14th-Ranked Baseball Heads To The Palouse For Three Games With Washington State

April 4, 2002

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    Apr. 5 at Washington State, 3 p.m. PST
    ASU - Mike Esposito - RHP (6-3, 2.53 ERA)
    WSU - Eddie Bonine - RHP (4-4, 6.19 ERA)

    Apr. 6 at Washington State, 1 p.m. PST
    ASU - Bryce Kartler - LHP (2-3, 5.08 ERA)
    WSU - Brandon Hundt - RHP (4-2, 3.83 ERA)

    Apr. 7 at Washington State, 1 p.m. PST
    ASU - Robbie McClellan - RHP (5-2, 4.25 ERA)
    WSU - Garrett Alwert - LHP (2-1, 6.00 ERA)

    All three games vs. Washington State will air on XTRA 910 AM and on www.TheSunDevils.com with Tim Healey and Bob Eger calling all of the action. The normal LiveStats feature will not be available this weekend, but will return vs. UCLA. Sunday's series finale will be televised by Fox Sports Northwest/Arizona with Tod Picket and former major leaguer Dave Heaverlo calling all the action.

    What's On Tap:
    The 14th-ranked Sun Devils travel to Pullman this weekend for a three-game series with the Cougars at Bailey-Brayton Field. The Devils will play 12 of their next 16 games on the road, including three Pac-10 series during that stretch. ASU holds a 21-4 all-time record vs. the Cougars, winning 10 of the last 12. ASU will travel to UCLA the following week for a three-game series vs. the Bruins.

    Quick Hits:
    * Head coach Pat Murphy recorded his 600th career Division 1 victory in the 10-0 win over UNLV (3/8).
    * Senior Jon Sheaffer is third on the team in batting at .367 and has at least one hit in 21 of his last 25 games.
    * Dustin Pedroia is hitting .500 in Pac-10 play and overall at .342. He is hitting .429 (18x42) over his last 10 games.
    * Friday night starter Mike Esposito is 4-1 with a 1.32 ERA in his last five starts. He leads ASU with a 2.53 ERA.
    * Andre Ethier and Dustin Pedroia are the only Devils to play and start in all 31 games this year.
    * ASU will play 12 of the next 16 games on the road, including six straight Pac-10 contests (@ WSU and UCLA).
    * ASU pitching has given up 44 runs in the last five games. The team ERA has risen from 2.88 to 4.17 over the last 11 games.
    * After dipping below the .300 mark as a team for the first time since 1998, ASU is back over .300 at .306 as a team.
    * Junior Dennis Wyrick is a .400 career hitter in Pac-10 play (56x140) after going 5-for-13 vs. UW last weekend.
    * Through 31 games, ASU has four complete games. The Devils had only one all of last year (Jon Switzer).
    * The Devils have scored in the first inning in 18 of their 31 games (58%). ASU is 14-4 when scoring in the first.
    * Jeremy West has eight home runs, more than any player from all of last year. He also leads the team with 39 RBI.
    * The Sun Devils have used 23 different lineups this year, including a string of 15 straight different batting orders.
    * ASU has scored in a NCAA record 406 consecutive games dating back to April 7, 1995. The old record was 349.
    In his 10 appearances out of the bullpen (11.2 IP), sophomore Ryan Schroyer has struck out 21 batters (0.77 ERA).
    * The Devils are now 0-5 in non-conference games on the road after the 11-7 loss to UNLV on Monday.
    * Andre Ethier leads the team in batting at .379 and has 12 multi-hit games. He has a hit in 24 of 31 games this year.
    * Ryan McKenna hit his first career home run in the loss to UNLV. The HR came in his 80th career at-bat.

