Baseball Hits The Road, Heads to Baylor For Three Games This Weekend
Feb. 22, 2006
TEMPE, Ariz. -
ASU travels outside the state of Arizona for the first time this year when they head to Waco,
Texas for a three-game set with the Baylor Bears beginning Friday night. ASU returns home
Tuesday evening to face the Texas Tech Red Raiders at Winkles Field-Packard Stadium at
Brock Ballpark. ASU swept the Houston Cougars last weekend in Tempe, their second series
sweep of the season.
The Sun Devils vs. The Bears:
The Sun Devils are 4-1 against Baylor, including taking two of three last season in Tempe.
This will be the first trip Arizona State has made to Waco.
The Sun Devils vs. The Red Raiders:
ASU is 13-3 all-time against the Red Raiders. They have not met since the 2001 NCAA Regional
in Fullerton, Calif., where they split two meetings. Arizona State won the first matchup,
but the Raiders ultimately eliminated the Devils, beating them in the second meeting.
These two teams will meet again in Lubbock, Texas on April 17.
ASU returned to the Collegiate Baseball poll this week, checking in at #30. They also
moved up one spot to #22 in the NCBWA poll. Baylor is ranked #20 in Collegiate Baseball
and #30 in the NCBWA poll. Both schools are unranked in the Baseball America poll.
On January 20th, Winkles Field-Packard Stadium at Brock Ballpark was dedicated to the
late Dr. Jim Brock, who won five Pac-10 Coach of the Year awards during his tenure. The
legendary ASU coach, who passed away in 1994, won two national championships during
his 23 years at Arizona State University.
The Sun Devils earned a three-game sweep of the Houston Cougars thanks to some
solid bullpen work, timely hitting and the heralded freshmen class. Colin Curtis
provided the clutch hitting Friday night, as his RBI single put ASU up by one in the
ASU. Saturday it was Jeff Urlaub's first career start, and he dazzled to the tune of 7.2
innings and only one run allowed in an 11-1 victory. Sunday afternoon saw the Devils
down 5-1 early, but thanks to the bat of Preston Paramore and some solid relief
pitching, the Devils fought back and earned a come-from-behind 8-6 win and a series
sweep. Paramore had three RBI Sunday, including his first career homer to lead the
Sun Devils to the victory.
Finding His Groove:
Highly touted freshman Ike Davis appears to be finding his groove at the plate. In
addition to being the Friday night starter, Davis also is the DH and bats clean-up. He
broke out the whupping stick against Houston, batting .417 and knocking in fi ve runs
during the sweep of the Cougars. After starting slowly, Davis is now hitting .302 and
leads the team with 11 RBI and six extra base hits. He also leads the pitching staff
with 19 strikeouts.
Petey Fever, Catch It:
Freshman catcher Preston Paramore is playing way beyond his freshman level both
behind the plate and at the plate. In addition to handling the catching duties, Petey
is also getting it done in the batters box. In the finale against Houston, Paramore
had three RBI, including the game winner, and hit his first career home run. On the
weekend, Paramore knocked in five RBI and hit .364. He is hitting .333 on the year,
leading the Devils with his nine walks. He has caught 15 different ASU pitchers, and
has seen action behind the plate in all 12 games.
After beginning the season in the starting rotation, junior Zechry Zinicola moved to
bullpen before the Northern Illinois series. So far the switch has worked as Zinicola
has three saves, giving him 15 in his Sun Devil career, fifth all-time in school history.
He earned a win and a save last weekend against Houston.
After struggling the weekend prior, the ASU bullpen came out firing against the
Cougars. The Sun Devil relief corps allowed only three runs in 14.1 innings over
the three-game series. Nine relievers combined for a 1.88 ERA over the weekend,
allowing 14 hits and striking out 11.
Frank Mesa saw action at shortstop over the weekend, starting two games there.
Mesa was with ASU in 2003, but left the program early during the 2004 season. This
past weekend was the fi rst action he had seen in almost two years. The layoff didn't
appear to hurt his defensive skills, as he played error-free ball all weekend.
Just Keep On Using Me...:
Righty Brady Martinez leads the Pac-10 this season with nine appearances. It must
have been a shock to his system this weekend, as he saw action in only one game,
after having missed only one of the Sun Devils previous nine contests. The school
record for appearances in a season is 39, set by Noah Peery in 1994. Brett Bordes
had 38 appearances a year ago. Coincidentally, Bordes is second in the Pac-10 with