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Arizona Baseball Opens Pac-10 Play vs. Washington
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 03/24/2005
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Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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This Week

Arizona will open Pac-10 play as Washington travels to the Old Pueblo this Thursday-Saturday ... The Huskies enter the week of play 13-8 overall and have won of nine of their last 10 games ... An NCAA Regional participant last season, Washington finished the 2004 campaign 39-20-1 overall and second in the conference with a 15-9 Pac-10 record ... The Huskies swept the Wildcats in a three-game series in Seattle last season and lead the all-time series between the two schools 10-9 ... Arizona and Washington met for the first time in 1992 and have played each other each season since the Pac-10 merged in 1999.

 

Broadcast Note
Thursday and Friday radio broadcasts will not be available due to the men's basketball team's appearance in the NCAA Tournament Sweet 16. Saturday's scheduled baseball broadcast is also dependent on whether men's basketball advances. Due to the tournament, video webcasts are also not available. Free live statistics will be available for all games through ArizonaAthletics.com.

 

Last Week Recap

The Wildcats split a midweek non-conference series with UNLV and dropped a three-game series to defending national champions Cal State Fullerton two games to one to wrap up an eight games in 10 days stretch ... Arizona dropped the opening game of a two-game set against UNLV 8-4 on Tuesday, but rebounded to win 15-4 in the second game on Wednesday ... John Meloan and Mark Melancon teamed up to shut out No. 2 Cal State Fullerton 1-0 on Friday, but the Wildcat bats were silent in a 7-1 loss on Saturday and the pitching staff struggled in a 17-15 loss on Sunday ... Tuesday - UNLV scored five runs in the seventh inning to snap a 3-3 tie ... The loss wasted a first-inning leadoff inside-the-park home run by Trevor Crowe ... Wednesday - Arizona scored seven runs in the third inning as it snapped a two-game losing streak with the 11-run win ... The top four hitters in the batting order, Trevor Crowe (2 for 4, 2 R), Jeff Van Houten (3 for 5, 2 RBI, 2 R), Jordan Brown (3 for 4, 3 R) and Nick Hundley (2 for 2, 2 R, RBI), combined to finish 10 for 15 with three RBI and nine run scored ... Friday: Meloan shut the Titan offense down to the tune of four hits over 7 2/3 innings before Melancon closed the door over the final 1 1/3 ... The shutout loss was the first blanking of the CWS champion Titans this season ... Freshman DH Jason Seefeld drove home Jordan Brown with a two-out single in the top of the seventh for the game’s lone run ... Saturday - The Fullerton pitching staff limited UA to just one run on four hits to even the series 1-1 ... Chris Frey hit his second home run of the year for the Wildcats to account for the lone run ... Sunday - Danny Dorn hit a two-out, two-run walk-off homer in the ninth inning to rally Fullerton to the series victory ... Arizona and Fullerton combined for 32 runs on 35 hits, including four doubles, a triple and five home runs.

 

Cats Picked Third By Conference Coaches

In what was one of the closest preseason races in Pac-10 history, the Wildcats were selected to finish in a tie for third in the preseason coaches rankings. Defending conference champion Stanford will begin the 2005 season as the team to beat, followed by Washington in second and Arizona and Arizona State in a tie for third. The Cardinal garnered four first-place votes and 58 total, Washington picked up two first-place votes and 52 final votes, while the Wildcats and the Sun Devils each finished with 51 total points. ASU was named the first-place team by two coaches and UA picked up one first-place vote. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own team.

Preseason Pac-10 Coaches Poll

1 Stanford 58 (4)
2 Washington 52 (2)
3 Arizona 51 (1)
Arizona State 51 (2)
5 USC 36
6 Oregon State 25
7 Cal 23
8

UCLA

20
9 Washington State 8

 

Pac-10 Openers

The Wildcats and Huskies will open conference play against each other for the first time since the Pac-10 North and South merged in 1999 ... Arizona won its Pac-10 opening series 2-1 against Washington State last year, but has not swept a Pac-10 opening weekend since taking all three games against Cal in 1997 ... The Wildcats were last swept on the conference’s opening weekend in 1994 ... Arizona is 35-40-1 on the opening weekend of conference action.

