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Baseball opens Pac-10 series with Cal

April 20, 2011

Weekly Release- at Cal Get Acrobat  Reader

Leading Off:

Following a three-game sweep of the Washington State Cougars, the Arizona State Sun Devils head back out on the road for a three-game Pac-10 series with California. The Devils and Golden Bears will get things underway on Thursday afternoon at Evans Diamond. The three-game series will run Thursday to Saturday due to Easter on Sunday.


Devils vs. Cal:

The Sun Devils lead the all-time series with the Golden Bears 104-57*. Arizona State swept the three-game series last season in Tempe. ASU's last trip to Evans Diamond was in 2009, when ASU took two of three. *- ASU vacated one victory over California in 2007. On field record against Cal is 105-57.

Productive Hitting:

Arizona State's hitters have done a phenomenal job this season of advancing runners, meaning times the batter advanced at least one runner during a plate appearance. Johnny Ruettiger leads the team with his .588 success rate (40-58). Riccio Torrez has been Mr. Clutch with two outs, leading the team with his 11 two-out RBI. Zack MacPhee has been the most effective at moving runners over with an out, 19 times advancing the runners when he has not reached safely.



Senior Matt Newman has developed a reputation as being one of the steadiest fielders in the country. The outfielder has committed only one career error and has 13 career outfield assists. He has played both left and right field in his four years in Tempe, as well as pitched during his freshman and sophomore years. Newman made 16 fielding assists as a pitcher and has a career fielding percentage of .996 (250 chances).


Ball Four (Hundred and Thirty Six):

Junior Zack MacPhee has entered an exclusive club in Sun Devil baseball history. The second baseman now has 109 career bases on balls, passing Dustin Pedroia and Rick Valley for 15th most in school history. He has consistently shown a keen eye throughout his ASU career, drawing 40 walks his freshman season, 41 his sophomore season and 24 so far this season. He has also been hit by a pitch 15 times in his career. The career record for walks by a Sun Devil is 207 set by Alvin Davis during his four-year career in Tempe from 1979 to 1982. MacPhee is 10 walks away from joining the Top 10. He has drawn 28 walks this season, tops in the Pac-10.


Washington State Recap:

Arizona State took advantage of a big Cougar error on Friday night, as two unearned runs scored on a ball through the legs of the second baseman. That would be the difference in a 3-1 victory...Saturday featured some clutch hitting by Joey DeMichele and a solid start from Kramer Champlin in an 8-2 victory. DeMichele had three hits and three RBI while Champlin picked up the win on the bump...Sunday the Devils brought out the heavy metal, pounding out 14 hits on their way to a 10-4 win. Jake Barrett collected the win on the mound while Joey DeMichele had three hits for the second straight game.


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. The entire team visited Hahn during their trip to Fullerton and Hahn attended the first game of the series at Goodwin Field.

Give Me A K:

The Arizona State pitching staff has been a well-oiled strike out machine so far in the 2011 season. Sun Devil pitchers have punched out 276 hitters over 304.1 innings, led by Jake Barrett's 53 Ks in his 50.1 innings of work. Seven members of the pitching staff have already recorded 20+ strikeouts and three have over 30. Last season, ASU pitchers fanned 553 batters in 558.0 innings.


The Champ Is Here!:

Junior righty Kramer Champlin turned in a career effort against Oral Roberts on March 18, throwing his first career complete game in a 5-1 victory. Champlin, who threw six complete games at Western Nevada over the past two years, limited the Golden Eagles to six hits over the nine innings, striking out eight.


Johnny Lightning:

Junior Johnny Ruettiger has added a new wrinkle to his already impressive repertoire, becoming a stolen base machine in 2011. Ruettiger, who entered 2011 with 22 career stolen bases, has already swiped 17 this season. That is a new career high, breaking the previous high of 12 which was set during his freshman season.


Packing Them In:

Arizona State has recorded five sell outs so far this season at Winkles Field-Packard Stadium at Brock Ballpark. The Devils and Oklahoma Sooners sold out both of their mid-week games and the Arizona/Arizona State three-game Pac-10 series also featured a sell out for each contest. ASU is averaging 3,279 fans per game this season after averaging 3,506 fans per game last season.


