Baseball Hits The Road For Crucial Three-Game Series At UCLA

April 14, 2004

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    Probable Starting Rotation:Apr. 16 vs. UCLA, 6 p.m. PSTASU - Jeff Mousser, RHP (1-3, 4.26 ERA)UCLA - Bryan Beck, RHP (2-2, 4.66 ERA)

    Apr. 17 vs. UCLA, 1 p.m. PSTASU - Jason Urquidez (8-2, 2.70 ERA)UCLA - Casey Janssen, RHP (6-2, 3.02 ERA)

    Apr. 18 vs. UCLA, 1 p.m. PSTASU - Brett Bordes, LHP (2-0, 6.75 ERA)UCLA - Wes Whisler, LHP (1-3, 5.61 ERA)

    All-Time Series:All-Time Record vs. UCLA:.......94-57Last Year:......................UCLA wins series in Tempe (4/17-19)

    National Rankings:
    National Polls (April 5, 2004)
    Arizona State (24-11) is ranked No. 21 in the recent ESPN/Sports Weekly coaches poll. It marks the 89th straight week the Sun Devils have been ranked dating back to the start of the 2000 season. ASU dropped out of each the Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball polls for the first time since the end of the 2002 season. UCLA (19-14) is not ranked.

    Media Exposure:
    All three games of the UCLA series will be broadcast on the radio or internet with Tim Healey and Bob Eger calling all the action from Jackie Robinson Stadium. KDUS 1060 AM will carry all three games and all games are also available on Every game during the 2004 season will also have the statistical GameTracker on

    Did You Know?
    ASU ranks second in the Pac-10 in hitting (.319) and pitching (4.44)... the Devils will play 16 of their last 21 games, including eight straight, on the road... of ASU's remaining five remaining Pac-10 series, four are on the road... the Devils just ended a 25-game home stand in which they were 16-9... ASU's pseudo RPI remains high at No. 8 in the nation... over the last 10 games, senior Nick Walsh is hitting .500 (18-for-36)... junior SS Dustin Pedroia has hits in 30 of ASU's 35 games and leads the Pac-10 hitting .410... Jason Urquidez leads the league with eight wins and is fourth with a 2.70 ERA.

    What's On Tap:
    The Sun Devil Baseball team (24-11, 3-6 Pac-10) takes to the road for the start of a eight-game road swing this weekend at UCLA (19-14, 3-3 Pac-10). The series against the Bruins starts Friday at 6 p.m. and continues Saturday (1 p.m.) and Sunday (1 p.m.). ASU is coming off a series loss to Oral Roberts over the weekend and a victory over rival Arizona Monday night. The Sun Devils dropped three straight Pac-10 home series and will try to make up ground in the conference standings with four of their last five league series on the road. Following the bus trip to Los Angeles, the Devils will travel to the Palouse for a three-game series at Washington State (Apr. 23-25) and a two-game, non-conference set at Wichita State (Apr. 27-28). ASU plays 16 of their final 21 games on the road, marked by a pair of eight-game road trips.

    Recapping Last Week:
    The Sun Devils dropped their fourth straight home series losing a pair of games to No. 24 Oral Roberts. ASU rebounded to win Monday's non-conference tilt against rival Arizona, 9-5. The series against ORU started with the Devils blowing a 7-2 lead by giving up seven runs over the final two innings in a 9-7 loss. Jason Urquidez led the Devils to a 5-1 victory on Friday, but the Golden Eagles captured the series with a 6-5 win on Saturday. The Devils came back Monday to defeat the Wildcats with a strong bullpen performance from Erik Averill, Pat Cassa and Zechry Zinicola. The trio combined to strikeout 12 batters and give up only one run in seven innings. Junior infielder Josh Asanovich leads the Devils in the last four games, hitting .556 (5-for-9). Nick Walsh and Dustin Pedroia are each hitting .400 (6-for-15) during that stretch of games. The pitching staff has a respectable 4.00 ERA with Zinicola showing flashes of brilliance with 5.2 scoreless innings (7 K's).

