No. 2/3 Sun Devil Baseball Takes Back To Road For Three-Game Set At USC

March 26, 2003

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    Probable Pitchers:
    Mar. 28 at USC, 6 p.m. PST
    USC - Bobby Paschal, LHP (2-3, 2.98 ERA)
    ASU - Beau Vaughan, RHP (5-1, 4.15 ERA)

    Mar. 29 at USC, 1 p.m. PST
    USC - Brian Bannister, RHP (3-3, 4.34 ERA)
    ASU - Erik Averill, LHP (6-0, 2.20 ERA)

    Mar. 30 at USC, 1 p.m. PST
    USC - TBA, LHP (Olson, Rummonds or Dizard)
    ASU - Ben Thurmond, RHP (3-0, 3.28 ERA)

    National Rankings:
    Arizona State (32-5) is ranked in all three national polls and is the No. 2 team in the nation by Sports Weekly/ESPN and ranked No. 3 in the recent Baseball America poll. The Sun Devils have now been ranked in the national polls for 67 consecutive polls. USC is currently not ranked in any of the three major polls, but opened the 2003 season ranked No. 3 by Collegiate Baseball and No. 6 by Baseball America.

    Media Exposure:
    All three games vs. USC will be broadcast live on the Sun Devil Sports Network on NBC 1190 AM. Tim Healey and Bob Eger to call all the action from the Dedeaux Field press box. All games during the 2003 season are also available via the GameTracker feature on

    The Storyline:
    The Sun Devils (32-5) meet the USC Trojans (13-14) in a three-game series this weekend at Dedeaux Field in Los Angeles. ASU enters the series after going 4-4 in a stretch of eight games in 11 days against ranked opponents, while USC has dropped three straight. Both schools stand at 1-2 in conference play after ASU dropped a home series to Stanford and the Trojans lost two of three at Arizona. USC leads the all-time series 84-82, but ASU has not won a series at Dedeaux Field since sweeping in 1993. The Devils beat USC two of three last year at Hohokam Park, despite USC winning its second straight Pac-10 Championship. The rivalry pits two of the nation's traditional college baseball powers with USC owning 12 National Championships and ASU having won five national titles. USC was picked by the conference coaches to repeat as Pac-10 Champions.

    Consecutive Games Scoring Streak Reaches 470:
    The Arizona State baseball program has now scored in an NCAA record 470 consecutive games dating back to the 1995 season. The Devils made history on April 7, 2001 when they scored at least one run in their 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 in that game on April 7, 1995 at Dedeaux Field. The one run scored in the 3-1 loss to Stanford (4/12/02) marked only the 12th time during the streak that ASU has scored only one run. 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 the 1990 season. ASU is a combined 311-158-1 during the streak. Notable pitchers the Devils have faced during the streak include Jeremy Guthrie (Stanford), Barry Zito (USC), Kirk Saarloos (CS Fullerton), Jason Young (Stanford), Ben Diggins (Arizona), Adam Johnson (CS Fullerton), Ryan Drese (Cal), Jeff Weaver (Fresno State), Chad Hutchinson (Stanford), Abe Alvarez and Adam Pettyjohn (Fresno State).

    Poll Mechanics:
    After going 4-4 in the eight game stretch that spanned the last 11 days, Arizona State fell a couple of spots in the Sports Weekly/ESPN and Collegiate Baseball polls. ASU is now No. 2 in the ESPN coaches poll and No. 4 by Collegiate Baseball. Baseball America ranks ASU No. 3 in the nation. The Devils spent two weeks manning the top spot in two of the three national rakings, marking the first time being No. 1 since heading into the 1993 College World Series. ASU has been ranked for 67 consecutive national polls dating back to the start of the 2000 season. The Sun Devils entered the 2003 season ranked as high as No. 8 in the nation by Baseball America in the preseason collegiate polls. Arizona State also earned a preseason No. 9 ranking by Sports Weekly/ESPN, No .10 by NCBWA and No. 12 ranking by Collegiate Baseball. The No. 8 preseason ranking is the highest by an ASU squad since opening the 2001 season as the consensus No. 6 team in the nation.

