Baseball Continues Road Trip With Four Games Against LSU And Western Illinois

March 10, 2005

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    Probable Weekend Rotation:
    Mar. 11 at #5 LSU, 6:30 p.m. CT
    ASU - Zechry Zinicola, RHP (2-1, 3.74 ERA)
    LSU - Lane Mestepey, LHP (3-1, 1.42 ERA)

    Mar. 12 vs. Western Illinois, 12 p.m. CT
    ASU - Erik Averill, LHP (3-2, 3.52 ERA)
    WIU - Tim Navin, RHP (0-2, 3.45 ERA)

    Mar. 13 vs. Western Illinois, 12 p.m. CT
    ASU - TBA
    WIU - Pat Kohorst, RHP (3-2, 2.64 ERA)

    Mar. 13 at #5 LSU, 4 p.m. CT
    ASU - Pat Bresnehan, RHP (1-1, 3.12 ERA)
    LSU - Greg Smith, LHP (3-1, 2.70 ERA)

    Media Exposure:
    None of the games this weekend will be broadcast over the radio, but can be followed through the live statistical GameTracker at www.thesundevils.com. ASU returns to the airwaves with all three games during the Oklahoma series (Mar. 18-20) broadcast locally on KDUS 1060 AM. ASU also makes its TV debut on AZ-TV Mar. 18-19 against Oklahoma. Every game this season will be able to be followed via GameTracker on the Internet.

    Did You Know:
    The Sun Devils have won five of their last six games with three of those wins coming against top 10 opponents... ASU has played 13 of its 21 games against teams that have appeared in the national polls at some point this season... the pitching staff recorded a 1.55 ERA at the Keith LeClair Classic last weekend, including the bullpen not allowing a run in 11.0 innings... senior catcher Tuffy Gosewisch took over the team batting lead at .354 (29-for-82) and ranks fourth in the Pac-10 with 21 RBI... junior Travis Buck has a current six-game hitting streak.

    What's On Tap:
    The Sun Devils (11-10, 0-0 Pac-10) take back to the road this weekend to conclude a seven-game road trip with four games in Baton Rouge, La. ASU will play Western Illinois (4-10) twice and fifth-ranked LSU (11-4) twice at historic Alex Box Stadium. ASU made its last trip to Baton Rouge in 2000 when they took one of three games from the Fighting Tigers. The Sun Devils are coming off a successful weekend in which they went 3-0 at the Keith LeClair Classic in Greenville, N.C., recording wins over No. 4 North Carolina, tournament host East Carolina and Ohio State. ASU has won five of its last six games heading into the weekend to climb over the .500 mark for the first time since mid February. The two games against nationally ranked LSU continue a tough stretch of games that will see the Sun Devils play 15 of their first 25 games against teams that have appeared in the national polls this season. ASU is also in a current stretch of playing a string of 15 of 18 games away from Packard Stadium. The Devils return home next weekend for a three-game non-conference series against Oklahoma (Mar. 18-20) and then begin Pac-10 play on the road at USC (Mar. 24-26).

    Quick Hits:

    ... ASU has played 13 of 21 games against teams that have been ranked this season and is 4-9 in those games.... ASU's tough schedule has included facing seven preseason All-American pitchers in the first 21 games.... The Sun Devils recently concluded a string of nine straight games against top 10 teams... The Sun Devil bullpen has given up only one earned run over the last 24.0 innings (0.38 ERA).... 15 Sun Devils, including nine true freshman, have made their debuts in the Maroon and Gold this season.... 10 players have at least one SB and ASU leads the Pac-10 with 40 stolen bases (40-for-56).... After 21 games the Sun Devils have six triples. The 2004 squad had only seven triples in 59 games.... ASU owns a 224-98-1 record for a .695 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.... Senior Jeff Larish ranks sixth in the Pac-10 with 19 RBI and has 187 in his career to rank ninth in ASU history.... Sr. Tuffy Gosewisch is only the second player in ASU history to start three seasons at catcher (Don Wakamatsu).... Redshirt freshman Rocky Laguna tied the single-game record with four stolen bases against NMSU (2/7).... Travis Buck raised his batting average 69 points from .246 to .315 during his current six-game hitting streak.... In 21 games this season ASU has used 17 different starting batting lineups and 13 different defensive lineups.... Senior 3B Joey Hooft strained his left hamstring against Arizona (2/23) and is listed as day-to-day.... Senior catcher Tuffy Gosewisch has thrown out 13 of 29 attempted base stealers this season (45%).... Each of the four opposing pitchers ASU is scheduled to face this weekend have an ERA below 3.50.

