ASU Baseball Starts Off STRONG

Hey, everybody - ASUBoyd here.  Sorry for my lengthy hiatus, but I am back from the depths of 1Ldom to drop some knowledge on your heads about our 2010 Arizona State Sun Devil baseball team.

The weather is warming up and it is a perfect time to get out to Packard and see the boys who are off to a scorching start; 31-4 after dropping one to Arizona Tuesday night.

While the losses have all come against Pac-10 rivals, the team has been consistently ranked #1 for a number of weeks and stands atop a stacked top 25 that features 6 out of the 10 Pac - 10 teams.

A glance at the poll -

USA TODAY/ESPN Top 25 coaches' baseball poll

April 19, 2010

Rank
School (first-place votes)
Record
Points
Last week
1
Arizona State (27)
31-3
770
1
2
Texas (2)
30-7
730
4
3
Georgia Tech
31-5
696
5
4
Virginia (2)
29-9
645
3
5
LSU
30-6
638
6
6
UCLA
27-5
612
2
7
Arkansas
31-6
608
8
8
Coastal Carolina
32-5
516
10
9
Florida State
28-9
488
7
10
South Carolina
28-8
467
13
11
Florida
25-10
458
9
12
TCU
27-7
455
11
13
Louisville
29-6
429
12
14
Miami (Fla.)
27-9
395
15
15
Vanderbilt
29-9
288
19
16
Kansas State
26-8
259
20
17
Arizona
26-9
246
21
18
Oklahoma
26-10
231
14
19
Mississippi
24-13
168
18
20
Clemson
23-14
167
16
21
Cal State-Fullerton
20-13
116
24
22
Oregon State
20-11
112
17
23
California
22-11
96
NR
24
Southeastern Louisiana
29-9
65
23
25
Oregon
23-12
64
NR

Dropped out: No. 22 Western Kentucky, No. 25 UC-Irvine.

Others receiving votes: Rice (23-15) 42; Pittsburgh (26-9) 41; East Carolina (24-12) 40; Connecticut (27-7) 36; Virginia Tech (25-13) 26; Western Kentucky (27-12) 26; UC-Irvine (20-13) 21; Auburn (24-13) 20; Michigan State (23-9) 14; New Mexico State (26-12) 12; Ohio State (21-10) 11; Portland (23-9) 11; Kentucky (22-14) 10; New Mexico (24-13) 6; North Carolina State (25-13) 6; The Citadel (26-13) 6; North Carolina (22-16) 5; Pacific (22-12) 5; Stanford (18-13) 5; Tulane (23-14) 4; Liberty (25-10) 2; San Diego (20-15) 2; South Alabama (26-15) 2; Bethune-Cookman (23-14) 1; Florida Gulf Coast (23-12) 1; Kansas (22-14) 1.

ASU has been getting buzz, mostly for winning, but also for their seamless transition to the new coach, a few prospects, and Ike Davis' recent call up.

I'll use another post to take a look at the players, but I want to finish this post with a glance at the new manager replacing Pat Murphy's successful run at the helm -- Tim Esmay.  Still stuck with the "interim" label, despite holding the ship steady through the unexpected change and leading ASU to the #1 ranking, ASU has been reluctant to hand him the job.  Some speculate it may because they want to make sure they have scorched the earth and have no other more proven options.  Keith Law, ESPN prospect guru, weighs in:

• ASU's interim head coach Tim Esmay deserves mention for the outstanding job he's done so far with the roster he inherited in December after the school let previous coach Pat Murphy go. Esmay has been handling players appropriately, taking good care of his pitchers, and scouts are raving about how easy the coach is to deal with when questions arise around schedules or when certain players will hit or pitch. And the team is winning despite the lack of eligible first-round talent that they've had in recent years. I'm not sure what more Esmay has to do to remove the "interim" tag -- I suppose a trip to Omaha wouldn't hurt -- but I hope ASU realizes what they've got. I'm sure other schools that might be in the market for head coaches this summer are paying attention.

I, for one, hope the interim becomes permanent.

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