Baseball heads to Coca-Cola Classic in Surprise

Coca-Cola Classic Game NotesGet Acrobat Reader

Tickets are on sale now at the Surprise Recreation Campus Box Office, located at 15960 N. Bullard Avenue. They can also be purchased over the phone with Ticketmaster at 800.745.3000 and online at Tickets are all general admission and cost $8 for Adults and $5 for seniors and students under 18 with ID. Tournament passes, which include admission to all college games, can also be purchased for $30 for an adult pass and $20 for seniors and students under 18 with ID.

Leading The Pac (Team):
After the first two weeks of the season, the Sun Devils lead the Pac-12 in four offensive categories, including batting average (.383), slugging percentage (.593), on base percentage (.467) and home runs (8). This is the second consecutive week in which ASU has paced the conference in batting average, slugging percentage and on base percentage. On the mound, they are tops in the Pac-12 in ERA (1.50) and runs allowed (10) for the second week in a row.

Leading The Pac (Individual):
On the individual side, Abe Ruiz paces the Pac-12 in slugging percentage (1.045), total bases (23) and home runs (3), and is tied for the lead in batting average (.500). This is the second straight week that Ruiz has led the conference in slugging percentage, total bases and home runs. Joey DeMichele is tops in runs scored (13) for the second consecutive week and is second in slugging percentage (1.000). The Devils hold four of the conference's top-10 spots in on base percentage (DeMichele is second, Max Rossiter is third, Kasey Coffman is tied for seventh and Ruiz is 10th). On the pitching side, RHP Brady Rodgers remains atop the conference with a 0.00 ERA and is the only player in the Pac-12 to not allow a walk this season. He is also third in strikeouts with 17.

Welcome To Mr. Rodgers' Neighborhood:
Right-hander Brady Rodgers has allowed no earned runs and no walks while striking out 17 through 13 innings this season. He is 2-0 after two starts and has given up just nine hits, including only two extra base hits.

A Deep Staff:
Arizona State has already used 12 pitchers through the first six games of the season. The Devils only used 11 all season last year. Right-handers Josh McAlister and Mark Lambson, who threw a combined 28.2 innings in 2011, have not made an appearance yet this season, as well as junior college transfers Zak Miller and Billy Young.

The Heart Of The Lineup:
Joey DeMichele, batting in the No. 4 spot in the lineup, and Abe Ruiz, manning the No. 5 spot, have combined for 20 hits, 21 RBI, 42 total bases, 22 runs, five home runs and five doubles in six games. Both have started every game for the Devils this season and they each have a slugging percentage over 1.000, a batting average better than .470 and an on base percentage higher than .540.

Joining The Century Club:
Head coach Tim Esmay Esmay recorded his 100th win as head coach at ASU with the Devils' 11-2 win over UC Riverside on Sunday. Coach Esmay collected 52 wins in his first season at the helm of the Devils en route to a 2010 Pac-10 Championship, a berth in the College World Series and Pac-10 Coach of the Year honors. He followed that up with 43 victories in 2011 and led the Devils to a spot in an NCAA Super Regional. He has five wins through six games this season, giving him a .775 winning percentage through 2-plus years in Tempe.

UC Riverside Recap:
Baseball won two out of three games against UC Riverside over the weekend, taking the Friday and Sunday contests. They won 11-3 on Friday night behind nine strikeouts by right-hander Brady Rodgers and head coach Tim Esmay earned his 100th win as head coach at ASU on Sunday as the Sun Devils defeated the Highlanders, 11-2. Coach Esmay reached the century mark in just 129 games, the second-fastest in school history. ASU recorded eight hits in a 3-1 loss on Saturday, but right-hander Alex Blackford recorded 4.2 strong innings, allowing five hits and one earned run while striking out three. Infielder Joey DeMichele led the way offensively for the Sun Devils, finishing their three-game series with a .600 batting average, seven RBI, six hits and six runs scored, including a home run in back-to-back games.

Golden Spikes Watch List:
Three Arizona State student-athletes have been named to USA Baseball's 2012 preseason Golden Spikes Award watch list: Joey DeMichele, Deven Marrero and Brady Rodgers. Marrero was named to the watch list last year as well.

