Sun Devils Return Home For Key Pac-10 Series Against No. 14 Stanford
April 14, 2005
ASU Baseball Links:
College Baseball Links:
Arizona State (22-15, 3-3 Pac-10)
Friday, April 15 (6:30 p.m.)
Mark Romanczuk, LHP (5-3, 4.23 ERA) vs. Erik Averill, LHP (6-2, 3.05 ERA)
Saturday, April 16 (6:30 p.m.)
Jeff Gilmore, RHP (5-1, 4.03 ERA) vs. TBA
Sunday, April 17 (1 p.m.)
TBA vs. TBA
Series History vs. Stanford
All-Time Record vs. Stanford:.................78-80Last 10/20 Games vs. Stanford:................4-6/14Since `98 at Packard Stadium (vs. STAN):......5-7
ASU returns to the airwaves this weekend with all three games of the Pac-10 series against Stanford broadcast locally on KDUS 1060 AM with Tim Healey and Bob Eger calling all the action from the Packard Stadium press box. The Friday and Saturday games will also be televised on AZ-TV. All 24 Pac-10 games are scheduled to be broadcast on KDUS 1060 AM and also on the internet. Every game this season will be able to be followed via GameTracker on the Internet at www.thesundevils.com.
Television: AZ-TV - Friday and Saturday only in local Arizona area
Audio Broadcast: KDUS 1060 AM (Tim Healey and Bob Eger)
Gametracker: Friday | Saturday | Sunday
What's On Tap:
The Arizona State Sun Devils (22-15, 3-3 Pac-10) return home for only the third time in the last seven weeks by hosting No. 14 Stanford (20-11, 4-2 Pac-10) to a three-game Pac-10 series at Winkles Field at Packard Stadium. After starting the season 6-9, ASU has won 16 of its last 22 games. The Sun Devils have opened league play with their first two series on the road at USC and Cal (lost two of three) and will play back-to-back home series for the first time since opening the season with seven straight home tilts. Following the series with the Cardinal, ASU will host UCLA (April 22-24) in a three-game set. ASU will also host rival Arizona (May 14-16) and Washington State (May 27-29) as four of final six Pac-10 series will be played at home.
After starting the season 6-9, the Sun Devils have turned it around and have won 16 of their last 22 games... ASU has played 19 of its 37 games this season against teams that have appeared in the national polls... Seth Dhaenens is hitting .455 (20-for-44) over his last 15 games to raise his batting average from .071 to .362 (291 points)... Jeff Larish ranks fifth in ASU history with 41 home runs and 205 RBI... ASU has the No. 13 RPI and the No. 3 strength of schedule in the nation on BoydsWorld.com... head coach Pat Murphy needs four more wins for No. 800 in his career.Quick Hits:
... ASU set a school record with 35 hits in the 30-13 win over Western Illinois (3/13). Travis Buck went 6-for-8.... Jr. LHP Erik Averill is 6-2 with a 3.05 ERA and has tossed three complete games. He has 56 K's and only 12 BB.... So. 2B Seth Dhaenens has raised his batting average from .071 to .362 by going 20-for-44 in his last 15 games.... 12 of ASU's 15 losses this season have come against teams that have appeared in the national rankings.... Stanford's Mark Romanczuk will mark the ninth preseason All-American pitcher ASU will face this season.... ASU has played over half of its schedule (19 of 37) against teams that have been ranked at some point this season.... ASU has been road warriors this season playing 21 of its last 30 games away from Packard Stadium.... 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 65 stolen bases (65-for-89).... After 37 games the Sun Devils have 14 triples, doubling the season total of seven triples in 59 games in 2004.... ASU owns a 235-103-1 record for a .695 winning percentage this decade (2000-P).... Fr. OF J.J. Sferra has hits in seven of his last eight games (.423, 11-for-26) and is hitting .375 in Pac-10 play.... Senior Jeff Larish leads the Pac-10 with 13 home runs and ranks fifth in ASU career home runs and RBI (205).... Travis Buck leads the team with 18 multi-hit games and is hitting .354 (58-for-164) with 14 doubles and 26 RBI.... In 37 games this season ASU has used 28 different starting batting lineups and 22 different defensive lineups.... Senior catcher Tuffy Gosewisch has thrown out 15 of 40 attempted base stealers this season (38%).... Freshman reserve catcher Austin Stockfisch has hits in six straight at-bats and is hitting .857 (6-for-7).... Pat Bresnehan threw a complete-game four hitter against USC (3/25) to earn Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week honors.... Travis Buck (#17) and Jeff Larish (#40) are rated among the top 50 college prospects by Baseball America.... Brothers Brett (LHP) and Greg (C/INF) Bordes formed a unique battery in the ninth inning vs. Wright State (4/3).... Fr. OF Rocky Laguna has a current nine-game hitting streak and has recorded a multi-hit game in 6 of the last 7.
