16th-Ranked Baseball Hosts No. 12 Cal State Fullerton This Weekend
Feb. 20, 2002
Arizona State Sun Devils (7-3)
No. 16 BA No. 8 BW, No. 15 CB
vs. Cal State Fullerton Titans (7-3)
No. 12 BA, No. 10 BW, No. 14 CB
Feb. 22 vs. Cal State Fullerton, 6 p.m. MST
CSF - Wes Littleton - RHP (2-1, 2.11 ERA)
ASU - Mike Esposito - RHP (2-1, 4.76 ERA)
Feb. 23 vs. Cal State Fullerton, 6 p.m. MST
CSF - Darric Merrell - RHP (2-0, 5.40)
ASU - Ryan Schroyer - RHP (1-1, 4.60 ERA)
Feb. 24 vs. Cal State Fullerton, 1 p.m. MST
CSF - Jordan DeJong - RHP (2-0, 2.45)
ASU - Bryce Kartler - LHP (1-0, 3.00 ERA)
ASU vs. CAL STATE FULLERTON
Overall Record vs. CSF: ASU leads 21-17
Last Meeting: Feb. 23, Apr. 9, May 26
ASU 5-3, CSF 13-6, CSF 13-3
Arizona State returns to the airwaves this weekend with two of the games to be broadcast against the Titans. Friday and Sunday's games can be heard in the Phoenix area on XTRA 910 AM or via a webcast at www.TheSunDevils.com. All three games can also be tracked via the LiveStats option on www.TheSunDevils.com. The broadcast team of Tim Healey and Bob Eger will bring you all the action from Hohokam Stadium this weekend.
Arizona State (7-3)is ranked No. 16 by Baseball America, No. 8 by Baseball Weekly/ESPN and No. 15 by Collegiate Baseball. The Sun Devils have been ranked in the national polls for 42 consecutive weeks. Cal State Fullerton (7-3) is ranked #12 by Baseball America, #14 by Collegiate Baseball, and No. 10 by Baseball Weekly/ESPN.
What's On Tap:
The 16th-ranked Sun Devil Baseball team is off to a 7-3 start after enduring its first three losses of the season last weekend in a series sweep by the No. 2 Florida State Seminoles. For already the second time in the young 2002 season, ASU will face a team that competed in the College World Series last year in the 12th-ranked Cal State Fullerton Titans. The Titans enter the series 7-3 and have won seven of their last eight after a series sweep of UNLV last weekend at home. After the Sun Devils host Fullerton this weekend at Hohokam Stadium, Loyola Marymount (who plays Fullerton this Wednesday) for a three-game set March 1-3. The Devils will make their next roadtrip on March 12 to New Mexico State.
Movin' On Up.. And Down In The Polls:
The Sun Devils moved up drastically in the college baseball national polls with their remarkable 7-0 start, but got a taste of reality when the slipped a few spots after the Florida State Series. 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 prior to the FSU series. 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. ASU is currently ranked No. 16 by Baseball America, No. 8 by Baseball Weekly and No. 15 by Collegiate Baseball.
Thank You For Leaving Tallahassee:
The Sun Devils couldn't have been happier to leave Tallahassee. After enduring the tough series sweep that included a pair of two-run losses, ASU is now 1-16 all-time at Dick Howser Stadium.
Sun Devil Baseball Turns It On In February:
The Sun Devil Baseball program has an all-time 364-137 (.727) 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 74-30 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 three starts this year, Schroyer is 1-1 with a 4.60 ERA and has struck out 22 batters in just 15.2 innings.
The Record Is In The Books. ASU Has Scored In 385 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 in almost every game, with a run in the first inning seven times in 2002. 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 .324 batting average, two home runs, seven RBI and has played spectacular defense in left field. Esposito is 2-1 with a 4.76 ERA in his three starts.
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 276-146-1 in his 8-year ASU career.
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 seven of their 10 games this year. The Sun Devil leadoff hitter, nine times being Steve Garrabrants and one time being Doug Schutt, is 7-for-10 to lead off the game for ASU. Garrabrants is 6-for-9 with three singles, two 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.
Scouting the Cal State Fullerton Titans:
Fullerton is coming off its most dominant three-game series sweep in six years after outscoring the visiting UNLV Rebels, 41-4, last weekend and picked up a come-from-behind 7-6 win over Loyola Marymount Tuesday in Los Angeles. Since dropping the first two games of the season at No. 1 Stanford, the Titans have won seven of eight contests. The Titans opened the season going 1-2 vs. Stanford and then have caught fire in home games against Fresno State and UNLV. The Titans are led by Friday night starter Wes Littleton, who is 2-0 with a 0.54 ERA in his last two starts. The Titans are led offensively by Big West Player of the Week Shane Costa. Costa is hitting .500 (18x36) with eight RBI.
