No. 17 Sun Devils Travel To No. 6 Oregon State For Key Pac-10 Series
April 27, 2005
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College Baseball Links:
#6 Oregon State (30-7, 9-3 Pac-10)
Friday, April 29 (5 p.m.)
Erik Averill, LHP (7-2, 2.87 ERA) vs. Dallas Buck, RHP (7-1, 2.03 ERA)
Saturday, April 30 (1 p.m.)
Jason Urquidez, RHP (6-3, 4.61 ERA) vs. Anton Maxwell, LHP (7-0, 4.55 ERA)
Sunday, May 1 (1 p.m.)
Pat Bresnehan, RHP (3-3, 4.91 ERA) vs. Jonah Nickerson, RHP (6-0, 1.15 ERA)
All-Time Series vs. Oregon State:
All-Time Record vs. OSU:.................28-11Last 10/20 Games vs. OSU:................8-2/14-6All-Time in Corvallis (vs. OSU):.........5-4
After the series sweep of UCLA and winners of 12 of their last 14 games, the Sun Devils moved up in the national rankings to No. 17 (BA/CB) and No. 20 (SW/NCBWA). ASU has appeared in the national rankings in 104 of the last 110 weeks dating back to the start of the 2000 season. OSU is ranked No. 6 by Baseball America.
ASU OSUBaseball America: 17 6Collegiate Baseball: 17 9ESPN/Sports Weekly: 20 11NCBWA: 20 8BoydsWorld RPI: 10 8BoydsWorld ISR: 7 2BoydsWorld SoS: 5 19
ASU returns to the airwaves this weekend with all three games of the Pac-10 series against Oregon State broadcast locally on KDUS 1060 AM with Tim Healey and Bob Eger calling all the action from the Goss Stadium press box. 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.
After starting the season 6-9, the Sun Devils have turned it around and have won 22 of their last 28 games... ASU has played 22 of its 43 games this season against teams that have appeared in the national polls... since meeting with Barry Bonds on Mar. 8, ASU is hitting .357 with 23 home runs and a .530 slugging percentage... Jeff Larish ranks fifth in ASU history with 43 home runs and 213 RBI... J.J. Sferra is hitting .432 (16-for-37) in 10 Pac-10 games... Seth Dhaenens has raised his batting average from .071 to .395 by going 31-for-67 (.463) over his last 21 games... Erik Averill has won his last five pitching decisions.
What's On Tap:
After recording their fourth consecutive home sweep last weekend against UCLA, the No. 17 Arizona State Sun Devils (28-15, 9-3 Pac-10) return to the road for a Pac-10 showdown with sixth-ranked Oregon State (30-7, 9-3 Pac-10). ASU and OSU are currently tied for second in the Pac-10, each trailing conference leader Arizona by one game in the standings. After starting the season 6-9 and dropping completely out of the national polls, the Sun Devils have turned their season around by winning 22 of their last 28 games, including a string of 12 of the last 14. Following the series with the Beavers, ASU will take a weekend off from Pac-10 play for final exams. ASU will host Utah Valley State in a non-conference tilt on Wednesday, May 4.