 

Meloan Named Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week

Junior John Meloan was named the conference’s pitcher of the week after helping to shut out Cal State Fullerton on March 18. The right-hander scattered four hits over 7 2/3 innings for his fourth win of the season. The effort handed CSF ace Ricky Romero his first loss of the year and pushed Meloan’s winning streak won 14 straight games dating back to last season.

 

The Arizona Offense

The Wildcats enter the week of play with a Pac-10-best . 334 batting average ... Arizona is averaging 8.6 run and 12 hits per game this season ... Entering conference play this weekend, the Wildcats lead the Pac-10 in average, slugging (.524), on base percentage (.414), runs (215), hits (304), RBI (191), doubles (63), triples 16), total bases (477) and walks (114). Arizona’s ranking and the Pac-10 leaders can be found on Page 5 of the notes.

 

Free Ride

Heading into the week of play, Arizona leads the Pac-10 with 114 walks. That alone is noteworthy, but it becomes even more impressive when you toss in that UA, which also leads the conference with a .524 slugging percentage, has walked nearly as much as it has struck out (114 BB to 136 K) and that 40 of the 114 free passes (35 percent) have come around to score this season.

 

Two Outs? Rally’s On!

Led by a season-high 10 two-out runs against Fullerton on March 20, Arizona has scored 93 runs this season after the first two outs in an inning have been recorded (43 percent of UA’s 215 runs this year). As a team, Arizona is batting .356 as a team with two outs and has recorded 76 two-out RBI. Individually, junior Jordan Brown leads the two-out RBI parade with 16 runs driven in with a pair down. Brown is batting .442 (19 for 43) and has hit four of his team-leading seven HRs with two outs so far this season.

 

Van Houten’s Streak Ends

Senior Jeff Van Houten saw his school record-tying 28 game hitting streak come to an end with an 0 for 4 day at the plate in Arizona’s 1-0 win over Cal State Fullerton on March 18. Van Houten strung together seven straight games to end the 2004 season and had at least one hit in his first 21 games this season to tie Ernie Durazo and Jack Daugherty for the longest two-season hitting streak in school history. Former Wildcat Brian Anderson owns the longest single season hitting streak. He finished with 27 straight games with a hit in 2003.

28 Game Hitting Streak Numbers

Jack Daugherty (March 29, 1981-Feb. 9, 1982) - 106 AB, 32 R, 43 H, 27 RBI, .406 Avg

Ernie Durazo (May 19, 2000-March 10, 2001) - 117 AB, 24 R, 43 H, 32 RBI, .368 Avg

Jeff Van Houten (June 6, 2004-March 16, 2005) - 121 AB, 27 R, 50 H, 35 RBI, .413 Avg

 

Van Houten Hitting Streak Part II

After having his hitting streak snapped against Cal State Fullerton on March 18, Jeff Van Houten also went hitless the next day to mark the first time in 70 games that he posted back-to-back hitless contests (Feb. 22, 2004 vs. UC Irvine, Feb. 24, 2004 vs. Arizona State).

 

Frey Guy

Becoming a full-time outfielder for the first time in his three-year career at Arizona has paid off handsomely for junior Chris Frey. Armed with a team-high 11-game hitting streak, Frey has already surpassed his previous two-year offensive numbers in Arizona’s first 25 games this season. A left-handed reliever and defensive replacement his first two years at UA, Frey is among the team leaders this season in average (.385, 4th), slugging (.573, 4th), on base percentage (.459, 4th), runs (27, 3rd), hits (37, 4th), RBI (22, 4th), doubles (6, 4th); triples (3, t2nd), total bases (55, t4th) and walks (13, 3rd).

 

Donald Returns To Form

After a nine-game stretch (Feb. 23-March 12) that saw Jason Donald struggle to a .147 average (5 for 34) with just one RBI and two runs scored, the second-year shortstop has found his stroke. In Arizona’s last six games Donald is hitting .348 with three doubles, three RBI and five runs scored.

