No. 1 Baseball Takes On Wichita State For Two Midweek Games

March 17, 2003

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    TEMPE, Ariz. -- The Arizona State Baseball team went 2-1 over the weekend against No. 30 Oklahoma to improve their season record to 30-2 and held on to the top spot in two of the three college baseball national polls. After having their 19-game winning streak snapped Friday in a 6-5 loss, ASU bounced back with a pair of wins over the Sooners by a combined score of 20-5.

    The Sun Devils (30-2) return to the diamond this week with a pair of midweek games against No. 26 Wichita State (13-5). ASU and the Shockers last met in the 1998 NCAA Tournament in the Midwest regional held at Eck Stadium in Wichita. The Devils lead the all-time series against WSU 9-6, with the Shockers last traveling to Tempe in 1982.

    Having won 21 of their last 22 games, ASU has been a scoring machine with the offense putting double-digits on the scoreboard in 19 games overall and 12 of its last 14 games. Leading the Pac-10 in nearly every offensive category, the squad boasts a team .358 batting average while averaging 10.94 runs per game. Sophomore shortstop Dustin Pedroia is hitting .430 with 21 multi-hit games and 21 doubles. Player of the year candidate Jeff Larish has recorded a team-best 11 home runs and 58 RBI, but has sat out the last two games with back spasms.

    The Chris Sinacori led pitching staff has been a big reason behind the successful 30-2 start to the season. The team ERA stands at a Pac-10 best 3.07, while the starting pitchers have combined to go 17-0 with a 2.55 ERA. Freshman Erik Averill and senior Jered Liebeck are tied for the team lead with six wins each. Junior closer Ryan Schroyer is 3-0 with six saves and a 0.00 ERA in 16.1 IP (24 K's).

    ASU and Wichita State will play Tuesday and Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Packard Stadium. The Sun Devils will then open Pac-10 play this weekend with a three-game series against Stanford starting Saturday at 7 p.m., and continuing Sunday (1 p.m.) and Monday (4:30 p.m.) For ticket information please call the ASU Ticket Office at (480) 965-2381.

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