... Travis Buck has recorded seven straight games with two or more hits and 24 multi-hit games this season.... Seth Dhaenens has raised his batting average 324 points .071 to .395 by going 31-for-67 in his last 21 games.... Travis Buck is hitting .581 over the last six games and .454 (59-for-130) over the last 28 games.... ASU has a current 12-game home winning streak, with sweeps over Oklahoma, Wright State, Stanford and UCLA.... Travis Buck won his fifth career Pac-10 POW award last week, the most ever by a Sun Devil position player.... 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 7-2 with a 2.87 ERA and is tied for the Pac-10 leads with seven wins. He also has 3 CG.... 12 of ASU's 15 losses this season have come against teams that have appeared in the national rankings.... OSU's Dallas Buck marks the 10th preseason All-American pitcher Arizona State will face this season.... ASU has played over half of its schedule (22 of 43) against teams that have been ranked at some point this season.... ASU has been road warriors this season playing 21 of its last 36 games away from Packard Stadium.... 16 Sun Devils, including 10 true freshman, have made their debut in the Maroon and Gold this season.... 12 players have at least one SB this season and ASU leads the Pac-10 with 84 stolen bases (84-for-112).... Freshman J.J. Sferra is hitting .432 in Pac-10 play and .447 (21-for-47) over his last 13 games.... ASU owns a 241-103-1 record for a .700 winning percentage this decade (2000-P).... Jeff Larish leads the Pac-10 with 15 home runs and ranks fifth in ASU career home runs (43) and RBI (213).... Senior catcher Tuffy Gosewisch has thrown out 16 of 44 attempted base stealers this season (36%).... Freshman reserve catcher Austin Stockfisch has hits in seven straight at-bats and is hitting .875 (7-for-8).... Travis Buck and Jeff Larish have been named to the Golden Spikes Award initial watch list.... Brothers Brett (LHP) and Greg (C/INF) Bordes formed a unique battery in the ninth inning vs. Wright State (4/3).... ASU leads the league hitting .347 in Pac-10 play and is second with a .976 FLD% in league games.
Recapping the Series Sweep of UCLA:
The Sun Devils recorded their fourth straight home sweep over the weekend against the UCLA Bruins. ASU outscored the Bruins by a combined score of 38-15, with wins of 12-5 on Friday, 16-2 on Saturday and 10-8 on Sunday to clinch the sweep. ASU hit .443 (51-for-115) in the three-game sweep, including impressive performances by Travis Buck (.714, 10-for-14), J.J. Sferra (.600, 9-for-14) and Seth Dhaenens (.545, 6-for-11). The pitching staff turned in a 3.67 ERA for the weekend with the bullpen having the most success. Junior RHP Tony Barnette recorded a pair of saves and allowed only one hit in 3.1 scoreless innings. Junior LHP Brett Bordes earned his second career save with three shutout innings to nail down Saturday's 16-2 win. Jason Urquidez picked up his sixth win of the year and 18th of his career with six strong innings on Saturday.
Several Sun Devils are riding hot streaks at the plate and on the mound heading into the series at Oregon State. Junior right fielder Travis Buck is currently the hottest Sun Devil at the plate, hitting .581 (18-for-31) over the last two weekend and is batting .454 (59-for-130) over his last 28 games to raise his batting average 141 points from .246 to .387. Buck ranks fourth in the Pac-10 hitting .387 with 17 doubles and 35 RBI. Sophomore second baseman Seth Dhaenens is hitting .463 (31-for-67) over the last 18 games to raise his season batting average 324 points from .071 to .395. Dhaenens also has a current 12-game hitting streak in which he is hitting .524 (22-for-42) with 11 RBI. Dhaenens currently leads the team in hitting at .395 (32-for-81) with 21 RBI. Senior 1B Jeff Larish has hits in seven of his last eight games while batting .393 (11-for-28) over that stretch. Larish leads the Pac-10 and ranks fifth in the NCAA with 15 home runs. On the mound, junior LHP Erik Averill has won his last five decisions, posting a 2.33 ERA in his last nine appearances (46.1 IP, 32 K). Junior left-handed reliever Brett Bordes has been solid out of the bullpen posting a 2.28 ERA and going 3-1 with one save in his last 15 appearances (6 ER, 23.2 IP). In his last four starts, senior RHP Jason Urquidez is 2-0 with a 3.00 ERA (24.0 IP, 8 ER, 21 K).
The Bonds Factor:
Since several Sun Devil hitters met with former ASU All-American and seven-time National League MVP Barry Bonds, the team's offensive numbers have improved drastically. Bonds was on campus for a press conference honoring his former coach Dr. Jim Brock on Mar. 8, and stayed after to hang around the batting cage to offer his instruction. Since meeting with Bonds, who hit .347 as a Sun Devil with 45 career home runs from 1983-85, ASU is hitting .357 (294-for-824) to raise the team batting average 42 points from .278 to .320 and is 17-5 during that stretch. The Devils have also hit 24 of the season total 35 home runs and combined for a .530 slugging percentage. Senior slugger Jeff Larish, who worked extensively with Bonds, is hitting .370 (30-for-81) with 10 of his Pac-10 leading 15 homers. Other hitters have also benefited since listening to arguably the greatest left-handed power hitter in MLB history, with Seth Dhaenens (.456), Travis Buck (.451), J.J. Sferra (.382), Rocky Laguna (.342) and Colin Curtis (.315) all hitting over .300 over the last 22 games.