Recapping Last Weekend:
The Sun Devils dropped the last two games of their series at California to fall to 3-3 in Pac-10 play. After a rainout Friday to begin the series, the Sun Devils and Golden Bears played a doubleheader on Saturday. ASU won the first game 11-7, but dropped the nightcap 7-3. Tied at 4-4 in the fifth inning, senior third baseman Joey Hooft hit his first homer as a Sun Devil to give the Sun Devils the lead for good. Cal won the rubber match with a dramatic come-from-behind 4-3 win on Sunday by scoring two runs in the bottom of the ninth off closer Jason Urquidez to win the game and the series. The Devils hit .298 (31-for-104) against California and were out-scored 18-17. Sophomore second baseman Seth Dhaenens hit .455 (5-for-11) in the series and Travis Buck was 5-for-13 (.385). The pitching staff combined for a 6.04 ERA and gave up five home runs in the series. Junior LHP Erik Averill had another solid start giving up two runs in 5.2 innings and struck out four in Sunday's series finale.
Several Sun Devils are riding hot streaks at the plate and on the mound heading into the weekend series against Stanford. Sophomore second baseman Seth Dhaenens is currently the hottest Sun Devil at the plate, hitting .455 (20-for-44) over the last 15 games to raise his season batting average 291 points from .071 to .362. Dhaenens also has a current six-game hitting streak in which he is hitting .579 (11-for-19) with six runs and six RBI. Dhaenens currently leads the team in hitting at .362 (21-for-58) with 16 RBI. Freshman DH/OF Rocky Laguna has a current nine-game hitting streak and has recorded multi-hit games in six of his last seven starts. Laguna is hitting .444 (16-for-36) with 10 runs and 11 RBI. After not playing for the most part of two weeks, freshman outfielder J.J. Sferra has reentered the starting lineup and has responded with hits in seven of his last eight games and is hitting .423 (11-for-26) during that stretch. Sferra is also hitting .375 (6-for-16) in Pac-10 play. Senior Jeff Larish and junior Travis Buck are each hitting .389 (7-for-18) over the last five games. Junior LHP Erik Averill has won his last four decisions, posting a 2.45 ERA in his last six appearances (33.0 IP, 23 K). Junior left-handed reliever Brett Bordes has been solid out of the bullpen posting a 2.41 ERA and going 3-1 in his last 12 appearances (18.2 IP).
Batting Average on the Rise:
Over the last 15 games the Arizona State offense has caught fire by hitting .353 (202-for-573) with 38 doubles, eight triples and 20 home runs. During that stretch of games ASU has raised its team batting average 31 points from .278 to its current mark of .309. The Sun Devils are currently second in the Pac-10 in batting and by scoring in double digits in nine of their last 21 games also rank second in the league in scoring (7.54 runs per game). The team batting race is also tight with Seth Dhaenens (.362), Rocky Laguna (.356), Travis Buck (.354), Colin Curtis (.338) and Tuffy Gosewisch (.333) all within 30 points of each other.
A Good Omen:
Through the halfway point of the 2005 season the Sun Devils were 16-12 (currently 22-15). The last time ASU was 16-12 after 28 games was in 1998 when the Sun Devils last advanced to the College World Series and played for the National Championship. In both 1998 and earlier this season, ASU tied a school record by losing six straight games. After enduring the six-game losing streak in 1998, ASU finished up strong winning 18 of its last 27 regular season games that season to earn a spot in the NCAA Tournament. Following ASU's six-game losing streak this season, the Sun Devils have won 16 of their last 22 games. In comparison, ASU's 22-15 record compares to similar records after 37 games in 1996 (23-14), 1997 (22-15), 1998 (23-14) and 2001 (23-13-1).
Flashing the Leather:
The Sun Devils have played stellar defense of late with five error-free games over a stretch of the last seven games. For the season ASU has recorded nine error-free games and have a .959 fielding percentage.
