Baseball Returns Home For Three-Game Series Against Oklahoma

March 16, 2005

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    #11 Arizona State (13-12, 0-0 Pac-10)
    2005 Statistics | ASU Baseball Pride Points | Season Outlook
    vs.
    Oklahoma Sooners (12-5, 0-0 Big 12)
    Website | Game Notes (PDF) | 2005 Statistics

    Friday, March 18, 2005, 6:30 p.m. - Packard Stadium; Tempe, Ariz.
    Garrett Patterson, LHP (3-1, 4.26 ERA) vs. Zechry Zinicola, RHP (2-2, 5.40 ERA)
    GameTracker

    Saturday, March 19, 2005, 6:30 p.m. - Packard Stadium; Tempe, Ariz.
    Steven Guerra, RHP (2-1, 4.10 ERA) vs. Erik Averill, LHP (4-2, 3.32 ERA)
    GameTracker

    Sunday, March 20, 2005, 23 p.m. - Packard Stadium; Tempe, Ariz.
    Brad Burns, RHP (1-0, 3.68 ERA) vs. Pat Bresnehan, RHP (1-2, 4.44 ERA)
    GameTracker

    The Series History:All-Time Record vs. Oklahoma:......44-19ASU vs. OU in 2005:................ASU 7, OU 5 (2/12)ASU-OU last 10 meetings:...........ASU leads 6-4ASU-OU last 20 meetings:...........ASU leads 12-8

    Media Exposure:
    ASU returns to the airwaves this weekend with all three games of the Oklahoma series broadcast locally on KDUS 1060 AM with Tim Healey and Bob Eger calling all the action from the Packard Stadium press box. ASU also makes its TV debut on AZ-TV this weekend with the Friday and Saturday games being televised. Every game this season will be able to be followed via GameTracker on the Internet at www.thesundevils.com.

    Did You Know:
    Arizona State returns home after playing 15 of its last 18 games on the road... the Sun Devils have won seven of their last 10 games... junior Travis Buck made his debut at third base last weekend... Buck is hitting .480 (24-for-50) over the last 10 games to raise his batting average 105 points from .246 to .351... senior Jeff Larish leads the nation with nine home runs and has three multi-homer games this season... in two games against Western Illinois, ASU combined to hit .527 (58-for-110) with eight home runs and scored 49 runs.

    What's On Tap:
    The Sun Devils (13-12, 0-0 Pac-10) return home to Winkles Field at Packard Stadium after playing 15 of their last 18 games on the road. ASU hosts the University of Oklahoma (12-5, 0-0 Big 12) to a three-game non-conference series starting Friday at 6:30 p.m. The Sun Devils and Sooners have already met one time this season with ASU beating OU 7-5 at the Coca-Cola Spring Training Classic in Surprise, Ariz. The series against the Sooners will also serve as the final tuneup before Pac-10 play starts next weekend with a three-game series against rival USC at Dedeaux Field (Mar. 24-26). The series against the Trojans will be played Thursday through Saturday due to Easter weekend. Following the trip to Los Angeles, ASU returns home for a non-conference series against Wright State (Apr. 1-3) and then will take back to the road for a three-game Pac-10 showdown with California (Apr. 8-10).

    Quick Hits:

    ... ASU set a school record with 35 hits in Sunday's 30-13 win over Western Illinois. Travis Buck went 6-for-8.... 11 of ASU's 12 losses this season have come against teams that have appeared in the national rankings.... ASU's tough schedule has included facing seven preseason All-American pitchers in the first 25 games.... ASU has played 11 of its last 15 games against teams ranked in the top 10 nationally.... The Sun Devils return home after playing 15 of their last 18 games on the road.... 16 Sun Devils, including 10 true freshman, have made their debuts in the Maroon and Gold this season.... 12 players have at least one SB this season and ASU leads the Pac-10 with 46 stolen bases (46-for-63).... After 25 games the Sun Devils have nine triples, surpassing the season total of seven triples in 59 games in 2004.... ASU owns a 226-100-1 record for a .693 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%).... Senior Jeff Larish leads the NCAA with nine home runs and ranks seventh in ASU history with 37 career homers.... Sr. Tuffy Gosewisch is only the second player in ASU history to start three seasons at catcher (Don Wakamatsu).... Junior Travis Buck made his first career start at third base after starting his previous 145 games in the outfield.... In 25 games this season ASU has used 20 different starting batting lineups and 16 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%).... Fr. DH Willy Fox has recorded 15 RBI and 4 HR in his nine starts this season and is hitting .375 (15-for-40).... Freshman reserve catcher Austin Stockfisch has hits in four straight at-bats and is hitting .800 (4-for-5).... The Sun Devils set or tied three records with 15 runs, 16 hits and eight consecutive hits in the ninth inning vs. WIU.... ASU's batting average jumped from .278 to .304 (26 points) after hitting .412 (73-for-177) over the weekend.