    Recapping Last Weekend:
    The Sun Devils continued its solid play winning all three games last weekend at the Keith LeClair Classic in Greenville, N.C. ASU opened the tournament with a 4-3 victory in 11 innings over No. 4 North Carolina. The Devils also earned wins over tournament host East Carolina (10-3) and Ohio State (3-0) to complete the perfect weekend. At the plate, ASU managed to hit only .210 (21-for-100) in the pitching-dominated tournament, but several players turned in great performances. Senior catcher Tuffy Gosewisch hit .364 (4-for-11) with a home run, four RBI and also recorded two walks. Junior right fielder Travis Buck also had a solid weekend at the plate going 5-for-14 (.357) with three doubles, two RBI and a pair of stolen bases. The pitching staff paved the way for ASU's three-game sweep, registering a dominating 1.55 ERA by allowing only five earned runs in 29.0 innings. Starters Pat Bresnehan (6.0 IP, 5 H, 0 R) and Erik Averill (6.1 IP, 6 H, 2 ER) each earned wins with solid outings. The bullpen was brilliant with Jason Urquidez, Brett Bordes and Tony Barnette combining to not allow a run in 11.0 innings. Urquidez earned the win over North Carolina by not allowing a hit in 5.1 scoreless innings.

    Team of the Week:
    Following a perfect 3-0 weekend at the Keith LeClair Classic that included wins over No. 4 North Carolina, East Carolina and Ohio State, the Arizona State baseball team was named the National Team of the Week by SEBaseball.com. They were also named the West Team of the Week by college baseball beat writer Eric Sorenson.

    On the Road Again:
    ASU takes back to the road this weekend for four games against LSU and Western Illinois in Baton Rouge, La. It marks the third and final cross-country flight for the Sun Devils this season. ASU is in the midst of a stretch of games in which they will spend four of five weeks on the road -- a span of games that includes a pair of road trips of seven and eight games, respectively. Following the Coca-Cola Spring Training Classic, ASU played five consecutive road games at Arizona and top-ranked Tulane. After a home series against nationally ranked Baylor (Feb. 25-27), ASU took back to the road for the Keith LeClair Classic 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.

    Taking on the Tough Guys:
    This weekend's games against fifth-ranked LSU will continue a stretch of games in which the Sun Devils will play 11 of 15 games against top 10 opponents. ASU recently concluded a stretch of nine straight games against top 10 opponents, including winning three of the final four games against No. 8 Baylor and No. 4 North Carolina. The Sun Devils have played 13 of their 21 games this season against teams that have been ranked this season, going 4-9 against what could be considered the toughest schedule in the nation. Overall, 17 of ASU's first 31 games will come against a ranked opponent.

    A Classy Gesture:
    Prior to ASU's game against East Carolina, every player and coach of the Sun Devil baseball team made its way from the playing field to the press box to pay honor to former ECU coach Keith LeClair. The team came up to LeClair's special area in the press box to speak to the former ECU coach who is battling Lou Gehrig's Disease. They presented LeClair and his family an Arizona State jersey signed by every member of the program and expressed their gratitude for being one of the first teams to play at the new stadium named in his honor.

    The Luck of the White Shoes:
    The Sun Devils have found a small secret to success this season by going 5-1 when wearing white spikes this season. ASU is also 4-1 when wearing their home white 'Devils' jersey. ASU is just 6-9 when wearing black spikes.

    Gosewisch Named To Johnny Bench Award Watch List:
    Arizona State senior starting catcher Tuffy Gosewisch has been named to the initial watch list for the 2005 Johnny Bench Catcher of the Year Award. ASU's three-year starter behind the plate was also named one of 15 semifinalists for the 2004 Bench Award. Gosewisch is in his third year as ASU's everyday starting catcher and has caught all but three innings of ASU's 21-game schedule so far in 2005. He is only the second three-year starting catcher in Sun Devil baseball history, joining former major leaguer and current Texas Ranger bench coach Don Wakamatsu. The senior backstop has gotten off to a torrid start in 2005, leading the Sun Devils (11-10) in several offensive categories. He is hitting .354 (29-for-82) with five doubles, two home runs and 21 RBI. He has recorded at least one hit in 18 of 21 games and has tabbed nine multi-hit and seven multi-RBI games this season. As stellar as his offensive production has been, Gosewisch has made the most impact behind the plate. He has a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage on 190 total chances. He has also thrown out 13 of 29 attempted base stealers (45%) and helped the pitching staff to a 170-54 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Arizona State has a long tradition with the Johnny Bench Catcher of the Year Award, with former Devil Casey Myers being selected as a finalist in 2000 and 2001.