A Good Omen:
Through the halfway point of the 2005 season the Sun Devils were 16-12 (currently 28-15). 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 22 of their last 28 games. ASU's 9-3 start in Pac-10 play is tied for the best start by a Sun Devil squad since the Pac-10 joined the North and South divisions in 1999. The 2000 Pac-10 champion Sun Devils also started the league slate with nine wins in the first 12 contests.
Buck and Larish Named To Golden Spikes Watch List:
senior first baseman Jeff Larish and junior right fielder Travis Buck are among 40 college baseball players named to the initial watch list for the 2005 Golden Spikes Award presented by USA Baseball. The Golden Spikes Award is given annually to the top amateur baseball player in the country. Buck and Larish mark the third straight year that ASU has had a player named to the initial Golden Spikes Award watch list. Former Sun Devil All-American shortstop and current Boston Red Sox prospect Dustin Pedroia was named to the watch list in 2003 and 2004 and became ASU's seventh all-time Golden Spikes Award finalist last season. Arizona State has had three winners of the Golden Spikes Award. Bob Horner (1978), Oddibe McDowell (1984) and Mike Kelly (1991) all won the prestigious award during their Sun Devil careers. USA Baseball will announce their five finalists for the 2005 Golden Spikes Award in June.
Larish Leads Pac-10 And Ranks Fifth in NCAA in Home Runs:
Senior Jeff Larish leads the Pac-10 and ranks fifth in the NCAA with 15 home runs. Larish has hit 10 home runs in his last 21 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 17. The senior slugger has three multi-homer games this season and five in his career. Of his 15 home runs this season, he has hit six solo homers, four two-run shots and five three-run bombs. Eleven (11) of his 15 homers have also come on the road. Here is a look at the NCAA leaders in home runs as of April 25 (as reported by BoydsWorld.com):
Rank Team Player HR1 Oklahoma State Adam Carr 171 Towson Jason Maxey 173 LSU Ryan Patterson 163 Florida Matt Laporta 165 Towson Casper Wells 155 New Mexico State Mark Aranda 155 Texas A&M-CC Chuck Carter 155 Fresno State Beau Mills 155 Arizona State Jeff Larish 155 Clemson Kris Harvey 155 Birmingham Southern Adam Tucker 15
Larish Climbs ASU Career Charts:
Senior Jeff Larish has made several dents in the ASU career record books... and he isn't done yet. With his Pac-10 leading 15 home runs, Larish ranks fifth in ASU history with 43, only one way from fourth place (Dan Rumsey, 1986-89) and two 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 213 RBI also rank fifth in the ASU record books and his 179 walks are second. Larish is also listed eighth in career at-bats (764), sixth in total bases (448), eighth in runs scored (203) and 10th in doubles (52). Through 43 games, Larish is hitting .321 (53-for-165) with 29 extra base hits for a .685 slugging percentage. He has been especially hot with hits in 17 of his last 22 games, going 30-for-81 (.370) to raise his batting average from .273 to .321 (48 points).
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.... .321 43-43 165 46 53 13 1 15 45 37 41 7-8TOTAL... .334 199-197 764 203 255 52 6 43 213 179 152 13-21
Flashing the Leather:
The Sun Devils have played stellar defense of late with eight error-free games over a stretch of the last 13 games for a .984 fielding percentage. For the season ASU has recorded 12 error-free games and have an overall .962 fielding percentage. ASU's .976 fielding percentage in Pac-10 play ranks second to Stanford (.980). Senior first baseman Jeff Larish has not made an error in 229 consecutive chances over a stretch of the last 28 games. Senior catcher Tuffy Gosewisch has only two errors in 356 fielding chances for a .994 fielding percentage and has thrown out 16 of 46 attempted base stealers (35%).
