#2 Baseball Heads To Surprise For Coca-Cola Classic
March 3, 2010
TEMPE, Ariz. -
Following a four-game sweep of Towson, the Sun Devils head to the West Valley for the eighth straight year for the Coca-Cola Classic at Surprise Stadium. The Sun Devils will take on Cal Poly on Thursday, Oregon State in a non-conference game on Friday, UC Riverside on Saturday and FIU on Sunday.
2010 marks the eighth consecutive year that Arizona State will play at Surprise Stadium. The Devils are 13-9 all-time at Surprise, including a 3-2 mark last season.
Devils vs. Cal Poly:
The Sun Devils and Mustangs have met three times, with ASU holding a 2-1 edge. They last met in 1985, when they split a two-game series. Cal Poly came to Tempe for an NCAA Regional last season, but the two teams did not meet.
Devils vs. Oregon State:
The Sun Devils and Beavers have met 59 times, with Arizona State ahead in the series 38-21. The two teams split the four games they played last season. Oregon State is 9-3 all-time in the Coca-Cola Classic.
Devils vs. UC Riverside:
The Sun Devils and Highlanders have played 37 times, with ASU leading the all-time series 32-5. They last met in 2007 at the Tempe Regional, with ASU winning 9-2.
Devils vs. FIU:
The Sun Devils and Golden Panthers have met four previous times, with ASU coming out on top all four times. FIU and head coach Turtle Thomas, who was an assistant at ASU in 2007, last played the Devils in 2008, when ASU swept the two-game series.
The 2010 Sun Devils will be led by three team captains. Senior Raoul Torrez is in his second season as a captain after serving with Mike Leake as co-captain last season. Joining Torrez will be seniors Josh Spence and Kole Calhoun. Torrez is in his fourth year with the program, while Spence and Calhoun are in their second.
Seth Blair was sharp in his second start of the season, tying a career high with nine strike outs in a 15-1 win over Towson in the series opener. The ASU scored in every inning, thanks to Raoul Torrez, who collected three hits and drove in four runs...Jake Borup allowed only one hit over six innings in the second game of the series, earning the win in a 9-1 victory. Riccio Torrez and Xorge Carrillo both homered for the Devils in the first game of a doubleheader...Game two of the twin bill with Towson was a back-and-forth battle, with ASU jumping out to a 5-0 lead after one. The Tigers battled back to tie it in the third, but Arizona State scored three in the bottom of the inning on their way to an 11-6 win. Brady Rodgers picked up the victory out of the bullpen with his five innings of work and seven Ks...A four and a half hour rain delay pushed back the series finale, but the Devils earned the sweep in a hard fought 5-4 win. Johnny Ruettiger’s two-run single in the fifth broke a 3-3 tie and proved to be the difference maker, as Jordan Swagerty earned the save in the ninth.
Exhibition With Meiji University (Japan):
On Tuesday night, the Sun Devils faced Meiji University of Japan in an exhibition game which the Devils won 9-1. It was ASU’s first international exhibition since March 11, 1999 when they faced Aomori of Japan.
ASU Baseball International Exhibition Games In Tempe
3/2/10- vs. Meiji University (Japan)
3/11/99- vs. Aomori (Japan)
3/10/92- Keio (Japan)
3/29/82 to 3/31/82- Taiwan National Team
2/21/80- Taiyo (Japan)
2/27/80- Hanshin (Japan)
3/17/78- Waseda (Japan)
Raoul and Riccio Torrez enjoyed hitting against Towson over the weekend. The brothers combined to go 13-27 (.481) with 13 RBI and 11 runs scored in the series. They each stole two bases and collected two doubles, with Raoul tripling and Riccio homering in the series. They both collected three hits in the series opener and each drove in four runs in a game during the series.
Player of the Week:
Sophomore Zack MacPhee was named the Pac-10 Player of the Week, The NCBWA’s National Hitter of the Week and a Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week by Collegiate Baseball following opening weekend against Northern Illinois. The second baseman had an amazing opening weekend, going 8-11 (.727), scoring seven times, driving in eight runs and collecting 20 total bases, including four triples. It is the first weekly honor of MacPhee’s career and it is the third straight season a Sun Devil has been named the Pac-10 Player of the Week following opening weekend.