Who's New:
Arizona State welcomes 17 newcomers to Tempe as they begin their Sun Devil careers. Those 17 include 10 true freshmen and seven JC transfers. The junior college transfers are OF/INF Kyle Bilbrey (Salt Lake CC), RHP Josh Dahl (Central Arizona College), LHP Matt Dunbar (College of Southern Nevada), LHP Adrian Gomez (Univ. of Washington), RHP Zak Miller (Yavapi College), RHP Robert Ravago (Pima CC), C Max Rossiter (Central Arizona College) and RHP Billy Young (Mesa CC). The freshmen class features LHP Brandon Bonilla (Greenwich, Conn.), INF Rouric Bridgewater (Pomona, Calif.), C Nathaniel Causey (Gilbert, Ariz.), INF L Grant Davis (Newport Beach, Calif.), C Dylan Delso (Broken Arrow, Okla.), RHP Darin Gillies (Hollister, Calif.), OF Jake Peevyhouse (Phoenix), LHP Adam McCreery (La Verne, Calif.), INF Drew Stankiewicz (Gilbert, Ariz.) and INF/OF Jake Wakamatsu (North Richland Hills, Texas).

Legacy Devils:
The 2012 Sun Devil team features four student-athletes with unique connections to Arizona State. Sophomore 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. Freshman INF/OF Jake Wakamatsu also has Maroon and Gold in his blood, as his father Don was a four-year letterwinner for Arizona State from 1982 to 1985. A three-year starter at catcher, Don was a three-time First Team All-Pac-10 selection and was a member of two Pac-10 Championships teams and twice played in the College World Series. Don played for the Chicago White Sox in 1991 and became the first former Sun Devil baseball player to be named a Major League Baseball manager when he was hired by the Seattle Mariners prior to the 2009 season. He is currently the bench coach of the Toronto Blue Jays. Joining Wakamatsu and Allen as Legacy Devils are redshirt freshman Tucker Esmay and sophomore 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.

Notable Connections:
Freshman LHP Brandon Bonilla's father Bobby played 16 seasons in the Major Leagues (1986-2001) for eight different teams, including the Chicago White Sox, New York Mets, Los Angeles Dodgers, Atlanta Braves and St. Louis Cardinals. He was a six-time All-Star and won the 1997 World Series as a member of the Florida Marlins. Brandon is also the godson of former Sun Devil legend and MLB Home Run King Barry Bonds, who was teammates with his father on the Pittsburgh Pirates...Fellow freshman INF Drew Stankiewicz's father Andy also played in the Major Leagues, spending seven seasons with the New York Yankees, Houston Astros, Montreal Expos and Arizona Diamondbacks. Andy was an assistant coach at Arizona State from 2007-09, collecting two Pac-10 titles and a trip to the 2009 College World Series, and is currently the head baseball coach at Grand Canyon University...Redshirt sophomore catcher Beau Maggi is the brother of Drew Maggi, who starred at ASU in 2009 and 2010...Sophomore RHP Mark Lambson is the brother of Mitchell Lambson, who made 102 appearances for ASU from 2009-11, tied for the second most in school history...Sophomore shortstop Deven Marrero is the cousin of Chris Marrero, a first baseman for the Washington Nationals.

Summer Lovin':
Fifteen members of the 2012 Arizona State baseball team participated in summer collegiate baseball this past summer: Joey DeMichele, Hyannis HarborHawks, Cape Cod Baseball League; Andrew Aplin, Orleans Firebirds, Cape Cod Baseball League; Jake Barrett, Brewster Whitecaps, Cape Cod Baseball League; Mark Lambson, Cowlitz Black Bears, West Coast Collegiate League; Michael Benjamin, Bend Elks, West Coast Collegiate League; Josh McAlister, Bend Elks, West Coast Collegiate League; Alex Blackford, Mankato Moondogs, Northwoods League; James McDonald, Mankato Moondogs, Northwoods League; Tucker Esmay, Orange County Pioneers, California Collegiate League; Beau Maggi, East Texas Pump Jacks, Texas Collegiate League; Trever Allen, East Texas Pump Jacks, Texas Collegiate League; Kasey Coffman, Okotoks Dawgs, Western Major League; Abe Ruiz, West Virginia Miners, Prospect League; Deven Marrero, Team USA National Collegiate Team; and Brady Rodgers, Team USA National Collegiate Team.