    On the Road Again:
    After a 19-game home stand in which ASU went 15-4 and after playing the last 25 games in the state of Arizona, the Sun Devils take back to the road this weekend with a three-game series at USC. The Devils are 11-1 when playing away from Packard Stadium this year, going 3-0 in neutral site games in Surprise, Ariz., 2-1 at Long Beach State and 6-0 at Hawaii-Hilo. The Devils were 8-11 on the road in 2002.

    Last Year vs. USC:
    ASU won its first series over the Trojans since 1998 last year by taking two of three games at Hohokam Park in Mesa. (5/17-5/18). The series win was the first since sweeping USC at Packard Stadium in 1998. ASU won games of 3-1 and 17-8, with a 9-5 loss sandwiched between the wins. Jered Liebeck was brilliant recording a career-high eight strikeouts in seven shutout innings to lead ASU to the series opening win. Departed senior Sergio Garcia led ASU at the plate going 7-for-12 (.583) with three RBI. Steve Garrabrants (.455) and Dustin Pedroia (.417) also had a good series at the plate.

    Scouting USC:
    USC enters the three-game Pac-10 series with the Sun Devils with a 13-14 record and have lost three straight games. The Trojans are coming off a 1-2 series loss at Arizona last weekend and a midweek 11-9 loss to Fresno State. Winners of the last two Pac-10 championships and picked to win the league title once again this year by Pac-10 coaches, USC entered the season ranked as high as No. 3 in the country in the preseason polls. USC has played a tough scheduled with 14 games against ranked opponents, going 6-8 in those games. Freshman catcher Jeff Clement leads the Pac-10 with 14 home runs and heads into the weekend series as the Pac-10 Player of the Week after slugging four homers last week. Sophomore Joey Metropoulos and Travis McAndrews are tied for the team lead in batting at .330, with Metropoulos, the 2002 Pac-10 Freshman of the Year, second on the team with seven home runs. USC is hitting .279 on the year and second in the Pac-10 with 41 home runs. The pitching staff has a 5.54 ERA, led by the three wins from Paradise Valley native Brett Bannister.

    Last Time vs. USC at Dedeaux Field:
    With the three game series this weekend, ASU has now played three times at Dedeaux in last four years. ASU lost two of three in 2001, dropping the Friday and Saturday games by scores of 11-2 and 5-1. The Devils rebounded by winning the series finale 11-1. The series, played 4/6-4/8, also marked the record breaking 350th straight game in which ASU scored at least one run. The consecutive games scoring streak now stands at 470 games. Current Chicago Cubs starting pitcher Mark Prior pitched the Trojans to the series opening win by limited the Devils to one run and seven his in eight strong innings. Rod Allen had a good series in his return to Southern California (grew up in Culver City), hitting .600 (6x10) with a double and three runs scored.

    Get That Monkey Off Our Back:
    Arizona State is a combined 3-15 at Dedeaux Field since 1995 and last won a series against USC on the road when the 1993 squad swept the three-game series. In addition, senior third baseman Dennis Wyrick, a native of Southern Calif., has combined to go 0-for-15 in five career games against the Trojans.

    Home Run Notes:
    Through 37 games of the 2003 season the Sun Devils have already surpassed their entire season total from 2002 with 42 home runs. ASU has hit 30 of those home runs at Packard Stadium and 12 in its 12 road or neutral site games. Of the 25 games played at Packard Stadium the Devils have hit at least one home run in 16 games. A total of 12 different players have hit at least one home run (Mike Guerrero added to list vs. Penn State) and seven players have two or more home runs. Sophomore Jeff Larish leads the way with 11 round-trippers, including three grand slams. The Devils have homered in 23 of their 37 games, including 13 multi-home run games. The Devils also have eight grand slams on the season with Larish (3), Steve Garrabrants (2), Jeremy West and freshmen Ryan Bosch and Travis Buck all leaving the yard with the bases loaded. ASU had only one grand slam in 2002 and four in 2001. ASU's home run breakdown includes nine solo shots, 15 two-run homers, 10 three-run home runs and eight grand slams.