The Starting Pitchers:
Note... ASU has not set a starting rotation for this weekend, but the four main pitchers are featured below:
Erik Averill, Jr., LHP (Orange, Calif.)
Will be making his 11th start of the season this weekend against nationally ranked Stanford... leads the ASU pitching staff going 6-2 with a 3.05 ERA and has recorded 56 strikeouts and only 12 walks in 65.0 IP this season... averaging 7.75 strikeouts and 1.66 walks per nine innings pitched... ranks ninth in the Pac-10 with his 3.05 ERA, second in innings pitched (65.0), tied for second in wins (6) and seventh in strikeouts (56)... has won four straight decisions, with his last win coming with five shutout innings against Wright State (4/1)... was in line to record his seventh victory of the year last week vs. California, leaving the game in the sixth inning with a 3-2 lead... struck out seven and allowed only one unearned run in his third complete game of the year vs. Oklahoma (3/19)... has lasted five or more innings in nine straight starts... earned Pro-Line/NCBWA and Collegiate Baseball National Pitcher of the Week honors after striking out career-high 14 batters in complete-game shutout over New Mexico State (2/4)... his 14 strikeouts were also the most by a Sun Devil since Mike Esposito had 17 against Washington in 2002... also threw a complete game South Alabama (2/12), giving up only one earned run and five hits... is 18-8 with a 4.00 ERA in 57 career pitching appearances (29 starts).
Pat Bresnehan, So., RHP (Sherborn, Mass.)
Heads into the weekend against Stanford with a 3-3 record and a 4.22 ERA... has appeared in 14 games while making eight starts... has struck out 46 batters (18 KL) in 49.0 innings... averaging 8.45 strikeouts per nine innings pitched... took the loss in his last start against California (4/9) giving up 10 hits and six runs (five earned) in 5.2 innings... matched his career high with seven strikeouts in his last win against Wright State (4/2)... earned Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week honors after allowing only four hits and one unearned run in a complete-game victory over USC (3/25)... in eight starts this season is 3-3 with a 5.00 ERA... has posted a 2.08 ERA in six relief appearances (13.0 IP) this season... is 6-5 with five saves and a 4.58 ERA in 37 career appearances (9 starts).
Jason Urquidez, Sr., RHP (Simi Valley, Calif.)
Senior right-hander who is 5-3 with one save and a 4.74 ERA in 15 games (6 starts) this season... ranks second on the team and 10th in the Pac-10 with 50 strikeouts in 57.0 innings... suffered a blown save and the loss against California (4/10) last weekend giving up two runs in the ninth inning to surrender a 3-2 lead and lose 4-3... in his last two starts against USC (3/26) and Wright State (4/3) has combined to allow only nine hits and two runs in 12.0 innings (1.50 ERA)... in six starts he is 2-1 with a 5.50 ERA... boasts a 3-2 record with one save and a 3.57 ERA in nine games out of the bullpen... allowed only one run in eight innings while recording no-decision at USC (3/26)... tied for the Pac-10 lead with two pickoffs and also ranks 10th in innings pitched (57.0)... opposing hitters are batting only .259 off him... averaging 7.89 K/9.0 IP... is 17-6 with a 3.90 ERA in 34 games (23 starts) in two seasons as a Sun Devil... named first-team All-Pac-10 and honorable mention All-America by CollegeBaseballInsider.com after going 12-3 with a 3.41 ERA in 2004... part of an elite class of eight returning pitchers in the NCAA to have recorded 12 or more wins last season.
Zechry Zinicola, So., RHP (San Bernadino, Calif.)
Hard-throwing sophomore right-hander who is 2-2 with two saves and a 5.45 ERA in 13 games (7 starts) this season... has struck out 34 and walked 23 in 39.2 innings... in seven starts this season he is 0-2 with a 6.00 ERA... is 2-0 with a 3.72 ERA as a reliever, including three shutout innings in his last appearance out of the bullpen against Wright State (4/3)... in his last outing gave up six hits and four runs in 3.2 innings to record the no-decision in ASU's 11-7 win over California (4/9)... averaging 7.71 strikeouts and 4.99 walks per nine innings pitched.... ranks ninth in ASU history with 10 career saves... in 38 career pitching appearances (11 starts) is 6-4 with a 4.22 ERA... in 27 career relief appearances is 5-2 with a 3.42 ERA and 53 strikeouts in 50.0 innings... voted by Pac-10 coaches as having the best fastball in the league (Baseball America).