    Bullpen Shines at Keith LeClair Classic:
    While the entire pitching staff turned in a solid weekend with a combined 1.55 ERA by allowing only five earned runs in 29.0 innings, it was the bullpen that came up with the biggest performances of the weekend. Senior Jason Urquidez, junior Tony Barnette and junior Brett Bordes combined to allow only two hits and struck out 14 in 11.0 scoreless innings. Urquidez earned the win in Friday's 4-3 win over nationally ranked North Carolina, striking out nine and not allowing a hit in 5.1 innings. Barnette closed out the 10-3 win over East Carolina with 2.2 scoreless frames and Bordes clinched the weekend sweep giving up only one hit in three innings against Ohio State. Since moving to the bullpen, Urquidez has allowed only four hits and not allowed an earned run in his last five appearances (14.0 IP).

    Buck Continues Hot Hitting:
    Junior right fielder Travis Buck continued his recent torrid streak at the plate hitting .357 (5-for-14) with three runs, three doubles, two RBI and seven stolen bases during ASU's perfect weekend at the Keith LeClair Classic. The preseason All-American has raised his batting average 69 points from .246 to .315 during his current six-game hitting streak. Over the last six games, Buck has recorded five multi-hit games and is batting .464 (13-for-28) with nine runs, three doubles, one home run and eight RBI. Overall, Buck is fourth on the team hitting .315 (28-for-89) with seven doubles, 12 RBI and six stolen bases. He is tied for the team lead with nine multi-hit games and has at least one hit in 17 of 21 games. He ranks fourth in the Pac-10 with 19 runs scored, third with seven doubles and second with seven stolen bases. With his outstanding week at the plate against Baylor (.571, 8-for-14, 6 H, 6 RBI, Buck was named the Pac-10 Player of the Week and was also named to the College Baseball Foundation Honor Roll. The Player of the Week honor was the fourth career award for Buck, while it was the 75th such honor for Arizona State University. He also won the award twice last season (Mar. 2, Mar. 9) and once during his freshman season (Apr. 1).

    Buck Prefers Hitting Second:
    In his three seasons as a Sun Devil, junior right fielder Travis Buck has enjoyed his most success while hitting in the No. 2 spot in the lineup. In 84 career games in the No. 2 spot in the lineup, Buck is a career .405 (130-for-321) hitter with 101 runs scored, 11 home runs and 81 RBI. While hitting No. 2, Buck has accounted for 70% of his run production (81 of 116 RBI), 71% of his runs scored (101 of 142), 79% of his home runs (11 of 14) and 68% of his total hits (130 of 190). This season Buck is hitting .472 (17-for-36) with 10 runs scored and eight RBI in eight games batting in the second spot. He has combined to hit just .208 (11-for-53) when batting either leadoff (.118, 2-for-17) or third (.250, 9-for-36). Overall, the preseason All-American is a career .344 hitter (190-for-553) with 142 runs scored, 14 home runs and 116 RBI.

    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 watch list for the Roger Clemens National Pitcher of the Year Award. In six starts he is 3-2 with a 3.52 ERA and has a pair of complete-game victories to his credit. Averill ranks fourth in the Pac-10 with 36 strikeouts and is also third with 38.1 innings pitched. He has also walked only seven in his six appearances this season. 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 were also 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).

    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 98 strikeouts and walked only 22 in the last 102.0 IP. Averill went 5-3 with one save and a 1.70 ERA in 10 games with Orleans and is off to a 3-2, 3.52 ERA start in six starts for the Sun Devils in 2005.

    Triple Your Pleasure:
    After 21 games the Sun Devils already have six triples to rank second in the Pac-10. J.J. Sferra, Rocky Laguna, Andrew Romine, Jeff Larish, Tuffy Gosewisch 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.

    A Tough Slate For The Sun Devils:
    After having the top-rated non-conference schedule in the nation last season, the Sun Devil baseball program has set another challenging slate for the 2005 season. ASU's rigorous 2005 schedule includes 23 games against eight teams ranked in the Sports Weekly/ESPN preseason top 25. Seventeen of ASU's first 31 games are against teams ranked that have been ranked in the national polls at some point this season. ASU is also playing 24 games against teams ranked in the Baseball America preseason top 40 and 24 games against teams listed in the Collegiate Baseball top 40.

    The All-Time Series vs. LSU:
    The Sun Devils and Tigers have met only six times in the illustrious history of both storied programs, with all coming in the last six years. ASU and LSU squared off on the diamond for the first time in 2000 in a three-game series at Alex Box Stadium with the Tigers taking two of three. LSU returned the trip the following year with a three-game set in Tempe, taking the first two games of the series before the Sunday game ended in a 5-5 tie due to LSU's travel plans. LSU has won five national championships (1991, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000) in the last 14 years and have advanced to the College World Series in 13 of the last 19 years.

