No. 5 Sun Devil Baseball Faces Big Test In No. 3 Florida State This Weekend
Feb. 13, 2002
Arizona State Sun Devils (7-0)
No. 5 BW, No. 13 BA, No. 13 CB
at Florida State Seminoles (7-3)
No. 3 BW, No. 4 BA, No. 2 CB
Feb. 15 at Florida State, 3:30 p.m. EST
ASU - Ryan Schroyer - RHP (1-0, 2.19 ERA)
FSU - Matt Lynch - LHP (2-0, 2.81)
Feb. 16 at Florida State, 2 p.m. EST
ASU - Mike Esposito - RHP (2-0, 3.21 ERA)
FSU - Blair Varnes (1-1, 5.73 ERA)
Feb. 17 at Florida State, 1 p.m. EST
ASU - Bryce Kartler - LHP (1-0, 2.31 ERA)
FSU - Bobby Read (2-0, 3.00 ERA)
ASU vs. FLORIDA STATE
Overall Record vs. FSU: FSU leads 21-7
Last Meeting: Feb. 4-6, 2000 in Tempe
FSU 11-10, ASU 15-9, FSU 9-7
The Sun Devils will not travel a radio crew to Tallahassee this week due to conflicts with Men's and Women's Basketball. All three games can be followed on the internet via the Live Stats feature at www.TheSunDevils.com. All three games can also be listened to via the Florida State website at www.Seminoles.com. Arizona State fans can also watch the Sun Devils in action Saturday on TV on Fox Sports Arizona or on the Sunshine Network if you have a DirectTV system.
The stage is set for a showdown between No. 3 Florida State and No. 5 Arizona State this weekend at Dick Howser Stadium in Tallahassee, Fla. The Sun Devils make their first trip back to Tallahassee since enduring a three-game sweep back in 1999. Florida State leads the all-time series 21-7 and has won nine of the last 12 games in the series dating back to 1997. The 2002 meeting will match the undefeated Sun Devils (7-0) vs. 7-3 Florida State who are coming off a series loss to No. 1 Stanford. The hitting match-up is almost dead even with FSU batting .328 and ASU hitting .332. The Devils own the pitching match-up with a staff ERA comparison of 2.00 to 4.31.
What's On Tap:
The No. 5/13 Sun Devil Baseball team is off to a 7-0 start and will make its first roadtrip of the 2002 season by travelling to Tallahassee, Fla., this weekend to take on No. 2/3/4 Florida State. The Devils are coming off a series sweep of 2001 College World Series participant Tennessee last weekend at Hohokam Stadium in Mesa. The Sun Devils will take their perfect record into Dick Howser Stadium against a FSU club that is 7-3 on the year and coming off a series loss to No. 1 Stanford last weekend. Following the FSU series, ASU will return home to Hohokam Stadium for a three-game weekend series with No. 16 Cal State Fullerton (3-3).
Movin' On Up In The Polls:
The Sun Devils moved up drastically in the college baseball national polls with their remarkable 7-0 start. Going from a preseason No. 17 ranking by Baseball Weekly/ESPN, the Devils jumped 12 spots to No. 5 and even received one No. 1 vote. ASU also moved up five spots from No. 18 to No. 13 in the Baseball America poll and seven spots from No. 20 to No. 13 in the Collegiate Baseball poll. The 12-spot jump is the biggest by a Pat Murphy Sun Devil squad since moving from No. 17 to No. 6 during the Devils 1998 College World Series run.
Sun Devil Baseball Turns It On In February:
The Sun Devil Baseball program has an all-time 364-134 (.731) record in the month of February dating back to the 1959 baseball season. Head Coach Pat Murphy, who is only six wins short of his 600th career Division I victory, is 74-27 in the month of February during his eight seasons at Arizona State.