 

Scyphers Steps Up

Freshman Brett Scyphers has done a fine job of replacing injured classmate Bryan Kervin in the Arizona lineup. In 15 starts, Scpyhers is batting .311 with four RBI and 10 runs scored. He has committed just one error in 60 defensive chances at second base and has helped turn seven of Arizona’s 15 double plays this season.

 

Kervin Returns

The emergence of Brett Scyphers will take some of the pressure off of classmate Bryan Kervin. The rookie Wildcat broke his left hand sliding into second base against Arizona State on Feb. 23 but has been cleared to return to action this weekend. Prior to his injury Kervin was hitting .351 with three doubles, seven RBI and six runs scored in 11 games.

 

Hundley Passes Season Home Run High

Junior catcher Nick Hundley hit his career-best fifth home run of the season at Cal State Fullerton in a 17-15 loss on March 20. The blast eclipsed his former season of high of four set last season.

 

Leading It Off

Junior Trevor Crowe has truly made a pest of himself right from the start. UA’s leadoff hitter, Crowe has successfully reached base in his first AB of the game 14 times (12 hits, two walks) in Arizona’s 25 contests this season and has come around to score 10 times for an early run. He has hit four singles, five doubles two triples and an inside-the-park home run as the Wildcats’ first hitter and has reached base 22 times in 44 opportunities when leading off any inning. For the year, Crowe has two or more hits in 16 of 25 games and scored two or more runs in 14 contests

 

The Return of Jeff Van Hitting

A sophomore in 2003, current senior Jeff Van Houten became the first Arizona player since 1996 to bat over .400 during a season. His efforts (.413 avg. 72 RBI, 11 HR, nine 3B, 11 2B, 53 R)  earned him the Pac-10 batting title that season and third-team All-America honors from Collegiate Baseball. Two years later, Van Houten has posted similar numbers in his first 24 games as he did in 2003 (He missed one game vs. UC Riverside this season due to illness).

Van Houten’s First 24 games in 2003 vs 2005

2003        .427 Avg., 89 AB, 26 R, 38 H, 5 2B, 3 3B, 5 HR, 36 RBI, 8 BB

2005        .400 Avg., 105 AB, 25 R, 9 2B, 0 3B, 3 HR, 31 RBI, 12 BB

 

Joltin’ Jordan

Junior Jordan Brown has been a machine when it comes to driving in runs. The third-year starter leads Arizona with 33 RBI this year and has driven in two or more runs in 14 of UA’s 25 games. The team leader with seven HRs, it certainly doesn’t hurt that he has collected multiple hits in 11 games either.

 

Hundley’s The One

For the previous two seasons, Nick Hundley split the catching duties with departed draftee Richard Mercado. Not once during that two-year run did Hundley start more than four consecutive games behind the plate. Now the primary backstop, Hundley has started 24 of 25 games this season (he missed one start due to family matters) just eight away from his career-high of 32 starts at catcher in his freshman season of 2003.

 

Spreading It Around

The Wildcat batting order has produced top to bottom. In Arizona’s 17 games this season, all nine starters have collected a hit in two games, eight of nine in five games and seven of nine in five others (17 contests with at least seven players getting one hit in a game). All nine regular starters have collected double digit hits this season, six have scored 20 or more runs and four have driven in 20 or more. Batting a Pac-10-best .334 as a team, seven different starters are batting .300 or better individually for the year. The offense is averaging just under nine runs and 12 hits per contest this season.

