And then there were two. That’s how many undefeated baseball teams remain in the Pac-10. And Arizona State is one of them.
Going into the weekend, there were three undefeated teams still standing, but Washington State dropped the last game of a three-game series to Utah, 4-1, and then it was just No. 4 ASU and No. 20 UCLA without a loss yet this season.
The Sun Devils navigated through four games in the Coca Cola Classic over the weekend, to run their record to 11-0. And they did it the same way they’ve been doing it up to this point – with power at the plate.
ASU opened the Classic by scoring 12 runs against Cal Poly and then beat Oregon State, 6-4. But the dam really broke in the next game against University of California Riverside. The Devils recorded their second game this season of 20 or more hits enroute to a 16-2 drubbing of Riverside.
It was a true team effort as 10 ASU players collected at least one hit in that game, as they piled up 22 hits. Drew Maggi went 4-for-4, with two RBIs and two runs scored. Andrew Alpin, Zach Wilson, and Matt Newman each contributed three hits. Zack MacPhee, Kole Calhoun and Austin Barnes each chipped in two more hits.
The tournament finale against Florida International was called in the top of the eighth when heavy rain moved in, but it was long enough for the Devils to record a 4-1 win. Jordan Swagerty went 3-for-3 against FIU, one of the better teams ASU has faced so far in this young season. Maggi and Wilson each had two hits and an RBI.
ASU is competing this season under the direction of a new coaching staff as last year’s assistant coach, Tim Esmay, has taken over after the firing of Pat Murphy. The Devils have a tough act to follow this year since the 2009 edition (51-14) won a third straight Pac-10 title and went to the College World Series for the 21st time in the program’s history.
The Sun Devils were picked in the pre-season coaches’ poll to win the Pac-10 championship again this year. They were ranked No. 14 by Baseball America in their pre-season poll, which made it the 24th straight season ASU has been included in the pre-season Top 25. That’s the longest streak in the nation.
But the Devils are already looking ahead not only to a good year with the 17 returners on the roster, but a good future, as the 2010 recruiting class was ranked as the nation’s second-best.
A good part of that future will depend on the 15 youngsters they brought on board this year. But Esmay is already getting a good look at the future.
MacPhee, Maggi, Wilson, and Swagerty are all sophomores.
(Photo credit: ASU Athetics)