Larish Leads Pac-10 And Ranks Third in NCAA in Home Runs:
Senior Jeff Larish leads the Pac-10 and ranks tied for third in the NCAA with 13 home runs. Larish has hit eight home runs in his last 15 games, including a pair of multi-home run contests in back-to-back games against Western Illinois and a walk-off solo home run in the bottom of the ninth inning against Oklahoma (3/18). Larish trails NCAA leaders Adam Carr (Oklahoma State) and Jason Maxey (Towson), who each have 15. The senior slugger has three multi-homer games this season and five in his career. Of his 13 home runs this season, he has hit six solo homers, three two-run shots and four three-run bombs. Eleven (11) of his 13 homers have also come on the road. Here is a look at the NCAA leaders in home runs as of April 12 (as reported by BoydsWorld.com):
Player School HRAdam Carr Oklahoma State 15Jason Maxey Towson 15Jeff Larish Arizona State 13Casper Wells Towson 13Ryan Patterson LSU 13
Larish Climbs ASU Career Charts:
With his Pac-10 leading 13 home runs, senior Jeff Larish ranks fifth in ASU history with 41 career home runs. His 41 long balls are only three way from fourth place (Dan Rumsey, 1986-89) and four away from tying seven-time National League MVP Barry Bonds (1983-85). Former major leaguer Bob Horner holds the all-time record with 56 home runs. Larish's 205 RBI also rank fifth in the ASU record books and his 171 walks are second. Larish also ranks 10th in career at-bats (743), ninth in total bases (433) and is nearing the ASU career top 10 in runs scored (194) and hits (248). Through 37 games, Larish is hitting .319 (46-for-144) with 25 extra base hits for a .681 slugging percentage. He has been especially hot with hits in 12 of his last 16 games, going 23-for-60 (.383) to raise his batting average from .273 to .319 (46 points).
Series History vs. Stanford:
The Sun Devils and Cardinal have met 158 times dating back to the first meeting between the two schools in the 1967 College World Series. Stanford holds a slight 80-78 lead in the all-time series and has won six of the last 10 meetings. ASU last earned a series win over the Cardinal in 2000 at Packard Stadium. Stanford has won each of the last four series, all by winning two-of-three.
Gosewisch Among Nation's Elite Catchers:
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 152 games behind the plate over the last three seasons and has combined to go 160-for-476 (.336). This season he is fifth on the team hitting .333 (48-for-144) with five home runs and 42 RBI. He has been one of ASU's most consistent hitter with hits in 27 of 37 games and leads the team with 13 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 .323 hitter with nine home runs, 134 RBI and a .993 fielding percentage. A top candidate for the 2005 Bench Award, Gosewisch has been nearly perfect behind the dish this year with only one error (.997 fielding percentage) in 301 total chances. He has gunned down 15 of 40 base stealers and has not allowed a passed ball. He has caught all but 17 innings this season (out of 333.0) and showed his true 'tuffness' when he played the next day after suffering a mild concussion and had several stitches after being hit by a pitch 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: 37 games started (48-for-144, .333)
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.... .333 37-37 144 28 48 8 2 5 42 14 18 3-5TOTAL... .323 185-152 526 111 170 31 3 9 134 71 86 5-9
Buck Continues Hot Hitting:
Junior Travis Buck started the season slow hitting only .246 in the first 15 games, but has since heated up going 43-for-103 (.417) over the last 22 games. The Wallace Award and Baseball America Player of the Year candidate is third on the team hitting .354 (58-for-164) with 14 doubles, three triples, two home runs and 26 RBI. He also leads the team with 18 multi-hit games and ranks in the top 10 in the Pac-10 with nine stolen bases. His name also appears among the league leaders in runs (43, 2nd), doubles (14, 2nd), triples (3, 4th) and total bases (84, 7th). 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 and 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.... .354 37-37 164 43 58 14 3 2 26 14 23 9-14TOTAL... .350 162-161 628 166 220 43 7 15 130 90 85 34-44
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 100 career games in the No. 2 spot in the lineup, Buck is a career .404 (160-for-396) hitter with 125 runs scored, 12 home runs and 95 RBI. While hitting No. 2, Buck has accounted for 73% of his run production (95 of 130 RBI), 75% of his runs scored (125 of 166), 80% of his home runs (12 of 15) and 73% of his total hits (160 of 220). This season Buck is hitting .423 (47-for-111) with 34 runs scored and 22 RBI in 24 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). ASU is 16-5 when Buck hits in the No. 2 spot in the lineup this season. Overall, the preseason All-American is a career .350 hitter (220-for-628) with 166 runs, 15 home runs and 130 RBI.
