Arizona State's Hot Start Leaves Opposition Bedeviled

March 13, 2003

By Dana Heiss Grodin
USA TODAY Sports Weekly

Arizona State's celebrated history includes 18 trips to Omaha, five College World Series championships and a remarkable NCAA record streak of 462 games and counting without being shut out.

Now, the Sun Devils have another mark for their brag books - a 28-1 record representing the best start in school history. The last time Arizona State started this hot was in 1972, when the team started 23-1 and finished 64-6.

Arizona State hasn't lost a game since Jan. 31, when Long Beach State beat the Sun Devils 11-5. Arizona State bounced back to beat Long Beach twice that weekend and has remained perfect through its last 19 games, a stretch that includes twin victories against another top 25 team, No. 24 Notre Dame.

'This team is really good, and we have some confidence right now,' said sophomore first baseman Jeff Larish, who is the hottest player on the Sun Devils and possibly in the country.

Larish has performed like a one-man wrecking crew, leading Arizona State with 11 home runs (including three grand slams), 58 RBI and 43 runs scored in 94 at-bats.

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