    Recapping Last Weekend:
    The Sun Devils completed a seven-game road trip by going 2-2 over the weekend in Baton Rouge, La. The Sun Devils won a pair of games against Western Illinois and lost two games to fifth-ranked LSU at historic Alex Box Stadium. Thanks in part to scoring 49 runs in two games against WIU, the Arizona State bats came alive to hit .412 (73-for-177) over the four games and hit nine home runs. The pitching staff struggled wiht a 8.47 ERA in the four games, including giving up a season high 20 hits and 20 runs in a 20-3 loss to the Tigers to conclude the weekend. Junior LHP Erik Averill earned his team-leading fourth win Several players enjoyed banner weekends, including junior preseason All-American Travis Buck and senior first baseman Jeff Larish. Larish tabbed a pair of multi-home run games and went 9-for-19 (.474) with four home runs, nine runs scored and nine RBI. Buck, who started his first career games at third base, went 11-for-22 (.500) with two doubles, two triples and seven RBI. Here is a look at some of the players that hit over .400 during the four-game weekend:

    - Austin Stockfisch (1.000, 4-for-4, 2 R, RBI)- Rocky Laguna (.571, 8-for-14, 4 R, 2B, 3B, 3 RBI)- Andrew Romine (.571, 8-for-14, 4 R, 2B, 6 RBI)- Willy Fox (.533, 8-for-15, 9 R, 3 2B, HR, 4 RBI)- Travis Buck (.500, 11-for-22, 7 R, 2 2B, 2 3B, 7 RBI)- Jeff Larish (.474, 9-for-19, 9 R, 2 2B, 4 HR, 9 RBI)- Zechry Zinicola (.417, 5-for-12, 2 R, HR, 2 RBI)- Seth Dhaenens (.400, 4-for-10, 5 R, HR, 7 RBI)

    A Record Breaking Ninth Inning:
    The Sun Devils set or tied three school records during the amazing 15-run ninth inning in the 30-13 win over Western Illinois. ASU set a record by recording 16 hits in the inning and sent 21 batters to the plate in the frame. The 15 runs tied a school record, last achieved against Stanford in 1980, and the 16 hits bettered the old record of 12 set against California in 1997. ASU also tied a school record by recording eight consecutive hits in the inning. Travis Buck (single), Colin Curtis (double), Austin Stockfisch (single), Jeff Larish (home run), Willy Fox (double), Joe Persichina (double), Seth Dhaenens (home run) and Greg Bordes (double) to put their names aside a piece of Sun Devil Baseball history.

    More Records:
    In addition to setting several records in the ninth inning against Western Illinois, ASU made several other entries into the annals over the weekend. In addition to setting several offensive records, the 20-3 loss to LSU also made several entries in the pitching record section. Below are a listing of the record book entries from the weekend:

    Team Record Book Entries:- Total Bases (57 to set school record)- RBI (29 to rank tied for fourth)- At-Bats (61 to rank second)- Runs (30 to tie for fourth)- Most Runs, One Inning (tied school record with 15 in 9th vs. WIU)- Most Hits, One Inning (16 to set school record in 9th vs. WIU)- Hits (35 to set school record vs. WIU)- Consecutive Hits (8 vs. WIU to tie school record)- Doubles (7 vs. WIU to tie for ninth)- Largest Losing Margin (17 runs to LSU to tie for fourth)- Most Runs Allowed (20 to tie for seventh)- Most Runs Allowed, One Inning (12 in 4th vs. LSU to tie for third)- Most Hits Allowed, One Inning (9 in 4th vs. LSU to ranks sixth)