    Quick Hits:
    - Of ASU's 35 games this season, 23 have been played against teams that have been ranked or are currently ranked.
    - Junior shortstop Dustin Pedroia has hits in 30 of ASU's 35 games and is hitting .410 with 18 2B, 5 HR and 32 RBI.
    - The Devils have used 30 different starting batting lineups and 24 different positional lineups this season.
    - Travis Buck leads the Pac-10 with 44 RBI and is fifth with seven home runs. He is hitting .352 (44-for-125).
    - Pedroia is eighth in the ASU record books with 261 career hits and seventh with a career .386 batting average.
    - Jason Urquidez leads the Pac-10 with eight wins and is 2-0 with 2.35 ERA in his last two starts (15.1 IP, 13 K).
    - The Devils have been ranked in 89 consecutive national polls dating back to the start of the 2000 season.

    Pedroia For National Player of the Year:
    Junior shortstop Dustin Pedroia is a leading candidate for Pac-10 and National Player of the Year honors. Through 35 games, Pedroia leads Pac-10 in hitting at .410 (59-for-144) with 45 runs scored, 18 doubles, five home runs and 32 RBI. He has hits in 30 of ASU's 35 games, including 16 multi-hit affairs and four games with two or more doubles. Pedroia also leads the Pac-10 in runs scored (45), hits (59), doubles (18), total bases (92) and is second in on-base percentage (.509). As a sophomore, Pedroia hit .404 (120-for-297) and was named the Pac-10 Co-Player of the Year. He led the NCAA with 34 doubles, setting the ASU and Pac-10 single-season record and tied for third all-time in the NCAA record books. With 18 doubles this season, Pedroia now has 65 in his career, ranking fourth in the ASU career record books. He also has recorded 261 hits to rank tied for 8th and his career .386 batting average (261-for-677) ranks seventh. He has played and started all 161 games of his Sun Devil career and has recorded at least one hit in 137 games (85%). He has also recorded 84 career multi-hit games and is a .386 career hitter in 57 Pac-10 games (98-for-254). Additionally, the 2003 Collegiate Baseball Defensive Player of the Year has made only 19 errors in 708 total chances in the field for a career .973 FLD%. He was a two-year starter for the USA Baseball National Team and was named to the all-tournament team in the 2003 Pan American Games in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Here is a look at Pedroia's season/career highlights and statistics:

    - Among the league leaders in hitting (.410, 1st), hits (59, T-1st), runs (45, 1st), doubles (18, 1st) and total bases (92, 1st).- Has a pair of 10-game hitting streaks this season and seven career streaks of 10 or more games.- Broke a rare 0-for-10 streak by going 4-for-4 with a home run and a career-high five RBI against No. 11 Tulane (3/13).- Second on the team with five home runs and has 10 in his career. Entered the season with only five career homers.- Has recorded 16 multi-hit games this season and 84 in his career. Has four three-hit games and three four-hit contests in 2004.- Rated as the No. 28 overall position player by Baseball America for the 2004 MLB Draft.- A career .386 (261-for-677) hitter to rank eighth in hits (261) and seventh in batting average in the ASU career record books.- Has recorded at least one hit in 137 of 161 career games (85%) and has started every game of his career.- Has hit 65 career doubles, ranking fourth in the ASU career record books. Needs five more doubles to reach third place.- Set the ASU and Pac-10 single-season record with 34 doubles in 2003. Old ASU record was 30 by Chris Bando in 1978.- Named the 2003 Pac-10 Co-Player of the Year with Stanford's Ryan Garko and was a first-team All-American.- Played for the USA Baseball National Team in 2002 and 2003, leading Team USA to a bronze medal in the Pan Am Games.

