March 11, 2005
The Arizona State baseball team has been down this road before.
Back on Feb. 18, the Sun Devils packed their bags and traveled to New Orleans to face top-ranked Tulane in a hostile environment.
That series didn’t turn out well, as the Green Wave won all three games.
ASU is back in the bayou tonight, facing off against another nationally acclaimed team — No. 5 LSU — in Baton Rouge.
But with the experience gained from the Tulane trip, as well as the momentum from a three-game win streak, ASU feels like it’s in much better position this time around.
"When we went to Tulane those fans were unbelievable," relief pitcher Brett Bordes said. "They were just yelling at us the whole time. It’s just huge for everyone to learn how to handle those fans."
Shortstop Andre Romine relishes the atmosphere.
"I love playing in front of fans like that," he said.
ASU enters the weekend winners of five of its last six games. Three of the victories came over teams that were ranked in the top 10 at that time.
So, although the team’s record sits at just 11-10, coach Pat Murphy is focused more on who they’ve beaten, not how many times they’ve won.
"(Fans) are worried about gaudy records," Murphy said. "I can schedule 28-0 if I want. We’ve taken our share of lumps, but this team has stayed together, and the last two weekends have showed that we are very capable.
"How many programs can boast of winning three games against top-10 teams in a week?"
Along with two games against the Tigers, ASU will face off against Western Illinois over the weekend. The Sun Devils will play LSU tonight, Western Illinois on Saturday, and then one game against each team on Sunday.
Although the Leathernecks enter the game with just a 4-11 record, ASU is not taking them lightly.
"We’re going to be ready no matter what," Romine said. "Whether it’s LSU or (Western) Illinois, it doesn’t really matter to us."