Baseball returns to the diamond against Delaware
Following a three-game sweep of the New Mexico Lobos, Arizona State continues its season opening home stand by hosting the Delaware Blue Hens in a four-game series that begins Friday night. The Devils and Blue Hens will play a doubleheader on Saturday, then wrap up the series on Sunday at Winkles Field-Packard Stadium at Brock Ballpark.
Blame It On The Rain:
ASU’s opening series with New Mexico was supposed to be a four-game series, but rain caused Saturday’s first game of a scheduled doubleheader to be suspended until Sunday. After a 90 minute delay on Sunday, the Devils and Lobos finally completed the Saturday game, then played another game immediately after. The fourth game of the series was canceled, the second straight season that ASU has lost a game due to weather on opening weekend.
Devils vs. Delaware:
ASU has only faced Delaware once in their school history, a 13-5 Sun Devil win in Riverside in 1976.
Hall “O” Famer:
The 2011 College Baseball Hall of Fame Class was announced by the College Baseball Foundation and Sun Devil Legend Oddible McDowell was one of eight men to earn induction. McDowell will become the seventh member of the Hall of Fame to come from Arizona State. McDowell was a standout in the outfield from 1983 to 1984. He was a career .380 hitter with 30 home runs and 31 doubles. In 1984, he hit .405 with 23 home runs, a performance that earned him the Golden Spikes Award. That same year he was named Player of the Year by both Collegiate Baseball and Baseball America. He also was a two-time All-American and was the first Sun Devil to have his number retired.
Arizona State ran wild on the base paths against the Lobos on opening weekend, swiping 15 bases in the three-game series. In the second game of the series, ASU stole eight bases, two shy of the school record. Johnny Ruettiger, who stole 10 bases last season, stole five against the Lobos.
New Mexico Recap:
Arizona State improved to 41-11-1 all-time in season openers, beating New Mexico 8-2 on Opening Night. Riccio Torrez proved the fireworks, homering twice and driving in five runs. Brady Rodgers earned the win on the mound, allowing only two hits over his five innings of work...after rain suspended Saturday’s game in the third inning, the Devils picked it right back up after the re-start on Sunday. Xorge Carrillo was 2-3 with three RBI, while Deven Marrero added three hits of his own. Kyle Ottoson made his ASU debut on the hill, starting the re-start and throwing all six innings to earn the win. He fanned eight and allowed only three hits...the finale was a closer battle, as the Lobos threatened in the eighth, but some timely hitting, namely back-to-back triple by Matt Newman and Joey DeMichele led ASU to a 7-5 win and a series sweep.
Honoring Cory Hahn:
As a tribute to injured Sun Devil Cory Hahn, the team will wear special wristbands with Cory’s name and #34 and also has had his number embroidered on the team’s stirrups. Players will also wear his initials and number on their hats.
Player of the Week:
Junior Riccio Torrez was named the Pac-10 Player of the Week following opening weekend, the fourth straight season a Sun Devil has earned Player of the Week honors following the season’s first action. Torrez was the leader of the ASU offense against the Lobos, driving in seven runs in the three games. He established a new career high with his five RBI on opening night, thanks to his first career multi-homer game. He also had an inside the park homer on Sunday. It is the second career Player of the Week honor for Torrez and the 96th by an ASU player, most in Pac-10 history.
Lefty Kyle Ottoson had quite a debut for the Sun Devils on Sunday. Originally slated to pitch the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader, Ottoson instead came out to the mound for the re-start of the second game of the series. He was dominant, going all six innings and striking out eight batters. He allowed only two hits and no runs, earning his first career win. Righty Kramer Champlin made his first career start in the series finale and was also impressive, lasting six innings and allowing four hits to earn his first win.
Golden Spikes Watch List:
Arizona State landed three student-athletes on the 2011 Golden Spikes Award Preseason Watch List. Johnny Ruettiger, Zack MacPhee and Deven Marrero were all on the list. MacPhee was a semifinalist a season ago.
