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#1 baseball hosts New Mexico and UMass this week

March 04, 2008

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. New Mexico:
Arizona State is 112-28 all-time against the Lobos. The former WAC rivals last met in Albuquerque in 2004, with ASU winning 22-4. New Mexico's last trip to Tempe was in 2003, when they beat the Devils 11-7.

Devils vs. UMass:
The Sun Devils are 2-0 all-time against the Minutemen. The Devils won the first meeting in the 1969 College World Series on their way to the National Championship. They also won a match-up in the 1973 Riverside Tournament.

Facing Tough Competition:
The Sun Devils will face one of the toughest schedules in the country in 2008. Nine of ASU's opponents were ranked in the Top 40 poll, while five opponents were ranked in the Top 10 (#1 Arizona, #1 UCLA, #3 Vanderbilt, #7 Oregon State and #8 Michigan).

Home Sweet Home:
With the win over Portland in Tempe, Arizona State has begun 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, Collegiate Baseball, the USA Today Coaches Poll and the NCBWA. Baseball America ranks the Devils #4.

Coca-Cola Classic Recap:
Arizona State got out of the gate fast in the Coca-Cola Classic, beating #8 Michigan 15-4 in Tempe in the Tournament Opener. Jason KipnisMike Leake picked up his second win of the year. Pitching was the name of the game at Surprise Stadium on Friday, as five Sun Devil hurlers combined to shut out Hawai'i 3-0. Marcel Champagnie tripled twice in the win. More pitching was on display in the re-match with Michigan on Saturday, as ASU won 8-4 again at Surprise Stadium. Ike Davis picked up the win thanks to his 2.1 innings of stellar relief work. ASU closed out the weekend in Tempe, finishing 4-0 thanks to a 5-2 win over Portland. Seth Blair got the win and Reyes Dorado struck out nine out of the bullpen before Jason Jarvis closed it out for the save. homered twice and

Monster Shot:
It hasn't taken long for Jason Kipnis to leave his mark on ASU Baseball. Kipnis homered twice on Thursday night in the 15-4 win over #8 Michigan, including his first career grand slam. The grand slam was especially memorable, because it cleared the 30-foot high batter's eye in centerfield known as the Green Monster. Kipnis became the 21st player and 15th Sun Devil to clear the wall. Brett Wallace was the last Sun Devil to do it, accomplishing the feat last season.

Pumped About The `Pen:
The ASU bullpen pitched tremendous during the weekend's Coca-Cola Classic. Six different ASU hurlers combined to throw 16 innings, allowing only three runs (1.69 ERA) and walking only four batters while striking out 22. Opponents hit just .190 off the relievers, who earned two of the wins. Jason Jarvis also picked up two saves on the weekend. Reyes Dorado fanned 11 hitters in his two appearances, including nine during his 3.2 innings against Portland. Stephen Sauer and Ike Davis both picked up victories in relief.

All-Tournament Honors:
Three Sun Devils earned All-Coca-Cola Classic honors, led by the tournament's Most Outstanding Player, Jason Kipnis. Ike Davis and Marcel Champagnie were also named to the team.

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 Oklahoma State 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 ArizonaArizona State won the Pac-10 last season. Arizona finished second. was picked to win with six first place votes.

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).

Not only were the 2008 Sun Devils dominant on the field at Winkles Field-Packard Stadium at Brock Ballpark, but they were dominant at the turnstyles as well. The Devils went 35-3 at home and led the West Coast in attendance for the third straight season. 116,205 fans came out to see the Sun Devils in 2007, the highest attendance since 1984. ASU finished 17th nationally in average attendance, averaging 3,141 fans per game. The fans showed up in huge numbers during opening weekend, as the DeMarini Invitational drew 10,083 fans for an average of 3,361.

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.

The Sun Devils will host three tournaments in 2008. The DeMarini Invitational with Vanderbilt, Oregon State and Miami,OH was last week. The 6th Annual Coca-Cola Classic, featuring ASU, Hawai'i, Michigan, Portland and Northern Illinois, took place last weekend, with games being played in both Surprise and Tempe. The Devils will also host the Bob Schaefer Memorial Tournament in March, facing Florida International, Northern Colorado and UC Irvine.

Schedule Strength:
Arizona State will once again face one of the toughest schedules in the country this season. ASU will play three teams (Oregon State, 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 Arizona State University 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 homestand with five games next week. Arkansas come to Tempe on Tuesday and Thursday, then Troy arrives for a weekend series at Winkles Field-Packard Stadium at Brock Ballpark.