Feels Like The First Time:
11 student-athletes have made their ASU debuts this season: Daniel Milner, Andrew Aplin, Joey DeMichele, Jimmy Patterson, Xorge Carrillo, Deven Marrero, Josh Moody, Jake Barrett, Alex Blackford, Brady Rodgers and Merrill Kelly.
Another ASU Hall of Famer:
Alan Bannister will become the sixth Sun Devil in the College Baseball Hall of Fame during Fourth of July weekend in Lubbock, Texas. Bannister was a member of the 8-man 2010 Hall of Fame class that was announced by the College Baseball Foundation. Bannister played three seasons at ASU from 1970 to 1972, earning First Team All-American honors in 1971 and 1972. The shortstop was a career .355 hitter and was the #1 pick in the 1973 January MLB Draft. He played 12 seasons in the Majors.
Triple The Fun:
On March 9, 1963, the Sun Devils hit six triples in a 12-0 win over Utah State, setting a school record. That record stood for 47 years, until ASU tied it on February 20 during the second game of the doubleheader with Northern Illinois. In ASU’s 26-1 win in seven innings, the Devils collected six three-baggers, tying the school record. The NCAA record is seven, set in 1976 and tied in 1992. ASU had not had more than four triples in a game since 1975. The six triples also tied the Pac-10 record, set in 1945. So far in 2010, ASU has tripled 15 times. The school record is 58, set in 1970. Zack MacPhee has already collected six triples so far this season after getting only one all of last year. The school record for triples in a season is 13 by Alan Bannister in 1971.
Arizona State baseball has become a true family affair in recent years. Junior OF Matt Newman has Maroon and Gold in his blood, as his father, Randy, was a pitcher for the Sun Devils in 1981 and 1982, winning 15 career games and the 1981 National Championship. Last season, Matt and Randy joined a select list as a father-son combo who both played in the College World Series...Sophomore OF Johnny Ruettiger is the nephew of Rudy Ruettiger, the former Notre Dame football player who had a movie about his life made...Senior Danny Duffy is the brother of former Sun Devil and Major Leaguer Chris Duffy, who played for ASU in 2001...Freshman catcher Kyle Arnsberg is the son of former Major Leaguer and current Toronto Blue Jays pitching coach Brad Arnsberg...Freshman shortstop Deven Marrero is the cousin of Chris Marrero, a rising star in the Washington Nationals’ system.
Last season, the Sun Devils boasted a set of brothers who started next to each other in the infield, marking the first time in school history that brothers started next to each other on the diamond. In Omaha, when Raoul Torrez manned the hot corner for the Devils and his brother Riccio handled first base, they became the first brother duo since 2004 to start a game in the College World Series. The Torrez brothers are the fifth set of brothers to suit up for the same Sun Devil team. They are joined this season by Drew and Beau Maggi, who become the sixth brother tandem to play for ASU. Drew enters his sophomore season, while his brother Beau begins his freshman year. The other Sun Devil brothers to play on the same teams are Kevin and Pat Dukes (1980-81), Dale and Larry Eiler (1976-78), John and Tom Sain (1973) and Brett and Greg Bordes (2005-06).
The Mayor of Omaha:
Kole Calhoun had a memorable trip to Omaha for the 2009 College World Series, earning All-CWS honors thanks to his .563 average over the four games. Calhoun drove in 11 runs, slugged 1.250 and hit three home runs, including a grand slam. He became only the fourth Sun Devil to ever hit a grand slam at the College World Series, joining Sal Bando (1965), Bob Horner (1978) and Michael Collins (1998). Calhoun quickly became a fan favorite at Rosenblatt Stadium, collecting his own cheering section in left field.
Many players on the ASU roster are quite familiar with one another. The Sun Devils have five student-athletes who all attended Brophy Prep in Phoenix. Raoul and Riccio Torrez, Drew and Beau Maggi and Matt Newman all played on the Brophy baseball team. Josh Spence, Jimmy Patterson and Xorge Carrillo all played for Central Arizona in 2008, while Patterson and Carrillo also played together at McClintock High School in Tempe, along with Daniel Milner. Josh Moody and Zack MacPhee both played at Sandra Day O’Connor in Phoenix.