    Individual Record Book Entries:- Hits (6 by Travis Buck to tie for second)- Runs (6 by Jeff Larish to tie the school record)- Runs (5 by Willy Fox to tie for fourth)- At-bats (8 by Colin Curtis and Travis Buck to rank second)- Triples (2 by Travis Buck to tie for fourth)

    Larish Leads NCAA in Home Runs:
    Senior first baseman Jeff Larish recorded a pair of multi-home runs games over the weekend against Wetern Illinois and leads the nation with nine home runs heading into the weekend series against Oklahoma. Larish has hit his home runs in bunches this season, with eight of his nine homers spread across only four days this season. He has three multi-homer games and also hit a home run in each half of a doubleheader against Oklahoma and South Alabama (2/12). Overall, Larish is hitting .311 (32-for-103) while drilling all nine of his home runs on the road. Of his nine home runs this season, he has hit three solo homers, two two-run shots and four three-run bombs. Here is a look at the NCAA leaders in home runs as of March 16 (as reported by BoydsWorld.com):

    Player           School             HRJeff Larish      Arizona State      9Mike Priest      Campbell           8Brendan Winn     South Carolina     8Justin Baum      Pacific            8Wes Hodges       Georgia Tech       7Jed Lowrie       Stanford           7Adam Carr        Oklahoma State     7Matt Cunningham  UC Riverside       7Mark Aranda      New Mexico State   7

    Larish Climbs ASU Career Charts:
    With his four home runs over the weekend, senior Jeff Larish now ranks in the top 10 in ASU career history in home runs (37), RBI (196) and walks (155). His 37 home runs are eighth in the record books, only three away from tying Andrew Beinbrink (1996-99) and moving into the career top five. His 196 RBI currently are seventh most in school history and his 155 walks are ranked second. Larish is also nearing the career top 10 for at-bats (702), runs scored (182), hits (234), doubles (47) and total bases (404). Here is a look at Larish's career statistics as a Sun Devil:

    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....  .311   25-25    103   25   32    8    1    9   28   13   25    2-2TOTAL...  .333  181-179   702  182  234   47    6   37  196  155  136    8-15

    Gosewisch Named To Johnny Bench Award Watch List:
    Arizona State senior starting catcher Tuffy Gosewisch has been named to the 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 seven innings of ASU's 25-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 in several offensive categories. He is hitting .340 (33-for-97) with five doubles, four home runs and 25 RBI. He has recorded at least one hit in 20 of 25 games and has tabbed nine multi-hit and nine-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 213 total chances. He has also thrown out 13 of 29 attempted base stealers (45%). Arizona State has a long tradition with the Johnny Bench Catcher of the Year Award, with Casey Myers being selected as a finalist in 2000 and 2001.

    Buck Continues Hot Hitting:
    Junior right fielder Travis Buck continued his torrid streak at the plate hitting .500 (11-for-22) with two doubles, two triples and seven RBI in the four games over the weekend against LSU and Western Illinois. After starting the first 145 games of his career in the outfield, Buck started three games at third base last weekend. The preseason All-American has raised his batting average 105 points from .246 to .351 over the last 10 games while batting .480 (24-for-50) with five doubles, two triples, one home run and 15 RBI. During that stretch of games he has recorded seven multi-hit games and has recorded 15 of his 19 RBI on the season. Overall, Buck is third on the team hitting .351 (39-for-111) with nine doubles, 19 RBI and seven stolen bases. He leads the team with 11 multi-hit games and leads the Pac-10 with 39 hits. He also ranks second with 26 runs scored and third with nine doubles. 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).

    Year       Avg   GP-GS     AB    R    H   2B   3B   HR  RBI   BB   SO   SB-ATT2003....  .326   66-65    239   59   78   13    3    4   46   35   28   12-142004....  .373   59-59    225   64   84   16    1    9   58   41   34   13-162005....  .351   25-25    111   26   39    9    2    1   19    8   17    7-9TOTAL...  .350  150-149   575  149  201   38    6   14  123   84   79   32-39

    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 88 career games in the No. 2 spot in the lineup, Buck is a career .411 (141-for-343) hitter with 108 runs scored, 11 home runs and 88 RBI. While hitting No. 2, Buck has accounted for 72% of his run production (88 of 123 RBI), 73% of his runs scored (108 of 149), 79% of his home runs (11 of 14) and 70% of his total hits (141 of 201). This season Buck is hitting .483 (28-for-58) with 17 runs scored and 15 RBI in 12 games batting in the second spot. He has combined to hit just .208 (11-for-53) this season when batting either leadoff (.118, 2-for-17) or third (.250, 9-for-36). Overall, the preseason All-American is a career .350 hitter (201-for-575) with 149 runs scored, 14 home runs and 123 RBI.

