March 26, 2002
Next Up - Oregon State: Oregon State opens its Pac-10 season with a visit by the Wildcats. Led by head coach Pat Casey, the Beavers return 15 letterwinners, four starters and four pitchers from last season's 31-24 team. OSU finished sixth in the Pac-10 in 2001 with 11-13 conference record.
The Beavers dropped two of three to Cal State Northridge in a series last weekend and defeated Portland most recently on Monday. Leading the way offensively for OSU is 2001 first-team All-Pac-10 honoree Brian Barden. The junior third baseman is hitting .333 this season with a team-high 23 RBIs and 21 runs scored. Sophomore starter Ben Rowe leads the pitching staff with a 4-1 record in eight starts. He has struck out 24 batters this year and issued 20 walks.
The Wildcats are 6-3 against the Beavers since the Pac-10 North and South combine in 1999 and own a 14-9 all-time record against Oregon State. Arizona won the three-game conference series last season two games to one at Frank Sancet Field.
Arizona's Probable Pitchers Thursday - RHP Sean Rierson (4-2, 3.71 ERA) Friday - LHP Joe Little (5-2, 5.09 ERA) Sunday - RHP Marc Kaiser (5-1, 2.22 ERA)
Wildcat Notes From The Arizona State Series: Marc Kaiser tossed his second consecutive complete game of the season against the Sun Devils in Arizona's 10-1 win on Sunday ... The righthander limited ASU to a season low five hits while striking out three and walking only one ... 17 of the 23 runs scored by Arizona in the three games came with two outs in an inning (74 percent) ... Senior Justyn St. Clair continued his hot hitting, scorching the Sun Devils with five hits in 11 at bats for .455 average in the three games. He drove in two and scored four times ... Classmate Brad Hassey, a .150 hitter against ASU in eight career games heading into the weekend, broke through with four hits, a .364 average and four runs scored in the three games ... Moises Duran, starting on Sunday for the first time in five games, responded with two hits in three at bats. He drove in three and scored twice as well ... Senior Chris Cunningham hit his team-leading seventh home run of the season on Saturday to break up Mike Esposito's shutout bid in the sixth inning ... Arizona stranded nine total base runners on Saturday, six in scoring position ... The 11 hits given up by starter Joe Little were the most the southpaw has surrendered in his career at Arizona ... The seven runs scored off him on Saturday equal the career-high given up at Texas A&M earlier this season ... Senior Justyn St. Clair has scored at least one run in the last five straight games ... Friday was the third game in three weeks that Arizona has lost in the ninth inning (LBSU 3/9, UNC Wilmington 3/16) ... The seven errors committed by the Wildcats were two shy of the school record for miscues in a game. The 1993 team was charged with nine errors in a 17-9 loss to Minnesota on Feb. 12 ... The 11 total errors in the three games fell three shy of the school record for a three-game series (14 vs. UCLA 1982) ... Brad Hassey had his season-high 12-game hitting streak snapped with an 0-for-4 effort at the plate on Friday ... Brian Anderson is now 5-for-7 in save opportunities with both blown saves coming against Arizona State ... Saturday's crowd of 2,284 was the largest of the season for Arizona and the most fans at Sancet Field since May 20, 2000 (2,688 UA vs. ASU).
Pac-10 Pitcher Of The Week: Sophomore Marc Kaiser was recognized as the Pac-10 Pitcher-of-the-Week by the conference office on Tuesday for his complete game pitching performance in Arizona's 10-1 win over rival Arizona State on Sunday. The righthander went all nine innings for the second consecutive game of the season for the Wildcats who avoided a series sweep with the victory. Kaiser, who gave up only five hits in the game, struck out three and walked just one on only 93 pitches. He also worked around a pair of defensive miscues in the game for his team-high-tying fifth win of the season. The honor is the first of Kaiser's career and the 24th all-time Pitcher of the Week honor in school history. Former Wildcat Ben Diggins was the last Arizona hurler to be named to the honor after striking out 13 batters in a complete game performance against Tulane in 2000.
Time Changes: Game times this week have been changed from the originally published 3 p.m. PST first pitch on Thursday and Friday to 2 p.m. PST on both days. Saturday's game is still set for 1 p.m. KNST's Brian Jeffries will broadcast all three games live on 790 AM and at
Going The Distance: Kaiser's second consecutive complete game performance of the season against Arizona State last weekend makes him the first Arizona pitcher since 2000 to toss two or more complete games in a season. Ben Diggins went all nine three times in 2000. Arizona's three complete games this season (two by Kaiser, one by Rierson) ties this year's team with the 2000 pitching staff for the second most CGs in the last five years. Both the 1999 and '97 pitching staffs tossed five complete games each. The school record is 38 by the 1956 team.
