Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Washington Game Notes
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: April 03, 2008
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Last Week
The Wildcats went 1-4 last week in two games at Oklahoma State and three vs. conference rival UCLA ... The frustrating week extended a losing streak to six straight games before the Cats finally shut it down with a series-saving victory over the Bruins last Sunday ... Offensive Numbers:?The Wildcats batted .299 as a team and hit five doubles, two triples and five home runs in the five games last week ... Junior T.J. Steele returned from a concussion for the final two games of the week and batted .714 (5 for 7) with a double, his sixth HR of the year, three RBI and a run scored ... Classmate Jon Gaston batted .478 for the week (11 for 23) with two doubles, a triple, three RBI and six runs scored ... True freshman Bryce Ortega extended his hitting streak to 11 straight games (current) by going 6 for 17 (.353) ... Pitching Numbers: Stung by a struggling defense, the Arizona pitching staff posted a 6.75 team ERA in 44 innings pitched last week ... The UA pitchers posted 51 strikeouts against 22 walks ... Left-hander Eric Berger won his second game of the season with a solid five-inning effort against the Bruins on Sunday (5 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 3 K) ... UA closer Jason Stoffel suffered his first career loss in Fridayˇ?s 4-3, 10-inning defeat to UCLA.


Poll Watching
Arizonaˇ?s struggles last week at Oklahoma State and vs. UCLA cost the Cats in the pollsters eyes. The Cats took their deepest plunge in the Collegiate Baseball?poll, slipping completely out of the rankings that once held UA as the No. 1 team in the nation. Arizona slipped from No. 6 in the Baseball America rankings all the way to No. 18 and from No. 8 in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches poll to No. 18. Arizona also dropped to No. 11 in the NCBWA poll and to No. 17 in the rankings.


Defensive Woes Holding Back Cats
The Wildcats have struggled in the field this season. Arizona has racked up 44 errors in just 23 games (1.9 per game) and managed just three error-free contests thus far (South Alabama, at USC and at Oklahoma State).


On the Road Again
The Wildcats will hit the road this weekend for a second extended stay away from Tucson. Arizona will travel to Seattle, Wash., for a three-game conference series against Washington and then head straight to Southern California for a two-game midweek set at San Diego State. Dating back to UAˇ?s road trip to USC (March 21-22) and Oklahoma State (March 25-26) and running through next weekˇ?s SDSU series, the Cats will have traveled 5,230 miles over the span of 22 days.


Arizona ?vs. Washington - The All-Time Series
The Wildcats and Huskies have met 28 times on the baseball diamond in a series that dates back to 1992. The Cats own a slight 15-13 edge in the match up


Cats and Huskies - The Last Time Out
Arizona and Washington met up for three Pac-10 games in Tucson last season with the Cats pulling off their first three-game sweep of the Dawgs since 2001. Arizona ace Preston Guilmet tossed a three-hitter in a 7-0 shutout in the series opener and the Cats then opened the offense in the final two games, winning 13-4 on 13 hits and 17-8 on 19 hits, to complete the sweep.


Offensive Numbers
The Wildcats are hitting .310 as a team and are averaging 7.6 runs, 10.7 hits, 1.6 doubles, 0.7 triples, 1.4 home runs and 6.8 RBI per game ... Despite a recent offensive slump, 10 different players are still hitting over .300 for the year, eight different players have scored double digit runs thus far and eight have 10 or more RBI.


Ortegaˇ?s A-Okay
True freshman Bryce Ortega has solidified the shortstop position for the Wildcats. Since taking over the everyday duties against UNLV on March 4, the first-year Wildcat has batted .385 with three doubles, seven RBI and nine runs scored. He has collected at least one hit in 14 of his 15 starts, including a current team-high hitting streak of 11 straight games. More impressive than the offensive numbers however has been his play in the field. In 70 total chances Ortega has committed four defensive miscues, a vast improvement over the five errors in 35 chances when he was not positioned up the middle.


Steele Standing
After missing five games with a concussion, junior outfielder T.J. announced his return with a two-run homer in his first at bat of his first game back. While it wasnˇ?t the primary reason for UAˇ?s recent slide, his absence certainly didnˇ?t help. The loss of his bat in the middle of the UA order proved tough to replace, as the third-year starter enters this weekendˇ?s series with an eight-game hitting streak in which he is batting .412 (14 for 34) with two doubles, three home runs, six RBI and five runs scored.