The 2011 Sun Devil team features a unique connection for four student-athletes. Senior OF Matt Newman has Maroon and Gold in his blood, as his father, Randy, was a pitcher for the Sun Devils in 1981 and 1982, winning 15 career games and the 1981 National Championship. Matt and Randy joined a select list as a father-son combo who both played in the College World Series. But Matt Newman is not the only Sun Devil who has a father with an ASU National Championship ring. Freshman Trever Allen is the son of Jamie Allen, who played three seasons at ASU, including the 1977 National Championship year. Jamie was a lifetime .333 hitter at ASU and he also went 6-2 on the mound. He was a two-time All-WAC team member and was a member of the 1977 All-College World Series team. Joining Newman and Allen as Legacy Devils are freshmen Tucker Esmay and Michael Benjamin. Esmay is the son of Head Coach Tim Esmay and Benjamin is the son of assistant coach Mike Benjamin. The elder Esmay and Benjamin were teammates on the 1986 and 1987 Sun Devils.
Junior 3B Riccio Torrez’s brother Raoul was a four-time letterman and two-time team captain, including teaming with Riccio the last two years...Redshirt freshman catcher Beau Maggi is the brother of Drew Maggi, who starred at ASU the last two years...Junior Mitchell Lambson will be joined by his brother Mark on the 2011 Sun Devils...Junior OF Johnny Ruettiger is the nephew of Rudy Ruettiger, the former Notre Dame football player who had a movie about his life made....Sophomore shortstop Deven Marrero is the cousin of Chris Marrero, a rising star in the Washington Nationals’ system.
In each of the last two seasons, the Sun Devils boasted a set of brothers who started next to each other in the infield, marking the first time in school history that brothers started next to each other on the diamond. Raoul and Riccio Torrez became the fifth set of brothers to play for the same Sun Devil team. The other Sun Devil brothers to play on the same teams are Kevin and Pat Dukes (1980-81), Dale and Larry Eiler (1976-78), John and Tom Sain (1973) and Brett and Greg Bordes (2005). Drew and Beau Maggi were both on the team last season, but Beau sat out the year utilizing his redshirt season. This year, Mitchell Lambson will be joined on the pitching staff by his brother Mark.
Junior OF Brandon Magee is no stranger to ASU athletics, playing linebacker for the Sun Devil football team. Magee joins Mike Jones as recent Sun Devils who played both football and baseball. Jones played football from 2005 to 2008, while splitting time with baseball from 2006 to 2008. Magee was second on the team in tackles this past season, totaling 73 including five for loss and 1.5 sacks.
2011 Pre-Season Honors:
Zack MacPhee was named a Preseason First Team All-American by the NCBWA, ESPN and by Collegiate Baseball and was a Second Team choice by Baseball America. Deven Marrero and Johnny Ruettiger were also Second Team picks by Baseball America, while Mitchell Lambson and Riccio Torrez joined Marrero as Third Team choices by Collegiate Baseball. Zach Wilson was a Third Team choice by Baseball America. Lambson was also named to the Stopper of the Year Watch List. Lambson and Marrero were also named Preseason All-Americans by Perfect Game.
In addition to facing the schools in the Pac-10, the Devils will also take on teams from seven different conferences in 2011. ASU will face three teams from the Big West (Long Beach State, Cal State Fullerton, UC Riverside), two from the Mountain West Conference (New Mexico and BYU), two from the Big 12 (Kansas and Oklahoma) and one each from the Colonial Athletic Association (Delaware), Mid-American (Northern Illinois), Summit League (Oral Roberts), and SEC (Auburn). Arizona State will also host Cal State Bakersfield, who is an independent.
Feeling The Draft:
There are 18 members of the 2011 Sun Devils who have had their name called during the annual Major League Baseball draft, including Xorge Carrillo, who was drafted last season but opted to return to school. Carrillo has been drafted three times, as has Kyle Ottoson.
Arizona State was picked to finish third in the 2011 Preseason Pac-10 Coaches’ Poll. UCLA was picked to finish first, receiving eight first place votes, with Stanford second with two first place votes.
Did You Know:
Thomas F. Wilson, who starred in Back to the Future 1, 2 and 3 as Biff Tannen/Griff Tannen/Buford “Mad Dog” Tannen, attended Arizona State University?
The Sun Devils will play 27 games this season against teams ranked in the Preseason Top 30, including a stretch of 10 straight games against ranked opponents. 10 of the 27 games will come against Preseason Top 10 teams.
Arizona State will once again participate in the Coca-Cola Spring Training Classic at Surprise Stadium, the ninth straight year the Sun Devils will head to the West Valley. ASU will face Northern Illinois, Kansas, UC Riverside and Cal State Bakersfield during the tournament. They open play in Surprise Thursday against Cal State Bakersfield.