ASU in the Pac-10:
The Sun Devils began their 27th season in the Conference of Champions with a series victory over USC at Dedeaux Field. The series victory snapped a streak of having lost the last two Pac-10 season opening series. ASU owns an all-time 430-317 (.576) record in Pac-10 play and has won six conference championships (last in 2000). Since the Pac-10 North and Pac-10 South joined in 1999, ASU is 90-60 (.600) in league play and 274-124-1 overall. In 11 seasons under head coach Pat Murphy the Sun Devils have won six of the conference opening series and own an all-time 151-118 (.561) record in Pac-10 play.
Bresnehan Named Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week:
Arizona State University sophomore right-handed pitcher Pat Bresnehan was named Pac-10 Baseball Pitcher of the Week for the week of March 22-28. Bresnehan threw a complete-game four-hitter to help lead the Sun Devils to a 17-1 victory over USC on Mar. 25. A day after six ASU pitchers combined for nine walks and three hit batters, Bresnehan got ASU back on the winning track and helped save the bullpen with his first career complete game. He did not allow an earned run and scattered four singles to pick up his second victory of the season. For the season, Bresnehan is 3-3 and is third on the team with a 4.22 ERA. The Pitcher of the Week honor is the first for Bresnehan and the 46th selection all-time for Arizona State. Current senior RHP Jason Urquidez also earned Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week honors last season.
Persichina Moves to Shortstop:
Sophomore Joe Persichina started at shortstop in all three games of the series at California in replace of freshman prospect Andrew Romine. Persichina, who was a standout shortstop during his prep career at Peninsula High School in Rolling Hills Estates, Calif., responded by handling all of his 19 fielding chances flawlessly. Persichina is hitting .225 (18-for-80) with three doubles, one home run and seven RBI this season. Before the series vs. Cal, Persichina had made his previous 59 career starts at second base (17) and first base (42). Romine started the first 34 games of the season and is hitting .266 (29-for-109) with 21 runs scored and 15 RBI.
Buck and Larish Rated Among Top 50 College Prospects:
Junior 3B/OF Travis Buck and Senior 1B/OF Jeff Larish were both rated in the top 50 in Baseball America's annual midseason report rating the top college prospects for the upcoming MLB June Amateur Draft. Buck was ranked No. 17 and the No. 2 outfielder behind Winthrop's Daniel Carte. Larish was ranked No. 40 and is the top listed senior position player. Nebraska third baseman Alex Gordon, a teammate of Buck's on the 2004 USA Baseball National Team, was selected as the top college prospect.
The Sparkplug From Yuma:
Redshirt freshman Rocky Laguna has been a sparkplug for the Sun Devils while batting leadoff in each of the last seven games. The Yuma native (Kofa HS) is riding a current nine-game hitting streak and has recorded a multi-hit game in six of the last seven contests. During the nine-game streak Laguna is hitting .444 (16-for-36) with 10 runs, five doubles and 11 RBI. Overall, Laguna is second on the team hitting .356 (31-for-87) with nine doubles, two triples, one home run and 24 RBI. He is also 9-for-10 stealing bases and has a .462 on-base percentage. ASU is 10-2 this season when Laguna bats leadoff.
The Sun Devil pitching staff has registered four complete games this year with three coming from junior LHP Erik Averill and the most recent by sophomore RHP Pat Bresnehan. The four complete games are already more than the entire season totals from 2004 (2), 2003 (1), 2001 (1), 2000 (2) and 1996 (3).
Dhaenens Heating Up:
Sophomore second baseman Seth Dhaenens started the season on a 1-for-14 (.071) skid, including a streak of 13 straight at-bats without a hit. But, Dhaenens didn't give up and has turned his season upside down by hitting .455 (20-for-44) with 14 runs, three doubles, two home runs and 16 RBI (.554 on-base percentage) over his last 15 games. During that stretch he has raised his season batting average 291 points from .071 to .362. Overall, Dhaenens leads the team hitting .362 (21-for-58) with 14 runs and 16 RBI. He is coming off a solid weekend against California in which he went 5-for-11 (.455) and over the last two weekends is hitting .579 (11-for-19) with six runs and six RBI.