Hohokam is ASU's Home Away From Home in 2002:
While a $2 million renovation will begin in March to Packard Stadium, the Sun Devils will call Hohokam Stadium in Mesa home for the 2002 season for all but three home games. Hohokam Park is also the spring training home of the Chicago Cubs and the Arizona Fall League home of the Mesa Solar Sox. The facility will provide ASU with a first-class facility while Packard Stadium undergoes renovation. Hohokam Park, which opened in 1997, has a seating capacity of 12,623, with 8,000 theater-style seats.
Is it HoHoKam or Hohokam... Stadium... or Park:
While it can be up for debate on the actual spelling of Hohokam Stadium, the City of Mesa has recognized the official spelling of Hohokam Park to be without the capital H and capital K in the middle of the word. The group that call themselves the HoHoKam's use the capital letters, but the actual group of native americans that the park is named after is spelled 'Hohokam.' To extend the debate, is it Hohokam Park or Hohokam Stadium. While both are acceptable, the games are played in Hohokam Stadium, which is located in Hohokam Park.
Schroyer Earns NCBWA and Collegiate Baseball National Pitcher of the Week Honors:
Arizona State sophomore starting pitcher Ryan Schroyer opened his 2002 season in style by being named the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association and Collegiate Baseball National Pitcher of the Week after his 11-strikeout performance against Southern Utah on Feb. 1. Schroyer, a sophomore who was 2-2 and was a honorable mention freshman All-American in 2001, allowed only three hits in 6.2 shutout innings to help lead ASU to the 12-0 defeat of Southern Utah. A high school All-American at Canyon del Oro in 2000, Schroyer was a 16th round selection of the Detroit Tigers in the MLB June Amateur Draft. In his two starts this year, Schroyer is 1-0 with a 2.19 ERA and has struck out 19 batters in just 12.1 innings.
The Record Is In The Books. ASU Has Scored In 382 Straight Games:
The Arizona State baseball program made history on April 7, 2001 when they scored at least one run in its 350th consecutive game. The Devils broke the 12-year-old NCAA record in a 5-1 loss to USC exactly six years to the day when they were last shut out. ASU was shut out 9-0 on April 7, 1995 at Dedeaux Field. The one run scored in the 3-1 loss to UCLA on May 19 last year marked only the 11th time during the streak that ASU has scored only one run. The streak is still intact at 382 consecutive games with ASU scoring in each of the seven games this year. The Devils have extended the streak early almost every game, with a run in the first inning six times. ASU was neck-in-neck for the record with Wichita State, which had not been shutout in 332 games, but had its streak ended with a 1-0 loss to Louisiana-Lafayette in the middle of the 2001 season. Coastal Carolina previously held the NCAA record at 349 games set from 1983-1989. ASU also had a stretch of 278 games without being shut out from 1990 to 1994, meaning the program has only been shutout in three games dating back to 1990.
Allen and Esposito Earn Preseason All-America Awards:
Sun Devil players Rod Allen and Mike Esposito both earned preseason All-America honors. Allen, who hit .389 and set an ASU freshman record in 2001, was named a first-team preseason All-American by Collegiate Baseball. Esposito, who recorded a 5-2 record in 2001 and is coming off an impressive summer with Team USA, was named to a third-team preseason All-American by Baseball America. Allen is off to a good start with a .348 batting average, one home run, four RBI and has played spectacular defense in left field. Esposito is 2-0 with a 3.21 ERA in his two starts this year.
Murphy is Six Short of 600 Division I Victories:
Sun Devil Head Coach Pat Murphy is now just six (6) wins short of reaching the 600 plateau for Division I victories in his 15 years of coaching at the top level of collegiate baseball. Fashioning a career 649-314-4 in his 18 seasons as a head coach, 55 of those wins came at Maryville (Tenn.) College and Claremont-Mudd Scripps. In his 15 years at the D1 level, Murphy has averaged nearly 40 wins per year. Murphy is 276-143-1 in his 8-year ASU career.