2012 Preseason Honors:
Deven Marrero was the sole unanimous First Team selection in Baseball America's Preseason All-American poll and was one of just six repeat recipients (Second Team in 2011). He was also named a Preseason First Team All-American by Collegiate Baseball,, Perfect Game and College Baseball Daily, and earned a spot on College Sports Madness' Second Team. He was joined on both NCBWA's Third Team and College Sports Madness' All-Conference First Team by Brady Rodgers and Joey DeMichele, who were both also named honorable mentions by Rodgers was selected to the Second Team by Collegiate Baseball and was a Third Team choice by both Baseball America and Perfect Game, while DeMichele was named to Perfect Game's Second Team and College Sports Madness' Fourth Team. Jake Barrett was a Second Team pick by Baseball America. Head coach Tim Esmay was selected as the Pac-12 Coach of the Year by College Sports Madness.

2011 Pac-10 Awards:
Arizona State, after finishing second in the Pac-10, took home a litany of conference accolades, headlined by Defensive Player of the Year recipient Deven Marrero. ASU had five First Team All-Pac-10 performers: Austin Barnes, Joey DeMichele, Marrero, Johnny Ruettiger and Riccio Torrez. Alex Blackford, Kramer Champlin, Mitchell Lambson, Zack MacPhee, Matt Newman, Brady Rodgers, Trevor Williams and Zach Wilson all earned Honorable Mentions. DeMichele joined Andy Workman on the Academic All-Pac-10 first team. Marrero and Torrez earned a spot on the Second Team, and Xorge Carrillo and Newman were Honorable Mentions.

2011 All-Americans:
Joey DeMichele earned First Team honors from the ABCA and took home Third Team honors from Baseball America. Trevor Williams earned Freshman All-American honors from Baseball America and Andy Workman was named a Second-Team Academic All-American.

Inter-Conference Battles:
In addition to facing the schools in the Pac-12, which now includes Utah, the Devils will also take on teams from nine different conferences in 2011. ASU will face three teams from the Big West (Long Beach State, Cal State Fullerton, UC Riverside), two from the Mid-American (Northern Illinois, Western Michigan), two from the West Coast (Gonzaga, Saint Mary's) and one each from the Atlantic 10 (Saint Louis), Big 12 (Texas Tech), Big South (Winthrop), Great West (Utah Valley), Mountain West (New Mexico) and Western Athletic (UNLV).

Feeling The Draft:
There are 13 members of the 2012 Sun Devils who have had their name called during the annual Major League Baseball draft, including five freshmen. Everyone except for Max Rossiter, who was drafted following two successful seasons at Central Arizona College, was selected after high school but opted to attend ASU.

Jake Barrett, 3rd, Blue Jays, 2009; James McDonald, 11th, White Sox, 2010; Adam McCreery, 14th, Twins, 2011;Deven Marrero, 17th, Reds, 2009; Andrew Aplin, 33rd, Yankees, 2009; Brandon Bonilla, 37th, Rockies, 2011; Brady Rodgers, 39th, Brewers, 2009; Drew Stankiewicz, 40th, Rockies, 2011; Michael Benjamin, 45th, Rockies, 2010;Nathaniel Causey, 46th, Rockies, 2011; Max Rossiter, 46th, Rays, 2011; Abe Ruiz, 47th, Giants, 2008; Jake Wakamatsu, 48th, Blue Jays, 2011.

Pac-12 Picks:
Arizona State was picked to finish third in the 2012 Preseason Pac-10 Coaches' Poll and received one first-place vote. Stanford was picked to finish first, receiving 10 first-place votes, with Arizona in second.

Tough Schedule:
The Sun Devils will play 19 games this season against teams ranked in the Preseason Top 30, including 10 at Packard Stadium and nine on the road. ASU will host a three-game series against both No. 26 Cal (March 23-25) and No. 22 Oregon State (April 5-7), and will welcome No. 18 Arizona for two separate single-game sets on April 17 and May 16, respectively. No. 19 Cal State Fullerton will also come to Tempe for a two-game tilt March 27-28. The Devils travel to Los Angeles March 16-18 to face No. 20 UCLA and will play No. 2 Stanford in Palo Alto, Calif., April 20-22. They finish the season with a three-game series against the Wildcats in Tucson, Ariz., May 25-27.

Up Next:
Arizona State will host Texas Tech on March 6 at Packard Stadium at 6:30 p.m. It is the first weekday game of the season for the Sun Devils, who will play a total of seven this season.