    Scouting LSU:
    LSU enters the weekend with a 11-4 record and have lost three of their last five games, including a 6-2 loss to top-ranked and rival Tulane Tuesday night at Alex Box Stadium. The Tigers are hitting .293 (156-for-532) with 31 doubles, three triples, 15 home runs and are 7-for-9 stealing bases. LSU has out-scored its opponent 121-64. Senior second baseman Clay Harris leads the Tigers hitting .389 (21-for-54) with five doubles, two home runs and 12 RBI. Senior outfielder Ryan Patterson is hitting .364 (20-for-55) with 21 runs scored, seven doubles, two home runs and a .600 slugging percentage. The pitching staff has combined for a 3.45 ERA and registered 135 strikeouts in 133.0 innings. The starting pitching trio of left-handers Lane Mestepay (3-1, 1.42), Clay Dirks (4-0, 2.66 ERA) and Greg Smith (3-1, 2.70 ERA) have accounted for all but one of LSU's 11 victories.

    Scouting Western Illinois:
    The Sun Devils and Leathernecks meet for the first time on the diamond. Western Illinois enters the weekend series with a 4-10 record and currently has a seven-game losing streak. WIU earned an impressive 6-1 victory over No. 22 Texas Tech (2/19) with senior RHP Pat Kohorst (scheduled to pitch Saturday vs. ASU) scattering eight hits and one run in 8.1 innings. Kohorst leads the team with a 3-2 record and a 2.64 ERA. Left fielder Kyle Malan leads WIU hitting .354 (17-for-48) with two home runs and 16 RBI.

    Hitting Streaks:
    A pair of Sun Devils currently have hitting streaks of two or more games heading into weekend series in Baton Rouge, La. Junior right fielder Travis Buck has a current six-game streak in which he is hitting .464 (13-for-28) with three doubles, one home run and eight RBI. Here is a look at ASU players with current hitting streaks:

    Player             Current Streak     Statistics During StreakTravis Buck        6 Games           .464, 13-for-28, 9 R, 3 2B, HR, 8 RBI, 5 SBTuffy Gosewisch    2 Games           .667, 4-for-6, 3 R, HR, 4 RBI

    Welcome To the Show:
    A total of 15 players have made their ASU debuts in the first 21 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). Freshman third baseman Eric Sogard made his debut in the Maroon and Gold in the Baylor series, becoming the ninth true freshman have made it into a game this season. ASU has now started six true freshman and two redshirt freshman position players this season. The Sun Devil roster consists of 18 of 30 active players that have never seen action before this season.

    Put The Record Book Away:
    The Sun Devils snapped a school-record-tying six-game losing streak with a 5-3 victory to open the series against the No. 8 Baylor Bears (2/25). Five of the six losses during the streak came against teams ranked in the top 10 nationally, including a three-game sweep at the hands of No. 1 Tulane.

    A Good Omen:
    ASU last endured a six-game losing streak in 1998 and finished up strong winning 18 of its last 27 regular season games that season to earn a spot in the NCAA Tournament. After breezing through the regional at Wichita State, the Sun Devils advanced to the College World Series and played for the National Championship against USC.

    Devils Facing Big League Arms:
    The Sun Devils squared off against North Carolina left-handed pitcher Andrew Miller last Friday night, marking the seventh preseason All-American pitcher ASU has faced this season. In addition to Miller, who is listed by Baseball America as the No. 1 sophomore in the nation, Sun Devils have already faced Cesar Ramos (Long Beach State), Brian Bogusevic (Tulane), Micah Owings (Tulane), Neil Jamison (Long Beach State), P.J. Walters (South Alabama) and Mark McCormick (Baylor). ASU also beat a second-round (Trey Taylor) and third-round (Cory VanAllen) draft pick during the Baylor series.

    Team Speed:
    The Sun Devils lead the Pac-10 in stolen bases and are 40-for-56 (71%) on the season. At one point early in the season the Sun Devils had a streak of 17 consecutive that ended during the Coca-Cola Classic. ASU has four of the top 10 base stealers in the Pac-10, with Travis Buck and Colin Curtis tying for second with seven. Senior Joey Hooft ranks sixth with six stolen bases and redshirt freshman Rocky Laguna is tied for seventh with five. Laguna tied the ASU single-game record with four stolen bases against New Mexico State (2/7). A total of 10 different Sun Devils have recorded a stolen base and eight players have two or more steals. Buck currently has a string of five straight games with a stolen base. In 2004, ASU had only 56 total 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 409 times since 1907. While Arizona leads the overall rivalry 222-188, ASU leads the series 165-105 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 22 (16-6) games since 2000. The Sun Devils won four of the five meetings in 2004 and seven of the last 10 overall. Since head coach Pat Murphy took over the program in 1995, ASU is 34-18 (.654) and has never lost a season series to the Wildcats. ASU is 0-2 against Arizona in a pair of non-conference games this season and is schedule to face the Wildcats again in a three-game Pac-10 series May 14-16 in Tempe.