    Pedroia On Fire at the Plate and in the Field:
    Sophomore shortstop Dustin Pedroia (Woodland, Calif.) has been the spark plug to ASU's early season success and an integral part to ASU's 32-5 record. ASU's only player to play and start in all 37 games, Pedroia leads the Pac-10 in hitting at .432 (67x155) with 23 doubles and 27 RBI. He has also recorded 24 multi-hit games to pace the ASU offense and has ignited several ASU scoring rallies as is evident by his .529 (36x68) average as a leadoff hitter (inning and game). In a rare performance, Pedroia went 0-for-5 with two strikeouts in ASU's 4-2 win over LBSU (2/2) to have his career-long 22-game hitting streak come to a halt. The streak, which spanned 11 games each at the end of 2002 and 11 games to begin 2003, fell just two games off the top six in ASU Baseball history. It is the longest streak since current Houston Astros prospect Brooks Conrad had a 21-game streak in 2000. During the streak Pedroia combined to hit .390 (41x105). He also recently had another 17-game hitting streak come to an end. Pedroia now has a hit in 46 of his last 48 games, including hits in all but two games this year (35 of 37). In his two years as a Sun Devil he already has 149 hits, 35 of which are doubles, and has never missed a start in 95 consecutive games. In the field Pedroia has also been the rock to ASU's solid .970 team fielding percentage. The slick fielding shortstop has committed only six errors in 169 total chances for a .964 fielding percentage. Pedroia went 6-for-14 (.429) with two doubles last weekend vs. Stanford and is currently riding a seven-game hitting streak (.464, 13-for-28).

    The Grand Salami:
    After hitting only one grand slam all of last year, the Sun Devils have gone on a binge this year hitting eight in their first 34 games. Sophomore first baseman Jeff Larish has already tied the single-season school record with three slams (Dave Hudgens, 1977) and junior second baseman Steve Garrabrants has two. Ryan Bosch, Travis Buck and Jeremy West each have one. The NCAA record for grand slams in a season by a team is 12 set by Oklahoma State in 1995. ASU has been clutch in 2003 with the bases loaded hitting at a combined clip of .436 (44-for-101). Larish leads the team hitting .714 (10-for-14) with the sacks full.

    Perrault Takes His Shirt Off:
    Junior right-handed pitcher Josh Perrault was scheduled to use the 2003 season as a redshirt season, but after having success in practice, Perrault will become a key factor in the ASU bullpen for the rest of the season. He made his 2003 debut last weekend vs. Stanford with one scoreless inning. Perrault was 0-0with a 6.97 ERA in nine games (2 starts) as a sophomore in 2002.

    Two Out Rallies:
    Over the last two years the Sun Devils have had a flare for scoring runs with two outs. In 2002 the Devils scored 232 of their 450 total runs (52%) with two outs. ASU is back at it again in 2003 scoring 166 of their 379 runs (44%) after two outs have been recorded. During the season-high nine-run sixth inning that led to ASU's 14-8 come-from-behind victory over Notre Dame (2/23), all nine runs came with two outs after a full-count walk to Jeff Larish. Larish leads the team with 22 two-out RBI, while catcher Tuffy Gosewisch leads the team hitting .474 (9x19) with two outs. As a team the Devils are batting .323 (134x415) after two outs have been recorded.

    Murphy Records Milestone Win No. 700:
    Arizona State head coach Pat Murphy notched his 700th career coaching victory with a 14-8 win over Notre Dame (2/23). In his 19 years in college baseball, Murphy now has a 711-340-4 overall record and a career 338-169-1 record in his nine years at Arizona State. The 1998 Baseball America Coach of the Year has led ASU to the NCAA tournament in five of the last six years. ASU's 12-2 win over CS Northridge (3/9) was Murphy's 500th career game at Arizona State.