    Earlier this Season vs. Oklahoma:
    The Sun Devils and Sooners met earlier this season at the Coca-Cola Spring Training Classic in Surprise, Ariz. Senior Jeff Larish went 2-for-4 with four RBI and junior reliever Tony Barnette allowed one hit in 3.2 shutout innings to lead the No. 12 Sun Devils to a 7-5 victory over the Sooners. Barnette came out of the bullpen in relief of starter Jason Urquidez and reliever Pat Bresnehan with the go-ahead run on third base, but got two quick strikeouts to keep the game tied. He went on to strike out five and walk only one in 3.2 innings to pick up his first win as a Sun Devil. Urquidez scattered nine hits and gave up five runs (four earned) in 5.1 innings to record the no-decision. Larish went 2-for-4 and belted a three-run home run in the bottom of the first inning to give the Sun Devils the early lead. Sophomore leadoff hitter Colin Curtis was 2-for-5 with two runs scored and an RBI and sophomore second baseman Joe Persichina went 2-for-4 for his first multi-hit game of the year.

    All-Time Series vs. Oklahoma:
    The Sun Devils and Sooners continue a non-conference rivalry that has seen the two schools meet in each of the last 11 seasons dating back to the 1994 College World Series. ASU leads the all-time series against OU 44-19, including winning six of the last 10 and 12 of the last 20 games. Sooner head coach Larry Cochell played baseball one season at Arizona State in 1963 under legendary head coach Bobby Winkles. Cochell was 0-1 on the mound in three games and was 2-for-3 (.667) at the plate.

    Scouting Oklahoma:
    The Sooners head into the series with the Sun Devils with a 12-5 record and have won four of their last five games. After dropping the first two games of the season at the Coca-Cola Spring Training Classic in Surprise, Ariz., OU has won 12 of their last 15 games, including an eight-game win streak in late February. The Sooners feature a powerful offense that is hitting .330 with 33 doubles, 10 triples and 12 home runs. Junior shortstop Ryan Rohlinger is hitting .414 (29-for-70) with four doubles, two home runs and 19 RBI. Freshman outfielder Kody Kaiser is batting .355 (27-for-76) with four home runs and 12 RBI. The pitching staff has combined for a 4.97 ERA with 132 strikeouts and 66 walks in 154.0 innings. Junior college transfer Steven Guerra is 2-1 with a 4.10 ERA while starting during all five weekends this season. Hard-throwing left-hander Garrett Patterson is 3-1 with a 4.26 ERA and leads the team with 31 strikeouts in 25.1 IP (5 G, 4 GS).

    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 (17) 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.

    Hitting Streaks:
    Six Sun Devils currently have hitting streaks of two or more games heading into the weekend series against Oklahoma. Senior first baseman Jeff Larish has a current four-game hitting streak in which he is hitting .474 (9-for-19) with nine runs scored, two doubles, four home runs and nine RBI. Travis Buck has his season-high nine-game streak snapped by going 0-for-3 vs. LSU, but has recorded at least one hit in 11 of his last 13 games. Here is a look at ASU players with current hitting streaks:

    Player       Current Streak     Statistics During StreakZinicola     5 Games            .353, 6-for-17, 2 R, HR, 2 RBILarish       4 Games            .474, 9-for-19, 9 R, 2 2B, 4 HR, 9 RBICurtis       4 Games            .286, 6-for-21, 4 R, 3 2B, 5 RBIFox          3 Games            .571, 8-for-14, 8 R, 3 2B, HR, 4 RBIStockfisch   2 Games            1.000, 4-for-4, 2 R, RBIGosewisch    2 Games           .444, 4-for-9, 3 R, 2 HR, 4 RBI

    Welcome To the Show:
    A total of 16 players have made their ASU debuts in the first 25 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 LHP Josh Satow made his debut in the Maroon and Gold against Western Illinois, becoming the 10th 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.