    Year Avg GP-GS AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB-ATT2002.... .347 58-58 236 51 82 13 2 1 45 24 19 5-92003.... .404 68-68 297 83 120 34 3 4 52 36 13 3-72004.... .410 35-35 144 45 59 18 0 5 32 26 9 3-5TOTAL... .386 161-161 677 179 261 65 5 10 129 86 41 11-21

    Pedroia Times Two:
    Junior shortstop Dustin Pedroia is a doubles machine. Through ASU's first 35 games, Pedroia has 18 doubles to lead the Pac-10. He has picked up right where he left off in 2003, setting an ASU and Pac-10 record while leading the NCAA with 34 doubles. In 161 career games, the Woodland, Calif., native has 65 doubles to rank fourth in the ASU record books. He has averaged .40 doubles per game over his career.

    Pedroia Moves Into Eighth Place For All-Time Hits:
    With 261 career hits, junior shortstop Dustin Pedroia has moved into ASU's career top 10 list. He recently passed Barry Bonds (1983-85), who had 247 during his three years in Tempe. After recording five hits in the last two games, Pedroia moved into a tie for eighth place with Dan Rumsey. The all-time school record is 322 set by Clay Westlake from 1973-76.

    Poll Mechanics:
    After going 2-2 in the last four games against Oral Roberts and Arizona, Arizona State (24-11) continued its recent slide in the national polls. ASU dropped completely dropped out of the Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball polls, marking the first time since 2002 that ASU has not appeared in both. The Devils remained in the Sports Weekly/ESPN coaches poll at No. 21, extending a streak of 89 consecutive weeks in the national rankings dating back to the start of the 2000 season. ASU entered the 2004 season ranked in all four of the national preseason polls (#7 CB, #10 SW, #11 NCBWA, #18 BA). ASU finished the 2003 season with a 54-14 record and earned a consensus top 10 ranking in all four national polls.

    Buck Leads Pac-10 in RBI:
    Sophomore right fielder Travis Buck leads ASU in two of the three Triple Crown categories with seven home runs and 44 RBI. He leads the Pac-10 with his 44 RBI and is only two away from reaching his entire 2003 total of 46. He is also amongst the league leaders in runs scored (37, 6th), doubles (11, 6th), total bases (76, 6th), slugging percentage (.608, 8th), walks (35, 1st), on-base percentage (.506, 2nd) and home runs (7, 5th). Buck is hitting .352 (44-for-125) with 10 multi-hit games and leads the Devils with 11 multi-RBI contests. He also leads the team with four outfield assists and is 7-for-7 stealing bases. He was named Pac-10 Player of the Week and the Collegiate Baseball/Louisville Slugger National Player of the Week after going 10-for-12 (.833) with 13 RBI in the three-game series against UConn (2/27-29). The sophomore outfielder is a career .335 (122-for-364) hitter with 11 home runs and 96 runs scored.

    Buck Repeats As Pac-10 Player of the Week:
    After going 5-for-10 with home runs in all three games against East Carolina, Travis Buck earned his second consecutive Pac-10 Player of the Week award. With his third career Pac-10 POW award, he became the 16th conference player to repeat and first since 1998 when Cal's Xavier Nady earned the award in consecutive weeks in 1998 (Apr. 27, May 4). He is the first Sun Devil since Oddibe McDowell in 1984 to earn back-to-back conference honors.

    Five Times The Fun:
    Travis Buck had a string of hitting a home run in five straight games dating back to the Sunday victory over Connecticut (2/29). He is the first Sun Devil to hit homers in five straight since single-season home run record holder Mitch Jones cleared the fences in five straight games during 2000 season against Florida State (2/6), Duke (2/11-13) and LSU (2/18).

    The Last Time ASU Was 3-6 In Pac-10 Play:
    ASU is off to a 3-6 in Pac-10 play, matching two previous starts to league play under 10th year head coach Pat Murphy. Murphy's 1996 and 1997 squads also opened the Pac-10 slate with three wins after nine games. The 1997 squad rebounded to finish the year 16-14 in league play and came within one out of advancing to the College World Series. ASU opened the 1979 and 1988 seasons with 2-7 league marks.