Sun Devil Bullpen Catches Fire in First Two Weekends of 2002:
It took until the seventh game for the Sun Devil relievers to give up an earned run, but even then, a bullpen ERA of 0.92 isn't too shabby. Six pitchers have composed the Sun Devil bullpen so far this year, combining to strike out 22 batters in 19.2 combined innings. Leading the way is junior RHP Robbie McClellan. McClellan is 2-0 with one save and a 0.00 ERA in 8.1 innings.
Alaskan League Connections:
When Florida State and Arizona State meet up this weekend on the diamond, there will some friendly handshakes after the games. Daniel Hodges, a relief pitcher for the Seminoles who is 1-0 with a 7.11 ERA this year, played with Devils' Rod Allen, Sergio Garcia, Jered Liebeck, Jon Sheaffer and Doug Schutt last summer for the Anchorage Glacier Pilots in the Alaskan Summer League. The Glacier Pilots, led by the .314 batting average and 24 stolen bases of Allen, won the NBC World Series in Wichita, Kan. Hodges was 3-1 with four saves and a 0.29 ERA over the summer.
Now That is The Way to Start the Game:
The Sun Devil leadoff hitter in the game is off to a great start in 2002, and a main reason why the Devils have scored at least one run in six of their seven games this year. The Sun Devil leadoff hitter, six times being Steve Garrabrants and one time being Doug Schutt, is 6-for-7 to lead off the game for ASU. Garrabrants is 5-for-6 with three singles, a double and a home run to his credit, while Schutt is 1-for-1 with a single.
Hitting For The Cycle... in the First Inning:
In what may be one of the rarest feats of Arizona State baseball history, the Devils led off the Feb. 9 game vs. Tennessee in grand fashion with the first four hitters combining to hit for the cycle in the first inning. Leadoff hitter Steve Garrabrants led off the game with a first-pitch home run, then Dustin Pedroia followed with a double, then Rod Allen singled and to cap off the amazing event, Jeremy West tripled to give ASU the early 2-0 lead.
The ASU-Florida State All-Time Series:
The Sun Devils and Seminoles have met on the Diamond 28 previous times, with Florida State winning 21 of those games. A heated rivalry between two of college baseball's top programs, the Seminoles and Devils have met twice in the College World Series in Omaha, 14 times in Tallahassee and 12 times in Arizona. Here is a record breakdown of the all-time series with the complete list of scores:
Series: Florida State leads 21-7College World Series: Series tied 1-1in Arizona: FSU leads 7-5 First Meeting: May 31, 1987 at College World Seriesin Florida: FSU leads 13-1 Last Meeting: Feb. 4-6, 2000 in Tempe, Ariz.
1987: 5/31 vs. Florida State (CWS) L 0-3
1989:2/4 at Florida State L 6-92/5 at Florida State L 3-8
1990:3/31 Florida State W 9-14/1 Florida State W 7-6
1991:2/8 at Florida State L 5-6 (10)2/9 at Florida State L 5-212/10 at Florida State L 3-4 (10)
1992:2/7 Florida State L 2-42/8 Florida State W 4-1
1994:2/11 at Florida State L 7-92/12 at Florida State L 2-132/13 at Florida State L 8-9
1995:2/10 Florida State (#3) L 2-112/11 Florida State (#3) L 6-142/12 Florida State (#3) W 8-2
1997:2/7 at Florida State (#2) L 2-52/8 at Florida State (#2) W 9-62/9 at Florida State (#2) L 5-11
1998:2/6 Florida State (#23) L 2-32/7 Florida State (#23) L 1-65/29 Florida State (CWS) W 11-10
1999:2/5 at Florida State (#4) L 1-42/6 at Florida State (#4) L 4-112/7 at Florida State (#4) L 5-7
2000:2/4 Florida State (#5) L 10-112/5 Florida State (#5) W 15-92/6 Florida State (#5) L 7-9
Scouting the Seminoles:
The Seminoles are off to a 7-3 start with wins over Stanford, Hawaii and Hawaii-Hilo. They began the 2002 season on the road with seven games in Hawaii, going 6-1 before dropping two of three last weekend to No. 1 Stanford. FSU is led by Senior Ryan Barthelemy who is 18-for-37 with five doubles a home run and 14 RBI in nine games this year. Barthelemy was a first-team preseason All-America selection by Collegiate Baseball. FSU lost freshman shorstop Stephen Drew, the brother of St. Louis Cardinal and former Seminole All-American J.D. Drew, for 4-6 weeks with a broken bone in his foot. The starting pitching corps will feature LHP Matt Lynch (2-0, 2.81), RHP Blair Varnes (1-1, 5.73) and RHP Bobby Read (2-0, 3.00) in that order this weekend.