On the Road Again:
The Sun Devils will be making their seventh weekend road trip of the season when they travel north to Corvallis, Ore., this weekend to take on the sixth-ranked Beavers. ASU has made three cross-country flights this season to New Orleans twice (LSU and Tulane) and also for a tournament at East Carolina in Greenville, N.C. The Devils have played 21 of their last 36 games on the road and opened Pac-10 play with consecutive series on the road at USC and California. Overall, ASU is 10-11 on the road this season, compared to a 18-4 record at Packard Stadium.
Home Sweet Home:
ASU boasts a solid 18-4 record at Packard Stadium, including a string of four consecutive home series sweeps against Oklahoma, Wright State, Stanford and UCLA. The 12-game home winning streak includes the offense batting .357 while averaging 9.75 runs per game. During the 12-game home winning streak Travis Buck is hitting .491 (26-for-53) and Jeff Larish has hit four of his Pac-10 leading 15 home runs. The pitching staff has also been impressive with a 3.33 ERA and 105 strikeouts in the last 108.0 innings.
Another Six-Game Winning Streak:
The Sun Devils are in the midst of their second six-game winning streak in the last month and have won 12 of their last 14 games. ASU won six straight games in late March and early April against USC (2), Wright State (3) and California (1). Following a pair of losses to the Golden Bears, the Devils have emerged with another six-game streak that includes series sweeps over Pac-10 rivals Stanford and UCLA. During the current six-game streak, ASU is hitting .382 (83-for-217) while averaging 10.5 runs and 13.8 hits per game. Junior right fielder Travis Buck is batting .593 (16-for-27) with nine runs scored and nine RBI over the last two weekends and Seth Dhaenens is hitting .478 (11-for-23). Senior right-hander Ty Marotz has recorded two of the six wins out of the bullpen for the first two wins of his Sun Devil career.
Series History vs. Oregon State:
The Sun Devils lead the all-time series against the Oregon State Beavers 28-11 dating back to the first meeting between the two schools on March 21, 1963 in Tempe (5-4 ASU win). Over the last 10 years during the Pat Murphy era, ASU leads the series 15-6, including winning 10 of the last 12 meetings. ASU swept the series last season at Packard Stadium (9-3, 3-1, 8-4) and in its last trip to Goss Stadium at Coleman Field won two of three games to take the series. The Sun Devils have made three trips to Corvallis since the Pac-10 joined the North and South divisions in 1999, going 5-4 during that stretch. The Beavers and Sun Devils met in a non-conference contest earlier this season in the Bob Schaefer Memorial Tournament with Oregon State earning a 12-6 win.
Scouting Oregon State:
The Beavers head into the weekend series against the Sun Devils with a 30-7 record and are tied for second with ASU with a 9-3 Pac-10 record. OSU's No. 6 national ranking by Baseball America matches OSU's second-best ever. The Beavers were also ranked No. 6 by Collegiate Baseball - the only poll at the time - in the polls published May 11 and May 25, 1962, and April 12, 1963. OSU's highest-ever ranking in a national poll was No. 5 in the Collegiate Baseball poll published March 29, 1963. OSU is also ranked No. 11 by ESPN/Sports Weekly and No. 9 by Collegiate Baseball. The Beavers are led by the top pitching staff in the nation (3.03 ERA) and by the league's top hitter (Jacoby Ellsbury). OSU's weekend starting rotation of Dallas Buck (7-1, 2.03 ERA), Anton Maxwell (7-0, 4.55 ERA) and Jonah Nickerson (6-0, 1.15 ERA) have combined to go 20-1 on the season. Ellsbury leads the league in hitting at .451 (69-for-153) with 12 doubles, two triples, six home runs, 31 RBI and 18 stolen bases. Head coach Pat Casey is 325-232-4 in his 11 years at the helm of the program.
