Baseball Continues Homestand This Weekend With Three Games Against Northern Illinois

Jan. 31, 2006

TEMPE, Ariz. -

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Leading Off:
The Sun Devils welcome the Northen Illinois Huskies to Winkles Field-Packard Stadium at Brock Ballpark for a three-game series. ASU took two of three last weekend from Cal State Northridge to open the 2006 season. The Matadors took the opener 13-2, but the Sun Devils roared back to win the final two games 9-4 and 8-1. After this weekend, the Devils head off to Surprise for the 4th Annual Coca-Cola Classic, where they will meet Gonzaga, #3 Oregon State and Nevada.

The Sun Devils vs. The Huskies:
This will be the first ever meeting between Arizona State and Northern Illinois. The Huskies, a member of the Mid-American Conference, will open their season in Tempe, then not play again until February 24th in Evansville, Indiana.

Brock Ballpark:
On January 20th, Winkles Field-Packard Stadium at Brock Ballpark was dedicated to the late Dr. Jim Brock, who won five Pac-10 Coach of the Year awards during his tenure. The legendary ASU coach, who passed away in 1994, won two national championships during his 23 years at Arizona State University.

Rankings:
The Sun Devils are ranked #10 in the NCBWA poll, #11 in the USA Today Coaches Poll, #12 by Collegiate Baseball and #16 by Baseball America. Their ranking in Baseball America's preseason poll marks the 20th straight season ASU has been ranked in the BA preseason poll, the longest current streak in the nation. The weekly polls won't begin until after this weekend.

Facing Pollsters:
ASU will face six teams ranked in the preseason Top 25, including #1 Texas, #3 Oregon State and #5 Rice. The Sun Devils face the third-ranked Beavers on February 11 in Surprise.

New Faces:
Ten members of the 2006 roster made their Sun Devil debuts during the opening series against CSUN. Freshmen Brett Wallace and Matt Hall each hit their first career home runs and transfer Ryan Sontag had five RBI for ASU over the weekend.

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