Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Baseball Heads To Minneapolis
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: March 01, 2006
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Potential Starting Lineup
 1  Brad Boyer  L/R  2B  Team leader with 19 runs scored and 10 steals
 2  Derek Decater  L/L  CF  Has walked a team-high nine times in 2006
 3  Jason Donald  R/R  SS  Team leader with 15 RBI and six doubles
 4  Eric Berger  L/L  DH  Four of seven hits this season are doubles
 5  Konrad Schmidt  R/R  C  Is second on team with five HBP
 6  Brad Glenn  R/R  1B  Hitting .333 with three doubles and a HR
 7  Jon Gaston  L/L  RF  Second on the team with .368 batting average
 8  T.J. Steele  R/R  CF  Seven of 13 hits have been for extra bases 
 9  Colt Sedbrook  R/R  3B  Went 5 for 10 with four runs scored vs. La Salle
 Fri..  Eric Berger  LHP  Struck out season-high 10 last week vs. La Salle
 Sat.   Preston Guilmet  RHP  Has 22 Ks vs. just two BB this season
 Sun.  Brad Mills  LHP  Will be making his third career start this weekend
 CP  Mark Melancon  RHP  Struck out 10 of the 18 hitters he faced last weekend


Last Week

The Wildcats swept their first three-game series of the season, defeating La Salle 15-4, 15-1 and 3-2 last weekend in Tucson. Arizona batted .364 as a team against the Explorers and finished the series with 10 doubles, five triples and 12 stolen bases. On the mound, the Wildcats compiled a 2.00 ERA in 27 innings pitched and recorded 42 strikeouts against just 10 walks.


A Quick Look at the Dairy Queen Classic Field

Arizona will take on three different opponents this weekend when it heads to the Dairy Queen Classic in Minneapolis ... Arizona will face Minnesota on Friday, Nebraska on Saturday and Notre Dame on Sunday ... The Golden Gophers are 0-3 this year after opening the season at Florida State last weekend ... Senior Andy Hunter is leading returning hitter from last season’s 33-29 UM team ... Batting .324 with 17 doubles and 47 RBI last year, Hunter is batting .545 with two doubles and two RBI in three games this season ... On the mound, the Gophers have an 8.62 ERA in the early going ... The Wildcats will most likely face left-hander Brian Bull (0-1), who limited FSU to just one unearned run while not giving up a hit over five innings in what can only be described as a “tough luck” loss ... Nebraska is the first ranked opponent for the Wildcats this season ... The Huskers, who advanced to the College World series last season, enter the weekend of play with a 5-2 overall record and a No. 11 ranking ... Sophomore Ryan Wehrle is the leading hitter in the early going, batting .419 with a HR and nine RBI ... Arizona is scheduled to face left-hander Tony Watson on Saturday ... The sophomore southpaw is 2-0 this season with a 2.77 ERA after going 6-1 with a 2.82 ERA in 23 appearances last year ... Notre Dame heads to Minnesota with a 2-2 overall record ... The Fighting Irish are led by senior Matt Bransfield at the plate ... The first baseman/DH is batting .375 with six RBI this season after batting .313 in 32 games last season ... Right-hander Jeff Manship is the scheduled starter for the Irish against the Wildcats on Sunday ... Manship, who went 2-1 with a 3.97 ERA in 22 2/3 innings as a sophomore last year, is 0-0 with a 3.60 ERA in one start this year.


The Histories

Arizona is 12-17-1 all-time against Minnesota ... The Wildcats took two of three from the Gophers the last time they met in 2003 ... The Wildcats are 3-0 all-time against Nebraska, but it’s been a while. The Cats swept the Huskers three straight in 1939 and haven’t met since ... Arizona is 6-2 all-time against Notre Dame and won the last meeting between the two, 7-6, in the South Bend Regional championship game in 2004.


Metrodome Moments

The 2006 trip to the Metrodome in Minneapolis will be the fourth visit by the Arizona baseball team. The Wildcats have previously visited the dome in the Twin Cities in 1985, 1989 and 1994 and are 2-7-1 all-time under the roof. The last Arizona team to play at the dome was UA’s men’s basketball team, which defeated Michigan State, 80-61, in the 2001 Final Four and lost to Duke, 82-72, in the championship game







Oral Roberts



Indiana State






Georgia Tech



Oklahoma State






Georgia Tech






Ohio State






Arizona State




Playing Where the Pros Play

Arizona’s trip to the Metrodome, home of the Minnesota Twins, is the first of three professional parks the Wildcats will play in this year. UA will take on Arizona State in a non-conference game on April 2 at Chase Field in Phoenix, home of the Arizona Diamondbacks, and will play the D-Backs’ AAA affiliate, the Tucson Sidewinders, in an exhibition game at Tucson Electric Park on April 4.


