Larish And Urquidez Highlight Returning Players For 2005 Sun Devils

Aug. 23, 2004

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Infielder Jeff Larish and starting pitcher Jason Urquidez both passed on an opportunity to sign a professional contract after being selected last June in the MLB Draft and have decided to return to Arizona State University for their senior years of eligibility.With school starting today in Tempe, 35 players are officially listed on the fall roster for the upcoming 2005 season. Along with Larish and Urquidez returning for their senior seasons, 15 newcomers, including 11 freshman, two JUCO transfers and one senior transfer, are schedule to suit up for the Sun Devils. Arizona State is coming off a 41-18 season in 2004 and advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the seventh time in the last eight years. They have been ranked in 97 straight national polls.'We are excited about our club and the guys that are here to compete for a national championship,' said 11th year head coach Pat Murphy. 'Getting Jeff and Jason back is obviously a huge boost for our program and a rarity in college baseball. Now our focus is to get this group of young men ready to play winning baseball and meeting the demands of a rigorous schedule.'After being selected in the 13th round of the MLB Draft by the Los Angeles Dodgers, Larish (Tempe, Ariz.) decided to return to Tempe to finish his storied college career. He hit .308 (73-for-237) with seven home runs last season and enters the 2005 campaign with a .337 career batting average and 28 home runs. He is expected to return to the infield (1B/3B) after starting 57 games in left field last season.Urquidez (Simi Valley, Calif.) will be a marquee name among college pitchers when he takes the mound this spring. The Clemens award candidate tied led the Pac-10 in wins going 12-3 with a 3.41 ERA. He earned first-team All-Pac-10 honors and earned national acclaim when he threw a complete-game, three-hitter over defending national champion Rice on the road. Urquidez did not sign a professional contract after being selected in the 11th round (318 overall) by the Cincinnati Reds.ASU retained nearly its entire freshman recruiting class and is led by talented switch-hitting shortstop Andrew Romine (Lake Forest, Calif./Trabuco Hills HS), outfielder J.J. Sferra (Phoenix, Ariz./Mountain Points HS), two-way player Seth Garrison (Coppell, Texas/Coppell HS), infielder Vinny Biancamano (Glendale, Ariz./Cactus HS) and left-handed pitcher Drew Bowman (Dakota Ridge HS/Morrison, Colo.).Romine opted to come to school after being selected in the 36th round of the 2004 MLB Draft by Philadelphia Phillies and has strong Sun Devil bloodlines with his father, Kevin, being a two-time All-American at ASU from 1981-82. The elder Romine is a member of the Arizona State Athletic Hall of Fame and played seven seasons for the Boston Red Sox.Sferra is the son of 10th year assistant coach Jay J. Sferra and was a two-time All-State outfielder at Mountain Pointe High School in Phoenix.Garrison is a highly recruited infielder who will also pitch for the Sun Devils. He was selected by Baseball America as a second-team preseason high school All-American and played in the prestigious All-American Baseball Game in Albuquerque, N.M.Bowman joined Garrison and Romine as a top 50 prospect by Baseball America heading into the 2004 MLB Draft. The 6-3 left-handed pitcher was selected in the 21st round by the Milwaukee Brewers and was selected as the Gatorade Colorado State High School Player of the Year.University of Miami transfer Joey Hooft (Galena HS/Reno, Nev.) also enrolled in classes for his senior season of eligibility. Hooft, who played summer baseball during his prep career with former Sun Devil All-American shortstop Dustin Pedroia, compiled a .307 (103-for-335) batting average and played in two College World Series with the Hurricanes (2002-04).Click Here To See the 2004-05 ASU Baseball Roster

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