    The Bullpen Bounce Back:
    After giving up seven runs in the last two innings in a 9-7 loss to Oral Roberts (4/8), the Sun Devil bullpen has bounced back nicely in the last three games. Zechry Zinicola (3.2 IP), Ty Marotz (2.1 IP), Erik Averill (3.2 IP), Pat Cassa (3.1 IP) have combined for a 2.08 ERA over the last 13.0 IP (20 strikeouts). For the season, the bullpen is 11-5 with 11 saves and a 5.04 ERA.

    Bresnehan Inching Towards Freshman Saves Record:
    Only 35 games into his ASU career, freshman relief pitcher Pat Bresnehan is on the fast track to break the ASU freshman record for saves in a season. Bresnehan already has five saves to rank second in the Pac-10 and rank third in the freshman annals. He trails only Mitch Dean (8 in 1976) and Ryan Bradley (6 in 1995). The hard-throwing right-hander, who could possibly be a regular in the starting rotation, is 3-2 with five saves and a 4.73 ERA in 32.1 innings this season. He has given up 18 of his 23 runs on the season in his last five outings to raise his season ERA from 1.25 to 4.73.

    Urquidez Returns To Dominating On The Mound:
    Junior right-handed pitcher Jason Urquidez continues to dominate on the mound after turning in another sterling performance last Friday against nationally ranked Oral Roberts. Urquidez scattered five hits and one run in 7.0 innings to pick up his Pac-10 leading eighth win of the year. The junior college transfer from Central Arizona College is 8-2 with a team-leading 2.70 ERA in 10 starts this season. In addition to leading the league in wins, he is also fourth in ERA (2.70), ninth in strikeouts (52), fourth in opponents batting average (.225) and sixth in innings pitched (56.2). Here is a look at Urquidez's game-by-game breakdown:

    Date            Opponent               GS    IP   H   R  ER  BB  SO    2B  3B  HR    WP  BK HBP  DP IBB   Score    W-L  SV    ERAFeb 08, 2004    Florida State           *   5.0   6   1   1   3   9     0   0   0     0   0   0   0   0   12-6     1-0   0   1.80Feb 14, 2004 vs Utah                    *   6.0   3   0   0   2   7     0   0   0     0   0   0   0   0   11-0     2-0   0   0.82Feb 22, 2004 at Rice                    *   9.0   3   1   1   2   7     0   0   0     0   0   0   0   0    3-1     3-0   0   0.90Feb 29, 2004    Connecticut             *   3.0   3   1   1   1   1     1   0   1     0   0   0   0   0   18-11    4-0   0   1.17Mar 06, 2004    East Carolina           *   7.0   5   4   3   3   4     0   0   2     0   0   1   0   0    6-4     5-0   0   1.80Mar 13, 2004    Tulane                  *   5.2   4   1   1   5   5     1   0   0     0   0   0   0   0   11-3     6-0   0   1.77Mar 20, 2004    California              *   1.1   4   3   3   2   0     0   0   1     1   0   0   0   0    8-20    6-1   0   2.43Mar 26, 2004    Washington              *   4.1   5   5   3   4   6     3   0   1     0   0   0   0   0    1-11    6-2   0   2.83Apr 02, 2004    USC                     *   8.1   7   3   3   6   7     1   1   0     0   0   0   0   0   10-3     7-2   0   2.90Apr 09, 2004    Oral Roberts            *   7.0   5   1   1   2   6     2   0   0     1   0   1   0   0    5-1     8-2   0   2.70Totals                                 10  56.2  45  20  17  30  52     8   1   5     2   0   2   0   0   85-60    8-2   0   2.70

    The All-Time Series Against UCLA:
    Arizona State leads the all-time series against the Bruins 94-57 dating back to the first meeting in 1962 (14-5 loss in Los Angeles). ASU also leads the series by a narrow 20-19 margin since Pat Murphy took over the program in 1995. ASU is 7-11 at Jackie Robinson Stadium since 1995, but went 2-1 in its last trip to Westwood back in 2002.

