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Baseball to take on Washington State
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 05/12/2006
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Potential Starting Lineup
1 Brad Boyer L/R 2B Fourth all-time at UA in runs and stolen bases
2 Colt Sedbrook R/R 3B Has been hit by a school record 22 pitches this year
3 Jason Donald R/R SS Team leader with 42 RBI this year
4 Bill Rhinehart L/L RF Is batting .354 in last 17 games
5 Brad Glenn R/R 1B Team-leader with eight HR
6 David Plante L/R DH Has 21 RBI in last 20 games played
7 Matt Denker R/R C Batted .308 with four RBI against UNLV last weekend
8 T.J. Steele R/R CF Returned to lineup after missing one game with bruised knee
9 Travis Peep R/R 3B Batting .500 in 26 ABs this season
Pitching
Fri.  Preston Guilmet RHP Making 12th start of the year.
Sat. Brad Mills LHP Has given up three or less earned runs in nine of 13 starts
Sun. David Coulon LHP Went six innings against Washington on April 30
CP Daniel Schlereth RHP Tied for team lead with four saves this season 

 

On the Air

Radio returns this weekend as Brian Jeffries, The Voice of the Wildcats, will bring all of the live play-by-play action to Arizona fans. All three games can be heard live on 1290 AM KCUB in Tucson, or fans that have subscribed to Arizona All Access package can listen over the Internet. All three games will be video webcast as well via the All Access package.

 

Back At It

After taking Monday-Wednesday off for final exams, the Wildcats returned to practice on Thursday in preparation for this weekend’s action against Washington State. Game times for the Saturday-Monday series are set for 7 p.m., 6 p.m. and 12 p.m.

 

Last Week

The Wildcats dropped two of three from visiting UNLV in their final non-conference series of the season ... Arizona opened the series with a 7-6 victory in 11 innings on Friday, but was out-slugged 12-8 on Saturday and 16-12 on Sunday ... Offensively, UA batted .336 for the weekend and hit six doubles, three triples and four home runs ... The pitching staff struggled to a 10.24 team ERA in 29 innings pitched in the three games.

 

Back to the Pac

Arizona has nine games remaining in the regular season, all of them against Pac-10 competition. The Wildcats will square off against Washington State this Saturday-Monday in Tucson, host rival Arizona State next weekend and will head out on the road on the final weekend of the month to USC

 

A Quick Look at Washington State

The Cougars come to Tucson with a 31-17 overall record and a 7-8 mark in the Pac-10 ... Washington State took two of three from Utah Valley State in Pullman last weekend and has won four of its last five games ... The Cougs are batting .322 as a team, and are averaging 7.5 runs, 11.5 hits and 6.4 RBI per game ... True freshman Jared Prince paces WSU at the plate with a Pac-10-best .436 batting average ... The two-way outfielder/pitcher has a team-high 50 RBI, scored 39 runs and has hit 14 doubles, a triple and six home runs this season ...Senior outfielder Jay Miller is hitting .373 this season with 24 doubles and 44 runs scored, both marks are team-highs ... On the mound, WSU has posted a 4.23 team ERA in 430 innings pitched this season ... The Cougars have struck out 336 and walked 137 batters in 2006.

 

The History

Previous to this weekend, Arizona and Washington State have met 29 times in a series that dates back to 1975 ... The Wildcats hold a 20-9 edge in the series and have won five of the last six games, including a three-game sweep in Pullman last season, and seven of the last nine ... The Cougars last won a season series against the Wildcats in 2002, Andy Lopez’s first season, when they won two of three in Tucson.

 

Last Season

Arizona and Washington State met up for a three-game conference series in Pullman on April 8-10 last year. The Wildcats swept the weekend, winning 13-0 in the opener, 7-4 on Saturday and 13-10 in the finale ... UA came from behind in both the Saturday and Sunday games, rallying from a 4-3 deficit on Sat. and an 8-3 deficit on Sun ... The sweep was part of a seven-game conference win streak for Arizona that included a series sweep over UCLA and a series-opening win over Oregon State ...

 

Rotational Notes

The Wildcats will face a pair of right-handers and a yet to be determined hurler in the opener this weekend. UA will counter with its normal right-left-left trio. Freshman RHP Preston Guilmet (2-6, 4.24) will toe the rubber for the Wildcats on Friday against a to-be-determined arm. Saturday UA’s Brad Mills (5-4, 4.22) will take the mound against right-hander Wayne Damon Jr. (5-3, 4.14). Sunday will see UA left-hander David Coulon (2-3, 7.07) get the start against the Cougars’ RHP Jared Prince (6-1, 4.05).