    Recapping The Washington Series:
    The Sun Devils improved to 4-2 in Pac-10 play with a 2-1 series win over the University of Washington last weekend at Hohokam Stadium. Senior center fielder Jon Sheaffer and freshman shortstop Dustin Pedroia led the Devils at the plate. Pedroia improved his Pac-10 batting average to an even .500 (13x26) by going 7-for-13 in the series with two doubles and six RBI. Sheaffer was 7-for-12 with three runs scored and his first career triple. Andre Ethier remains hot at the plate and had a fine weekend vs. UW with five hits and three RBI. The pitching staff was led by the record-breaking, 17-strikeout performance from sophomore Mike Esposito. Esposito recorded his second complete-game victory of the year by allowing only three runs in ASU's 8-3 win over the Huskies. Ryan Schroyer added four strikeouts and allowed only one hit in two innings out of the bullpen.

    The Last Time Out:
    The Devils dropped to 0-5 on the year in non-conference road games with a 11-7 setback to UNLV Monday night at Earl E. Wilson Stadium in Las Vegas. Jeremy West had a good homecoming with three hits and two RBI, but it wasn't enough as a pair of solo home runs in the seventh inning broke a 6-6 tie to give UNLV the lead for good. Junior Jered Liebeck took the loss to fall to 0-1 on the year by giving up three hits and three runs in 3.0 innings.

    Schroyer Strong Out of Bullpen:
    Arizona State sophomore 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. Schroyer has since been moved into the closer role where he has recorded an amazing 21 strikeouts in just 11.2 innings of work as a reliever. For the season he is 1-1 with three saves and a team second best 2.87 ERA. He has struck out 46 batters in just 31.1 innings of work. In 11.2 bullpen innings, Schroyer has a 0.77 ERA, allowing only one earned run and four hits.

    Ethier Continues Strong Play After Earning Pac-10 POW:
    Sophomore right fielder Andre Ethier was named the Pac-10 Player of the Week for his performance in the three-game series against Arizona and hasn't let down since. Ethier, from Phoenix, Ariz., hit .417 in ASU's series win at rival Arizona, including the two hits to lead the Sun Devils to a pair of victories. In the opening game against the Wildcats, he hit a two-run single in the ninth inning to cap ASU's five-run comeback, lifting the Sun Devils to 9-7 win. In Saturday's 10-6 win, Ethier hit a two-run home run in the seventh to break a 4-4 tie, leading ASU to a 10-6 win. For the weekend he was 5-for-12 with five runs scored, a double, a home run and five RBI. For the season he leads the 14th-ranked Sun Devils in hitting at .79 (44x116) with 11 doubles, two triples and two home runs. He has recorded 12 multi-hit games and has a hit in 24 of his 31 games played this year. He is also tied for the team lead with eight multi-RBI games. He currently has a four-game hitting streak in which he is 6-for-13 (.462). He is hitting .476 in ASU's six Pac-10 games by going 10-for-21 with 10 runs scored and eight RBI.

    Last Year vs. The Cougars:
    Arizona State took two of three from the Cougars in a Pac-10 series at Packard Stadium in Tempe. ASU dropped the opener to the Cougars in a 2-1 game behind a solid pitching performance from LHP Justin Cayetano. ASU came back to win the second game 4-3 with Nick Walsh's first career home run giving the Devils the win. ASU won the series with a 14-4 victory in the third game. Former Devils Chris Duffy and Casey Myers each had three hits, as did Rod Allen. Jon Sheaffer recorded one of his only starts of the year and went 3-for-4. Steve Garrabrants (4x6), Allen (4x9) and Jeremy West (4x12) also did well at the plate vs. WSU. On the mound Aaron Klusman picked up his first career win with a 10-strikeout effort out of the bullpen.

    The All-Time Series vs. The Washington State Cougars:
    Arizona State leads the all-time series with the Cougars 21-4, including a string of 10 of the last 12 games. ASU has only played once on WSU's home field, sweeping a rain-soaked three-game series in Pullman in 2000. ASU is 7-1 in NCAA Tournament games vs. Washington State and 1-0 in the College World Series vs. the Cougars.