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 has played 19 of its first 37 games )22 of 40 following this weekend's series vs. Stanford) against teams that have been ranked in the national polls at some point this season.
Five Sun Devils currently have hitting streaks of two or more games heading into the weekend series against Stanford. Redshirt freshman Rocky Laguna carries ASU's longest hitting streak at nine games, going 16-for-36 (.444) with 11 RBI during the streak. Freshman reserve catcher Austin Stockfisch has a current four-game streak and has hits in six consecutive at-bats. Sophomore Colin Curtis recently had his nine-game hitting streak snapped that stands as ASU's longest this season. Here is a look at ASU players with current hitting streaks:
Player Current Streak Statistics During StreakRocky Laguna 9 games .444, 16-for-36, 10 R, 5 2B, HR, 11 RBISeth Dhaenens 6 games .579, 11-for-19, 6 R, 2B, HR, 6 RBIAustin Stockfisch 4 games 1.000, 6-for-6, 2 R, RBIAndrew Romine 3 games .300, 3-for-10, 4 R, 3B, 4 RBIJeff Larish 2 games .571, 4-for-7, 2 R, 2 2B, RBI
Quick Hits... Part 2:
... ASU had 19 of 30 active players named Maroon and Gold Scholars for earning a semester or cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher for the fall semester.... The Sun Devils recently went 5-1 against the Orange Bowl football teams, USC (2-1) and Oklahoma (3-0).... ASU is 10-3 when scoring in the first inning and has out-scored its opponent 75-34 in the first two innings.... ASU is 6-1 when hitting two or more home runs and 17-2 when out-hitting its opponent.... The Devils have scored 130 of their 279 runs (47%) with two outs and have 112 two-out RBI.... J.J. Sferra has laid down 18 bunts with seven hits and four sacrifice bunts. Travis Buck also has four bunt hits.... ASU has recorded 69 innings with two or more runs and 18 innings with four or more runs.... The defense has turned 36 double plays, with 12 643 double plays (10 inning ending).
Welcome To the Show:
A total of 16 players have made their ASU debuts in the first 34 games of the season. Four newcomers were in the starting lineup on opening night against Long Beach State, 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 37 games the Sun Devils have 14 triples to rank second in the Pac-10 and have already surpassed the entire season total of seven from last season. Travis Buck ranks third in the league with three triples, while Rocky Laguna, Andrew Romine and Tuffy Gosewisch have a pair of triples to rank tied for eighth. J.J. Sferra, Jeff Larish, Joey Hooft, Colin Curtis and Joe Persichina have each recorded a three-bagger during the season. In 59 games last season, ASU had only seven triples, ranking 245th of 285 teams in the NCAA.
Devils Facing Big League Arms:
The Sun Devils will face Stanford left-handed pitcher Mark Romanczuk Friday night, marking the ninth preseason All-American pitcher ASU will face this season. In addition to Romanczuk, who is listed by Baseball America as the No. 30 junior prospect in the nation and was a second-team preseason All-America selection, the Sun Devils have already faced Ian Kennedy (USC), Cesar Ramos (Long Beach State), Brian Bogusevic (Tulane), Micah Owings (Tulane), Neil Jamison (Long Beach State), P.J. Walters (South Alabama), Mark McCormick (Baylor) and Andrew Miller (North Carolina). ASU also beat a pair of second-round (Trey Taylor) and third-round (Cory VanAllen) draft picks during the Baylor series.
Big League Devils:
Six Sun Devils, with two on the disabled list, are on major league rosters after the first week of the 2005 season. Former Sun Devil outfielder Chris Duffy made his MLB debut with the Pittsburgh Pirates, becoming the 81st Sun Devil to play in the major leagues. Willie Bloomquist (Seattle Mariners), Paul Lo Duca (Florida Marlins) and Jacob Cruz (Cincinnati Reds) have also played this season, while seven-time National League MVP Barry Bonds (San Francisco Giants) and Fernando Vina (Detroit Tigers) are both on the disabled list. In addition, two former Sun Devils, Don Wakamatsu (Texas Rangers) and Jeff Pentland (Kansas City Royals), are coaches in the big leagues. Several recent Devils are also climbing within the minor league ranks, including Dustin Pedroia (AA, Portland Sea Dogs), Andre Ethier (AA, Midland Rock Hounds), Brooks Conrad (AAA, Round Rock Express) and Mike Esposito (AAA, Colorado Sky Sox).