    Last Year Against UCLA:
    The Sun Devils dropped a tough conference series to the Bruins last year (April 17-19) at Packard Stadium. The Bruins won the opener 9-8, clinching a bizarre double play in the eighth inning when the Devils had the bases loaded and only one out. They came back the next night to win an 8-7 contest in 13 innings on a two-run double by Billy Susdorf. ASU salvaged the series with a 17-1 trashing in the third game. Catcher Tuffy Gosewisch hit .667 (4-for-6) with five runs, three RBI and three walks in the series. Andre Ethier, currently a top prospect in the Oakland A's minor league system, went 8-for-17 (.471) with two home runs and four RBI. RHP Ben Thurmond picked up ASU's only win scattering five hits and one run in seven innings on Sunday.

    The Averill Brothers:
    The Averill brothers will have one last chance to settle the family rivalry on the baseball field. Erik, a sophomore pitcher for the Sun Devils, and Brandon, a senior infielder for the Bruins, will face off for the second time in their college careers. Erik hit Brandon last year on a 0-2 pitch in their only meeting. The brothers hail from Villa Park High School in Orange, Calif., and are the sons of proud parents Don and Gale Averill.

    Urquidez Named To Clemens Award Watch List:
    Arizona State starting pitcher Jason Urquidez is part of a list of 40 hurlers who are included in the first Roger Clemens Award Watch List. The list is comprised of all Division I pitchers who were named as preseason All-Americans by either Baseball America or Collegiate Baseball, in addition to those pitchers who have been honored so far this season as National Pitchers of the Week. Urquidez earned national POW honors from Collegiate Baseball, NCBWA, Sports Weekly and He was also named the Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week after his complete-game three-hitter against No. 1 and defending national champion Rice Owls at Reckling Park in Houston last weekend. A junior college transfer from Central Arizona College, Urquidez leads the Pac-10 with an 8-2 record and paces the ASU pitching staff with a 2.70 ERA. He has recorded 52 strikeouts in 56.2 IP and opposing hitters are batting only .225 off him. In its inaugural year, The Roger Clemens Award will be presented to the nation's top college pitcher at the conclusion of a gala dinner in Houston on July 15.

    Walsh Making Most Of Senior Season:
    Senior second baseman Nick Walsh is making the most of his fifth year in the Arizona State baseball program. After redshirting in 2000, Walsh has been an occasional starter during his career for the Sun Devils. He finished the 2003 season on a strong note earning 22 of his 26 starts after the midpoint of the season. Walsh hit .353 (42-for-119) with seven doubles and 23 RBI. Like his previous three seasons, Walsh has found his way into the starting lineup with a clutch bat. Over his last 10 games he is hitting .500 (18-for-36) with 10 runs, six RBI and four stolen bases. For the season, Walsh is second on the team batting .373 (31-for-83) with four doubles and 15 RBI. After going 10-for-14 (.714) in the three-game series against USC (April 2-4), Walsh has raised his season average 95 points from .278 to its current mark of .373. Here is a look at Walsh's statistics in his first 22 games and his last eight games:

                        Avg.  AB   R   H    2B    RBI   OB%   SBFirst 23 Games:    .278   54   9   15    3    11   .406   0Last 7 Games:      .552   29   9   16    1    4    .618   4

    Asanovich Heating Up:
    Junior infielder Josh Asanovich has raised his batting average 92 points from .237 (3/14) to its current mark of .327 by going 14-for-32 (.438) in his last 12 games. Asanovich has two home runs and 17 RBI while seeing action in 26 games (18 starts). He is in the midst of a season-high five-game hitting streak in which he is 9-for-17 (.529) with five runs, one double, one triple, one home run and three RBI.