    Larish Moves Into Top 10 For Career RBI:
    Senior first baseman Jeff Larish is second on the team and sixth in the Pac-10 with 19 RBI this season and ranks ninth in the ASU record books with 187 career RBI. Larish needs just seven more RBI to move into a tie for seventh in the record books with Mike Kelly (1989-91) and Ken Landreaux (1974-76). Four-year starter Andrew Beinbrink (1996-99) holds the school record with 283 career RBI. Larish also ranks fifth in the single-season record books with his 95 RBI as a sophomore. In 177 career games, Larish has recorded at least one RBI in 91 games (51%) and has 49 career multi-RBI games. The senior preseason All-American also leads the team with five home runs this season and has 33 in his career to move to within three of cracking the all-time top 10 in ASU history.

    Year       Avg   GP-GS     AB    R    H   2B   3B   HR  RBI   BB   SO   SB-ATT2002....  .328   34-33    128   31   42    4    3    3   24   29   19    0-12003....  .372   65-64    234   80   87   18    2   18   95   78   42    3-52004....  .308   57-57    237   46   73   17    0    7   49   35   50    3-72005....  .274   21-21     84   16   23    6    1    5   19   10   22    1-1TOTAL...  .329  177-175   683  173  225   45    6   33  187  152  133    7-14

    Urquidez Dominating Out of the Bullpen:
    Senior right-handed pitcher Jason Urquidez has dominated since moving to the bullpen. In his five appearances as a reliever (all games against top 10 teams), Urquidez has not allowed an earned run and surrendered only four hits (three singles, one double) in 14.0 innings. He has struck out 16 and opposing hitters are batting only .089 off him as a reliever. Overall, Urquidez is 3-2 with a 4.71 ERA in nine appearances (36.1 IP).

    From Batboy To Center Field:
    Freshman outfielder J.J. Sferra is no stranger to the batters box at Packard Stadium, only in 2005 he will be hitting there, instead of picking up bats. The son of 10th-year assistant coach Jay Sferra, the younger Sferra spent several seasons in the late 90's as ASU's batboy, including duties at the 1998 College World Series. After a stellar prep career at Mountain Pointe High School, Sferra has become a mainstay in center field for the Sun Devils. He is listed at the No. 33 top incoming freshman in the nation by Baseball America. He has started 19 of ASU's 21 games this season and is hitting .282 (20-for-71) with three doubles, one triple, six RBI and three stolen bases. He also leads ASU with five bunt base hits and three sacrifice bunts.

    Curtis Coming of Age:
    Sophomore left fielder Colin Curtis is second the team with a .342 (27-for-79) batting average and has recorded at least one hit in 15 of 21 games. Curtis is also among the Pac-10 leaders with 15 RBI, 19 walks and seven stolen bases. In addition, he has recorded eight multi-hit games and has four games with two or more RBI. He set a career-high with four hits in ASU's 7-6 loss in 14 innings to Arizona (2/15). Curtis came up with the game-winning single with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning in a 11-10 win over New Mexico State (2/7). Curtis was named honorable mention All-Pac-10 as a freshman last season after hitting .300 (57-for-190) with five home runs, 36 RBI and 12 stolen bases.

    Year       Avg   GP-GS     AB    R    H   2B   3B   HR  RBI   BB   SO   SB-ATT2004....  .300   57-57    190   37   57   11    0    5   36   38   39   12-142005....  .342   21-21     79   13   27    2    1    0   15   19   11    7-9TOTAL...  .312   78-78    269   50   84   13    1    5   51   57   50   19-23

    Tuffy Keeps Getting Tougher:
    Senior catcher Tuffy Gosewisch joins former Sun Devil Don Wakamatsu (1982-85) as the only other full-time, three-year starter at the catching position in school history. Gosewisch has started 136 games behind the plate over the last three seasons and has combined to go 141-for-414 (.341). He has been ASU's most consistent hitter with hits in 18 of 21 games and leads the team with seven multi-RBI games. The 2004 Johnny Bench Catcher of the Year semifinalist and one of 37 players named to the 2005 Bench Award Watch List, is a career .325 hitter with six home runs, 113 RBI and a .993 fielding percentage. A top candidate for the 2005 Bench Award, Gosewisch has been perfect behind the dish this year with a 1.000 fielding percentage in 190 total chances. He has gunned down 13 of 29 base stealers and has not allowed a passed ball. He has caught all but three innings this season and showed his true 'tuffness' when he played the next day after suffering a mild concussion and had several stitches after being hit in the head against Baylor (2/25). Here is a look at Tuffy's progression at the plate in games started during his Sun Devil career:

    Gosewisch as a Starting Catcher:2002: 12 games started (1-for-29, .034)2003: 45 games started (45-for-136, .331)2004: 58 games started (67-for-196, .342)2005: 21 games started (29-for-82, .354)

