NCAA Regional Preview

After a slow start to conference play in which the Devils lost their first three series, Pat Murphy's squad was able to put together a 17-5 record to end the regular season and notch the #1 seed in the Fullerton Regional. ASU is going to attempt to make it out of Goodwin Field this season, unlike last year when they were defeated by the host school in the Super Regionals. Here is a preview of the other three teams that round up the Fullerton Regional.

Pepperdine

The region's fourth seeded team, the Pepperdine Waves will make their 21st overall appearance in the NCAA tournament as they went 28-30 on the season. After winning the WCC Conference Tournament, the Wave will open up against ASU at 3pm on Friday. The Waves are lead by DH/RHP Steve Kleen. The unanimous All Conference selection started 52 games, leading the team with 55 RBI's and a .373 batting average, while hitting six home runs. On the mound, he led the team with 30 appearances out of the bullpen and eight saves. His record was 3-3 with a 3.32 ERA. Fellow All Conference selections included 1B Brent Lewis and 2B David Uribes. Lewis hit .335 with seven home runs and 48 RBI's, while Uribes is the main threat on the base paths, leading the team with 18 stolen bases in 21 attempts. RHP Jacob Barrack led the team with an 8-5 record, starting 17 games, and striking out 99. RHP Kea Kometani recorded a 7-6 record, with a 3.94 ERA in 16 starts, pitching a team high 112 innings pitched. The Wave went 3-8 in games against common ASU opponents and also dropped the only two games they played against Cal-State Fullerton.

Cal-State Fullerton The 9th ranked and second seeded Cal-State Fullerton Titans enter the region that they are hosting as the #2 seed. The Titans went 36-20 on the year and 18-7 at home, while gaining their 22nd overall appearance in the NCAA Tournament, and 13th in a row, which is the fifth longest active streak. Big West Conference Player of the Year C Kurt Suzuki leads the Titans on offense. The 2nd team All American played in all 56 games, leading the team with a .438 batting average, hitting 13 home runs and 74 RBI's. He also led the team in slugging percentage (.726), runs scored (63), and hits (88). Utility man P.J. Pilittere was third on the team with a .339 batting average, while scoring 43 runs. He also hit four home runs with 41 RBI's. 3B Ronnie Prettyman led the team in stolen bases with 11, also hitting .326 on the year. The ace of the Titan's staff is Co-Big West Pitcher of the Year Jason Windsor. Windsor led the team with a 2.12 ERA, nabbing and 8-4 record on the year with 98 strikeouts. LHP Ricky Romero led the team in wins (11), innings pitched (123.1), and strikeouts (103). The Titans went 5-8 against common opponents to ASU, including a series in which Stanford swept them at the beginning of the year. The Titans were also 2-1 against Minnesota and 2-0 against Pepperdine.

Minnesota The third seeded Golden Gophers enter the Fullerton Regional with a 38-21 record after winning the Big 10 Regular Season and Conference Championship. The Gophers are led on offense by OF Sam Steidl who led the team with a .378 batting average, 62 runs scored, 85 hits, 22 doubles, and 20 stolen bases. 1B/DH Andy Hunter led the team with nine home runs and 64 RBI. His .364 batting average, 76 hits, and 19 doubles was good for second on the team. On the mound, the ace of the Gophers staff is LHP Glen Perkins. Perkins went 9-2 on the year; with a team high five complete games, 107 strikeouts, and 103.1 innings pitched. He was second on the team with a 2.53 ERA. LHP John Gaub led the team with a 1.99 ERA, also leading the team with 15 appearances on the mound with a 2-1 record and two saves. RHP Craig Molldrem had a 6-3 record, with three complete games and a 3.48 ERA. The Gophers played just one game against a common opponent to ASU, defeating Florida State 6-1. The Gophers faced Cal-State Fullerton earlier in the year, dropping two out of three to the Titans.

The winner of this regional will advance to the Super Regional against the winner of the Oxford Regional, which includes Mississippi, Washington, Tulane, and Western Kentucky.

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