 

Pac-10 Player of the Week Trevor Crowe

Junior outfielder Trevor Crowe was named the Pac-10 Player of the Week by the conference office on Feb. 22. Crowe led all Arizona players with a .529 batting average, nine hits (including a double, a triple and two home runs), as well as a team-best eight RBI, five runs scored and a 1.059 slugging percentage against ASU and UTPA. He collected at least one hit in all four games to extend his team-best hitting streak to 18-straight games dating back to last season (eight in 2004, 10 in 2005) and also walked a team-high six times to help him to a .652 on-base percentage in the four games ... In Friday’s series-opener at UTPA, Crowe tied his career-high with six RBI and hit both of his home runs for the week in the contest (3 for 5, three runs, six RBI, two HRs, BB in the game) ... The weekly honor was the second in Crowe’s three-year Arizona career.

 

The Pitching Numbers

Arizona enters play this weekend with a 4.35 team ERA and a Pac-10-best 259 strikeouts in 225.2 innings pitched. Arizona will start junior RHP John Meloan (4-0, 2.97 ERA, 51 K, 39 2/3 IP) on Thursday, junior RHP Kevin Guyette (4-2, 3.83 ERA, 59  K, 44 2/3 IP) on Friday and freshman LHP David Coulon (2-0, 4.88 ERA, 27 K, 24 IP) on Saturday.

 

14 Straight

Friday starter John Meloan is 18-1 all-time at UA and has won 14 straight games in which he has factored in the decision. His only career loss at UA came on May 4, 2003, against Cal in his freshman year. Since then he has appeared in 28 games, made 18 starts and gone 14-0. Used primarily as a reliever early in his career at UA, he has flourished as a starter with a 14-0 record, a 3.55 ERA and 126 strikeouts when taking the ball from the get go.

Meloan’s Overall Career Numbers

45 GP, 18-1, 4.16 ERA, 175.1 IP, 169 H, 101 R, 81 ER, 97 BB, 168 K

Meloan’s Career Starting Numbers (1 in 2003, 11 in 2004, 7 in 2005)

19 GS, 14-0, 3.55 ERA, 131.2 IP, 110 H, 62 R, 52 ER, 66 BB, 126 K

 

Punching ?'Em Out

Not since 1998 has an Arizona pitching staff put up strikeout numbers through the first 25 games then this season’s staff. The 2005 Wildcats have punched out 259 batters this year, an average of 10.3 per nine innings. The last team to put up superior numbers was the 1998 team that started the season 22-3. The ?'98 Cats had 255 strikeouts in the first 25 games for an average of 10.6 per nine innings. Individually, seven different UA pitchers have 20 or more strikeouts this season. Junior right-hander Kevin Guyette paces the staff with 59 Ks against 10 walks this year.

The Last Eight Years of Strikeouts (Through 25 Games)

Year Strikeouts Innings Pitched Avg. Per 9 Innings
2005 259 225.2 10.3
2004 181 222 7.3
2003 191 226.2 7.6
2002 164 221.1 6.7
2001 191 229 7.5
2000 210 218 8.7
1999 207 239 8.1
2998 255 217 10.6

 

K Guyette

A year ago Kevin Guyette struck out a career-high eight batters in his first start of the 2004 season against UC Riverside. He went on to finish the campaign with 83 punchouts, but never again approached that the eight K plateau he established early on. A year later Guyette has struck out eight batters in a game twice, nine three times and whiffed a career-best 15 in a complete game loss to UCR on Feb. 26. The Pac-10 leader in strikeouts heading into the weekend, Guyette has punched out 59 hitters in seven starts this season and is averaging 11.9 Ks per nine innings. 

 

Meloan Named Collegiate Baseball National Player of the Week

Junior right-hander John Meloan was named the co-national player of the week by Collegiate Baseball for his 7 2/3 innings, one-hit effort against New Mexico on Feb. 4. The honor was the first in Meloan’s career and the first for an Arizona player since teammate Sean Rierson garnered the award on Feb. 18, 2003. Meloan is the eighth UA player to be recognized by the publication as its player of the week since 1994.