    Year Avg GP-GS AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB-ATT2002.... .128 30-12 39 6 5 0 0 0 2 4 12 0-02003.... .340 59-45 144 41 49 9 0 2 41 22 19 2-22004.... .342 59-58 199 36 68 14 1 2 49 31 37 0-22005.... .354 21-21 82 12 29 5 1 2 21 6 13 2-4TOTAL... .325 169-136 464 95 151 28 2 6 113 63 81 4-8

    Home vs. Away:
    The Sun Devils are 6-4 at Packard Stadium this season and 5-6 on the road. ASU's win against East Carolina marked the first win against a team in its home park, as the Sun Devils dropped five straight road games to Tulane and Arizona. ASU is 4-1 in games played at a neutral start. The proof is in the statistics as ASU is hitting .320 at Packard Stadium and only .239 on the road. Adversly, ASU's stellar pitching performance over the weekend at the Keith LeClair Classic (1.55 ERA) lowered the road ERA from 5.57 to 4.25. The pitching staff owns a 4.85 ERA in games played at Packard Stadium.

    Pole Position:
    For the first time since the start of the 2000 season, Arizona State University does not own a spot in the national top 25 in any of the four major national polls. ASU's recent six-game losing streak dropped them from No. 11 in the Baseball America poll to completely out of the rankings. It brings an end to a streak of being ranked for 100 consecutive weeks in the national polls dating back to the start of the 2000 season.

    Just a Walk in the Park For Larish:
    Senior first baseman Jeff Larish is third in ASU history with 152 career walks (see list on page 4) and has recorded at least one walk in 106 of 177 career games. His 78 walks in 2003 are second most in ASU single-season history and he is only the second player in school history to join the 70/70 (RBI/BB) club in a season. Former major leaguer Alvin Davis recorded 87 walks and 91 RBI in 1982 and holds the school record with 207 career walks. Additionally, the third-team preseason All-American (Collegiate Baseball/Baseball America) has recorded 36 career multi-walk games, 67 multi-hit games, 49 multi-RBI contests and 84 career extra base hits for a .558 slugging percentage. He has recorded a hit in 77% of his games played (137 of 177). Larish jumped into the national spotlight during his sophomore season (2003) in which he was named a first-team All-American after hitting .372 (87-for-234) with 80 runs, 18 doubles, 18 home runs, 95 RBI and 78 walks. Larish was also a first-team Summer All-American in 2003 after leading the USA Baseball National Team to a silver medal in the Pan Am Games in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and led Team USA with 23 RBI and eight home runs.

    It's All About Family For Romine, Gosewisch, Bordes and Sferra:
    Father/son combinations and brothers have played a unique part of the storied history of Arizona State Baseball. In all, four father/son combinations have played at Arizona State including current freshman shortstop Andrew Romine and his father, Kevin. Kevin Romine played at ASU from 1981-82 and later went on to play seven years with the Boston Red Sox. He holds the ASU career batting average record hitting .408 (223-for-547) and helped lead ASU to the 1981 National Championship. Assistant coach Jay J. Sferra will also get the chance to coach his son, freshman outfielder J.J. Sferra. Father Eddie Bane (1971-73) and son Jaymie Bane (1997), Casey Myers (1998-2001) and his father Clint Myers (1971-73) and Brian Berger (2000) and his father Bill Berger (1970-73) round out the four father/son combos to don the Sun Devil uniform. Nine sets of brothers have graced the ASU rosters through the years, including senior catcher Tuffy Gosewisch and his brother Chip (1996-99) and junior pitcher Brett Bordes and his freshman brother Greg. The other brother combinations include Chris (1975-78) and Sal (1964-65) Bando, Kevin (1978-81) and Pat (1980-82) Dukes, Byron (1979), Dale (1976-79) and Larry (1976-78) Eiler, Greg (1968) and Skip (1964) Hancock, Darrell (1974-77) and Dwayne (1979) Jackson, Jeff (1994) and Mike (1993) Rensmeyer, and John (1971-73) and Tom (1973-75) Sain. Of the nine sets of brothers, four sets played at least one year together at Arizona State.

    Zinicola Proves Worth As Starting Pitcher:
    Sophomore right-hander Zechry Zinicola was recently named to the initial watch list for the NCBWA Stopper of the Year, but you probably won't see him as ASU's closer anymore. Zinicola has moved into the starting rotation and will likely be ASU's Friday night pitcher. In three starts this season he is 0-1 with a 2.81 ERA allowing only five earned runs in 16.0 innings. Overall he is 2-1 with one save and a 3.74 ERA. In seven career starts, Zinicola is 1-1 with a 3.09 ERA with 28 strikeouts and only 10 walks in 32.0 IP.

