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Baseball Looks To Rebound vs. La Salle
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 02/24/2006
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Potential Starting Lineup
1 Brad Boyer L/R 2B Team leader with 11 runs scored 
2 Derek Decater L/L CF Drew four walks in 19-16 win over New Mexico
3 Jason Donald R/R SS Team leader with nine RBI
4 Eric Berger L/L DH Hitting .417 with two 2B and seven RBI
5 Konrad Schmidt R/R C Has at least one hit in eight of nine games this year
6 Brad Glenn R/R 1B Hitting .409 with three 2B and a HR
7 Jon Gaston L/L RF Batting .345 with five RBI and five runs scored
8 Bill Rhinehart L/L LF Went 3 for 4 with three RBI in 19-16 win vs. New Mexico
9 Colt Sedbrook R/R 3B Has been hit by a team-high six pitches this season
Pitching
Fri.. Eric Berger LHP Moves back to Fri. after one Sat. start. 
Sat.  Preston Guilmet RHP Will be making his first career start
Sun. Brad Mills LHP Leads Arizona with two wins this season
CP Mark Melancon RHP Moves back to closer spot after one start

 

Radio Broadcasts Begin

Brian Jeffries, the voice of the Wildcats, and 1290 AM will begin their 2006 coverage of the Arizona baseball program this Friday and Sunday. Both games can be heard live on the radio or on the Internet by subscribing to the All Access package at arizonaathletics.com. Click here for All Access subscription information.

 

Last Week

The Wildcats dropped their first series of the season, falling to New Mexico 6-5 and 7-3 in the opening two games last weekend. Arizona rallied to avoid its first three-game series sweep since 2004 with a 19-16 win on Sunday. Paced by the 20-hit, 19-run effort on Sunday, the Wildcats batted .318 as a team in the series and collected five doubles, two triples and a pair of home runs ... On the mound, the Wildcats posted an 8.33 ERA in 27 innings pitched and allowed the Lobos to hit .336 as a team.

 

A Quick Look at La Salle

The Explorers will open their 2006 season in the three-game set with the Wildcats ... La Salle is coming off of a 2005 season that saw it go 18-34 and 9-14 in the Atlantic-10 ... In a preseason vote by the conference coaches, La Salle was picked to finish 12th in the 14-team A-10 ... Junior Gerard Breslin, who went 4-2 with a 1.71 ERA and nine saves last season, is on the watch list for the 2006 Stopper of the Year Award ... Junior Rich Prall, the Explorers’ leading hitter last season, returns to guide at La Salle offense that hit .262 as a team in 2005 and averaged 4.6 runs and 8.5 hits per game ... Prall finished the 2005 season with a .330 batting average, nine doubles, three home runs and 31 RBI in 52 games ... La Salle is led by third-year head coach Lee Saverio who has posted a 37-59 record in two seasons

 

The History

Arizona and La Salle have never met on the baseball diamond.

 

Offensive Numbers

The Wildcats enter the weekend of play hitting .312 as a team and are averaging 7.4 runs, 11 hits, 1.7 doubles and 6.7 RBI per game ... Arizona has drawn 33 walks and been hit by 23 pitches already for 56 free passes to help lead to a .413 on-base percentage ... Despite the loss of so much offense from last season, the UA hitters appear to be holding their own in the Pac-10. The Wildcat bats currently rank fourth in the conference in batting average (.312), on-base percentage (.413), runs scored (67) and total bases (138) ... The Wildcats lead the Pac-10 with six triples and are third in both hits (99) and RBI (60).

 

Pitching Numbers

Considered to be a strength of the 2006 team, the Arizona arms have yet to come around this year ... Heading into the series with La Salle, the Wildcats have posted a 5.85 team ERA in 80 innings of work ... Opponents are batting .301 against the UA staff with 97 hits in 322 at-bats ... One good sign is that the Wildcats are throwing strikes, tallying 77 Ks against just 27 walks ... Five different pitchers have posted double digit strikeouts this season, while the team “leader” in walks has but six.

 

Taking a Dose

Maybe an orange safety vest should be required for the Arizona hitters this season. Opponent pitchers are averaging 2.5 hit batters per game through nine 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 28th game.