Putting Up Crooked Numbers:
The Arizona State offense has come alive over the last couple of weekends and heads into the series against Oregon State with four consecutive games with double-digits in hits and runs. ASU is averaging 7.95 runs per game this season and nearly nine runs per game in 12 Pac-10 contests. The Sun Devils have also recorded 10 or more hits in 12 of the last 15 games and are averaging nearly 12 hits per game this season. ASU also has three of the top 10 hitters in Pac-10 games only (Buck - .463, Dhaenens - .455, Sferra - .432).
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 158 games behind the plate in his career and has combined to go 168-for-499 (.337) over the last three years. This season he is third on the team hitting .335 (56-for-167) with six home runs and ranks second in the Pac-10 with 48 RBI. He has been one of ASU's most consistent hitter with hits in 33 of 43 games and leads the team with 14 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 10 home runs, 140 RBI and a .992 fielding percentage. A top candidate for the 2005 Bench Award, Gosewisch has been nearly perfect behind the dish this year with only two errors (.994 fielding percentage) in 356 total chances. He has gunned down 16 of 46 base stealers and has not allowed a passed ball. He has caught all but 17 innings this season (out of 387.0) 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: 43 games started (56-for-167, .335)
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.... .335 43-43 167 35 56 10 2 6 48 18 23 3-6TOTAL... .324 191-158 549 118 178 33 3 10 140 75 91 5-10
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 59-for-130 (.454) over the last 28 games. . Over the last two weekends Buck is batting .581 (18-for-31) with nine runs, nine RBI, a .774 slugging percentage and seven stolen bases. The Golden Spikes, Wallace Award and Baseball America Player of the Year candidate is second on the team and fourth in the Pac-10 hitting .387 (74-for-191) with 17 doubles, three triples, three home runs and 35 RBI. He also leads the team with 24 multi-hit games, including a string of seven straight games with two or more hits. In addition to ranking sixth in the nation with 76 hits, his name also appears among the league leaders in runs scored (52, 2nd), RBI (35, 10th), Doubles (17, 2nd), triples (3, 4th), total bases (103, 6th) and stolen bases (15, 3rd).
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.... .387 43-43 191 52 74 17 3 3 35 16 27 15-21TOTAL... .360 168-167 655 175 236 46 7 16 139 92 89 40-51
Buck Earns Fifth Pac-10 Player of the Week Honor:
Arizona State junior outfielder Travis Buck was named the Pac-10 Baseball Player of the Week for April 12-18. Buck helped lead the Sun Devils to a series sweep over nationally ranked Stanford by hitting .462 (6-for-13) with four runs scored, one double, one home run and six RBI. He also stole a base and recorded a 1269 OPS (slugging + on-base). Coming up clutch all weekend, Buck recorded multi-hit games in each victory over the Cardinal. He provided the heroics with a two-run, game-tying home run in the bottom of the ninth inning in Saturday's 6-5 come-from-behind win and had a key three-run double in Sunday's 10-9 win to clinch the sweep. The Pac-10 award was Buck's second this season, also being honored after hitting .571 (8-for-14, 6 H, 6 RBI) against Baylor. The Player of the Week honor is the fifth of Buck's career and the 76th such honor for Arizona State since the Sun Devils joined the Pac-10 in 1979. Buck becomes the first position player in school history to earn five Pac-10 Player of the Week honors and is now one award away from the school record of six set by left-handed pitcher Sean Rees (1989-91). He also won the award twice last season (Mar. 2, Mar. 9) and once during his freshman season (Apr. 1).
Most Pac-10 Weekly Awards in School History:Sean Rees, LHP (1989-91).............6Travis Buck, OF (2003-P).............5Jeremy West, 1B/DH (2001-03).........4Antone Williamson, INF (1992-94).....4Casey Myers, C (1998-2001)...........3Dan McKinley, OF (1995-97)...........3David Cassidy, LHP (1986-89).........3Jon Switzer, LHP (1999-2001).........3Mike Kelly, OF (1989-91).............3Oddibe McDowell, OF (1983-84)........3Oscar Rivas, LHP (1989)..............3
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 106 career games in the No. 2 spot in the lineup, Buck is a career .416 (176-for-423) hitter with 134 runs scored, 13 home runs and 104 RBI. While hitting No. 2, Buck has accounted for 75% of his run production (104 of 139 RBI), 77% of his runs scored (134 of 175), 81% of his home runs (13 of 16) and 75% of his total hits (176 of 236). This season Buck is hitting .457 (63-for-138) with 43 runs scored and 31 RBI in 30 games batting in the second spot. ASU is 23-7 this season when Buck hits No. 2 and 84-22 over the last three years. He has combined to hit just .208 (11-for-53) this season when batting either leadoff or third. Overall, the preseason All-American is a career .360 hitter (236-for-655) with 175 runs, 16 home runs and 139 RBI.