    Team USA Connections:
    Junior right fielder Travis Buck faced another of his Team USA teammates last weekend when the Sun Devils played North Carolina. UNC sophomore right-handed pitcher Daniel Bard teamed with Buck on the Gold Medal winning USA Baseball National Team. Buck was named a first-team Summer All-American by Baseball America after hitting .412 (28-for-68) with six multi-hit games, two home runs and 14 RBI. He was a big part of Team USA's impressive end-of-the-summer run that saw the Red, White and Blue win the gold medal at the FISU World University Baseball Championship in Tainan, Taiwan. Buck became the seventh Sun Devil since 1998 to play on the USA Baseball National Team. Of the 22 players on the 2004 National Team, Buck will play against nine of his summer teammates (Troy Tulowitzki, Jed Lowrie, John Mayberry Jr., Trevor Crowe, Mark Romanczuk, Ian Kennedy, Jeff Clement, Daniel Bard, Cesar Ramos).

    Watch Out For Falling ERA:
    The Sun Devil pitching staff has caught fire over the last six games to lower the team ERA by over one full point from 5.71 to its current mark of 4.53. During the six-game stretch, the ASU hurlers have combined for a 2.05 ERA with 49 strikeouts and have allowed a .210 opponents batting average. Senior reliever Jason Urquidez is 2-1 with a 0.00 ERA in 12.2 innings and the bullpen has given up only one earned run over the last 24.0 innings.

    Buck and Larish Named Preseason All-Pac-10 by Baseball America:
    Arizona State had a pair of players named to the annual preseason All-Pac-10 team as selected by Baseball America. Junior right fielder Travis Buck (OF) and senior third baseman Jeff Larish (DH) both were named to the squad. In addition, Larish was voted as having the 'best strike zone discipline' and Buck was voted as having the 'best outfield arm' and as being the 'best all-around athlete' in the league. Buck was also named the Pac-10's No. 3 prospect for the 2005 MLB Draft. Other preseason honors handed out to the Devils by Baseball America included shortstop Andrew Romine being named the Pac-10's No. 2 top newcomer and sophomore closer Zechry Zinicola recognized as having the league's best fastball.

    Preseason All-Americans:
    The Sun Devils feature a trio of preseason All-Americans in 2005. Senior third baseman Jeff Larish, junior right fielder Travis Buck and senior right-handed pitcher Jason Urquidez all earned national preseason honors from various publications. Buck, who hit .373 with nine home runs and 58 RBI last season, earned first-team honors from Baseball America, second-team from NCBWA and third-team from Collegiate Baseball. Buck was also named to the initial watch list for the Brooks Wallace Player of the Year award. Larish was a third-team selection by Baseball America and Urquidez was second-team by the NCBWA and third-team by Collegiate Baseball.

    Five Sun Devils Ranked Among Nation's Top 50:
    Five Arizona State Sun Devils have been ranked among the nation's top 50 of their class in the 2005 Baseball America College Baseball Preview. In the Freshmen Fab 50, shortstop Andrew Romine (#3) and outfielder J.J. Sferra (#33) were both ranked. Left fielder Colin Curtis ranked No. 26 among the sophomores and right fielder Travis Buck was listed No. 13 amongst the star-studded junior class. Seniors Jeff Larish (#1) and Jason Urquidez (#6) were ranked among the top 10 seniors in the nation.

    Quick Hits... Part 2:

    ... The Sun Devils are 5-1 this season while wearing their white spikes and 4-1 when wearing their white uniforms.... Jeff Larish is a career .352 hitter while playing first base and hitting .312 while playing 3B/LF/DH.... ASU's 3-0 win over Ohio State as the second shutout of the year and marked ASU's first win on Sunday.... Colin Curtis leads the Pac-10 with 19 walks and is seventh with 27 hits.... The two complete games by Averill match or exceed the entire season totals from 2001 (1), 2003 (1) and 2004 (2)....  Three ASU recruits (Ike Davis, Preston Paramore, Michael Bowden) were named preseason high school All-Americans by Baseball America.... Willy Fox recorded a single vs. Baylor (2/26) in the 100,000th career at-bat in ASU varsity history (1959-P).