    Triple Your Pleasure:
    After 25 games the Sun Devils already have nine triples to rank second in the Pac-10 and have already surpassed the entire season total of seven from last season. Rocky Laguna and Travis Buck are tied for the team lead with two triples each, while J.J. Sferra, 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 Good Omen:
    ASU tied a school record earlier this season by losing six straight games. 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 to open the Keith LeClair Classic (Mar. 4-6), 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 46-for-63 (73%) 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 third with seven. Senior Joey Hooft ranks seventh with six stolen bases and redshirt freshman Rocky Laguna is tied for eighth with five. Laguna tied the ASU single-game record with four stolen bases against New Mexico State (2/7). A total of 12 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.

    The Luck of the White Shoes:
    The Sun Devils have found a small secret to success this season by going 5-2 when wearing white spikes this season. ASU is also 4-1 when wearing their home white 'Devils' jersey.

    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.

    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 seven starts he is 4-2 with a 3.32 ERA and has a pair of complete-game victories to his credit. Averill ranks sixth in the Pac-10 with 40 strikeouts and is also second with 43.1 innings pitched. He has also walked only eight in his seven 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). Here is a look at Averill's career statistics:

    Year       ERA   W-L   App  GS  CG SHO/CBO  SV    IP    H    R   ER   BB   SO2003....  3.66   8-2    20  15   0   0/3     0  86.0   87   41   35   19   612004....  5.19   4-4    26   4   0   0/0     2  76.1   83   50   44   23   562005....  3.32   4-2     7   7   2   1/0     0  43.1   48   19   16    8   40TOTAL...  4.16  16-8    53  26   2   1/3     2 205.2  218  110   95   50  157

    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 102 strikeouts and walked only 23 in the last 107.0 IP. Averill went 5-3 with one save and a 1.70 ERA in 10 games with Orleans.

    At Home At Last:
    The Sun Devils finally return home to Winkles Field at Packard Stadium after playing 15 of their last 18 games on the road. Last weekend's four-game trip to Baton Rouge, La., marked the third and final cross-country flight for ASU this season. During the stretch of games, ASU spent four of five weeks on the road, including road trips of seven and eight games. Following the Coca-Cola Spring Training Classic in Surprise, Ariz., 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:
    After playing fifth-ranked LSU twice last weekend, the Sun Devils have now played 11 of their last 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 15 of their 25 games this season against teams that have been ranked this season, going 4-11 against what could be considered the toughest schedule in the nation. Eleven of ASU's 12 losses have come against teams that have been ranked at some point this season. 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 (Clark-LeClair Stadium).

    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 20 of ASU's 25 games this season and is hitting .256 (20-for-78) with three doubles, one triple, six RBI and three stolen bases. He also leads ASU with five bunt base hits and three sacrifice bunts.

    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 started the season ranked No. 9, but after losing six straight games fell completely out of the polls. 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.

    Curtis Coming of Age:
    Sophomore left fielder Colin Curtis is fifth the team with a .330 (33-for-100) batting average and has recorded at least one hit in 19 of 25 games. Curtis is also among the Pac-10 leaders with 20 RBI, 19 walks and seven stolen bases. In addition, Curtis has recorded 10 multi-hit games and has six 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). He 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....  .330   25-25    100   17   33    5    1    0   20   19   12    7-9TOTAL...  .310   82-82    290   54   90   16    1    5   56   57   51   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 140 games behind the plate over the last three seasons and has combined to go 145-for-429 (.338). This season he is hitting .340 (33-for-97) with four home runs and 25 RBI. He has been ASU's most consistent hitter with hits in 20 of 25 games and leads the team with nine 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 .324 hitter with eight home runs, 117 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 213 total chances. He has gunned down 13 of 29 base stealers and has not allowed a passed ball. He has caught all but seven 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: 25 games started (33-for-97, .340)

    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.... .340 25-25 97 18 33 5 1 4 25 8 14 3-5TOTAL... .324 173-140 479 101 155 28 2 8 117 65 82 5-9

    Just a Walk in the Park For Larish:
    Senior first baseman Jeff Larish ranks second in ASU history with 155 career walks (see list on page 4) and has recorded at least one walk in 108 of 181 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 37 career multi-walk games, 69 multi-hit games, 51 multi-RBI contests and 90 career extra base hits for a .575 slugging percentage. He has recorded a hit in 78% of his games played (141 of 181) and has five career multi-home run games (three this season). 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.

    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.

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

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