 

Wearing It

Arizona’s JC transfers appear to be the largest target for the opposition. Sophomore Colt Sedbrook has been plunked by a team-high six pitches in nine games, while Santa Rosa JC teammates Konrad Schmidt (4) and Stephen Pearson (3) have been hit by a combined seven pitches in 2006. Single season record holder Jason Donald (19 HPB in 2005) is just one errant pitch away from tying Kenny Corley for the all-time HBP record at Arizona. Donald, who was hit by 10 pitches his freshman season and by 19 last year, was tagged twice against New Mexico last weekend to raise his career total to 31 To put Donald’s wayward pitch magnetism in perspective, Corley’s record of 32 was set in 201 games played over four seasons (1995-98). Donald has 31 HBP in two-plus seasons and just 132 games played.

 

Double Duty For Berger

Left-hander Eric Berger seems to have taken a liking to getting to the opposition’s pitching staff. While not taking the mound as the Friday starter, Berger has started three games as the Wildcats’ DH and has found more than a little success. In 12 at-bats this season, the sophomore has five hits, two doubles, three runs scored and a very impressive seven RBI. His .417 average currently leads the team, as does his .533 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 nine 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.

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

Year

Avg.

AB

H

R

2B

3B

HR

RBI

OB%

2003

.357

42

11

15

2

0

2

8

.426

2006

.325

40

11

13

0

2

0

7

.426

 

Youth Movement

The last time Arizona had so many newcomers in its lineup was Andy Lopez’s second season at UA in 2003. That year true freshmen Brad Boyer, Nick Hundley, Trevor Crowe, Derek Decater and Jordan Brown all dotted the Arizona lineup. The early departure of many of those players after last season has prompted another influx of newcomers. The 2006 version includes Brad Glenn, Jon Gaston, T.J. Steele, Konrad Schmidt and Colt Sedbrook. The 2003 squad got off to a 6-3 start through the first nine games and made the first of three straight NCAA postseason appearances.

2003 Results (6-3)

2005 Results (5-4)

 

BYU

L 3-6

Loyola Marymount

W 10-5

BYU

W 17-13

Loyola Marymount

W 5-3

BYU

W 32-3

Loyola Marymount

L 5-12

Baylor

W 7-4

UC Riverside

L 5-8

Baylor

L 10-12

UC Riverside

W 4-2

Baylor

L 9-11

UC Riverside

W 11-5

UC Irvine

W 3-0

New Mexico

L 5-6

UC Irvine

W 6-0

New Mexico

L 3-7

UC Irvine

W 7-1

New Mexico

W 19-16

 

G-Men

Freshmen Brad Glenn and Jon Gaston have comfortably taken a hold of the first base and right field starting jobs, respectively. Glenn, who has made four starts at first and one at DH, is hitting .409 (9 for 22) with three doubles, a home run, five RBI and five runs scored. He leads the team with a .682 slugging percentage and is second in on-base percentage at .519. Gaston heads into the fourth week of the season with a .345 batting average (10 for 25), with a home run, five runs scored and five RBI.

 

Melancon Moves Back

Junior right-hander Mark Melancon will resume his role as a the Wildcats’ closer after moving into the starting rotation last week. Arizona’s all-time saves leader with 15 conversions, Melancon surrendered a career-high six runs on eight hits in five innings of work in just his second career start in last Friday’s 6-5 loss to New Mexico. Appearing in two games out of the bullpen this season, Melancon is 1-0 with a save and a 0.00 ERA. He has struck out seven and walked just one as the closing pitcher.

Melancon’s Relief vs. Starting Numbers

Relief                      1-0, 1 save, 0.00 ERA, 7 2/3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 7 K, .080 Opp BA

Starting                  0-1, 9.00 ERA, 5 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 7 K, .333 Opp BA

 

Berger’s Back

After going an Arizona season-high seven innings against New Mexico last weekend, left-hander Eric Berger will resume his role as the Friday starter in the Wildcat rotation. Berger (1-2), who was charged with his second loss of the year against the Lobos, pitched well enough to regain his spot as the ace of the staff. Limiting UNM to just two earned runs on seven hits over the seven innings, he finished with five ks and just one walk.

 

Guilmet Gets Starting Nod

The vacated spot in the Arizona starting rotation, left by the departure of Mark Melancon to the closer’s role, will be filled by freshman right-hander <

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