    Urquidez Among Top Returning Pitchers in NCAA:
    Senior RHP Jason Urquidez is 3-2 with a 4.71 ERA in nine appearances this season. He made his first four appearances as a starter, but has since moved to the bullpen where he has not given up an earned run in five outings (14.0 IP). He entered the year as one of only eight pitchers in the NCAA to return 12 or more wins from last season. Urquidez earned first-team All-Pac-10 and honorable mention CollegeBaseballInsider.com All-America honors last season while leading the league with 12 wins. He went 12-3 with a 3.41 ERA and struck out a team-high 94 batters in 97.2 innings. He earned national acclaim and a spot on the Clemens Award Watch List after posting a complete-game, three-hit victory over defending national champion Rice on Feb. 22, 2004. He out-dueled eventual first-round draft pick Jeff Niemann and was named the Pac-10 and National Pitcher of the Week. Urquidez was selected as a preseason All-American by the NCBWA (2nd team) and Collegiate Baseball (3rd team) and is listed as the No. 6 senior in the nation by Baseball America. Below is a look at the top returning pitchers for 2005 and Urquidez's career statistics as a Sun Devil:


    Ricky Romero, Jr., Cal State Fullerton

    14-4

    Dennis Bigley, Sr., Oral Roberts

    13-1

    Aaron Rawl, Sr., South Carolina

    13-4

    Cesar Carrillo, Jr., Miami

    12-0

    Rowdy Hardy, Sr., Austin Peay State

    12-3

    Jason Urquidez, Sr., Arizona State

    12-3

    Ronald Hill, Sr., UNC Wilmington

    12-4

    Cesar Ramos, Jr., Long Beach State

    12-4

    Year       ERA   W-L   App  GS  CG SHO/CBO  SV    IP    H    R   ER   BB   SO2004....  3.41  12-3    19  17   1   0/1     0  97.2   90   40   37   47   942005....  4.71   3-2     9   4   0   0/0     0  36.1   35   25   19   17   34TOTAL...  3.76  15-5    28  21   1   0/1     0 134.0  125   65   56   64  128

    Draft Dodgers:
    Arizona State is one of only six schools in the nation to have five players active in 2005 that were selected in the 2004 MLB Draft. Along with ASU, Alabama, Florida, LSU, Oklahoma State and Texas are the other five schools to have five draftees from 2004. Right-handed pitcher Jason Urquidez (11th; Devil Rays), 3B Jeff Larish (13th; Dodgers), LHP Drew Bowman (21st; Brewers), INF Vinny Biancamano (35th; Royals) and SS Andrew Romine (36th; Phillies) were all selected in last June's MLB Amateur draft. In all, 10 Sun Devils on the current roster have been drafted, including Larish and Urquidez being selected twice.

    ASU in Postseason Play:
    Arizona State has made 28 appearances in the NCAA Tournament and five straight from 2000-04. The Sun Devils have advanced to the postseason in seven of head coach Pat Murphy's 10 seasons in Tempe, including playing for the national championship in 1998. ASU has an all-time 129-55 record in the NCAA Tournament and has won five national championships to rank second among all NCAA schools (1965, 67, 69, 77, 81). The Devils have also made 18 trips to Omaha and the College World Series.

    Sun Devils Picked To Finish Second and Third in Pac-10:
    The Sun Devils enter the season as the preseason pick to finish third in the Pac-10 in a poll of the league coaches. Stanford was picked first, while Washington, ASU, Arizona and USC round out the top five. ASU was also picked to finish second by Collegiate Baseball and third by Baseball America. Here is a look at the three preseason Pac-10 baseball polls:

    Pac-10 Poll (Coaches)      Collegiate Baseball      Baseball America1.   Stanford              1.   Stanford            1.   Stanford2.   Washington            2.   Arizona State       2.   Washington3.   Arizona State         3.   Arizona             3.   Arizona State     Arizona               4.   Washington          4.   Arizona5.   USC                   5.   USC                 5.   USC6.   Oregon State          6.   UCLA                6.   UCLA7.   California            7.   California          7.   California8.   UCLA                  8.   Oregon State        8.   Oregon State9.   WSU                   9.   WSU                 9.   WSU

    Lo Duca Added To ASU Wall of Distinction:
    Former Arizona State catcher Paul Lo Duca became the 14th player to have his jersey honored on the outfield fence at Packard Stadium during a special pregame ceremony before ASU's season opener against nationally ranked Long Beach State. Lo Duca's #16 jersey was added to the outfield wall at Packard, recognizing him as one of the elite players to ever play in the program. His name and jersey number joins Bobby Winkles (#1), Reggie Jackson (#44), Oddibe McDowell (#0), Barry Bonds (#24), Sal Bando (#6), Bob Horner (#5), Dr. Jim Brock (#33), Floyd Bannister (#19), Rick Monday (#27), Larry Gura (#14), Alan Bannister (#7), Eddie Bane (#21) and Hubie Brooks (#14) on the outfield fence at Packard Stadium. Playing only one year at ASU, Lo Duca was named The Sporting News Player of the Year in 1993, setting school records with a .446 batting average and 129 hits. He was also named a finalist for the prestigious Golden Spikes Award and his 37-game hitting streak remains the second longest in school history. Additionally, the Glendale CC transfer is only one of 11 players in school history to hit over .400 and record over 100 hits in the same season.

    **For the complete release, download the PDF version**

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