20 Game Winner:

While in Auburn, junior lefty Mitchell Lambson picked up his 20th career victory. Lambson is 20-10 in his career, making 90 appearances with only one start. His one start, at Washington in 2009, was a complete game. Lambson's 20 wins puts him third all-time in school history for wins by pitchers who were primarily relievers in their career. Lambson trails only Sam Cook, who recorded 25 wins in 60 appearances (11 starts) from 1961 to 1963 and Kevin Dukes, who won 21 games in 82 appearances (18 starts) from 1978 to 1981. Lambson's brother Mark earned his first career win at Auburn (naturally, out of the bullpen).


More on Mitch:

Lambson picked up his 10th career save against Oral Roberts, putting him in an exclusive club. Only three pitchers in Arizona State history have ever recorded at least 20 victories with at least 10 saves. Only Kevin Dukes, who pitched from 1978 to 1981, won 21 games and saved 20 games and Mitch Dean, who won 25 games and saved 11 from 1976 to 1980, had ever accomplished the feat prior to Lambson. Lambson now has five saves on the season and 13 in his career.


Brothers With Arms:

With two appearances last week, Mitchell Lambson has now made 90 career appearances, fourth most in ASU history. Last season he tied a school record with his 39 appearances. His brother, Mark, is a right handed reliever out of the ASU bullpen. Mark retired the first 11 hitters he faced in his Sun Devil career against Delaware. He also picked up his first career win against Auburn. Mitchell and Mark are the sixth set of brothers to play in the same season for Arizona State.

Most Career Pitching Appearances

1. Brett Bordes (2003-06)........ 109

2. Kendall Carter (1981-84)...... 102
3. Ryan Bradley (1995-97)....... 99
4. Mitchell Lambson (2009-P) 90

5. Kevin Dukes (1986-89)........ 82

Newman's Golden Glove:

Matt Newman's error against Kansas was the first of his Sun Devil career. It happened in his 176th game for ASU. Newman's errorless streak reached 211 chances before it ended in right field at Surprise Stadium on a ground ball that Newman kicked away, allowing the runner to reach third on a double.


State Farm Territorial Cup Series Baseball Point Awarded:

On the strength of their 10-5 victory in Tucson, the Sun Devils have won the State Farm Territorial Cup Series point for baseball. Arizona State currently leads the five-game season series three games to one, earning them the point for the series victory. ASU won the Pac-10 series from the Wildcats two games to one in Tempe in March.


Career Highs:

Several Sun Devils have established single game career highs already this season. Deven Marrero set new career highs in hits (4) and runs scored (4) against Arizona on April 5; Xorge Carrillo set a new high in RBI with three at Auburn on March 12; Joey DeMichele recorded five hits, including three doubles, at Auburn on March 12; Johnny Ruettiger collected four hits against UC Riverside at Surprise on March 6; Riccio Torrez homered twice against New Mexico on February 18. He also drove in five runs, setting a new high; Zach Wilson collected five hits, including three doubles, against Delaware on February 26. He tied his career high with five RBI against Northern Illinois on March 4 at Surprise; Andy Workman has twice tied his career high with three hits, against Delaware on February 26 and at Auburn on March 11; Andrew Aplin tied a career high with three hits against Oral Roberts on March 18.



The Sun Devils are ranked #9 by Baseball America, #12 in the Collegiate Baseball poll, #6 in the NCBWA poll and #9 in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches poll.


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.


Legacy Devils:

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.


Notable Connections:

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. 


Brotherly Love:

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 is joined on the pitching staff by his brother Mark.


Double Duty:

Junior OF Brandon Magee is no stranger to ASU athletics, playing linebacker for the Sun Devil football team. 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.


Hall "O" Famer:

The 2011 College Baseball Hall of Fame Class was announced by the College Baseball Foundation and Sun Devil Legend Oddibe 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.

Feeling The Draft:

There are 19 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.


Pac-10 Picks:

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.


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. Matt Newman was named the Pac-10 Player of the Week following the Auburn series.


Tough Schedule:

The Sun Devils will play 27 games this season against teams ranked in the Preseason Top 30. 10 of the 27 games will come against Preseason Top 10 teams.


Did You Know:

Willie Bloomquist is the first former Sun Devil baseball player to play for the Arizona Diamondbacks.


Up Next:

Arizona State heads to Tucson for a non-conference meeting with Arizona before playing five games in five days, including a three-game Pac-10 series with Stanford and a two-game series with BYU.