Baseball Recruiting Class Ranks No. 2 In The Nation

Sept. 27, 2005

Collegiate Baseball Top 40 Recruiting Classes

TEMPE, Ariz. ( -- The Arizona State baseball team's class of newcomers for the 2006 season has been ranked as the No. 2 class in Collegiate Baseball newspaper's annual ranking of the nation's top recruiting classes.

ASU is coming off a third-place finish at the 2005 College World Series and has been ranked in the top 12 in the nation in five of the last nine years. The 2006 class continues a strong tradition of top ranked recruiting classes, as Collegiate Baseball has ranked ASU in the top 15 in the nation eight straight seasons and in the top 10 in eight of the last 11 years.

The recruiting class consists of 13 newcomers, including six freshmen, four junior college transfers and three four-year transfers. South Carolina earned the top billing in the annual survey, while Texas (No. 3), Vanderbilt (No. 4) and LSU (No. 5) rounded out the top five. Pac-10 member schools Arizona (No. 7), UCLA (No. 9), Stanford (No. 11), Washington (No. 28) and California (No. 33) were also listed in the top 40 in the nation.

'This class is full of character and has a tremendous amount of talent,' said 11th year assistant coach and recruiting coordinator Jay J. Sferra. 'We knew we had a good group when we signed them last November, but to see almost all of them arrive on campus is a great thrill. This class has a chance to make an immediate impact and contribute to our great baseball tradition.'

The class includes several marquee freshmen, including five that were selected in the 2005 MLB Draft. The freshmen include infielder Matt Hall (Scottsdale, Ariz./Horizon HS), LHP/OF Ike Davis (Scottsdale, Ariz./Chaparral HS), catcher Preston Paramore (Allen, Texas/Allen HS), LHP Jeff Urlaub (Scottsdale, Ariz./Horizon HS), 1B Brett Wallace (Sonoma, Calif./Justin-Siena HS) and RHP Jake Borup (Mesa, Ariz./Mountain View HS). Hall was selected in the 8th round by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, while Davis (19th/Devil Rays), Paramore (22nd/Mets), Urlaub (26th/Devil Rays) and Wallace (42nd/Blue Jays) was also taken in the 2005 MLB Draft.

The four junior college transfers include 3B/RHP CJ Retherford (Chandler, Ariz./South Mountain CC/Hamilton HS), RHP Matt Trink (Scottsdale, Ariz./Yavapai College/Horizon HS), RHP Brett Bruneel (Stockton, Calif./San Joaquin Delta College/Bear Creek HS) and INF Todd Wells (Claremont, Calif./Chaffey College/Claremont HS). Retherford and Trink are former Arizona prep standouts that squared off on the mound in the 2003 5A Championship Game at Tempe's Diablo Stadium.

Outfielder Ryan Sontag (Monroe, Mich./Michigan State), RHP Brady Martinez (Carbon, Utah/Utah) and C/1B Ben Bando (Solon, Ohio/The Master's) all transfer in from four-years schools. Sontag was the 2005 Big Ten Freshman of the Year after hitting .349 (52-for-149) for the Spartans. Martinez returns from a two-year mission in the Dominican Republic and was 4-3 with seven saves in 2003 for the University of Utah. Bando is the son of former ASU All-American catcher and major leaguer Chris Bando.

'There are some high-profile guys in this class that turned down a lot of opportunities to get the chance to play Sun Devil baseball. We couldn't be happier to have them here and to see them develop on the field and also in life,' said 12th year head coach Pat Murphy. 'Now they all face the daily challenges of being a student-athlete and playing in one of the premier college baseball programs in the nation. I think the fans will enjoy watching these players in the upcoming season and down the road.'

Added Murphy, 'This is also a real tribute to the hard work that our baseball office puts in, especially Coach Sferra, Coach Esmay and our support staff of Graham Rossini and Steve Kirkman. It truly is a team effort when it comes to recruiting.'

Arizona State opens the 2006 season at home January 27 against Cal State Northridge. The complete 2006 schedule will be released on in mid-October.

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