That Didnˇ?t Last Long
Brad Glennˇ?s days of being the answer to a trivia question lasted all of about one season. Teammate Dillon Baird smashed three fence-busters against USC on March 21 to become the latest answer to the question - ˇ®Who was the last Wildcat to homer three times in a game?ˇ?. Bairdˇ?s feat matched Glennˇ?s three-homer game against Utah Valley State last year. In all six different players have homered three times in a game, with Baird and former Wildcat Erik Torres the only two to do so in a conference game

Three-Homer Games at Arizona

Dennis Haines ?????at UTEP???????????????????????????????? 4/7/1972

Ron Hassey ?????????vs. Weber State??????????????????? 3/20/1974

Erik Torres ????????????at Washington???????????????????? 4/8/2000

Shelley Duncan ???vs. Utah???????????????????????????????? 2/23/2001

Brad Glenn ???????????vs. Utah Valley State ????????? 2/7/2007

Dillon Baird ??????????at USC ?????????????????????????????????? 3/21/2008


Aiding and Abetting
Arizonaˇ?s top two thieves this year have long history of grand larceny. Junior T.J. Steele (6 for 6) and sophomore Robert Abel (8 for 9) have teamed up for 14 steals in 15 tries this season alone to add to a career rap sheet that would make any burglar blush. Combined the two speedsters have swiped 61 bases on 68 career attempts, a success rate of nearly 90 percent. In Steeleˇ?s three-year career he is 32 for 36 (89%), having been caught just once as a freshman and three times as a sophomore. Meanwhile, Abel is close behind in total bags with 29 steals and slightly ahead in getting away with it (91%) in his one-plus seasons with the club.


Inside Job
Colt Sedbrook has hit not just one, but two inside-the-park home runs this season. The senior first raced around the bases against UNLV on March 4 and then repeated the feat on March 28 against UCLA.


Pitching Numbers
The Wildcats enter the weekend of play with a 4.23 team ERA in 202 innings pitched ... The Cats have punched out 215 hitters this season and walked only 75 for a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 2.8-to-1 ... Opponents are hitting just .264 against the UA arms this season.


Scoreless Streak
The 2008 pitching staff broke the 1968 clubˇ?s 40-year old school record for consecutive shutout innings against Cal State Fullerton on March 14. Seven different pitchers (Preston Guilmet - 16 2/3 IP, David Coulon - 8 IP, Ryan Perry - 7 IP, Daniel Schlereth - 1 IP, Eric Berger - 1 IP, Jason Stoffel - 1 IP and Grayson Adams - 1 IP) combined to help snap the previous mark and catchers Dwight Childs (26 2/3) and Daniel Butler (8) were on the receiving end of all 34 2/3 innings. During the scoreless streak UA pitchers allowed just 14 hits, struck out 46 and walked only three.

Longest Streak of Shutout Innings Pitched

2008????????34 2/3 Innings?????? Three shutouts at Whataburger College Classic March 7-9 and 7 2/3 shutout innings vs. Cal State Fullerton March 14

1968????????33 Innings???????????? Final six innings vs. UOP on March 8 and three shutouts vs.?UOP and UTEP March 9-12

1973????????29 Innings???????????? Three straight shutouts vs. Oklahoma and Denver March 19-20 and first two innings vs. Northern Colorado on March 23

1997????????28 Innings???????????? Final inning vs. Stanford on March 29 and three shutouts vs.Cal April 4-6


Better Get ˇ®Em Early
The Wildcat duo of relief ace Daniel Schlereth and closer Jason Stoffel have been pretty dominant out of the UA bullpen this season. The pair has combined to go 2-1 with six saves and 49 strikeouts in 36 innings of work, while limiting the opposition to just a lowly .190 batting average against. See below for individual numbers for both.


Lights Out
Left-hander Daniel Schlereth has been nearly untouchable this season coming out of the bullpen. The relief ace has a 1-0 record, one save, a 1.66 ERA and an unworldly 34 strikeouts in only 21 2/3 innings of work. He tied his career-high with seven strikeouts in three innings of work against Cal State Fullerton on March 15 and has recorded two or more punchouts in nine of his 13 outings thus far.


Stoff It
Closer Jason Stoffel has been just as dominating as Schlereth. The right-hander opened the season with five saves in his first five appearances and picked up his first win of the season with 1 1/3 innings of work against Cal State Fullerton on March 14. He has punched out 15 hitters in only 10 outings thus far.


Throwing Strikes
Arizona ace Preston Guilmet has been doing just that. The junior right-hander has a disgusting 7-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio (42-to-6) this season and has issued only three walks in his last four starts - a span of 36 2/3 innings pitched.


