Potential Starting Lineup
Eighth in Pac-10 with 21 runs scored 2
Missed just the 2nd game of his three-year career last week 3
Five of nine hits are doubles 4
Hit his second HR of the season last weekend 5
Hit .364 at #15 Mississippi State last weekend 6
Third on the team in hitting 7
Team-leader with four triples this season 8
Batted .429 last weekend at #15 Mississippi State 9
Has been hit by a Pac-10-high 13 pitches this year Pitching
Fourth in the Pac-10 in strikeouts Sat.
Has a 3.12 ERA as a starter Sun.
Went a career-high 5 2/3 innings last weekend CP
Has given up just one earned run out of the pen this year
The Wildcats were swept in a three-game series for the first time since April 23-25, 2004 after No. 15-ranked Mississippi State won 3-2, 9-2 and 5-4 in Starkville last weekend ... The Wildcats batted .232 in the three-game series and finished with four doubles, two triples and a home run ... On the mound, the UA pitching staff posted a 5.62 ERA in 24 innings pitched and finished with 32 strikeouts.
A Quick Look at
After getting swept by Stanford on the opening weekend of the 2006 season, the No. 7-ranked Titans have won 14 of their last 17 games and a season-high five-straight ... CSF enters the weekend series in Tucson with a .296 team batting average and has hit 40 doubles, seven triples and 10 home runs ... Individually, infielder Justin Turner leads the team with a .358 batting and seven stolen bases ... Junior Blake Davis has scored a team-high 22 runs this season while freshman David Cooper in the team-leader in RBI with 18 ... On the mound, the Titans boast a 2.78 team ERA and have 141 strikeouts in 178 innings pitched ... Friday starter Wes Romer is 4-0 this season with a 1.40 ERA in 45 innings pitched ... The sophomore right-hander has struck out 46 batters this year and has yet to issue a walk in six starts, one word - WOW ... CSF is led by 10th-year head coach George Horton, who has compiled a 416-178-1 record with the Titans.
Arizona and Cal State Fullerton met up for six games in 2005, three in the regular season and three in the NCAA regional ... The Titans won four of the six and eliminated the Wildcats from the postseason ... In the regular season, Arizona won the opening game of the three-game series 1-0, but CSF rallied to take the second two games 7-1 and 17-15 ... In the regional, the Wildcats again won the first contest, but the Titans triumphed in the next two games to end UA’s season ... All six games were played at Goodwin Field in Fullerton.
Entering the weekend against No. 7 Cal State Fullerton the Arizona offense is batting .285 as a team and is averaging 6.6 runs, 9.6 hits, 1.8 doubles and 6.1 RBI per game ... With just six home runs this season, UA’s power numbers are down but the Wildcats have still managed to hit 32 doubles and a Pac-10-high 15 triples this year.
The 2006 season has been a year of two different pitching staffs - the first nine games and the last nine games. Over the course of the first nine contests the Wildcats pitchers posted a 5.85 ERA in 80 innings, and the opposition batted .301 against them. In the last nine games, including four against ranked teams, the Wildcats have a 2.96 team ERA in 79 innings, and the opposition is batting just .249 against them ... The Wildcat pitching staff is third in the Pac-10 in strikeouts this season with 181, trailing only UCLA (184) and Arizona State (182) which have both played four more games than UA this season.
Starters Starting To Step Up
One reason for the improved pitching numbers has been the starting staff. In the first nine games of the 2006 season, the
Starters First Nine vs. Last Nine
2-4, 6.92 ERA, 40 1/3 IP, 62 H, 42 R, 31 ER, 12 BB, 36 K Last Six
3-3, 2.92 ERA, 49 1/3 IP, 42 H, 17 R, 16 ER, 25 BB, 67 K
Ringing Them Up
Friday starter Eric Berger has seen his strikeout totals improve over his last three starts. In his first three games this season, the left-hander averaged four Ks a game, and had just 12 punchouts in 17 innings pitched. Against UA’s last three opponents, La Salle, Minnesota and No. 15 Mississippi State, Berger has 27 strikeouts in 15 2/3 innings pitched, an average of nine Ks per start. The improved strikeout total coincides with a lower ERA, as it is two runs better (2.76) over the last three games then in the first three (4.76).