 

Guyette Unlucky Again

For the second time in his career, junior Kevin Guyette tossed a complete game and got a loss for the effort. The right-hander struck out a career-high 15 UC Riverside batters on Feb. 26 and gave up just three runs on seven hits over nine innings and still took the ?'L’ in the 3-1 defeat. Guyette’s only other complete game effort in his three years at UA came in 2004 vs. UCLA. Against the Bruins, he went all nine, gave up four runs on eight hits, walked two and struck out six in a 4-3 loss. The Arizona offense has given him very little support in his two CG efforts, batting a combined .161 (10 for 62) with only one extra base hit and a two-game total of four runs scored. Arizona lost four the six games in which it pitchers tossed complete games in 2004.

Guyette’s Complete Game Misery

2 Games, 18 IP, 15 H, 7 R, 5 ER, 5 BB, 21 K, 0-2, 2.50 ERA

 

Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week Mark Melancon

Sophomore right-hander Mark Melancon was named the Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week by the conference office on March 15. Melancon garnered his first weekly honor after pitching in all three of UA’s games against Mississippi State (March 11-13) and striking out seven the 10 hitters he faced. He earned his third save of the year after working out a first and second, no-out jam in the ninth inning of a 7-3 Arizona win on Saturday.

 

Melancon Mows ?'Em Down

Dating back to Arizona’s postseason run in 2004, sophomore closer Mark Melancon has been impressive out of the bullpen. In his last 20 appearances he has given up just eight earned runs in 35 2/3 innings pitched. Over this span he has surrendered just 24 hits and issued only nine walks, while picking up two wins, six saves and 37 strikeouts. Impressive numbers for a closer who has worked two or more innings in nine of the 20 appearances.

Melancon’s Last 20 Appearances (2004 and 2005)

2-2, 6 Saves, 2.02 ERA, 35 2/3 IP, 24 H, 9 R, 8 ER, 9 BB, 37 K

 

Jarrett Emerges

As a transfer from Otero Junior College in 2004, junior Sean Jarrett worked a grand total of 14 2/3 innings in his first season at Arizona. He did not factor in a decision, saw opponents bat .304 against him and finish with a 4.91 ERA, nine strikeouts and five walks. A year later, Jarrett finds himself as the primary long reliever out of the bullpen, a role he has excelled in. Having already surpassed his season total of innings pitched from 2004 in UA’s first 25 games this year, he is 1-2 with a 4.33 ERA, 27 strikeouts and just three walks, while limiting opponents to a .260 average. He struck out a career-high 10 batters in a six-inning relief appearance at UT-Pan Am earlier this season to pick up his first career win and has posted two saves.

 

Freshman Arms Chipping In

Freshmen Mike Koons, David Coulon and Eric Berger have all chipped in to help the Arizona cause on the mound this season. Combined the three newcomers thrown 61 1/3 of UA’s 225.2 total innings this season (27 percent) and have gone 4-1 with 64 strikeouts.

 

Senior Assault On The Record Book

Two of Arizona’s three seniors on the roster this season have a chance to leave a lasting impression in the all-time record book. Outfielder Jeff Van Houten is edging his way into the hitting records and right-hander Sean Rierson is already among the all-time leaders in the pitching records.

Jeff Van Houten

Record Van Houten’s Numbers Rank All-Time Leader
Games Played 184 t-20th Chip Hale - 255
At Bats 683 13th Chip Hale - 978
Runs 163 t-14th Dave Stegman - 287
Hits 243 10th Chip Hale - 337
Multi Hit Games 70 t-7th Robbie Moen - 102
Doubles 39 t-18th Dave Stegman - 72
Triples 18 t-9th Charles Shoemaker - 30
Home Runs 24 t-14th Shelley Duncan - 55
RBI 177 10th Ron Hassey - 235
HBP 17 t-8th Kenny Corley - 32
Walks 104 t-22nd Chip Hale - 162
Sac Flies 16 t-3rd Chip Hale - 21
Extra Base Hits 81 13th Dave Stegman - 110
Total Bases 390 8th Chip Hale - 507

 

Sean Rierson

Record Rierson’s Numbers Rank All-Time Leader
Games Pitched 60 11th Ron Sismondo - 88
Starts 53 t-2nd Ed Vosberg - 60
Wins 25 t-12th Don Lee - 36
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