    Two-Way Zinicola:
    Freshman Zechry Zinicola is becoming a regular in the Sun Devil lineup, whether as a starting pitcher or the designated hitter. Zinicola has made 12 pitching appearances (4 starts) and is 2-1 with a 4.22 ERA. Moving back to the bullpen after making four straight starts, Zinicola has been dominant in his last three outings. In his last three appearances, Zinicola has one save and a 0.00 ERA while striking out seven batters. At the plate, Zinicola has made 11 starts at designated hitter and has recorded hits in 10 of his 14 games played. He is hitting .289 (13-for-45) with two home runs and 15 RBI (.489 SLG%). He is ASU's first full-time two-way player since Richy Leon (1995-98). Leon was a career .298 hitter as an outfielder and was 8-3 with a 4.67 ERA in 48 pitching appearances.

    Lineup Changes:
    Through 35 games of the 2004 season, ASU skipper Pat Murphy has authored 30 different batting lineups and 24 different positional lineups. Murphy really shook things up on Monday against Arizona (9-5 win), with Nick Walsh making his first career start at first base and Joe Persichina making his debut at second base. The 2003 squad featured 57 different batting lineups during the 68-game season. The pitching rotation scheduled for the UCLA series (Jeff Mousser, Jason Urquidez, Brett Bordes) is also one of five different three-man rotation featured during a weekend series this year.

    Bounce Back Wins:
    The Sun Devils have done a nice job of bouncing back from a loss, going 8-3 this season after suffering a loss. The trend goes back to last season when ASU was 11-2 following a loss. Dating back to the start of the 2003 season, ASU has played 103 games and compiled a stellar 78-25 (.757) record. During that span of games, the Devils are 20-5 following a loss, including gaining an opening-day victory after losing to Cal State Fullerton last season in the NCAA Super Regionals.

    On The Road Again:
    Arizona State will play 16 of their final 21 games during the 2004 regular season on the road. ASU embarks on a eight-game road trip starting this weekend with a three-game series at UCLA. The Devils will also travel to Washington State (April 23-25) and nationally ranked Wichita State (April 27-28). ASU plays host to New Mexico State and Oregon State for a five-game homestand to close out the home slate, and then will return to the road for another eight-game road swing to end the regular season. The Devils have played only three games out of the state of Arizona, going 2-1 at the Coca-Cola Classic in Houston, Texas, including a 3-1 victory over No. 1 Rice.

    Tuff Behind the Plate:
    Junior catcher Tuffy Gosewisch is the epitome of his name behind the dish... tough. In his second year as a full-time starter, Gosewisch has taken ASU's young pitching staff by the reins to help lead the Devils to success with a 24-11 record and the second best ERA in the Pac-10 (4.44). Additionally, he has been solid at the plate, hitting .333 (40-for-120) with 23 runs, seven doubles, two home runs and 22 RBI. He has recorded at least one hit in 26 of ASU's 35 games and is second on the team with 12 multi-hit games. The Johnny Bench Catcher of the Year candidate has thrown out 11 of 36 attempted base stealers and has a .982 FLD%.

    Hitting Streaks:
    Three Sun Devils are currently riding hitting streaks of three or more games heading into the crucial Pac-10 series against UCLA. Junior shortstop Dustin Pedroia recently had his team-high 11-game hitting streak snapped in a 0-for-5 game against USC. The streak was Pedroia's second hitting streak of 10 or more games this season and the seventh of his career. Here is a look at the streaking Devils:

    Player              Current Streak    Statistics During StreakJosh Asanovich      5 Games           .529, 9-for-17, 5 R, 2B, 3B, HR, 3 RBITuffy Gosewisch     4 Games           .429, 6-for-14, 3 R, HR, 3 RBINick Walsh          3 Games           .500, 6-for-12, 3 R, 2B, 2 RBI

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