Sun Devil baseball fans will remember the 2007 College World Series team well. Future Major Leaguers Mike Leake, Brett Wallace, Eric Sogard and Ike Davis led Arizona State a Pac-10 title and to their 19th College World Series appearance. Also a member of that team, current Sun Devil shortstop Drew Stankiewicz, who was a bat boy for Arizona State from 2007-2009.
Stankiewicz's father, Andy, was an assistant coach at Arizona State under Pat Murphy from 2007-2009, meaning Stankiewicz has been around Sun Devil baseball most of his life.
"ASU baseball has been a big part of my life," said Stankiewicz. "My dad was the third base coach here from 2007-2009, I was a bat boy in the College World Series, so I have been around here for a long time."
Andy Stankiewicz played seven seasons in the Major Leagues for the Yankees, Astros, Expos and Diamondbacks. He his currently the head coach of the Grand Canyon University baseball team.
"He has been my biggest influence playing baseball," Stankiewicz said about his father. "He's been the best coach I have ever had, and him playing Major League Baseball just makes me want to follow in his footsteps."
It was his dad that originally kept Stankiewicz away from Arizona State, as he signed his National Letter of Intent to play at Cal State Fullerton his junior year of high school.
"I wanted to make a name for myself somewhere else," Stankiewicz said. "Not just saying I came here because of my dad."
His senior year of high school, Dave Serrano left Cal State Fullerton to coach at Tennessee. Stankiewicz was released from his commitment to the Titans, and with his father no longer at Arizona State, the Sun Devils popped up on Stankiewicz's rader.
"Obviously the main reason for coming here is to play in the College World Series," said Stankiewicz, adding his mother and being close to family as supporting reasons for choosing the Sun Devils.
Stankiewicz was a three sport standout at Gilbert High School. He was the captain of both the football and baseball team his senior year, being named three times to the baseball All-Region team and being named honorable mention All-State his senior year on the gridiron.
Stankiewicz is one of 14 players on the Sun Devil roster from the state of Arizona. At shortstop, he is flanked in the infield by James McDonald (Scottsdale) and Michael Benjamin (Queen Creek). Catcher Max Rosstier attended rival Highland High School in Gilbert.
"I have actually played against all these guys (ASU teammates) when I was in high school and on travel teams," Stankiewicz said. "I think Arizona State is so appealing to in-state players is because it is one of the best programs in the nation and it's right in your backyard."
Stankiewicz appeared in 31 games last season as a freshman. He played 16 games at third base, two games at shortstop and one at second and DH, hitting .265 with seven RBI's his first season in Maroon and Gold. Stankiewicz was able to evolve as a baseball player, learning last season from the upperclassmen Deven Marreo and Joey DiMichele.
"I saw how they led the team," Stankiewicz said. "I want to follow in their footsteps, I learned how to be a leader from Deven and Joey."
In his sophomore campaign, Stankiewicz is hitting .323 with one home run and 18 RBI's. His 37 hits puts him tied for third most on the team.
Despite is offensive success, Stankiewicz says the most important part of his game is in the field, where he has started every game at shortstop and is second on the team with 104 infield assists.
"Defense is one of the biggest things to me about baseball," Stankiewicz said. "That's probably my one individual goal, is to have the least amount (of errors) on the team and lead the team in defense."
Even though he is hitting over .300, has a team leading five steals and is playing solid defense, Stankiewicz says the only achievement he hopes for is a College World Series appearance.
"Right now I'm just trying to contribute to my team and help my team make the postseason and obviously make it to the College World Series."