Engineering major Brad Mills has done some fine work on the mound as the third starter in the
Mills First Two Seasons vs. 2006
Melancon Mows ?'Em Down
Wildcat closer Mark Melancon has been nearly untouchable out of the bullpen this season. Having surrendered just one earned run in relief this season, the right-hander currently leads the Wildcats with an impressive 1.86 ERA (third-best in the Pac-10). Out of the pen, Melancon has struck out 30 batters and walked only six in 24 innings pitched. As the closer, opponents are hitting just .183 against him. The “as the closer” qualifier must be used, because in his one start this season the junior surrendered a career-high six runs on five hits to New Mexico, and thus his return to the bullpen.
Melancon Starting vs. Relief Numbers This Season
Starting (1 start)
0-1, 9.00 ERA, 5 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 7 K, .333 Opp BA Relief (7 app)
3-2, 2 saves, 0.38 ERA, 24 IP, 15 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 6 BB, 30 K, .183 Opp BA
Not Your Typical Closer
As noted above, Mark Melancon has posted some very nice numbers out of the bullpen in the early going for
Coulon Comes Through
Left-hander David Coulon has been impressive in his last two appearances. After giving up five earned runs on five hits over 3 1/3 innings against Loyola Marymount on opening weekend, Coulon has given up just one hit and struck out three in two appearances out of the bullpen over the last two weekends. Working two-thirds of an inning against No. 11 Nebraska and 2 2/3 innings at No. 15 Mississippi State, Coulon has cut his ERA in half for the year and is forcing his way back into the pitching mix for the Wildcats.
Guilmet Gets the Nod
Freshman right-hander Preston Guilmet moved into the weekend rotation on Feb. 26, and has made an impression in three career starts. Starting against
Guilmet Relief vs. Starting Numbers
|Relief (4 app)||0-0, 5.79 ERA, 9 1/3 IP, 9 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 2 BB, 14 K, .243 Opp BA|
|Starting (3 starts)||1-2, 3.12 ERA, 17 1/3 IP, 17 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 5 BB, 20 K, .250 Opp BA|
Freshman Preston Guilmet has been the recipient of a couple of tough losses. The right-hander is 1-2 this season, but in his two losses he has given up just a total of five runs on 11 hits in 10 1/3 innings pitched. The Wildcat offense has posted a combined three runs in those two losses, a 3-1 decision to No. 11 Nebraska and a 9-2 defeat to No. 15 Mississippi State.
Taking a Dose
Maybe an orange safety vest should be required for the
Individually, sophomore Colt Sedbrook has been plunked by a Pac-10-high 13 pitches in 18 games this season and is just six HBP away from tying teammate Jason Donald’s single season record of 19 set last season.
Getting plunked in back-to-back ABs against La Salle on .Feb. 25 moved junior Jason Donald past Kenny Corley for the top spot on the all-time HBP list at
When not taking the mound as the Friday starter, left-hander Eric Berger has helped his pitching staffmates as the DH. Starting nine games in the batting order, Berger has found more than a little success. In 29 at-bats this season, the sophomore has nine hits, five doubles, four runs scored and a very impressive 10 RBI. Last Friday at
The Nine Hole
The last spot in the batting order has been one of the most productive for
A Bad Slice
Double D on the DL
Outfielder Derek Decater will not be available this weekend after injuring his shoulder in a collision with the left field fence at the Metrodome on March 3. After entering the game as a defensive replacement against
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
Preseason Pac-10 Poll
The Wildcats have been picked to finish in a tie for fifth in the conference this year in the annual preseason coaches poll. Defending champ
The Non-Conference Slate
Clemens Award Watch List
Junior Mark Melancon was one of 40 collegiate players nationwide to be named to the early watch list for the 2006 Roger Clemens Award. The award is presented to the top player in the nation upon the conclusion of the year. UA’s John Meloan was named to the watch list a year ago for the Wildcats.
The offseason was busy time around Jerry Kindall Field at Frank Sancet Stadium. After the July summer camps wrapped up the heavy equipment moved in, tore out the entire playing surface, a total of six rows of bleachers and the old score board. In their stead was placed a laser-leveled playing surface, grass berms for seating down both the right and left field lines and a new score board and video board. Also added was a billboard in right field with UA’s 15 CWS appearances and three national titles represented. The left field area behind the grass berm, which is still under construction, is being remade into a