Baseball Releases 2006 Schedule

Nov. 14, 2005

TEMPE, Ariz. -

Coming off a third place finish at the 2005 College World Series, the Arizona State Sun Devil baseball team will once again play a schedule that is among the toughest in the nation, announced today by 12th year Head Coach Pat Murphy. The 2006 schedule features 27 games against teams that advanced to the 2005 NCAA Tournament, and eight games against 2005 College World Series teams.

ASU's 56-game regular season schedule includes 32 games in Tempe, beginning with a three-game series against Cal State-Northridge, beginning January 27th.


'We have established a reputation for playing one of the toughest schedules in the nation, and this year is no different,' said Murphy. 'We feel that our difficult schedule last year prepared us well for our postseason run. We play some of the top teams in the nation, and we wouldn't want it any other way.'


The home portion of the non-conference schedule features match-ups the SEC's Auburn (Mar. 3-5) and Big XII power Oklahoma (Mar. 17-19). The Sun Devils will also become quite familiar with the Lone Star State, playing eight times in Texas. ASU will travel to Waco to battle 2005 CWS participant Baylor in a three-game series (Feb. 24-26). The Sun Devils will also participate in the First Annual Corpus Christi Baseball Classic (Mar. 10-12), where they will face Texas A&M Corpus Christi, TCU, and perennial power Rice. The Sun Devils will play a home and home match with Texas Tech, hosting the Red Raiders on February 28th and traveling to Lubbock on April 17th. Arizona State will also play at historic Disch-Falk Field in Austin when they meet up with defending national champion Texas on March 14th.


'We want to be a road tested team, and we will be able to do that in the state of Texas,' added Murphy.


In addition to a challenging non-conference schedule, the Sun Devils will have to battle through one of the toughest college baseball conferences in the nation, the Pac-10. Home conference series include USC (Apr. 13-15) and 2005 CWS participant Oregon State (May 13-15). The Sun Devils will open Pac-10 play on the road with a three-game set against Washington State in Pullman (Mar. 30-Apr. 1), travel to Jackie Robinson Stadium to face UCLA (Apr. 21-23), Stanford at Sunken Diamond (Apr. 28-30), and travel to Tucson to battle rival Arizona (May 19-21).


'I think the fact that we had two Pac-10 teams in Omaha last year is a testament to just how tough this league is,' said Murphy. 'There are legitimate national powers in our conference, and I know it is one of the strongest in the nation.'


For the fourth straight year, the Sun Devils will again make the cross-Valley trek to Surprise, Ariz., for the fourth-annual Coca-Cola Spring Training Classic. ASU will be part of a tournament field that includes Oregon State, Nevada and Gonzaga. All games will be played at Surprise Stadium at the Surprise Recreation Campus, the spring training home of the Texas Rangers and the Kansas City Royals.


'We are once again thrilled to bring an exciting brand of college baseball to the West Valley,' commented Murphy. 'The City of Surprise welcomes us with open arms and hosts one of the best college baseball tournaments in the nation. The facilities and staff are first class.'

ASU and Arizona continue the recent tradition that has seen Arizonas only two Division I baseball programs meet in a pair of non-conference games. The Sun Devils and Wildcats will meet in the inaugural Challenge at Chase at Chase Field, home of the Arizona Diamondbacks, on April 2nd, and again in Tempe on May 2nd before the Pac-10 series in Tucson (May 19-21).


'Rivalry games are always special, and I think it helps intensify the rivalry when you get to play them at your home field each season,' said Murphy. 'The game at Chase Field will be a great experience for the players and the fans, and should be another playoff-type game.'


ASU's final non-conference tune-up before Pac-10 play will come with a three-game series against Penn State (Mar. 24-26) at Packard Stadium. The Sun Devils will open Pac-10 play at home against Washington (Apr. 7-9) and will close out the regular season at home, facing California (May 26-28).


Arizona State will wrap up the regular-season campaign with the Golden Bears and will look for a sixth straight appearance in the NCAA Tournament. Play begins June 2 with the NCAA Regionals while the Super Regionals will follow June 9-12. The 2006 College World Series is set to get underway June 16 and run through either June 26 at Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha, Neb. The CWS will once again feature the three-game championship series to determine the national champion.


2006 Schedule Highlights:

· 27 games vs. 2005 NCAA Tournament teams.

· Eight games vs. 2005 CWS teams.

· 32 home games at Packard Stadium

· 39 games in the state of Arizona (3 in Surprise, 3 in Tucson, 1 in Phoenix)

· Pac-10 schedule that includes home series against Washington, USC, and Oregon State.

· Meeting with defending National Champion Texas in Austin (March 14)

· Eight games in the state of Texas (Baylor, Texas A&M Corpus Christi, Rice, TCU, Texas, Texas Tech)

· 'Challenge at Chase' against Arizona on April 2nd

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