The Sun Devils lead the Pac-10 with 65 stolen bases and are 64-for-89 (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 three of the top 10 base stealers in the league, with Colin Curtis (10, 6th), Rocky Laguna (9, 8th) and Travis Buck (9, 8th) all ranking in the top 10 in the Pac-10. Laguna tied the ASU single-game record with four stolen bases against New Mexico State (2/7) and added three more against Wright State (4/1). A total of 13 different Sun Devils have recorded a stolen base and 11 players have two or more steals. In 2004, ASU had only 56 total stolen bases in 59 games.
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.
Winners of six of its last eight games, including a series win over nationally ranked USC and sweeps over Oklahoma and Wright State, ASU's projected RPI on BoydsWorld.com has jumped 23 spots from No. 36 all the way to its current mark of No. 13. Helped in part by what is widely considered the toughest non-conference schedule in the nation, ASU has played over half of its games (19 of 37) against teams that have been ranked in the national polls at some point this season. ASU also has the No. 14 ISR and No. 3 SoS (strength of schedule). Here is a look at this week's RPI top 20 as available on Boydsworld.com (as of April 11):
Division I OverallRank Rating W L W L Team 1 0.658 29 5 29 5 Tulane 2 0.637 29 6 29 6 Texas 3 0.634 27 6 27 6 Arkansas 4 0.634 26 5 26 5 College of Charleston 5 0.634 25 8 25 8 Florida 6 0.632 22 12 22 12 Baylor 7 0.632 22 13 22 13 Auburn 8 0.629 26 5 26 5 Oregon State 9 0.627 26 7 26 7 Georgia Tech 10 0.624 22 10 22 10 Mississippi 11 0.622 28 5 28 5 South Carolina 12 0.619 27 9 27 9 Miami, Florida 13 0.619 22 15 22 15 Arizona State 14 0.615 29 6 29 6 Louisiana-Lafayette 15 0.615 27 6 27 6 North Carolina 16 0.614 23 8 23 8 Cal State Fullerton 17 0.611 24 11 24 11 Long Beach State 18 0.610 20 10 20 10 Vanderbilt 19 0.607 24 7 24 7 Southern Mississippi 20 0.605 19 11 19 11 Stanford
Just a Walk in the Park For Larish:
Senior OF/1B Jeff Larish leads the Pac-10 with 29 walks, including 17 walks in the last 14 games (8 IBB) and he ranks second in ASU history with 171 career walks (see list on page 4) and has recorded at least one walk in 117 of 193 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 42 career multi-walk games, 75 multi-hit games, 54 multi-RBI contests and 97 career extra base hits for a .583 slugging percentage. He has recorded a hit in 78% of his games played (150 of 193) 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.
Team USA Connections:
Junior right fielder Travis Buck will face a trio of his Team USA teammates this weekend in the series against Stanford. Stanford infielders Jed Lowrie and John Mayberry Jr., along with LHP Mark Romanczuk 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).
The Luck of the White Shoes:
The Sun Devils have found a small secret to success this season by going 12-5 when wearing white spikes this season. ASU is also 8-1 when wearing their home white 'Devils' jersey.
A Classy Gesture:
Prior to ASU's game against East Carolina (3/5), 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 28 of ASU's 37 games this season and is hitting .295 (31-for-105) with 10 multi-hit games and has a hit in seven of his last eight games. He also leads ASU with six bunt base hits and five sacrifice bunts.
Curtis Coming of Age:
Sophomore center fielder Colin Curtis is fourth on the team batting .338 (50-for-148) and has recorded at least one hit in 28 of 37 games. Curtis is also among the Pac-10 leaders with 26 RBI, 26 walks and 10 stolen bases. In addition, Curtis has recorded 16 multi-hit games and has eight 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) and also 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 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.... .338 37-37 148 29 50 7 1 1 26 23 21 10-12TOTAL... .317 94-94 338 66 107 18 1 6 62 61 60 22-26
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.
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. Fox alone went 3-for-3 in the inning falling just a triple short of hitting for the cycle.
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