A Tough Schedule in 2002 For ASU:
The Sun Devils face a tough schedule in 2002, with 12 combined games against teams that participated in the 2001 College World Series (3 - Tennessee, 3 - USC, 3 - Stanford, 3 - Cal State Fullerton). ASU will play 22 of its 55 (40%) scheduled games against teams that advanced to the NCAA Tournament last year. The Devils schedule includes road contests against Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Florida State, Stanford and UCLA. Here is a look at where ASU's 2002 Opponents rank in the national polls.
Garrabrants and Pedroia A Tough 1-2 Punch:
Sophomore designated hitter Steve Garrabrants and freshman second baseman Dustin Pedroia have done a nice job of setting the table for ASU's big hitters Rod Allen, Jeremy West and Andre Ethier. Garrabrants and Pedroia combined to go 15-for-31 (.484) with 15 runs scored, two double and two triples in the first weekend of play in the Kajikawa Classic and for the season are hitting a combined .411 (23x56). Pedroia is currently fourth on the team with a .370 average (10x27) and Garrabrants is second hitting at a .448 clip (13x29). Pedroia has started six games at second base and one at third base, while Garrabrants has made six starts in the designated hitter spot and one start at second base. Garrabrants his his first collegiate home run with a leadoff solo home run on the first pitch of the game vs. Tennessee (2/9). The home run came in his 161st career at-bat.
The Wild, Wild West:
Sophomore first baseman Jeremy West is off torrid start in 2002 with a team-leading 13 RBI in ASU's seven games. Leading the Sun Devils with six extra-base hits, West is third with a .421 batting average and has recorded a hit in four of his six games played. West missed the last game of the Tennessee series with a sore wrist after being hit by a pitch in Saturday's 8-1 victory. He is listed as day-to-day with the injury.
Murphy's Teams Know How To Score:
A true icon of the Pat Murphy system is scoring runs. The Sun Devils have done plenty of that since he arrived in 1995. ASU has led the NCAA in scoring in two of the last three years, averaging 11.32 runs per game in 1999 and 10.97 runs per game in 2000. The Devils paced the Pac-10 in 2001, hitting at a .327 clip and averaging 8.26 runs per game to rank 17th in the nation. ASU also led the nation in batting average with a team total of .356 in 1999 and fell just percentage points shy of matching that feat a second year in a row in 2000 with a .346 mark, trailing Stony Brook by one point. During Pat Murphy's eight seasons in Tempe, the Sun Devils have been a scoring machine with 3,905 runs, averaging 9.30 runs per game and hitting at an overall .331 clip.
Kartler Picks Up First Career Win:
Junior LHP Bryce Kartler picked up his first career win as a Sun Devil in his 33rd career appearance. The junior tied a career high with nine K's in his win over Tennessee (2/10). For the season he is 1-0 with a 2.31 ERA as ASU's Sunday starter.
The Child From Liberal, Kansas:
Junior right-handed relief pitcher Robbie McClellan has been nicknamed 'The Child' for his boyish looks. While the nickname has stuck, he is anything but boyish, and rather bullish, when it comes to his pitching. Already assuming the role as the go-to guy out of the bullpen for ASU, McClellan is 2-0 with one save just three games into his Sun Devil career. In 8.1 combined innings, the junior who starred at Seward County CC and for the summer league Liberal BeeJays, has struck out 15 batters and opposing hitters are batting just .167 off him. McClellan saved the Sunday game (2/10) vs. Tennessee to preserve an ASU sweep by striking out two batters with the bases loaded in a 5-4 victory.