Dhaenens Turns Season Upside Down:
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. Dhaenens didn't give up and has turned his season upside down by hitting .463 (31-for-67) with 20 runs, three doubles, two home runs and 21 RBI over his last 21 games. During that stretch he has raised his season batting average 324 points from .071 to .395. Overall, Dhaenens leads the team hitting .394 (32-for-81) with 20 runs and 21 RBI. He is coming off a solid weekend against UCLA in which he went 6-for-11 (.545) and has a current 12-game hitting streak in which he is hitting .524 (22-for-42). The Professor (as known by his teammates) also ranks fifth in the league by hitting .455 (20-for-44) in Pac-10 play.
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 entered the season listed at the No. 33 top incoming freshman in the nation by Baseball America. After his first 20 starts of the season Sferra was hitting just .263 and was benched for a few games. Sferra has responded by going 21-for-47 (.447) since returning to the starting lineup 13 games ago and ranks seventh in the conference hitting .432 (16-for-37) in Pac-10 play. Leading the team with 11 bunt base hits, Sferra is coming off a solid weekend in which he went 9-for-14 (.600) vs. UCLA.
Stockfisch Almost Perfect:
Freshman reserve catcher Austin Stockfisch hasn't seen a lot of action behind senior starter Tuffy Gosewisch, but he has made the most of his opportunities. The Desert Mountain product is hitting .875 (7-for-8) and has recorded a hit in seven consecutive at-bats. The seven straight hits are tied for eighth in the ASU record books, last achieved by current Oakland A's prospect Andre Ethier in 2003. The school record for consecutive hits is nine set by Mike Pagel in 1982 and Hubie Brooks in 1978. Stockfisch's seven consecutive hits have come over the last month, starting with his first career hit against Western Illinois (3/12).
ASU in the Pac-10:
The Sun Devils are in their 27th season in the Conference of Champions and have won three of their four league series this season. The series victory over USC snapped a streak of having lost the last two Pac-10 season opening series. ASU owns an all-time 436-317 (.579) 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 96-60 (.615) in league play and 280-124-1 overall. In 11 seasons under head coach Pat Murphy the Sun Devils own an all-time 157-118 (.571) 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 fourth on the team with a 4.91 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.
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).
Persichina Moves to Shortstop:
Sophomore Joe Persichina has started at shortstop in seven of the last nine games 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., has responded by handling all of his 36 fielding chances flawlessly. Persichina is hitting .223 (21-for-94) with four doubles, two triples, one home run and 13 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 .267 (31-for-116) with 23 runs scored and 16 RBI. He returned to the starting lineup in the first two games vs. UCLA and responded by going 2-for-6 (.333).
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.
Triple Your Pleasure:
After 43 games the Sun Devils have 15 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, Joe Persichina and Tuffy Gosewisch each have a pair of triples to rank tied for ninth. In 59 games last season, ASU had only seven triples, ranking 245th out of 285 teams in the NCAA.
The Sparkplug From Yuma:
Redshirt freshman Rocky Laguna has been a sparkplug for the Sun Devils while batting leadoff in 11 of the last 13 games. The Yuma native (Kofa HS) has recorded a hit in 10 of his last 13 games and two or more hits in seven of his last 11. During his recent nine-game streak Laguna hit .444 (16-for-36) with 9 runs, five doubles and 11 RBI. Overall, Laguna is sixth on the team hitting .324 (33-for-102) with 10 doubles, two triples, one home run and 24 RBI. He is also 9-for-10 stealing bases and has a .435 on-base percentage. ASU is 14-2 this season when Laguna bats leadoff.