Wins vs. Loses: Through 30 contests this season the Wildcats have won 20 games (.667). In 15 of the 20 wins Arizona has either out-hit or equalled the number of hits of its opponents and is 14-1 when doing so. In nine of their 10 losses the Wildcats have been out-hit by an average of over five base knocks per game. As a team, the Wildcats are hitting .327 in the wins and just .206 in their losses. In the scoring department, Arizona is averaging just over 10 runs per game in its wins this season. The Cats have out-scored their opponents by an outstanding 202 to 73 margin when emerging victorious with an average margin of victory of over six runs per game. Eight times the Wildcats have out-scored their opponents by nine or more runs. In their losses, the Wildcats are averaging only 4.1 runs per game and are being out-scored by 3.7 runs per game.
Sanctity At Sancet: The Arizona baseball team has thus far played Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde this season in regards to home and road games. The Wildcats have posted an 19-4 record in the Old Pueblo against a horror like 1-6 record on the road. The Wildcats have found the home environment much more appealing on offense as evidenced by its .323 batting average and 10 runs per game at Sancet Field as opposed to a lowly .167 average and 2.86 runs per game away from Tucson. The Arizona offense has posted one-hit, three-hits and four-hits in separate road games this year and have been shutout all three times in those contests. The pitching and defense aren't exempt from the comparison as the Wildcat hurlers have posted a 3.66 ERA at home and a 4.40 ERA on the road. Their control in Tucson appears to be better as well, posting 170 strikeouts to 64 walks at home and just 19 K's against 12 walks in the visitors' dugout. With the gloves, Arizona is fielding at .960 clip at Sancet Field and .955 on the road.
Anderson Returns: Since returning from a 15-game stretch on the disabled list with a sprained left knee nine games ago, sophomore Brian Anderson is hitting .294 (10 for 34) with a grand slam, a solo home run, two doubles, eight runs and 11 RBIs. He has also pitched 1.1 innings of relief, tallying two strikeouts and earning his second save in 2002.
Stick Around For the Stretch: Arizona has out-scored its opponents 39-10 in the seventh inning this season. The 29 run difference is the most of all innings for the Wildcats this year. The first inning is closest, in which Arizona holds an 17 point discrepancy with a 31-14 advantage. (See page 8 of the notes for an inning-by-inning breakdown of runs scored)
Hitting Notes: Arizona's team batting average remained at .288 after its three-game series with Arizona State ... For the third consecutive weekend Justyn St. Clair led the Wildcats in hitting during their three-game series. The senior tallied five hits in 11 at bats for a .455 average against the Sun Devils ... In Arizona's last three seriescombined (LBSU, UNCW, ASU), St. Clair is hitting an outstanding .469 (15 for 32) with seven RBIs and seven runs scored ... The Wildcats have hit at least one home run in all 10 multiple-game series this season. The only opponent not to give up a long ball to the Cats thus far is Texas A&M-Corpus Christi ... The race for the team lead in runs this season is tight with Chris Cunningham and Marc Kaiser tied for the first with 29 each. Brad Hassey is one off the pace at 28 ... Cunningham leads the team in RBIs (31), doubles (9), and home runs (7) and is tied with Jeff Van Houten in total bases (60) ... Hassey is the team leader in hits (36) and stolen bases (9) ... Five of Pat Reilly's nine hits have gone for extra bases (three doubles, two triples).
Long Ball Stats: At the beginning of the year, the position of Arizona's long ball leader was up for grabs. With the departure of UA's all-time home run king, Shelley Duncan, and only six home runs returning to the current roster, the role could have gone to any number of players. And, in a way, it has. Nine different Wildcat players have hit at least one of UA's 30 round-trippers this season, seven of whom have two or more. The 2002 team has, in fact, hit four more home runs through 30 games than the 2001 team did (30-26). Leading the way with a career-high seven fence busters is Chris Cunningham. Cunningham has gone yard with nobody on four times, one runner on twice and with two runners on once for 11 runs batted in on homers. Jeff Van Houten, a freshman, is second on the team and has hit two solos shots, three two-run homers and a grand slam for 12 RBIs on home runs. (See page 7 of the notes for the entire team break down) The Wildcats are 13-4 this season when at least one player hits a homer and are 6-1 in the seven games two or more players connect for the four-base hit.