 

Offensive Numbers

Entering the weekend of play, the Arizona offense is batting .294 as a team, and averaging 6.7 runs, 10.2 hits and 5.9 RBI per game.

 

Spring Thaw

After a March that saw the Wildcats struggle to a .207 team batting average in 12 games, Arizona’s bats thawed out in the month of April to the tune of a .319 average in 18 games. The Wildcats, who averaged just three runs per game in March, plated 7.6 runs per game in April. The offensive trend has carried over to May, as Arizona is batting .320 as a group in four games thus far, and has recorded double-digit hits in all four contests. The Cats have hit eight doubles, three triples and four  home runs in May alone.

 

Powering Up

After hitting just eight home runs in the first 23 games of the season, the Wildcats have seen a surge in pitches going over the fence over the past couple of weeks. In Arizona’s last 23 games it has more than tripled its home run numbers with 20 bombs to raise its total to 28 for season.

        Individually, freshman Brad Glenn has led the home run charge, hitting six of his team-leading eight homers over the last 23 games. Junior Jason Donald and freshman David Plante have chipped in with three fence-busters each, while Jon Gaston, Colt Sedbrook and Bill Rhinehart have each hit two. Brad Boyer and Konrad Schmidt have added one apiece.

 

17 and Counting

Junior Jason Donald’s current 17-game hitting streak is the longest for any Arizona player this season. Beginning on April 9 at Oregon State and still going, Donald is hitting .354 (28 for 79) with eight doubles, three home runs, 18 RBI and 12 runs scored during his streak. It is the most consecutive games with a hit in Donald’s three-year career at UA (nine, twice) and has helped boost his season average 28 points from .291 to .319.

 

Maybe It’s Contagious

Perhaps it’s coincidence, maybe it’s not, but during Donald’s 17-game hitting streak eight other Wildcat hitters are batting over .300 during that same time span. Travis Peep (.542) and Colt Sedbrook (.400) are both over the .400 mark, while Bill Rhinehart (.354), Matt Denker (.353), T.J. Steele (.333), Jon Gaston (.333), Brad Glenn (.311) and Brad Boyer (.310) have all seen more success at the plate during Donald’s streak. As a team, Arizona is hitting .331 with 37 doubles, 10 triples, 16 home runs and 122 RBI over the last 17 games.

 

He’s More Then Just Target Practice

Sophomore Colt Sedbrook, UA’s single season HBP leader (see note below), has been on a tear at the plate when not getting plunked by a pitch. In Arizona’s last seven games, Sedbrook is batting .462 (12 for 26) with a double, a triple, two home runs, seven RBI and eight runs scored. And just to make sure he hasn’t forgotten his past, he’s also been hit twice for good measure. The recent efforts have raised his batting average 20 points, from .326 to its current team-best .346, and moved him into fourth in Pac-10 in on-base percentage for the year (.472).

 

Chalk It Up

Senior Brad Boyer has been on a run-scoring tear of late. The four-year starter has come around to score at least one run in 11 of UA’s last 12 games, including a pair of straight steals of home, and has scored in 32 of the 44 games he has played in this season. The recent run, pun intended, has boosted Boyer into some very exclusive company in the annals of Arizona baseball history. With 205 career runs scored, Boyer is only the fourth player in Arizona history to tally 200 or more runs. Against Washington on April 30 he moved past former teammate Jeff Van Houten for fourth on career list and he needs 15 runs in UA’s final nine games in the regular season to tie Les Pearsey for third on the list.

Top Run Scorers in School History
1 Dave Stegman 1973-76 287
2 Chip Hale 1984-87 246
3 Les Pearsey 1975-78 220
4 Brad Boyer 2003-Present 205

 

Grand Theft

In addition to his run-scoring prowess, Brad Boyer has also become one of the most successful base stealers at UA. With 70 career stolen bases, Boyer is currently fourth all-time at Arizona. However, he’ll be hard pressed to move up the list over UA’s nine remaining regular season games, as Dave Stegman currently holds the No. 3 slot with 86 thefts.

 

Post Easter Peep

One day away from redshirting the 2006 season, Travis Peep has taken advantage of his opportunities over the last month. Making his first collegiate appearance at Oregon State on April 7, Peep has collected 13 hits in 26 at-bats for a .500 average. The first-year Wildcat has two doubles, three RBI, scored seven runs and three hits in five pinch hit appearances. Last weekend against UNLV he took over the starting third base duties for the Wildcats.

 

The Nine Hole

The last spot in the batting order has been one of the most productive for Arizona this season. The No. 9 hole in the order has seen the 11 players that have hit there hit a batting order-best .356 (58 for 163) with 30 runs scored, 26 RBI and two home runs this season. The emergence of Travis Peep, UA’s current nine-hole hitter (see note above), has only solidified the slot.