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 22 of its first 43 games against teams that have been ranked in the national polls at some point this season.
Nine Sun Devils currently have hitting streaks of two or more games heading into the weekend series against Oregon State. Sophomore second baseman Seth Dhaenens is riding a career-high 12-game streak and is hitting .524 (22-for-42) with 12 runs and 11 RBI during the streak. Freshman reserve catcher Austin Stockfisch has a current five-game streak and has hits in seven consecutive at-bats. Sophomore Colin Curtis and freshman Rocky Laguna also had nine-game streaks earlier this season. Here is a look at ASU players with current hitting streaks:
Player Current Streak Statistics During StreakSeth Dhaenens 12 games .524, 22-for-42, 12 R, 1 2B, 1 HR, 11 RBITravis Buck 7 games .581, 18-for-31, 9 R, 3 2B, HR, 10 RBIJoey Hooft 7 games .333, 9-for-27, 6 R, 2B, 7 RBITuffy Gosewisch 6 games .348, 8-for-23, 7 R, 2 2B, HR, 6 RBIAustin Stockfisch 5 games 1.000, 7-for-7, 2 R, 2 RBIJeff Larish 4 games .333, 5-for-15, 6 R, 2 2B, HR, 5 RBIJ.J. Sferra 3 games .600, 9-for-15, 4 R, 2B, 4 RBIZechry Zinicola 2 games .444, 4-for-9, 4 R, 2B, 2 RBIWilly Fox 2 games .600, 3-for-5, R, 3 RBI
Welcome To the Show:
A total of 16 players have made their ASU debuts in the first 43 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.
Devils Facing Big League Arms:
The Sun Devils will face their 10th preseason All-American pitcher this weekend when they square off against Oregon State's Dallas Buck Friday night. In addition to Buck, who is listed by Baseball America as the No. 4 sophomore prospect in the nation and was a selected as the midseason National Pitcher of the Year, 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), Mark Romanczuk (Stanford) 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 more 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 Luck of the White Shoes:
The Sun Devils have found a small secret to success this season by going 15-5 when wearing white spikes this season. ASU is also 11-1 when wearing their home white 'Devils' jersey. ASU is also 12-4 when wearing their home 'Old School' jersey and 13-10 when wearing their black spikes. ASU debuted its road version of the 'Old School' jersey and have gone 3-3 in six Pac-10 games at USC (2-1) and California (1-2).
The Sun Devils lead the Pac-10 with 84 stolen bases and are 84-for-112 (75%) on the season and are also 22-for-29 (76%) in Pac-10 play. Junior Travis Buck is tied for third in the Pac-10 with 15 stolen bases and sophomore Colin Curtis ranks fifth with 13. Redshirt freshman Rocky 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. Senior Jeff Larish had a successful straight steal of home in the series finale vs. Stanford (4/17), marking the first steal of home since Colin Curtis swiped home plate in 2004 vs. Lamar. The Sun Devils also entered the record books with eight stolen bases against UCLA (4/24), tying for fourth in single-game history. ASU had only 56 total stolen bases in 59 games last season.