The ASU-Cal State Fullerton All-Time Series:
The Sun Devils and Titans have met 38 times on the diamond, with ASU holding a slim 21-17 lead in the all-time series. Arizona State has dropped five of the past six games, including going 1-2 last year at Titan Field in Fullerton. The last time ASU and Cal State Fullerton met in a three-game series in Arizona was back in 1985 when the Devils took two of three from the Titans. Below is a list of games played in the all-time series dating back to 1975:
1975: CS Fullerton L 6-7 CS Fullerton W 7-2 CS Fullerton W 4-3 CS Fullerton W 7-2 CS Fullerton L 8-10
1976: CS Fullerton W 5-4 CS Fullerton W 6-4 CS Fullerton W 11-1
1977: CS Fullerton W 6-2 CS Fullerton L 8-9 CS Fullerton W 7-3 CS Fullerton W 5-4
1979:2/23 CS Fullerton W 5-42/24 CS Fullerton W 10-32/25 CS Fullerton L 12-18
1980:2/29 CS Fullerton W 13-103/1 CS Fullerton W 8-73/1 CS Fullerton W 5-3
1981:2/6 at CS Fullerton L 1-32/7 at CS Fullerton L 5-75/23 CS Fullerton (NCAA) W 18-95/24 CS Fullerton (NCAA) W 12-7
1982:5/29 CS Fullerton (NCAA) L 9-105/30 CS Fullerton (NCAA) L 7-8
1983:5/28 CSFullerton (NCAA) W 8-0
1984:6/8 CS Fullerton (CWS) L 1-6
1985:2/8 CS Fullerton W 16-52/9 CS Fullerton W 7-32/10 CS Fullerton L 3-15
1999:3/16 at CS Fullerton (#14) L 5-7
2000:3/14 CS Fullerton (#11) L 4-5
2001:2/23 at CS Fullerton (#18) W 5-34/9 at CS Fullerton (#14) L 6-135/26 CS Fullerton (NCAA) L 3-13
Last Year vs. Cal State Fullerton:
The Devils would like nothing more than to handle the Titans this weekend after having their hopes and dreams of Omaha distinguished last year at the Fullerton hosted regional. After taking care of the Titans in the first game of the eventual three in 2001 by a score of 5-3. Nick Walsh was the hitting hero with a two-run, pinch-hit single in the seventh inning. Fullerton won the second game convincing 13-6 on a Monday after ASU played three heated games at USC. The season finale was played in the NCAA Regional, with CSF beating ASU 13-3. The game was close at 6-3 after seven, but Fullerton erupted for seven runs in the eighth and ninth innings to put the game away. No current ASU hitter had a batting average above .200 last year vs. the Titans.
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.
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 .350 (28x80). Pedroia is currently sixth on the team with a .324 average (12x37) and Garrabrants is third hitting at a .372 clip (16x43) with two home runs and 15 runs scored. Pedroia has started eight games at second base and two at third base, while Garrabrants has made eight starts in the designated hitter spot and two starts at second base. Garrabrants 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. Both had a rough weekend at Florida State, with Garrabrants hitting .214 (3x14) with seven strikeouts and Pedroia going 2-for-10 (.200).
The Wild, Wild West:
Sophomore first baseman Jeremy West is off torrid start in 2002 with a team-leading 14 RBI in ASU's 10 games. Leading the Sun Devils with seven extra-base hits, West is fourth on the team with a .367 (11x30) batting average and has recorded a hit in six of his nine games played.
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 3,916 runs, averaging 9.26 runs per game and hitting at an overall .331 clip.
Kartler Picks Up First Career Win And Keeps on Truckin:
Junior LHP Bryce Kartler picked up his first career win as a Sun Devil in his 33rd career appearance when he tied a career high with nine K's in his win over Tennessee (2/10). With two starts, and one relief appearance (he entered with two outs in the first inning) Kartler is leading the ASU pitching staff with a 3.00 ERA. In 18.0 innings, Kartler has allowed just nine hits (.148 opposing batting average) and struck out 21. Labeled as 'effectively wild' Kartler has also walked 11 batters and hit a team-leading five batters.
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 2-1 with one save just five games into his Sun Devil career. In 11.1 combined innings, the junior who starred at Seward County CC and for the summer league Liberal BeeJays, has struck out 18 batters and opposing hitters. 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, but had his first rough outing vs. Florida State (2.17) to pick up his first loss. For the season McClellan is second on the team with a 3.18 ERA.
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 transferred 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 six 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. The normal starting lineup has five sophomores, two true freshman and at least one senior on the field. When the Devils made the cross country trek to Tallahassee for the FSU series, 13 of the 27 on the travel roster were making their first road trip as a Sun Devil.
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.
Andre Ethier Swinging a Hot Bat:
Andre Ethier came to ASU, left ASU, and is not back at ASU, and boy, ASU is happy. The sweet-swinging Ethier is leading the Sun Devils in hitting through 10 games with a .486 (18x37) batting average. Hitting .545 vs. Florida State and 12-for-20 in his last five games, Ethier has been nearly unstoppable at the plate, with five multi-hit games on the year, four of which have been three-hit affairs. 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.
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. He is slumping at the plate, hitting just .056 with one hit in 18 at-bats.
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 long-standing 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.
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 to help lead the Anchorage Glacier Pilots to the National Baseball Congress (NBC) World Series Championship in Wichita, Kan. Esposito was 3-1 with a 1.56 ERA for Team USA. Junior pitcher Robbie McClellan also had great summer success, helping lead the Liberal BeeJays (Kansas) to the NBC World Series. McClellan was named an NBC All-American after going 2-0 with a 0.52 ERA in the 2001 World Series.