 

Denker’s Dish

Sophomore Matt Denker started all three games behind the plate for Arizona against UNLV and its last four straight contests. The first-year Wildcat has responded to his new role by batting .353 (6 for 17) with two doubles and six RBI in the last week. For the year, Denker is hitting .324 (11 for 34) with three doubles, a triple, 10 RBI and three runs scored in 14 games and nine starts.

 

Wearing It

When T.J. Steele was plunked with the bases loaded against Southern Utah on April 25, it pushed the Wildcats into uncharted territory in the annals of school history. Steele’s third HBP of the year was the 70th overall for Arizona as a team, eclipsing the former school record of 69 set in 55 games in 2002. The Wildcats have been hit 12 more time since then  to extend the record to 82 for the year. At the current pace, 1.8 HBP/game, Arizona will end its 55-game regular season with 99 HBP.

 

It Didn’t Last Long

Jason Donald’s stay atop the single season list for getting hit by pitches was a short one. Sophomore teammate Colt Sedbrook displaced his junior teammate in the record books in less than one season when he was hit for the 20th time on against Southern Utah on April 26. Donald, the all-time HBP leader at UA with 37, was hit by 19 pitches in 55 games last year. To put things further in perspective, Sedbrook’s 22 HBP this season alone places him in alone in third on the all-time career list at UA. The sophomore, who enters the week first among all Division I players in HBP/Game, is getting dosed an average of every other game. With nine games remaining on the regular season schedule, Sedbrook is looking to get tagged four more times before the end of May and finish the regular season with 26.

 

Bulls Eye

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 Arizona. Donald, who was hit by 10 pitches his freshman season and by 19 last year, has been hit by eight pitches in 45 games this season for an all-time high of 37. To put Donald’s record-breaking wayward pitch magnetism in perspective, Corley’s former record of 32 was set in 201 games played over four seasons (1995-98). Donald has been hit by 37 pitches in two-plus seasons and 168 games played.

 

So Close

Arizona has been just a couple of runs away from  being a struggling sub-.500 team to a force in college baseball this season.  In seven losses to No. 3 Cal State Fullerton, No. 6 Nebraska and No. 19 Mississippi State earlier this year, six were by two runs or less, including a pair of one-run losses. For the year, 11 of Arizona’s 25 losses have come by two or fewer runs. The Wildcats have dropped six games by one run and five by two.

 

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 Arizona since Dallas Haught went yard for the Wildcats as a PH against Washington State on 4/19/2003.

 

Pitching Numbers

Through 46 games, the Wildcats have posted a 5.23 team ERA in 409 1/3 innings pitched, and have 422 strikeouts against 183 walks ... Arizona leads the Pac-10 in strikeouts this season, including a conference-best 148 punch outs looking.

 

Sitting Them Down

As noted above, Arizona leads the Pac-10 in strikeouts this season. All 10 pitchers that have thrown for the Wildcats have more Ks then BBs this year, including seven with better then a 2-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. As a team, UA is averaging 9.3 strikeouts per game. As a comparison, last year’s staff that struck out a school record 554 batters in 60 games averaged 9.2 K/nine innings. Arizona has punched out double digit hitters in 21 of 46 contests thus far, including a season-high 17 against Cal on April 1.

 

Pressing On

Any team that plays without not only its Friday starter but its closer as well would certainly struggle, and Arizona is no exception. With the loss of starter Eric Berger for the season and relief expert Mark Melancon for an extended time (about 14 of the 27 regulation innings pitched over a weekend) a number of Arizona pitchers have been thrust into different roles. True freshman Preston Guilment went from being the Saturday starter to the Friday guy. Left-handed junior Brad Mills has also been bumped up a day, from Sunday to Saturday, and fellow southpaw David Coulon went from the bullpen, where had been pitching well for the Wildcats, into the Sunday starting spot. Left-handed transfer Daniel Schlereth has gone from a match-up/set-up reliever out of the bull pen to the closer.

 

Run of the Mills

Junior Brad Mills has emerged as one of the top pitchers on the UA staff. After only accumulating only 23 1/3 innings in his first two years at UA, Mills has tossed 70 1/3 innings this season. His 4.22 ERA this year is the best for all active pitchers and his five wins on the mound leads the team. Mills has also played a part in two of UA’s three shut out wins this season. The left-hander blanked Notre Dame over five innings at the Metrodome in a 2-0 win over the Irish earlier this season and he most recently went a season-high eight innings in Arizona’s 15-0 whitewashing of Washington on April 29.

 

Renovations Replay

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 ber=ms 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 Legends Plaza and picnic area. The plaza will honor all the individual award winners at UA, as well as the team members from UA’s 15 CWS teams.

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