    The Last Time in Pullman:
    Arizona State has made only one previous trip to the Palouse, sweeping a three-game series at newly named Bailey-Brayton Field during the 2000 Pac-10 Championship season. The Devils opened the weekend series with a convincing 24-3 win on April 14, 2000. Then junior Jeff Phelps was 3-for-6 with a first inning grand slam home run. The Devils came back with a tough 3-1 win over the Cougs the next day behind a strong pitching performance from Chad Pennington and swept the series with a 14-8 victory on Sunday. The only current Devils to play in that series were Jered Liebeck (0-0, 0.00 ERA, 1 IP) and Dennis Wyrick (.250, 3x12). The Baseball SID for Washington State during that series was current ASU Baseball SID Jeff Evans.

    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. The starting lineup this weekend figures to have three freshman, five sophomores and one senior. The starting rotation figures to have one sophomore and two juniors, one of which is a newcomer after transferring from a junior college. To show how young ASU really is, when ASU plays at Washington State this weekend, only two players (Wyrick and Liebeck) played in the three games the last time the Devils played in Pullman in 2000.

    You're The Best, Mike Esposito:
    While not claiming to be the best, sophomore Mike Esposito comes out to the song from the Karate Kid sound track labeled, 'You're the best,' before each of his starts. A song held special to his heart because the man singing the song is his father, Joe Esposito, who is currently a lounge singer at Paris Casino in Las Vegas as part of a group called Cat Daddy. 'Espo', a fifth-round pick by the Cincinnati Reds out of high school, leads ASU on the mound with a 6-3 record and a 2.53 ERA. Arizona State sophomore right-handed pitcher Mike Esposito had one of the best pitching performances in Sun Devil baseball history when he struck out 17 batters in a complete-game victory over the University of Washington (3/29) at Hohokam Stadium. He allowed only three runs (two earned) and eight hits in his second complete-game of the year. Esposito, a redshirt sophomore from Las Vegas, Nev. (Cimarron-Memorial High School) registered the sixth most K's in a single game in ASU history and the most since 1997. He improved to 6-3 on the year leading the Devils to a 8-3 win over the Huskies and leads the team with a 2.53 ERA. Over his last five games is a remarkable 4-1 with a nearly impeccable 1.32 ERA. Over that same stretch has registered 47 strikeouts in 34.0 innings pitched. The preseason All-American and 2001 Team USA member is now 12-5 in his two-years at ASU.

    A Night to Remember, Esposito Strikes Out 17 vs. Washington:
    Here is how Esposito's 17-strikeout game ranks among the top performances in ASU school history. It is the most by a Sun Devil pitcher since Ryan Mills struck out 17 vs. Southern Illinois in 1997 and no on has had more in a Sun Devil uniform since the 1973 season.

    22 - Sterling Slaughter, 3-18-63 vs. CSU21 - Eddie Bane, 4-1-72 vs. LaVerne (14 inn.)20 - Jim Otten, 5-23-73 vs. BYU19 - Eddie Bane, 6-1-73 vs. Denver18 - Gary Gentry, 5-22-67 vs. Arizona17 - Mike Esposito, 3-29-02 vs. Washington17 - Ryan Mills, 2-14-97 vs. Southern Illinois17 - Sean Rees, 3-9-90 vs. California

    The Wild, Wild West:
    Sophomore first baseman Jeremy West leads the Sun Devils in several offensive categories. He has eight home runs on the year, already more than any single player from the 2001 season. West also leads the team with 39 RBI, ranking third in the Pac-10. He also leads the team with 33 runs scored (3rd in Pac-10), .757 slugging percentage (4th in Pac-10) and 84 total bases (2nd in Pac-10) to name just a few. All eight of his home runs have come at home this year and he now has 14 in his career. West is one of ASU's hottest hitters as of late with a .425 batting average over his last 10 games (17x40). He hit two of his eight home runs and tabbed five RBI in the three-game series vs. Washington. He is fresh off a 3-for-4 game vs. UNLV in his hometown of Las Vegas.