Sophomore OF Brandon Magee is no stranger to ASU athletics, playing linebacker for the Sun Devil football team. Magee joins Mike Jones as recent Sun Devils who played both football and baseball. Jones played football from 2005 to 2008, while splitting time with baseball from 2006 to 2008. Magee recorded 34 tackles in 2009, including seven for loss with two QB sacks. He also intercepted a pass while playing in all 12 games.
In The Dugout:
Arizona State features a new coaching staff for the 2010 season. Former Sun Devil infielder Tim Esmay takes over head coaching duties after spending the previous five seasons as an assistant coach, including the last three as assistant head coach. Ken Knutson will handle the pitching coach duties in his first season at ASU following 17 years as the head coach at Washington. Travis Jewett begins his first season with the Sun Devils after coaching the past five seasons at Washington State. Former Sun Devil All-American and Major Leaguer Mike Benjamin begins his first season as an assistant coach at his alma mater.
1,000 Times Yes:
With its 8-0 win over Northern Illinois on February 19, Arizona State recorded its 1,000th victory at Packard Stadium. Winkles Field-Packard Stadium at Brock Ballpark has been the home field of the Sun Devils since 1974, with the exception of the 2002 season when ASU played at Hohokam Park in Mesa during Packard renovations. ASU has compiled a home record of 1,006-269-1 at Packard Stadium.
Back In Uniform:
With Mike Benjamin joining the coaching staff, ASU now boasts two former Sun Devils on the 2010 coaching staff. Tim Esmay and Benjamin were teammates at ASU in 1986 and 1987, helping the Devils to a combined 74-55 record and a berth in 1987 College World Series. Benjamin was an All-American and All-Pac-10 performer in 1987, becoming a third round pick of the San Francisco Giants. He played 13 seasons in the Major Leagues.
The Sun Devils were picked to win the Pac-10 Championship by the Pac-10 coaches for the second straight year. ASU received seven of the nine first place votes. This is the third time in school history Arizona State has been picked to win the conference, joining 2007 and 2009.
The Sun Devils moved up to #12 in Baseball America’s poll. They are #2 in the Collegiate Baseball poll, #4 in the NCBWA poll and #6 on Rivals.com. ASU is #4 in the first USA Today/ESPN Coaches poll of the regular season.
Leader of the Pac:
Since the 2000 season, the Arizona State Sun Devils have been the most consistent program in the Pac-10 conference. Since 2000, ASU leads the Pac-10 in wins (440), conference wins (157), NCAA Tournament appearances (10), Top 25 finishes (10), All-Americans (29), draft picks (78) and First Team All-Pac-10 players (47). The Devils have won four Pac-10 titles since 2000, including the last three.
The 2009 Sun Devils were dominant on the field at Winkles Field-Packard Stadium at Brock Ballpark, and the thanks in large part go to the record-number of fans who attended the games. Last season, the Devils went 36-4 at home and led the West Coast in attendance for the fifth straight season. 125,082 fans came out to see the Sun Devils in 2009, and average of 3,207 per game. That’s the highest average attendance since 1984.
In addition to facing the schools in the Pac-10, the Devils will also take on teams from eight different conferences in 2010. ASU will face three teams from the Big West (Cal Poly, Cal State Fullerton, UC Riverside), two from the West Coast Conference (San Diego, San Francisco) and one each from the Colonial Athletic Association (Towson), Sun Belt (Florida International), Mid-American (Northern Illinois), SEC (Auburn), Conference USA (Houston) and Mountain West (BYU). Arizona State will also host Grand Canyon, who is a member of the Pacific West Conference of Division II.
Feeling The Draft:
There are 22 members of the 2010 Sun Devils who have had their name called during the annual Major League Baseball draft, including Josh Spence and Raoul Torrez, who both were drafted last season but opted to return to school. Spence, Merrill Kelly and Xorge Carrillo have each been drafted twice.
Did You Know?:
Last season, Arizona’s Bobby Coyle led the Pac-10 Conference with seven triples. Zack MacPhee has six after seven games.
Arizona State returns home to take on Grand Canyon on Tuesday night before a three-game set with the SEC’s Auburn Tigers that begins on Friday.