After Vanderbilt’s Pedro Alvarez doubled in the ninth inning against Arizona State yesterday, Sun Devils coach Pat Murphy went out to make a pitching change, and Alvarez used the break in the action to confer with Vandy coach Tim Corbin along the third base line. As Alvarez returned to second base, he and Murphy crossed paths, and I noticed that Murphy said something to him. Always gracious, Alvarez said last night that Murphy simply complimented him in a show of good sportsmanship. Murphy had a slightly different take this morning.

“I told him, ‘Respect us for pitching to you. We could have been pitching around you all day. Respect us for pitching to you,’ ” Murphy said. “He smiled–he’s a great kid.”

The Sun Devils were here early this morning, getting ready to play Houston at 11 a.m. central time. ASU will throw junior lefty Josh Satow, who isn’t overpowering but has a quality changeup. He came up with big wins last year against Southern California, UCLA and California. Houston counters with redshirt freshman Wes Musick, a lefthander who works in the 87-91 mph range with his fastball and has a decent breaking ball, according to Cougars coach Raynor Noble. Noble also said that sophomore Luis Flores, who is battling tendinitis in his elbow, will start at first base today after catching the past two days. He also might pitch a couple of innings in relief.