    McClellan Needs To Step It Up:
    ASU junior right-hander Robbie McClellan has had three consecutive sub-par outings with three straight no-decisions to his credit. McClellan is now 3-0 in his six with a 4.17 ERA and 29 strikeouts in 36.2 innings. McClellan, from Liberal, Kan., became the first Sun Devil to notch back-to-back complete games since 1999, striking out a career-high 10 batters in a seven-inning win against UNLV (3/8). He allowed just four hits and did not allow a run in the 10-0 win over the Rebels. He also went all nine innings in a 7-2 win over Loyola Marymount (3/2). McClellan is second on the team in wins with a 5-2 record and has an overall 4.25 ERA in 53.0 innings pitched. Has struck out 55 batters and walked 27. He became the 43rd selection all-time for Arizona State as Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week. McClellan is nicknamed 'The Child' by his teammates for his boyish looks.

    Home Sweet Home:
    The Devils will not return home until a three-game series vs. Cal April 19-21 at Hohokam Park. The Devils will play 12 out of their next 16 games on the road, including back-to-back Pac-10 road series at Washington State and UCLa. The Devils are 2-6 this year on the road, enduring a three-game sweep at Florida State and losing a pair of non-conference games at New Mexico State and UNLV. ASU is 18-6 at home this year, going 15-5 at Hohokam Stadium in Mesa and 3-0 at Packard Stadium on the ASU campus. The Devils are hitting .314 at home, compared to a .282 mark on the road. The pitching has varied with a 3.16 ERA at home and a 7.43 mark in ASU's eight road games this year. ASU was 25-9-1 at home last year and 11-9 on the road.

    Road Warriors:
    The Devils are set to embark on a tough stretch of 12 of their next 16 games on the road. After playing Thursday-Saturday at home last weekend vs. Washington, ASU played a single game Monday at UNLV, then travel to the Palouse for a three-game Pac-10 series with Washington State in Pullman. After a another Pac-10 series at UCLA, the Devils return home to play Cal (Apr. 19-21) before taking to the road again for a non-conference road trip for a single game at Oklahoma (Apr. 24) and two games at Notre Dame (Apr. 26-27).

    Recapping the Month of March:
    The Sun Devil Baseball program now has an all-time 624-246-1 record in the month of March dating back to the 1959 baseball season. ASU was 12-5 last month with a team batting average of .303 and a team ERA of 4.45. Head Coach Pat Murphy, who recently picked up his 600th career Division I victory, is now 76-53-1 in the month of March in his eight years at ASU. Jon Sheaffer led the Devils in the month of March by hitting .382 (21x55) with 14 RBI. Jeremy West hit five of his team-leading eight home runs in the 17 games in March. On the mound Mike Esposito was 4-1 with a 1.32 ERA in his five starts in the month.

    Sun Devil Baseball Successful in April:
    The Sun Devil baseball program has an all-time 514-218 record in the month of April dating back to the 1959 season when varsity baseball started. The Devils are 0-1 to start the month and have the busiest portion of their schedule ahead of them with 13 games left to play in April. ASU was 10-6 last year in April and have a 21-10 record dating back to 2000 in the month of April. ASU head coach Pat Murphy is a combined 70-41 in the month of April in his eight years in Tempe.

    Ethier At Bat:
    Andre Ethier had an interesting journey en route to becoming ASU's leading hitter this year. He came to ASU in the fall of 2000, left ASU to play at Chandler-Gilbert CC, and now is back as the starting right fielder for the Sun Devils. The sweet-swinging Ethier leads the team in hitting through 31 games with a .379 (44x116) batting average. Ethier has 12 multi-hit games on the year, five of which have been three-hit affairs and one a four-hit game. 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. He is one of only two Devils to start all 31 games for the Sun Devils, with 30 coming in right field and one start coming at first base. He has a hit in 4 of 31 games this year.