This Sergio Garcia Doesn't Golf:
Senior infielder Sergio Garcia has a familiar name, but this Sergio Garcia is not a golfer. Garcia will fill in the role as ASU's valued utility man, able to play third, second and his most familiar position, shortstop. Garcia transfered from Oklahoma where he hit .311 for the Sooners last year and was an honorable mention All-Big 12 selection. Garcia is hitting .286 while playing in five games this year.
A Very Young Team Indeed:
The Sun Devils feature a very young team in 2002, with 22 of the 33 players on the roster listed as underclassman. Losing seven of its top position players from the 2001 team and several top pitchers, a very young team Sun Devil team will take the field this year. A projected starting lineup will have five sophomores, two true freshman and at least one senior at the field.
ASU Varsity Breezes Past Alumni in Annual Game:
The Sun Devil Varsity 9 defeated a talented group of alumni players in the annual Alumni game held Jan. 26 at Packard Stadium. The Sun Devils defeated the Alumni 9-3 behind strong pitching and an offensive showcase by sophomore Rod Allen. Starter Bryce Kartler threw four strong innings, allowing only one hit and striking out four. The relief corps of J.J. Jackson, Miguel Sanchez, Aaron Klusman, Mark Sopko and Robbie McClellan allowed only three hits and one run over the final five innings. At the plate, Allen was 2-for-3 with a two-run home run and a run-scoring double. The Alumni squad featured former Sun Devil All-Americans Mitch Jones, Ryan Bradley, Willie Bloomquist, Ken Phelps and recent Devils Brooks Conrad and Mike Lopez.
2002 Newcomers Highly Touted By National Publications:
The group of 17 players that make up the newcomers for the 2002 season have been highly touted as the No. 8 recruiting class in the nation by Collegiate Baseball and the No. 11 class by Baseball America. The group includes starting shortstop Ian Kinsler (Central Arizona CC), starting right fielder Andre Ethier (Chandler-Gilbert CC), starting second baseman Dustin Pedroia (Woodland, Calif.), starting catcher Tuffy Gosewisch (Horizon HS) and ace relief pitcher Robbie McClellan (Seward County CC) to name just a few.
He's Back, Andre Ethier:
After earning All-State honors at St. Mary's High School as a senior in 2000, Sun Devil right fielder Andre Ethier followed his dreams and came to Arizona State University to play baseball. With playing time not working out, Ethier decided to play his freshman year at Chandler-Gilbert CC. Making a name for himself by hitting .468 at the JC level last year, Ethier spurned an offer from the Oakland Athletics after being drafted in the 37th round and came back to Arizona State. Through seven games Ethier is ASU's leading hitter at .462 (12x26) and is coming off a fine weekend at the plate in which he was 6-for-13 (.462) with a pair of three-hit games.
If the last name and number you see behind the plate for ASU this year looks familiar, don't worry, you aren't having flashback to the late '90s. Tuffy Gosewisch, the brother of former Sun Devil Chip Gosewisch, wears the same No. 39 as his brother and carries the same tough mentality on the field. The older Gosewisch played for Pat Murphy from 1996-99 as a catcher and infielder, hitting at a career .338 clip and playing in 160 career games. Tuffy Gosewisch was an all-state catcher at Horizon High School in Scottsdale last year.
Why Not #9 Murphy:
Most who are close to the ASU Baseball program know what the No. 9 means to head coach Pat Murphy. Often his slogan to 'Play all 9 Innings', Murphy and No. 9 are synonymous with each other... until this year. In a preseason meeting with team, Murphy gave a speech on how you have to be able to give up anything for the team. In this case, he even offered up his prize No. 9, knowing no one would take it. That is, until ASU's sophomore Steve Garrabrants raised his hand and said, I'll take it, and with that, the leader of the Devils is willing to give up anything for the team and will wear No. 7 this year.
