College Baseball At Its Best -- Sun Devils Host No. 7 Arizona This Weekend

May 10, 2005

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    TEMPE, Ariz. (www.TheSunDevils.com) -- The No. 17 Arizona State Sun Devils and No. 7 Arizona Wildcats are set to face off in one of college baseball's biggest rivalries this weekend at Winkles Field at Packard Stadium.

    In addition to in-state bragging rights, the Sun Devils (29-18, 10-5 Pac-10) and Wildcats (32-15, 12-3 Pac-10) are also battling for the Pac-10 title. Arizona is currently in second place, one-half game behind league leader Oregon State, while ASU is two and a half games back of the Beavers with nine regular season games remaining. The series starts Saturday at 6:30 p.m., with games following Sunday at 1 p.m. and Monday at 6:30 p.m.

    'It is going to be a great weekend of baseball in what I think is the best rivalry in college baseball,' said 11th year head coach Pat Murphy. 'We've played in front of some amazing crowds this season at Tulane, East Carolina and LSU and hope to get the same kind of support this weekend at Packard Stadium!'

    Good tickets for the three-game series are still available through the Arizona State University Athletic Ticket Office by calling (480) 727-0000 or through the internet at www.thesundevils.com. Field level seats are $12, while reserved tickets at $10 and general admission are $5. Senior citizen and youth discounts are also available.

    The series will also have expanded media coverage with all three games being televised and broadcast on the radio. Tim Healey and Bob Eger will call all the action from the Packard Stadium Press Box on KDUS 1060 AM. The Saturday and Sunday games will air live on AZ-TV (Cox Cable 13) with George Allen and Doug Gerlach provided the play-by-play and color analysis. Monday's evening tilt will air live nationally on FSN Arizona with Dave Sitton and former Sun Devil baseball player Ken Phelps calling all the action.

    The Sun Devils and Wildcats played 411 times on the diamond dating back to the first meeting in 1907. Arizona leads the all-time series 222-189, but the Sun Devils hold a commanding 165-105 lead since officially adopting the sports as a varsity program in 1995. The Devils have also won seven of the last 10 games in the series. Arizona won both non-conference tilts earlier this season in Tucson. The two programs have combined for eight national championships (ASU - 5, UA - 3) and 33 College World Series appearances (ASU - 18, UA - 15).

    ASU enters the series having won 13 of its last 18 games and since starting the season 6-9 have turned their season around by winning 23 of its last 32 games. Junior All-American right fielder Travis Buck (Richland, Wash.) leads the team and ranks third in the Pac-10 hitting .389 (81-for-208) with 18 doubles, four home runs and 36 RBI. Senior first baseman Jeff Larish (Tempe, Ariz.) joins Buck as a Golden Spikes Award candidate and leads the Pac-10 with 16 home runs. Larish also ranks fourth in ASU history with 44 career home runs and is a career .447 (21-for-46) hitter with five home runs against Arizona.

    On the mound, junior left-hander Erik Averill (Orange, Calif.) and senior right-hander Jason Urquidez (Simi Valley, Calif.) anchor the pitching staff. Averill is 7-3 with a 3.39 ERA and will start Saturday's series opener opposite UA right-hander John Meloan (8-1, 3.60 ERA). Urquidez is also 7-3 with a 4.32 ERA and is 3-0 with a 2.67 ERA (9 ER, 30.1 IP) over his last five starts.

    The Wildcats feature the Pac-10's top offense, combining to hit .332 with 123 doubles, 34 triples, 54 home runs and a .537 slugging percentage. Junior outfielder Trevor Crowe leads the team hitting .423 (88-for-208) with 22 doubles, 11 triples and nine home runs. Catcher Nick Hundley leads the team with 12 home runs and is batting .349. Meloan (8-1) and Sunday starter Kevin Guyette (8-4) are the mainstays of a pitching staff that feature a 4.35 team ERA.

    Arizona State-Arizona National Rankings:                        ASU     ArizonaBaseball America:.......18      9ESPN/Sports Weekly:.....24      9Collegiate Baseball:....17      7NCBWA:..................22      8BoydsWorld RPI:.........17      36BoydsWorld ISR:.........10      12BoydsWorld SoS:.........5       28

    Arizona State-Arizona Statistical Comparison: ASU ArizonaW-L:....................29-18 32-15Games:..................47 47Batting Average:........317 9Runs:...................357 403Hits:...................538 572Doubles:................94 123Triples:................15 34HR:.....................37 54RBI:....................310 365SLG%:...................456 .537OB%:....................400 .410Stolen Bases:...........94 64ERA:....................4.57 4.35Saves:..................10 10IP:.....................421.0 426.2BB:.....................151 168SO:.....................353 453Opp. Avg................278 .255

    --Sun Devil Baseball--
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