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Sun Devils in town for rare non-conference series

From staff reports
Arizona Daily Wildcat
February 26, 1999
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When the Arizona Wildcats (14-4) take on the Arizona State Sun Devils (16-4) this weekend in a three game series, one would think that this means the Pacific 10 Conference season is finally underway.

Not quite.

The Sun Devils are in town this weekend, but not for conference games.

When the old Six-Pac disbanded this past offseason, it was determined that each team would play each other once. But since traditional rivals such as UA and ASU or UCLA and USC are so strong, the league officials granted each rival a second, non-conference series.

So, with the real Pac-10 season beginning March 12, the Wildcats will get their first test of a conference opponent this weekend beginning tonight at 7 at Frank Sancet Field.

This year the Sun Devils are averaging 12 runs per game and outscored BYU 61-8 last weekend.

"The only way to prepare for this game is to take the team to basic training for about a month," UA head coach Jerry Stitt said. "The key thing is that we know that what either team has done before this has no bearing on this series. It is a really good, heated rivalry."

Despite this being a non-conference game, the Wildcats know that the crowd will be fired up and they will have to play at the top of their game to win this rivalry.

"This is the biggest series so far," freshman Duncan said. "We have to play our butts off so we can kicks their butts. We need to totally dominate them on the field. It should be fun with the fans here and all."

Junior catcher Dennis Anderson uttered the same sentiments.

"It doesn't matter. It's still the Sun Devils," he said.

- Dan Rosen