Now Thatˇ?s More Like It
Friday ace Preston Guilmet was roughed up for eight runs - four earned - on seven hits and three walks in just four innings in the season-opener at Georgia on Feb. 22. Since then the right-hander has reverted back to the form that earned him numerous postseason accolades in 2007 and even more preseason recognition heading into the 2008 campaign. In his last five starts Guilmet is 3-0 with a 1.96 ERA, 39 strikeouts, three walks and a .218 opponent batting average. He was named the national pitcher of the week by both USA Baseball and Collegiate Baseball?after his March 7 start vs. South Alabama in which he tossed eight shutout innings, struck out a season-high 12 with no walks and did not give up a hit over his final 5 1/3 innings pitched.

Guilmetˇ?s Starts This Season

Feb. 22 at Georgia????????????????????????????????L, 4.0 IP, 7 H, 8 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 3 K

Feb. 29 vs. Sac State????????????????????????????W, 7.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 11 K

March 7 vs. South Alabama???????????????W, 8.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 12 K

March 14 vs. CS Fullerton??????????????????ND, 7.2 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 7 K

March 21 at USC??????????????????????????????????W, 7.0 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 K

March 28 vs. USC????????????????????????????????ND, 7.0 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 K


Davidˇ?s Dealing
Southpaw David Coulon enters his seventh start of the year 4-2 with a 3.90 ERA in 30 innings pitched, is second on the team in strikeouts with 36, has walked only 11 hitters and is allowing the opposition to hit just .237 off of him. He was named the Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week and the Proline National Pitcher of the Week by the NCBWA after dealing against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on March 8. Coulon was perfect through the first four innings, allowed just one hit over eight shutout innings and tied his career-high with 11 punchouts against just one walk in his third win of the year.

Coulonˇ?s Starts This Season

Feb. 23 at Georgia????????????????????????????????W, 5.1 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 8 K

March 1 vs. Sac State??????????????????????????W, 5.0 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 7 K

March 8 at TAMU-CC????????????????????????W, 8.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 11 K

March 15 vs. CS Fullerton??????????????????W, 5.1 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K

March 21 at USC??????????????????????????????????L, 4.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 3 K

March 29 vs. UCLA?????????????????????????????L, 2.1 IP, 8 H, 9 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 3 K


Bergerˇ?s On Sunday
Left-hander Eric Berger has a fine job after assuming the starting duties on Sunday. He picked up his second win of the year last Sunday against UCLA went he allowed just two runs on four hits over five solid innings. The junior was betrayed by Arizonaˇ?s defense and lack of offensive production in his first start of??the season at USC on March 22. In a 5-0 loss to the Trojans he allowed just three earned runs over 4 2/3 innings while striking out a season-high six and walking two.

Bergerˇ?s Appearances This Season

Feb. 23 at Georgia????????????????????????????????ND, 1.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K

March 2 vs. Sac State??????????????????????????ND, 2.2 IP, 4 H, 2 R , 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 K

March 5 vs. UNLV????????????????????????????????W, 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 K

March 9 vs. Notre Dame?????????????????????ND, 1.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K

March 16 vs. CS Fullerton??????????????????ND, 6.0 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 1 K

March 22 at USC *???????????????????????????????L, 4.2 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 6 K

March 30 vs. UCLA *?????????????????????????W, 5.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 3 K

* Denotes starts


Attendance Numbers
The crowd of 3,398 on opening day against Sac State on Feb. 29 was the fourth-largest to witness the Wildcats first home game of the year and the most fans for opening day since 4,012 turned out to watch the 1992 home opener against New Mexico. The weekend tally of 6,700 fans was the best for any home opening weekend since the 1980 club drew 12,111 fans to see the Cats take on the 1979 CWS champs Cal State Fullerton in a three-game series ... The crowd of 4,250 against Cal State Fullerton on March 14 was the largest at Kindall Field since the Cats hosted top-ranked Texas on March 4, 2005 (4,644).


Itˇ?s On Like Donkey Kong
The Wildcats just wrapped up what might be the busiest stretch of baseball in UAˇ?s 100-plus years of play. The Cats hosted the Cal State Fullerton for three games March 14-16, took the Monday off before traveling to Arizona State on March 18 for a single non-conference game, then returned home that night to repack their bags for the 2008 Pac-10 opener against USC in Los Angeles last Friday and Saturday. The Cats got a day off for Easter Sunday off before heading back out on the road this past Monday to Stillwater, Okla., for a midweek two-game set against Oklahoma State on Tuesday and Wednesday before returning home yesterday for a home conference three-game set against UCLA this Friday-Sunday. Total tally for the final 18 days of March - 12 games, three travel days, three days off and zero days of practice . Now that the month of March has come to an end all Arizona has to now face is an April slate of 20 games in 30 days.


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