Baseball Looks to Continue Hot Streak This Weekend

March 1, 2006

TEMPE, Ariz. -

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Leading Off:ASU returns home for a three-game series with Auburn at Winkles Field-Packard Stadiumat Brock Ballpark. The Sun Devils have won six of their last seven games, and nine of tenat home. The Tigers enter with an 8-5 record. After the Auburn series, ASU will hit the roadagain, traveling to Corpus Christi, Texas for the 1st Annual Whataburger Baseball Classic.They will also have a match-up with defending national champion Texas in Austin.

The Sun Devils vs. The Tigers:This will be the first ever meeting between the Auburn Tigers and the Arizona State SunDevils.

The Week That Was:Arizona State took two out of three from Baylor last weekend in Waco, Texas, sweeping adoubleheader on Saturday. Brett Bordes and Jeff Urlaub each picked up a victory on thehill. The Devils then returned home to host Texas Tech on Tuesday, emerging with a 13-5victory. Ike Davis picked up the win, and hit his first career home run, a grand slam to leadthe Devils to victory.

Rankings:ASU is ranked #22 in the Collegiate Baseball poll this week, up from #30 a week ago. Theyalso moved up one spot to #21 in the NCBWA poll. The first USA Today Coaches Poll of theregular season is out, and the Devils sit at #17. ASU is unranked in the Baseball Americapoll.

Baylor Recap:After a rain out Friday night, the Devils and Bears played two on Saturday at BaylorBallpark. The Sun Devil offense must have enjoyed the rain, as they pounded out 28hits and 20 runs on the day, taking game one 9-5 and game two 11-3. Baylor bouncedback to take the finale 5-3 on Sunday. J.J. Sferra was on fire all weekend, as he hit.545 in the series. Ryan Sontag was just as hot, hitting .500, scoring six runs andknocking in three more.

Texas Tech Recap:The Devils hosted Texas Tech in the first half of a home and home series on Tuesdaynight. Ike Davis played a big role in ASU's 13-5 victory, knocking in five runs,including his first career home run, a grand slam to center field in the sixth inning.Davis also picked up the win on the mound. The Sun Devils will travel to Lubbock onApril 17.

RB-Ike:Ike Davis has quickly become an RBI machine in the cleanup spot for the SunDevils. In the four games this weekend (Baylor, Texas Tech), Davis knocked in 10runs, including five against Texas Tech. His first career collegiate round tripper wasa memorable one, as he hit a grand slam off the green monster in center field in thesixth inning against the Red Raiders. Ike leads the Devils with 21 runs batted in. TheASU record for RBI by a freshman is 58, set by Casey Myers in 1998.

Urlaub-in' It:Freshman lefty Jeff Urlaub has been lights out since he joined the starting rotationtwo weeks ago. In his two starts, Urlaub has gone 14.2 innings, allowing only threeearned runs and striking out 12. The Scottsdale, Ariz. product is 3-0 on the seasonand second on the team with his 20 Ks.

Walk This Way:Sun Devil hitters have displayed a keen eye so far in 2006. As a team, they havedrawn 80 walks, best in the Pac-10. Willy Fox leads the conference with his 12 freepasses, but Ryan Sontag is right on his tail with 11. Preston Paramore and ColinCurtis both have 10.

Tag, You're It:Ryan Sontag has been solid for the Sun Devils all season. The left fielder fromMonroe, Mich. has found his way home, scoring a team leading 18 times. He's alsoknocked in 12 runs and swiped six bases. His .463 OBP in the leadoff spot and his.333 batting average have helped get the Sun Devils to quick starts.

Start Me Up:Arizona State is 6-1 when scoring in the first inning, with their only loss coming inthe season opener to Cal State Northridge. They are 9-1 when scoring the first run ofthe ballgame. They have scored four or more runs in seven innings this season.

Just Keep On Using Me...:Righty Brady Martinez leads the Pac-10 this season with 11 appearances. The schoolrecord for appearances in a season is 39, set by Noah Peery in 1994. Brett Bordeshad 38 appearances a year ago. Coincidentally, Bordes is second in the Pac-10 withseven appearances.

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