#1 Baseball Hosts Arkansas and Troy This Week

March 11, 2008

TEMPE, Ariz. -

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Leading Off:

Arizona State continued its hot start, sweeping all four games of the Coca-Cola Classic, including two at Surprise Stadium. The Devils host their first mid-week series of the year this week, welcoming New Mexico to Tempe for a pair of games on Tuesday and Wednesday. ASU will then face the UMass Minutemen in a three game series beginning Friday at Winkles Field-Packard Stadium at Brock Ballpark.


Devils vs. Arkansas:

The Devils and Razorbacks are tied at one apiece in their all-time series. This will be the first ever regular season meeting between the two schools. Arkansas won the first meeting 1-0 at the Waterbury, Conn. NCAA Regional in 1989 and ASU won 8-4 in the Wichita NCAA Regional in 1998.


Devils vs. Troy:

This will be the first meeting between the Sun Devils and Trojans.


Hot Start:

Arizona State's 12-0 start is tied for the second best start in school history. The 1972 ASU squad also won their first 12 games and finished the season 64-6, falling to USC in the title game of the College World Series. The record for best start is held by the 1961 squad, who  started the year 21-0. The 12-0 start is the best start ever by a Murphy coached ASU team.


Home Sweet Home:

Arizona State is in the middle of a stretch that will see them play 22 consecutive home games. The Devils will play those 22 home contests in a span of 29 days. ASU will not hit the road until the series at Stanford that begins April 2, meaning that the Sun Devils will have played their first 29 games of the season in the state of Arizona.



Arizona State is ranked #1 by Rivals.com, Collegiate Baseball, the USA Today Coaches Poll and the NCBWA. Baseball America ranks the Devils #2.


New Mexico/UMass Recap:

The Devils passed their first mid-week test, sweeping the two-game series with New Mexico. ASU took advantage of 13 free bases doled out by the Lobo pitching staff to pick up an 18-1 victory. Tommy Rafferty struck out five out of the bullpen to pick up his first career win. Mike Leake got the start on Wednesday night, fanning eight in six innings to pick up his third win in a 10-1 Sun Devil victory...ArizonaState struggled early with UMass on Friday night, trailing in the fourth inning before the bats came alive. ASU used a seven run eighth inning to put away the Minutemen 13-4. Saturday night was the Ike Davis show, as the junior homered twice and picked up the victory on the mound in another 13-4 win. The Sun Devils completed the sweep on Sunday behind 18 hits in a 17-9 triumph. Jason Kipnis and Ryan Sontag each homered and had three hits in the win.


Sweet Sauer:

Junior righty Stephen Sauer showed off his stuff last week, totaling 17 strikeouts while walking only two batters in 12.2 innings of work. On Saturday night, he struck out 11 UMass hitters in seven innings of work, allowing only one run. It was the only run he allowed in his three appearances.


Walk This Way:

Petey Paramore led the Pac-10 in bases on balls last season, totaling 53 in 64 games. His good eye has continued so far in 2008, as he has already drawn 19 walks in 12 games. Paramore now has 106 walks in his career and is only the 22nd Sun Devil to ever draw over 100. The 106 walks put him 17th on the school's all-time list, one behind Lenny Randle (1968-70). Alvin Davis (1979-82) is the all-time leader with 207.


Pac-10 Player of the Week:

Ike Davis has been named the Pac-10 Player of the Week, the second time in his career he has earned the award. He becomes the second Sun Devil this season to win, joining Brett Wallace, who won following the opening weekend.


Keeping A Weather Eye:

Arizona State is drawing a ton of walks as a team, including 42 over the five games last week. They have drawn 93 so far this season. Last season they drew 319 free passes as a team. The school record for bases on balls in a season is 482, set in 1982. The Devils have also been hit by 16 pitches this year, including seven last week.


Call To The Hall For Bane and Bannister:

Legendary Sun Devil pitchers Eddie Bane and Floyd Bannister have been named to the College Baseball Hall of Fame Class of 2008. Bane pitched for ASU from 1971 to 1973, recording a 40-4 career record with a 1.64 ERA. He threw the only perfect game in Sun Devil history, striking out 19 in a 9-0 win over Cal State Northridge in 1973. Bane is the school's leader in career strikeouts, fanning 535 in his three seasons in Maroon and Gold. Floyd Bannister went 38-6 with a 1.88 ERA from 1974 to 1976, throwing 29 career complete games, second most in school history. He won 19 games in 1976, tied for the school single season record, and struck out an ASU record 217 in 1975. He was the #1 overall pick in the 1976 MLB draft. Bane and Bannister join Bobby Winkles, Jim Brock and Bob Horner as Sun Devils in the College Baseball Hall of Fame.