Most Stolen Bases:10 Southern Utah (Feb. 1, 2001)9 Grand Canyon (Apr. 27, 1982)9 Arizona (Feb. 28, 1999)8 UCLA (Apr. 24, 2005)8 Southern Utah (Feb. 8, 1995)8 St. Francis (Feb. 23, 1995)7 8 times, last vs. St. John's (Mar. 9, 2002)
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 12 of its last 14 games, including consecutive series sweeps over Stanford and UCLA, ASU's projected RPI on BoydsWorld.com has jumped 26 spots from No. 36 all the way to its current mark of No. 10 in the last month. Helped in part by what is widely considered the toughest non-conference schedule in the nation, ASU has played over half of its games (22 of 43) against teams that have been ranked in the national polls at some point this season. ASU also has the No. 7 ISR and No. 5 SoS (strength of schedule). Here is a look at this week's RPI top 20 as available on Boydsworld.com (as of April 24):
Division I OverallRank Rating W L W L Team 1 0.648 35 7 35 7 Texas 2 0.648 35 7 35 7 Tulane 3 0.633 31 10 31 10 Miami, Florida 4 0.633 30 10 30 10 Florida 5 0.625 30 10 30 10 Georgia Tech 6 0.625 27 16 27 16 Baylor 7 0.614 27 13 27 13 Mississippi 8 0.614 30 7 30 7 Oregon State 9 0.613 29 13 29 13 Louisiana State 10 0.613 28 15 28 15 Arizona State 11 0.612 33 8 33 8 North Carolina 12 0.610 27 12 27 12 Vanderbilt 13 0.610 35 8 35 8 Louisiana-Lafayette 14 0.609 25 16 25 16 Clemson 15 0.608 30 12 30 12 North Carolina State 16 0.608 25 17 25 17 Auburn 17 0.607 30 11 30 11 Cal State Fullerton 18 0.606 30 11 30 11 South Carolina 19 0.604 31 11 31 11 Arkansas 20 0.602 26 12 26 12 Southern California
Just a Walk in the Park For Larish:
Senior 1B Jeff Larish leads the Pac-10 with 37 walks, including 25 walks in the last 20 games (8 IBB). He also ranks second in ASU history with 179 career walks (see list on page 4) and has recorded at least one walk in 123 of 199 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 44 career multi-walk games, 77 multi-hit games, 57 multi-RBI contests and 101 career extra base hits for a .586 slugging percentage. He has recorded a hit in 77% of his games played (154 of 199) 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 faced a trio of his Team USA teammates in the series sweep of Stanford. Cardinal 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). Oregon State outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury was part of the 2004 USA Baseball National Team Trials in Durham, N.C.
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 13-3 when scoring in the first inning and has out-scored its opponent 88-37 in the first two innings.... ASU is also 22-6 when scoring before their opponent.... ASU is 6-1 when hitting two or more home runs and 21-2 when out-hitting its opponent.... The Devils have scored 160 of their 342 runs (47%) with two outs and have 140 two-out RBI.... J.J. Sferra has laid down 23 bunts with 11 hits and four sacrifice bunts. Travis Buck also has four bunt hits.... ASU has recorded 85 innings with two or more runs and 23 innings with four or more runs.... The defense has turned 44 double plays, with 13 6-4-3 double plays (10 inning ending).... Head Coach Pat Murphy recorded his 800th career win against UCLA (4/22).... The Sun Devils have recorded back-to-back 10-win months (20-5 combined between Mar./Apr., marking the fifth time since 1995 that has happened.
Zinicola Moves Into Record Books For Career Saves:
Despite making nearly half of his pitching appearances as a starter this season (7 of 17), sophomore RHP Zechry Zinicola was named to the preseason NCBWA Stopper of the Year Watch List. Zinicola has returned to the closer role and has recorded a pair of saves this season. Zinicola now has 10 in his career to move into a tie for eighth place in the ASU record books with former All-Pac-10 closer Eric Doble (1999-2001). Zinicola tied the ASU freshman record with eight saves last season and owns a career 6-2 record with a 4.02 ERA in 31 career relief appearances. Here is a look at ASU's career saves leaders:
ASU Career Saves Leaders:1. Doug Nurnberg (1965-67).....252. Kevin Dukes (1978-81).......203. Noah Peery (1993-94)........17 Ryan Schroyer (2001-03).....175. Ryan Bradley (1995-97)......166. Dave Graybill (1982-84).....137. Mitch Dean (1976-80)........118. Zechry Zinicola (2004-P)....10 Eric Doble (1999-2001)......10
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).
Curtis Coming of Age:
Sophomore center fielder Colin Curtis is fourth on the team batting .327 (56-for-171) and has recorded at least one hit in 32 of 43 games. Curtis is also among the Pac-10 leaders with 40 RBI, 24 walks and 13 stolen bases. In addition, Curtis has recorded 18 multi-hit games and has 10 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.... .327 43-43 171 36 56 9 1 1 30 27 25 13-15TOTAL... .313 100-100 361 73 113 20 1 6 66 65 64 25-29
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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