    Home Sweet Home:
    ASU returns to Packard Stadium in 2003 after playing in Mesa (Hohokam Park) in 2002. The Devils recorded their 800th career victory at Packard Stadium (3/1 vs. PSU) and have an all-time 808-230-1 dating back to 1974. ASU will play 40 of its 62 games in the state of Arizona and 37 at Packard Stadium this year. After playing nine of its first 12 games on the road, the Devils spent nearly the entire months of February and March in the state of Arizona with only three games away from Packard Stadium at the new spring training facility of the Texas Rangers/Kansas City Royals in Surprise. The Devils have played their last 18 games at Packard Stadium, ending the longest home stand of the year last week with the Pac-10 opening series against nationally ranked Stanford (Mar. 22-24). After going 29-10 in designated home games last year, the Devils are 21-4 at home this year now have a combined 154-47-1 (.765) home record in the last five years dating back to 1998. ASU is hitting .340 with 30 home runs in 25 home games and pitching for a 3.54 team ERA on the mound.

    Arizona State in Home Games (1998-2003):2003:	21-42002:	29-102001:	25-9-12000: 	33-81999:	27-71998:	19-9Total:	154-47-1

    Buck and Bosch Among Fab 50 Freshmen:
    ASU's freshman outfield tandem of Travis Buck and Ryan Bosch has both been tabbed as part of Baseball America's Freshman Fab 50. Buck, a 23rd round draft choice of the Seattle Mariners last June, is ranked No. 25 on the list. Buck has started 35 of ASU's 37 games and is hitting .365 with two home runs and 26 RBI. Bosch, ranked No. 41, has started 20 games in center field and is hitting .218 with 17 hits, two home runs and 18 RBI.

    ASU Continuing To Mix Things Up:
    After mixing and matching for 41 different starting batting lineups in 58 games last year, head coach Pat Murphy continues to keep the lineup fresh in 2003. Through the first 37 games of the season the Devils have mixed and matched for 33 different batting lineups and 21 different positional lineups.

    Larish, Pedroia and Schroyer on Player of the Year Watch List.
    Sophomores Jeff Larish and Dustin Pedroia, and junior Ryan Schroyer have been named to the Rotary Smith Award's preliminary watch list for the annual player of the year award. Amongst the 130 Division 1 college baseball players to be selected to the initial list, the ASU trio is in contention for the prestigious award that is celebrating its 16th year of honoring the nation's finest collegiate baseball player. The only Sun Devil to ever win the Smith Award was Mike Kelly in 1990. The Smith Award is conducted by the Rotary Club of Houston and benefits several charities, including the Texas Children's Hospital and the Karl Young League.

    The Jeff Larish Watch:
    Sophomore first baseman Jeff Larish has quickly put his name atop the list of as a top candidate for national player of the year and the Golden Spikes Award in 2003. Despite a recent slump that has seen him record only one hit in his last 16 at-bats (.125), he is still hitting .318 with 11 home runs and 58 RBI. Larish has recorded at least one hit in 26 of 34 games and one RBI in 25 of 34 games this year and leads the Pac-10 in several offensive categories. He is hitting .381 (43x113) with 11 home runs and eight doubles. He has a Pac-10 best 58 RBI (1.71 per game average) and his 11 home runs are tied second behind USC freshman slugger Jeff Clement. He also leads the conference with 45 walks (1.32 per game) and has an unbelievable on-base percentage of .549. For the season he is slugging .779 and is second on the team with 21 extra base hits. He had connected on three grand slams this year, already tying the single-season school record set by Dave Hudgens in 1977. In addition, he is batting .714 (10x14) with the bases loaded and leads the team with 22 two-out RBI. Larish, who was supposed to redshirt in 2002 but played midway through the season, has already surpassed his entire total of doubles, home runs and RBI from last year when he played in 34 games. Drafted in the 32nd round in 2001 by the Chicago Cubs, Larish etched his named in the ASU record books with a memorable game in the series finale vs. San Diego State (1/26). In what turned out to be a 24-9 ASU route, Larish was 3-for-4 and tied the school single-game record with nine RBI. He had a two-run single in the first inning, a two-run home run in the third, a grand slam homer in the fourth and then tied the 13-year-old school record (Tommy Adams) by walking with the bases loaded in the eighth.