    Three-Position Pedroia:
    Freshman Dustin Pedroia has been ASU's hottest hitters as of late and is coming off a weekend series against Washington in which he was 7-for-13 (.538) with three runs, two doubles and six RBI at the plate. He also added two hits in the loss to UNLV. In six Pac-10 games this year the freshman leads the Devils in hitting with a .500 average, going 13-for-26. His weekend included a pair of three-hit games (Thursday and Saturday) and was 1-for-4 with a two-run double in Friday's 8-3 win over UW. He started all three games against the Huskies at shortstop (his third position started at this year) and for the 27th straight game played flawless defense. For the year Pedroia is fourth on the team while hitting at a .342 clip (41x120) and has managed at least one hit in 23 of his 31 games played. On defense he leads the team with a .982 fielding percentage, making only two errors in 110 total chances. Over the last 12 games Pedroia has had his batting average rise from .286 to .342.

    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. Arizona State is listed as having the ninth toughest schedule in the nation on www.Boydsworld.com. So far this year the Devils are 5-5 against teams ranked in at least one of the national polls at the time they played. ASU's 5-5 record against ranked teams does not include playing Oklahoma, which moved from unranked to No. 18/22 in the polls after taking two of three from the Devils.

    The Streak Continues. ASU Enters Weekend With Scoring Streak at 406:
    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 11-1 loss to Arizona (3/24) marked only the 12th time during the streak that ASU has scored only one run. The streak continues at 406 consecutive games with ASU scoring in each of the 31 games this year. The Devils have extended the streak early in a majority of its games, with a run in the first inning 18 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.

    One, Two and Three-Run Misery:
    Playing one of the nation's toughest schedules this year, Arizona State has had a handful of close games that haven't gone their way. In fact, of the squad's 11 losses this year, seven have come by three or less runs. ASU is 2-2 in one-run games and 2-4 in two run games this year.

    The Jinx of the Maroon Jersey's:
    If Arizona State took away Sunday, they would only have six losses on the year. But as it is, the final day of the week and each series for ASU does exist, but the 4-4 record could be drastically better. ASU has led in two of its crucial Sunday games vs. Florida State and Cal State Fullerton that could have drastically changed its position in the national polls. The team is hitting only .246 and pitching for a 4.63 ERA on Sunday's... each time wearing the 'Maroon ASU' jersey. The Sun Devils did not play last Sunday due to the Easter Holiday! Overall ASU is 5-5 when wearing Maroon.

    Now That's The Way to Start the Game.... And An Inning:
    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 the first inning in 18 of their 31 (58%) games this year. The Sun Devil leadoff hitter, 23 times being Steve Garrabrants, four times being Dustin Pedroia and two times being Doug Schutt, has recorded a hit or walked in the first at-bat of the game in 18 of ASU's 31 games. Garrabrants is 10-for-19 (.526) with five singles, four doubles, two walks and a home run to his credit, while Pedroia is 3-for-4 and Schutt is 1-for-1 with a single and a walk. Garrabrants has also had great success when you take into account him also leading off an inning, not jut the start of the game, going 17-for-40 (.425) with five doubles and both of his home runs.

    Jeff Larish Makes Strong Sun Devil Debut:
    Freshman infielder Jeff Larish had not dressed for a game this year and was in the stands as a redshirt candidate before finding out he would be the starting third baseman in ASU's Mar. 16 game vs. Oklahoma. Larish made the most of the opportunity, going 3-for-4 with a triple and run scored in his ASU debut vs. the Sooners. For the season he is hitting .370 (10x27) with a double, two triples and three RBI. The freshman starred at Tempe McClintock High School last year and was a 32nd-round draft choice of the Chicago Cubs last June.