Arizona State On The Tube:
Fox Sports Net will televise four Pac-10 Baseball games this year, including the March 23 game between Arizona State and Arizona in Tucson. The game, originally scheduled for 1 p.m. at Frank Sancet Field, has been pushed back to a 2 p.m. start to accommodate the TV start time. Arizona State will also play Florida State on Feb. 16 on Fox Sports Arizona at 12 p.m. MST. Listed below is a complete schedule of Pac-10 Baseball games scheduled to air on Fox Sports Net in 2002. Please check your local listings for exact start times and channel:
-- Saturday, Feb. 16, 2002 -- Arizona State at Florida State, 12 p.m. MT-- Saturday, March 23, 2002--Arizona State at Arizona, 1 p.m. PT/2 p.m. MT-- Saturday, April 13, 2002--USC at Stanford, 1 p.m. PT-- Saturday, May 4, 2002--UCLA at Washington, 1 p.m. PT-- Saturday, May 11, 2002--Oregon State at California, 1 p.m. PT
Monday's With Murphy:
New for the 2002 baseball season is a weekly coaches radio show for ASU head coach Pat Murphy. Held every Monday from 6-6:30 p.m. on XTRA 910 AM, Murphy and the voice of ASU Baseball, Tim Healey, will preview upcoming ASU Baseball games and talk Sun Devil baseball. A roundtable discussion on ASU and College Baseball is held from 5:30-6 p.m. and is open to the public and all media. Players will also be present at the weekly event.
ASU And Team USA Connections:
Arizona State baseball has had a longstanding tradition of sending players to play for the USA National team during the summers. ASU has had six players don the Red, White and Blue for Team USA since 1984, with the first being Oddibe McDowell in the 1984 Olympics played at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. Jim Austin played for Team USA in 1990 and ASU has had four players play with Team USA in the last four years. 1999 Pac-10 Player of the Year Willie Bloomquist played in the summer of 1998, 2000-2001 Pac-10 Player of the Year Casey Myers played in the summer of 2000 and was also a member of the Team USA Junior National Team before arriving at ASU in 1998. Current Tampa Bay Devil Ray prospect Jon Switzer was also a member of the 2000 National Team and current pitcher Mike Esposito was 3-1 with a 1.56 ERA last summer. Current Sun Devils Dustin Pedroia, Dennis Wyrick and Ryan Schroyer all played for one of the Team USA Junior teams during their respective prep careers.
Looking To Break the Triples Record:
While it is probably a longshot to break the school record of 49 triples in a season (1971), the Devils will certainly increase their triples production by playing at spacious Hohokam Stadium. Through seven games ASU has hit six triples (.86 per game) and are already one-third the way to its entire 2001 triples production of 18. Right now ASU is on pace to hit 48 triples in a season.
The Apollo Connection:
Arizona State and Apollo High School in Glendale has formed quiet a relationship. Former Sun Devil All-American and Major Leaguer Bob Horner started the tradition back in the late 1970's and still holds the ASU career record for home runs with 56. Current Los Angeles Dodger Paul Lo Duca, who was the Sporting News College Player of the Year in 1993 and holds the ASU single-season batting average record at .446 was also a prep standout at Apollo High School. The latest in the line of ASU players to come from Apollo High School is freshman infielder Nick Cadena. Cadena broke the school and state home run records for a career set by Horner and also bettered several of Lo Duca's long-standing records. To add to the connection, ASU Baseball beat writer Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic is also an Apollo graduate.
The Bishop Amat Connection:
Arizona State and Bishop Amat High School in La Puente, Calif., have also formed a good pipeline of players. Junior third baseman Dennis Wyrick played for head coach Kenny Kendrena, as did freshman LHP Miguel Sanchez.
Allen and Esposito Named Summer All-Americans:
Sun Devil sophomores Rod Allen and Mike Esposito were named to Baseball America's second-team Summer All-America team. Allen was ranked as the No. 8 prospect out of the Alaskan League after hitting .314 with 24 stolen bases.