Coming Through In A Pinch: Ken Riley has produced in the pinch this season. Pinch hitting that is. The junior is the only Arizona player to come through with a pinch hit this year, and has done so twice. In three pinch hit at bats, Riley is batting .667 with a single, a triple and an RBI that scored the game tying run in the 10th inning of Arizona's come-from-behind win over UC Irvine on Feb. 23.
Pitching Notes: The Wildcats' pitching staff remains at nearly a three-to-one strikeout to walk ratio this season (2.5-to-1) ... In Marc Kaiser's two complete games this season the sophomore has had to toss only 93 pitches both times ... Senior Wes Zlotoff leads the team with a 1.88 ERA in 14.1 innings pitched this season ... Joe Little is the team leader in strikeouts (45) and is tied with Kasier in wins (5) ... Sean Rierson continues to lead the team in innings pitched (60.2) ... Opponents are hitting .269 against Arizona pitching this season, 12 points lower than a year ago through 30 games ... The Wildcat starting staff (Rierson, Little and Kasier) is averaging better than six innings per start ... Closer Brian Anderson is now five for seven in save opportunities in his career.
Pac-10 Stats: The Pac-10 office released the first batch of conference wide statistics this week and the Wildcats, both as a team and individually, rank among the leaders in a number of catagories. Offensively, Arizona leads the conference in on base percentage (.398), runs scored (243), RBIs (211), triples (16) and walks (150). On the mound the Wildcats are tops in wins (20), and fewest walks allowed (76). The pitching staff is second amongst Pac-10 teams in ERA (3.82) and innings pitched (266.1). Individually, Moises Duran (21), Chris Cunningham (20) and Marc Kaiser (19) are one-two-three in the conference in walks. Cunningham is tied for fourth in runs scored (29) with Kaiser and is Arizona's top RBI man with 31 (4th). His seven home runs are third best amongst all players thus far.
Wearin' It: It's painful to be a Wildcat batter in 2002. Opposing pitchers have plunked Wildcat hitters 44 times already in just 30 games (1.47 HBP per game). In comparison, last year Arizona batters were hit "just" 35 times in 56 games (0.63 HBP per game). Should the Wildcats' opposition continue to assail batters at the current rate, Arizona will end up with over 80 hit bats men, smashing the current school record of 59 (1.02 HPB per game)set in 1997. The 44 HBP this season have already surpassed the season totals of 30 other Arizona teams.
Manufacturing, Inc.: Arizona has scored a total 243 runs this season and 68 of them (28 percent) have come without Arizona recording a hit to score the run. In 26 of the 27 games in which Arizona has scored, at least one run was plated without the benefit of a hit. The Wildcats have manufactured runs via ground ball outs to the left side of the infield, wild pitches, walks, balks, sacrifice flies, straight steals and even batters being hit by pitches.
Game-By-Game Breakdown of Runs Scored Without a Hit 1/25 vs. New Mexico 5 of 6 1/26 vs. New Mexico 7 of 23 1/27 vs. New Mexico 0 of 8 2/1 vs. Utah 2 of 3 2/2 vs. Utah 3 of 17 2/3 vs. Utah 2 of 5 2/4 vs. Southern Utah 6 of 10 2/5 vs. Southern Utah 3 of 11 2/7 vs. San Diego State 0 of 1 2/8 vs. San Diego State 1 of 6 2/9 vs. San Diego State 2 of 7 2/13 at Texas A&M-CC 2 of 4 2/16 at Texas A&M 2 of 4 2/17 at Texas A&M 2 of 6 2/22 vs. UC Irvine 2 of 14 2/23 vs. UC Irvine 2 of 7 2/24 vs. UC Irvine 3 of 13 2/26 vs. New Mexico St. 5 of 14 3/2 vs. CSUDH 6 of 12 3/3 vs. CSUDH 3 of 13 3/9 at Long Beach State 1 of 6 3/15 vs. UNC Wilmington 1 of 7 3/16 vs. UNC Wilmington 2 of 9 3/17 vs. UNC Wilmington 2 of 14 3/22 vs. Arizona State 1 of 7 3/23 vs. Arizona State 3 of 6 2/24 vs. Arizona state 2 of 10
Using All Three Outs: Jeff Van Houten's grand slam against UNC Wilmington (3/17) was just one of many two-out hits the Wildcats have posted this season. Arizona is hitting .300 (99-for-330) and have scored 107 of their 233 runs (46%) as a team with two down in an inning this season. Leading the way individually are seniors Justyn St. Clair and Brad Hassey and freshman Jeff Van Houten. The trio are hitting .387, .346, and .333, respectively, with two outs. St. Clair and Van Houten each have nine RBIs in the situation and Hassey has eight. Freshman John Hardy, who had four two-out RBIs against ASU on Friday, leads the team in two-out RBIs with 16.
