the state of Arizona and have met 408 times since 1907. While Arizona leads the overall rivalry 220-188, ASU leads the series 165-103 since the school officially adopted the program as a varsity sport in 1959. Additionally, ASU has dominated the rivalry in recent years, winning 16 of the last 20 (16-4) games since 2000. The Sun Devils won four of the five meetings in 2004 and seven of the last eight overall. ASU has also won six straight series over Arizona. Since head coach Pat Murphy took over the program in 1995, ASU is 34-16 (.680) and has never lost a season series to the Wildcats. The Devils are scheduled to face the Wildcats in a pair of non-conference games in Tucson (Feb. 15, Feb. 23) and a three-game conference series May 14-16 in Tempe.

    Larish Moves Into Top 10 For Career RBI:
    Junior first baseman Jeff Larish recorded six RBI in the Coca-Cola Spring Training Classic to move into the ASU career top 10 with 178. Larish went 4-for-12 (.333) over the weekend with his first two home runs of the year. With his season-high tying four against Oklahoma (2/12), Larish cracked the ASU career top 10. Larish has recorded 47 career multi-RBI games and has recorded at least one RBI in 85 of 166 career games. His two home runs give him 30 for his career, only six off the ASU career top 10 in that category.

    Triple Your Pleasure:
    After 10 games the Sun Devils already have four triples. J.J. Sferra, Andrew Romine, Jeff Larish and Colin Curtis have each recorded a three-bagger during the early part of the season. In 59 games last season, ASU had only seven triples, ranking 245th of 285 teams in the NCAA.

    Quick Hits... Part 2:

    ... The Sun Devils are 3-0 this season following a loss and 26-7 after a defeat in the last three seasons.... The Sun Devils are perfect this season (6-0) when the starting pitcher goes 5 or more innings.... Erik Averill's ERA has dropped from 6.75 to 1.64 in his last two starts.... Colin Curtis and Joey Hooft are tied for the team lead with five multi-hit games.... ASU is 5-2 in February and owns an all-time 395-143 record in the month.... The two complete games by Averill match or exceed the entire season totals from 2001 (1), 2003 (1) and 2004 (2).... The Devils have scored 27 of their 64 runs (42%) with two outs on the scoreboard.... Travis Buck went the first seven games of the season without an RBI before having three last weekend.

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