Family Matters:

Freshman OF/LHP Matt Newman has Maroon and Gold in his blood. His father, Randy, was a pitcher for the Sun Devils in 1981 and 1982, winning 15 career games and the 1981 National Championship. Freshman catcher Andrew Pollak is the brother of former Sun Devil football great Mike Pollak, who played center for the Devils from 2004 to 2007. Mike was a two-time All-Pac-10 performer. Andrew wears number 76, the same number Mike wore on the gridiron. UTL Mike Murphy is no relation to head coach Pat Murphy, although he is the first player named Murphy Pat Murphy has ever coached. New assistant coach Josh Holliday is the son of former OklahomaState head baseball coach Tom Holliday and the brother of current Colorado Rockies outfielder Matt Holliday.


2008 Pre-Season Honors:

ASU has several pre-season All-Americans on its roster. Brett Wallace and Josh Satow were both named First Teamers by the NCBWA as well as Collegiate Baseball. Petey Paramore joined them on the NCBWA list. Mike Leake was named a Second Team selection by both the NCBWA and Collegiate Baseball. Kiel Roling was named to the Second Team by the NCBWA. Ike Davis was a Third Team selection by both the NCBWA and Collegiate Baseball. Wallace, Davis and Paramore were all named Second Teamers by Baseball America.


Pac-10 Picks:

The Sun Devils were picked to finish second in the Pac-10 in the annual preseason coaches poll. ASU got three first place votes, while Arizona was picked to win with six first place votes. ArizonaState won the Pac-10 last season. Arizona finished second.


Golden Spikes Watch List:

Ike Davis, Petey Paramore and Brett Wallace have all been named to the 2008 Golden Spikes Award Watch List. ASU has had three Golden Spikes winners, Bob Horner, Odibe McDowell and Mike Kelly.


Wallace Award Watch List:

Arizona State leads all schools with five players on the Wallace Award Watch List. Brett Wallace, Jason Jarvis, Josh Satow, Mike Leake and Petey Paramore are all on the initial list. Wallace was Semi-Finalist for the award last season.


Stopper Watch List:

Closer Jason Jarvis was named to the NCBWA Preseason Stopper of the Year Watch List. Jarvis set an ASU freshman record with 11 saves in 2007.


Captain and the Bench Award Watch List:

Head coach Pat Murphy has named junior catcher Petey Paramore as the captain of the 2008 Sun Devils. Paramore has also been named to the Watch List for the Johnny Bench Award, the third straight year he has made the list.


Consistency In The New Millennium:

Since the 2000 season, Pat Murphy and the Arizona State Sun Devils have been the most consistent program in the Pac-10 conference. Since 2000, ASU leads the Pac-10 in wins (341), conference wins (123), NCAA Tournament appearances (8), Top 25 finishes (8), First Team All-Pac-10 players (30) and All-Americans (21).


Coach Murphy Honored:

Pat Murphy has been inducted into the Florida Atlantic University Baseball Hall of Fame. Murphy played for the Owls from 1981 to 1982, then coached three years at the school.


Schedule Strength:

Arizona State will once again face one of the toughest schedules in the country this season. ASU will play three teams (OregonState, UC Irvine and Cal State Fullerton) that went to Omaha last year, in addition to Super Regional teams Wichita State, Michigan and UCLA.


Inter-Conference Battles:

In addition to facing the schools in the Pac-10, the Devils will also take on teams from 11 different conferences in 2008. ASU will face two teams from the SEC (Arkansas, Vanderbilt), two from the Big West (Cal State Fullerton, UC Irvine), two from the Sun Belt (Troy, Florida International), two from the Western Athletic (New Mexico, Hawai'i), two from the West Coast Conference (Portland, Loyola Marymount) and one each from the Big 12 (Kansas State), Atlantic 10 (UMass), Mid-American (Miami,Ohio), Big 10 (Michigan), Missouri Valley (Wichita State) and Southern (Wofford). ASU will also face Northern Colorado, who is an independent.


Honoring Pat Tillman:

Former ASU football player and American Hero Pat Tillman had strong ties to the ASU Baseball program. In addition to his brother Kevin playing for ASU, Pat became extremely close with head coach Pat Murphy. Murphy wears jersey #42 in honor of Tillman, and in January 2007, Murph donated $100,000 to the baseball program for the construction of the Tillman Training Room, a room that will honor both Pat and Kevin and their commitment to both ArizonaStateUniversity and the United States of America. The team wears a memorial 'PT*42' patch on their jerseys in honor of Pat.


Up Next:

The Devils continue their home stand with six games next week. Arizona comes to Tempe on Tuesday, then the Bob Schaefer Memorial Tournament begins. ASU will face Northern Colorado on Thursday and Friday, Florida International in a doubleheader on Saturday, then wrap-up the weekend with UC Irvine on Sunday. All six games will be played at Winkles Field-Packard Stadium at Brock Ballpark.


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