    Senior Dennis Wyrick Lights Up Pac-10 Pitching:
    Senior 3B Dennis Wyrick is ASU's hottest hitter at the plate going 19-for-39 (.487) in his last 11 games. Wyrick is second on the team and third in the Pac-10 in hitting at .418, going 33-for-79 with 22 runs scored, five doubles and 18 RBI in 30 games (16 starts). Wyrick has a hit in 10 of his last 11 games, including four three-hit games. Wyrick has had great success at the plate in Pac-10 play hitting .384 (63-for-164) with 35 runs scored and 27 RBI in 50 career league games. Returning to his native Southern California this weekend, Wyrick is 0-for-15 in his career vs. USC. Against the rest of the Pac-10 he is a .423 hitter (63-for-149).

    Sun Devils Hot at the Plate:
    The Sun Devils are leading the Pac-10 in hitting with a team .348 batting average. Despite batting only .265 in the Stanford series, ASU still has recorded 10 or more hits in 28 of its 37 games and is averaging 12.24 hits per game. The Devils also lead the conference in runs scored with 379 with an average of 10.24 per game. Dustin Pedroia leads the team in hitting at .432 (67x155) and sophomore first baseman Jeff Larish leads the team with 58 RBI and 11 home runs. ASU has already hit 42 home runs to lead the Pac-10, already surpassing the entire season total of 38 hit in 58 games in 2002.

    Travis Buck Hits For The Cycle:
    Freshman outfielder Travis Buck went 5-for-5 with even RBI and hit for the cycle in ASU's 19-0 win over Southern Utah (3/7). He became only the seventh Sun Devil in recorded history to record the elusive cycle and became the first freshman in Pac-10 history to hit for the cycle. Buck capped his perfect night with a grand slam home run as part of an eight-run sixth inning to become ASU's first player to hit for the cycle since Mitch Jones on May 21, 2000 at Arizona. Buck, ASU's normal starting left fielder who was making only his second start in right field, had a single in the first, a double in the third and a triple in the fifth before connecting on his second home run of the year for the cycle. He also added a run-scoring single in the fourth and tied a career high with two stolen bases. Below is a list of ASU player who have hit for the cycle:

    Travis Buck	March 7, 2003 vs. Southern UtahMitch Jones	May 21, 2000 vs. ArizonaDan McKinley	April 1, 1997 vs. Grand CanyonAntone Williamson	May 27, 1993 vs. George MasonKevin Higgins	May 1, 1988 vs. UCLATodd Brown	March 18, 1984 vs. USCPaul Ray Powell	March 21, 1969 vs. Michigan

    Schroyer Ranks Sixth in ASU History With 14 Career Saves:
    Junior closer Ryan Schroyer has been all but unstoppable in 2003 out of the bullpen. The hard-throwing right-hander is 4-1 with six saves this year and has a 0.42 ERA allowing only one earned run to score in his 21.1 innings pitched. The preseason All-American has scattered 15 hits in his 16 outings and has struck out 26 batters (10.97 per game 9.0 IP). His longest outing of the year came with a three-innings save against Notre Dame (2/23) where he allowed only three hits and struck out three. He also gave up only two hits in three innings to record his fourth win of the year in ASU's 7-6 win over Stanford in 11 innings. He added his sixth save of the year by striking out the side in the ninth vs. Utah (3/8) to preserve ASU's 6-4 come-from-behind win. The save moved him into fifth place in the ASU career record books with his 14th career save. Including his summer All-American season with the NBC World Series Champion Alaska Goldpanners, Schroyer is 5-1 with 13 saves and a 0.23 ERA in his last 39.1 IP (61 K's). After recording eight (8) as the league's top pitcher (2.37 ERA) in 2002, Schroyer is looking to continue to move up the charts. Here is a look at ASU's top save leaders in school history:

    	ASU's Career Saves Leaders:	1.	Doug Nurnberg, 1965-67	25	2.	Kevin Dukes, 1978-81	20	3.	Noah Peery, 1993-94	17	4.	Ryan Bradley, 1995-97	16	5.	Ryan Schroyer, 2001-P	14

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