Movin' On Up! Sun Devil Baseball Climbs Higher In National Rankings.

March 9, 2004

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    TEMPE, Ariz. ( -- After a three-game sweep of nationally ranked East Carolina over the weekend, the Arizona State Baseball team moved up in the national rankings to as high as No. 5 in the nation by Collegiate Baseball. The Devils have won nine straight and are 15-2 overall heading into a three-game series this weekend against No. 11 Tulane.

    With a perfect 8-0 record against ranked opponents, ASU also jumped two spots from No. 10 to No. 8 in the Baseball America poll. The Devils also remained at No. 6 in the ESPN/Sports Weekly Coaches poll and No. 7 in the NCBWA poll.

    Arizona State at the Plate:
    The Devils are hitting .321 at the plate with 47 doubles, 18 home runs and are averaging 8.71 runs per game... sophomore right fielder Travis Buck had another solid weekend at the plate, hitting .500 (5-for-10) with a home run in each game against the Pirates... he has hit a home run in four consecutive games... over his last six games he is hitting .682 (15-for-22) with 10 runs, five doubles, four home runs and 18 RBI... for the season he leads the Devils hitting .431 (25-for-58) with eight doubles, five home runs and 28 RBI... during ASU's current nine-game win streak Buck is hitting .531 (17-for-32) with five home runs and 22 RBI... freshman first baseman Joe Persichina was a perfect 5-for-5 with two doubles and five runs scored in two starts against ECU... senior Nick Walsh had a solid weekend going 3-for-6 (.500) with four RBI... junior SS Dustin Pedroia had his 10-game hitting streak snapped when he went 0-for-5 Sunday vs. ECU... Pedroia has at least one hit in 15 of ASU's 17 games and is hitting .423 (30-for-71) with three home runs and 16 RBI... freshman two-way player Zechry Zinicola hit a game-winning two-run home run as part of a five-run eighth inning in Friday's 7-6 come-from-behind victory... he also made his first career start on the mound Sunday vs. ECU... led by Buck's three homers, ASU hit six during the three-game series and now has 18 on the year... after hitting only one homer in the first seven games, the Devils now have homers in nine of the last 10 games, including six multi-home run games.

    Arizona State on the Mound:
    The ASU pitching staff has a 3.49 ERA with 145 strikeouts in 152.0 IP... junior RHP Jason Urquidez improved to 5-0 on the year with seven solid innings in Saturday's 6-4 victory... Urquidez has won all five of his starts this year and leads ASU's starters with a 1.80 ERA... opponents are hitting only .192 off him with 20 hits in 30.0 IP... Andy Torres (2001) was the last Sun Devil to open a career with victories in his first five appearances... freshman relief pitcher Pat Bresnehan earned a pair of saves in three scoreless innings against the nationally ranked Pirates... Bresnehan has been red hot in his last five outings, recording a pair of wins and three saves... during that stretch he has scattered seven hits and has not allowed an earned run while striking out 20 in 15.0 IP... Bresnehan is 3-0 with three saves and leads the team with a 1.69 ERA... freshman Quentin Andes picked up a pair of victories over the weekend out of the bullpen... the right-hander from Albuquerque, N.M., gave up three hits in 2.1 innings to improve to 2-0 on the year... ASU recorded three saves in the ECU series (Bresnehan - 2, Cassa - 1) and now has seven saves this season.

    Sun Devil Tidbits:
    The Sun Devils are 8-0 against ranked opponents this season and will take on No. 11 Tulane this weekend in a three-game series at Packard Stadium... the Devils are in the midst of a 25-game homestand that concludes April 12 in a non-conference game against Arizona... ASU is 11-0 at Packard Stadium this year and has won 19 straight at its home stadium dating back to last season... the 15-2 record to open the season is the second best during the Pat Murphy era, trailing only the 28-1 start from last season... with its consensus top 10 national rankings this week, ASU has been ranked in at least one poll for 84 consecutive weeks dating back to the start of the 2000 season... ASU earned honorable mention honors as the 'West' Team of the Week by beat writer Eric Sorenson after sweeping previously unbeaten East Carolina.

    Scouting Tulane:
    The Tulane Green Wave head to Tempe with a 10-3 record after winning two-of-three in a home series against Pepperdine... they are ranked No. 11 (BA), No. 16 (CB) heading into the series with the Sun Devils... the Green Wave have a Tuesday contest against rival New Orleans before traveling West... ASU leads the all-time series against Tulane 1-0, beating the Green Wave 9-2 on March, 27, 1974 at the Riverside Baseball Invitational in Riverside, Calif... Tulane has advanced to the NCAA Tournament six straight years, including playing in the 2001 College World Series... Tulane is coming off a 44-19 season in 2003... the 2004 squad is led by a strong pitching staff that bolsters a 2.72 team ERA... senior right-hander Cory Hahn is 3-0 with a 0.55 ERA... Hahn and J.R. Crowel (3-0, 1.82 ERA) and Billy Mohl (3-0, 2.91 ERA) are the projected weekend starters... left fielder Matt Barket is among the team leaders hitting .413 (19-for-46) with six doubles and 16 RBI... he also had six multi-hit games... catcher Brian Bormaster leads the squad with four home runs.

    --Sun Devil Baseball--
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