The Devils surrendered their hopes for a national title after an extra inning loss to UC Irvine in the College World Series. Rebounding from their devastating defeat, the team is looking ahead to the 2008 season.
The team is ranked in the top 10 in almost every collegiate poll, which has led to high expectations. With all the hype, the players recognize that it is vital to stay focused. After all, a No. 1 ranking won't win a World Series.
"It's pre-season," said senior pitcher Josh Satow. "It's all a guess really. After the first week and after the last week, then we'll really know who's good. You can't pay attention to the numbers."
The defending Pac-10 champs finished last season 49-15 and fifth in the CWS. They were unable to hold onto their 7-3 lead in the eighth, and fell to the Eaters with a walk off in the 10th inning. Despite the outcome, Coach Pat Murphy was named Pac-10 Coach of the Year and third baseman Brett Wallace Pac- 10 Player of the Year.
"We just had to let it go and move on," Wallace said. "That's the cool thing about baseball- it just keeps going."
The Devils welcome 17 newcomers as well as 24 returning players, including Captain Petey Paramore. The recruiting class will add depth to the pitching staff, in addition to creating a more versatile offense. "Our pitching is a lot deeper than it was last year," lefty pitcher Josh Satow said. "We have a strong offense coming back and a strong defense. I feel like we have more keys to success going into the season."
Murphy is going into his 14th year at Arizona State. Wallace is one of six returning players who earned All-Pac-10 First Team honors in 2007. Although the starting lineup has not been announced, he is expected to stay at third base after switching from first last season. Other notable players coming back include RHP Mike Leake and LHP Josh Satow.
With resiliency the team is ready to take on their next challenge - 2008. The players are confident but not cocky. They recognize that losing comes with winning. It's all part of the game of baseball.
"Everyone wants to say it's a game of failure," Wallace said. "If you succeed at the bat 3 or 4 times out of 10 it's a success. Whether you go 10 for 10 or 0 for 10, you just have to keep going."
2007 Post-Season Motivates ASU in 2008
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