    Murphy Picks Up Career Division 1 Victory #600:
    With a convincing 10-0 win over UNLV in seven innings on March 8, Sun Devil Head Coach Pat Murphy reached the 600 plateau for Division I victories in his 15 years of coaching at the top level of collegiate baseball. Murphy has now fashioned a career 662-325-4 record in his 18 seasons as a head coach, with 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 and is 289-154-1 in his eight-year ASU career. He will coach in his 1,000th career game on April 27, 2002 when he returns to play his former school, Notre Dame, in South Bend, Ind.

    Garrabrants Proves To Be a Sparkplug:
    Things were going just great for Steve Garrabrants before he got hit by a pitch vs. St. John's, and ever since then it has been a battle to get him back in the lineup. Garrabrants missed seven games since the injury occurred on Mar. 9. The Devils have also missed him, going 3-4 in those games. For the season Garrabrants is fifth on the team with a .340 batting average, but has managed only five hits in his limited action since the injury occurred. He is currently tied for the team lead with nine stolen bases has 11 extra base hits.

    Wyrick Comes Up Clutch in Pac-10 Play:
    Junior Dennis Wyrick is ASU's most veteran play with 403 career at-bats. While battling for playing time this year and learning a new position at catcher and third base, Wyrick has still maintained a solid .329 (23x70) batting average in 24 games this year. A career .337 hitter, Wyrick has been even more amazing in Pac-10 play. After going 8-for-18 in the first two league series, Wyrick is now hitting .400 (56x140) in his Pac-10 career.

    Making the Most of his Senior Year, Jon Sheaffer:
    Senior center fielder Jon Sheaffer is making the most of his final year as a college student-athlete. Sheaffer, who played football and baseball for ASU last year after transferring from South Mountain CC, played in only 30 games last year, making three starts. This year is a different story though, as Sheaffer has started 26 of ASU's 31 games in center field and is currently third on the team in hitting with a .367 batting average with six doubles and 18 RBI. He has recorded a hit in 23 of his 29 games this year, including a streak of 21 of his last 25 games. He recently had a career-high 13-game hitting streak snapped in which he combined to go 17-for-40 (.425) with 11 runs scored and 10 RBI. He has been clutch this year hitting .423 (11x26) with runners in scoring position and an even more amazing .556 (5x9) with runners in scoring position with two outs. He is also 1-for-1 with four RBI with the bases loaded this year.

    Devils Better Score Early and Often:
    The Sun Devils have had good success this year when scoring before their opponent, going 14-6 in those games. Even more importantly, when ASU scores in the first inning they are 14-4. Five runs or more seem to be the magic number for the Devils, as ASU is 20-5 in games when scoring five or more runs. The Devils are also 16-3 when leading after six innings and 19-1 when leading after eight innings.

    Opening Day Devils:
    Six (6) former Sun Devils on opening day rosters when MLB kicked off the 2002 season this week. After 11 Devils were present in Big League camp, five were sent down to minor league camp. Former Sun Devil (1983-85) San Francisco Giants slugger Barry Bonds is coming off his record-breaking 2001 season in which he set the MLB record with 73 home runs and already has two in 2002.

    Benjamin, Mike	Pittsburgh Pirates	3BBonds, Barry	San Francisco Giants	LFCruz, Jacob	Detroit Tigers	CFLo Duca, Paul	Los Angeles Dodgers	CLowe, Sean	Pittsburgh Pirates	RPVina, Fernando	St. Louis Cardinals	2B

    Allen and Esposito Earn Preseason All-America Awards:
    Sun Devil players Rod Allen and Mike Esposito both earned preseason All-America honors by various college baseball publications. Allen, set an ASU freshman record in 2001 by hitting .389, 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 has struggled at the plate as of late and is hitting .265 on the year. He is second on the team with five home runs and is 10th in the Pac-10 with 27 RBI. He has recorded a hit in 22 of 31 games this year. Esposito is 6-3 with a 2.53 ERA in his nine starts, including a complete-game victory over Tennessee (2/9) and a 17-strikeout effort vs. Washington (3/29).

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