Offensive Numbers

The Wildcats enter the weekend of play hitting .325 as a team and are averaging 8.3 runs, 11.25 hits, 2.1 doubles and 7.7 RBI per game ... Arizona has drawn 48 walks and been hit by 31 pitches already for 79 free passes to help lead to a  Pac-10-best .425 on-base percentage ... In addition to OBP, Arizona currently leads the Pac-10 in RBI (92), HBP (31) and triples (11), and is second in the conference in batting average (.325) and runs scored (100)


Pitching Numbers

A successful weekend against La Salle lowered the Wildcats ERA  nearly a point to its current 4.88... Arizona has surrendered 58 earned runs in 107 innings pitched this season ... The UA arms have a very impressive three-to-one strikeout-to-walk ratio. The Wildcats have punched out 119 batters this season and issued just 37 walks


Taking a Dose

Maybe an orange safety vest should be required for the Arizona hitters this season. Opponent pitchers are averaging 2.6 hit batters per game through 12 contests this year. Should the Wildcat opposition keep plunking batters at such a rate, Arizona will end up crushing the 2002 school record of 69 hit batters set in 55 games (1.3/game). With the current average, Arizona is on pace for 140 HBP in the regular season and would break its single season record in just its 27th game.

        Arizona’s JC transfers appear to be the largest target for the opposition. Sophomore Colt Sedbrook has been plunked by a team-high seven pitches in 12 games, while Santa Rosa JC teammates Konrad Schmidt (5) and Stephen Pearson (3) have been hit by a combined eight pitches in 2006.



Getting plunked in back-to-back ABs last Saturday moved junior Jason Donald past Kenny Corley for the top spot on the all-time HBP list at Arizona. Donald, who was hit by 10 pitches his freshman season and by 19 last year, has been hit by four pitches in 12 games this season for an all-time high of 33. To put Donald’s record-breaking wayward pitch magnetism in perspective, Corley’s former record of 32 was set in 201 games played over four seasons (1995-98). Donald’s 33 HBP have happened in two-plus seasons and just 135 games played.


Helping Hand

When not taking the mound as the Friday starter, left-hander Eric Berger has helped his pitching staffmates as the DH. Starting five games in the batting order, Berger has  found more than a little success. In 16 at-bats this season, the sophomore has seven hits, four doubles, three runs scored and a very impressive 10 RBI. His .438 average currently leads the team, as does his .591 on-base percentage.


Leading it Off

Senior Brad Boyer has provided a spark for the Wildcat offense out of the leadoff spot in the batting order. Moving back to the top of the order for the first time since his freshman season of 2003, Boyer is posting numbers similar though the first 12 games this season to those he put up his first year in Tucson. Boyer broke five freshman school records and became the first frosh player at Arizona to be named to the All-Pac-10 team in 2003. Heading into play this weekend, the senior has an eight-game hitting streak and has scored at least one run eight consecutive games as well.

Boyer’s Freshman vs. Senior Years (Through 12 Games Played)
































Donald’s Doing the Streak

Junior Jason Donald has put together a career-high 10-game hitting streak, the longest for any Wildcat this season, and he has at least one hit in 11 of Arizona’s 12 games thus far. Over the past 10 games the Wildcat shortstop is hitting .395 (15 for 38) with six doubles, a triple, a home run, 12 RBI and 12 runs scored. During his streak he has walked five times and been hit by four pitches, while striking out just five times. He has a .684 slugging percentage and a .490 on-base percentage. Donald’s former career high for consecutive games with a hit was nine, accomplished once each his freshman and sophomore years.


Fantastic Frosh

Arizona has gotten valuable play from a number of first-year players. Freshmen CF T.J. Steele, RF Jon Gaston and 1B Brad Glenn have taken hold of starting spots in the lineup and have more then held their own thus far. Combined the trio is batting .333 (37 for 111) with eight doubles, four triples, two of Arizona’s four home runs this season and 25 RBI. Gaston is currently second on the team with a .368 batting average, while Steele, who has 11 RBI,  trails only team-leader Jason Donald’s 15 runs driven in this season.


One Pitch, One Swing, Two Accomplishments

Freshman Jon Gaston hit the first collegiate pitch thrown to him over the right field fence at Kindall Field in UA’s season-opener against LMU on Feb. 3. The home run marked the first time since Nick Hundley in 2003 that a UA player homered in his first career at-bat. Hitting the home run as pinch hitter, Gaston’s HR was also the first for a replacement batter at Arizona since Dallas Haught went yard for the Wildcats as a PH against Washington State on 4/19/2003.

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