The More The Merrier: Arizona is doing a fine job of hitting with runners on base, posting a .329 batting average at the plate. However, that average increases significantly when all three bases are occupied. In 32 official at bats with the bases loaded, Arizona is hitting .438 (14-for-32) with four grand slams (see note below), 56 RBIs and an .969 slugging percentage. The Wildcats have also hit seven sac-flies, walked five times and been hit by pitches five times in bases loaded situations. Freshman Jeff Van Houten has cleared the bases twice with the sacks full, tallying a three-run triple and a grand slam. He has also been hit by a pitch with the bases loaded for a team-high eight RBIs.
Having A Grand Time: Van Houten's two-out grand slam against UNC Wilmington (3/17) was Arizona's fourth sacks-full round-tripper of the season. Van Houten, Brian Anderson, John Hardy and Moises Duran's slams mark the first time since 1999 that an Arizona team has had two or more bases loaded home runs in a season. The 2002 team now shares the school record for slams in a season with seven other squads. Arizona's 1955, '56, '61, '88, '93, '98 and '99 teams all hit four grand slams in a season. Former Wildcat Dave Shermet holds the all-time individual career grand slam record with four.
900 All-Time Wins: Arizona achieved its 900th victory at Frank Sancet Field in a 14-2 win over UNC Wilmington (3/17) earlier this season. Located on the corners of Enke and National Championship Drives, Sancet Field has been the home of Arizona baseball for over 35 seasons. Known originally as Wildcat Field, it was renamed and dedicated Frank Sancet Field on April 19, 1986 to honor Arizona's longtime head coach. Coach Sancet put Arizona on the collegiate baseball map, posting a 831-283-8 (.744) record in 23 seasons as head coach. His Wildcat teams made 16 postseason appearances during his tenure and nine trips to Omaha. He finished runner-up at the College World Series three times. Since moving to its current location, the Arizona team has gone 901-389-3 in 1,293 games for a .698 winning percentage (Current through 4/4/02). The Wildcats have suffered only three losing seasons on their home turf and nearly reach perfection in former head coach Jerry Kindall's second season with a 37-1 home record. Frank Sancet Field has been the site of four NCAA Regionals (1979, '80, '89, '92).
700 and Counting: When Andy Lopez signed on with the Wildcats last summer he had accumulated 687 wins in 19 seasons as head coach at Cal State Dominguez Hills, Pepperdine and Florida. Arizona's win over UC Irvine on Feb. 23 propelled the first year Arizona skipper to his 700th career win. Through 30 games at Arizona, his career record now stands at 707-428-6 (.622).
Head Coach Andy Lopez: First-year Arizona skipper Andy Lopez makes his return to the Pac-10 where he played collegiately at UCLA in 1974-75. Entering his 20th season as a head coach Lopez takes over as the head man at his fourth school. Starting out at Cal State Dominguez Hills in 1983, Lopez has also coached at Pepperdine and the University of Florida. While in Malibu, he led the Waves to the only team national championship in school history, winning the 1992 College World Series title in Omaha. He twice led Florida to Omaha and inthe process doubled the Gators number of trips from two in 82 years to four in just seven more. One of only seven active coaches with a national championship to his credit, Lopez is also just one of eight men to ever lead two or more schools to the College World Series.
Arizona Player Career Stats vs. Oregon State (Through 3/27/02) Hitter G BA AB R H RBI 2B 3B HR BB SB Marc Kaiser 2 .625 8 1 5 0 1 0 0 0 1 Ken Riley 3 .300 10 0 3 1 1 0 0 0 0 Justyn St. Clair 3 .300 10 1 3 2 0 0 0 2 1 Brian Anderson 3 .300 10 1 3 2 0 1 0 1 0 Brad Hassey 3 .286 14 1 4 0 1 0 0 0 1 Pitcher G GS W-L Sv. IP H R ER BB K ERA Wes Zlotoff 1 0 1-0 0 1.1 2 0 0 1 1 0.00 Tony Sulser 1 0 0-0 0 1.0 0 0 0 1 2 0.00 Marc Kaiser 1 1 1-0 0 9.0 8 2 2 4 4 2.00 Joe Little 1 0 0-0 0 3.1 6 2 2 0 4 5.40 Sean Rierson 1 1 0-1 0 4.2 11 6 6 0 3 11.57