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Baseball To Host Top-Ranked Texas This Weekend
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 03/04/2005
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Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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This Week

Arizona will host 2004 College World Series runner up and current No. 1 Texas for a three-game series at Jerry Kindall Field at Frank Sancet Stadium this Friday-Sunday ... The Longhorns and Wildcats have a tradition in baseball that dates back to 1950 ... UT holds an 18-11 advantage in the all-time series and won the last series between the two schools two games to one in Austin, Texas, in 2003 ... The majority of the games played between the two schools - 22 of 29 - have been postseason contests, including three in Omaha at the CWS ... This weekend’s visit by the Longhorns marks just the fourth time they have come to Tucson and the first-ever regular season series played in the Old Pueblo ... Texas’ other three trips to Tucson - in 1958, 1953 and 1962 - were for the NCAA District 6 playoffs. Arizona won the 1958 meeting two games to one to advance to the College World Series for the fourth time in school history, while UT took the 1953 and 1962 match-ups for the trip to Omaha.

 

This Weekend's Game Times (MST)

Friday: 7 p.m.

Saturday: 4 p.m.

Sunday: Noon


ArizonaAthletics.com Coverage
Subscribers to All-Access, Arizona's premium multimedia service, can watch video webcasts of all three games vs. Texas. Audio-only subscribers can listen to Sunday's audio webcast with Brian Jeffries calling the action. Free, live statistics will be available for all games.

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Pitching Probables

Arizona Texas
Fri RHP John Meloan (2-0, 3.48 ERA, 31 K)  RHP Randy Boone (2-0, 1.59 ERA, 19 K) 
Sat RHP Kevin Guyette (2-1, 3.04 ERA, 37 K) RHP Kyle McCulloch (3-0, 2.60 ERA, 23 K)
Sun RHP Sean Rierson (2-0, 4.72 ERA, 15 K) RHP Adrian Alaniz (0-0, 1.59 ERA, 17 K)

 

Last Week Recap

Arizona finished an up and down week with a 2-2 record, defeating Arizona State for the second time this season and dropping the first series of the year two games to one to UC Riverside ... UA batted .315 with 10 doubles, two triples and five home runs over the four games ... The pitching staff finished with a 5.75 ERA in 36 innings pitched, but struck out 39 over the four games ... Arizona State (Feb. 23) - The Wildcat offense scored nine two-out runs in an 11-5 win over their rival on Wednesday in Tucson ... A switch in the batting order paid huge dividends as No. 8 hitter Chris Frey moved to the No. 2 spot and Brad Boyer moved from No. 2 to No. 9. The duo combined to go 6 for 9 with two home runs, a triple, four RBI and five runs scored against the Sun Devils. Frey hit his first career home run and Boyer added his first round-tripper of the year in the win ... Junior Nick Hundley hit his fourth HR of the season and classmate Jordan Brown added three hits and three RBI in the win ... Fr. reliever Eric Berger picked up his second career victory and closer Mark Melancon picked up his first save of the year ... UCR (Feb. 25) - The Wildcats overcame an early 7-0 deficit to take an 8-7 lead, but couldn’t hold on as the Highlanders took the series opener 12-8 ... All eight of Arizona’s runs scored in the game came with two outs ... Junior Jordan Brown hit a two-run homer in the sixth to give Arizona its ill-fated one-run lead. Brown finished the game 4 for 5 with two RBI and two runs scored ... Starter John Meloan was roughed up for seven runs on nine hits in just four innings or work. He did not earn a decision ... UCR (Feb. 26) - Arizona managed just five hits and avoided a shutout loss with a two-out run in the ninth inning ... The loss wasted a career-high 15-strikeout performance by starter Kevin Guyette ... UCR’s Haley Winter tossed a complete game for his second win of the season ... Trailing 1-0 early, UA had an opportunity to tie the game after Jason Donald tripled to leadoff the second, but Winter got a pair of pop ups to the infield and fly out to center to end the threat ... UA was without the services of starting right fielder Jeff Van Houten (illness) and catcher Nick Hundley (family matters) in the loss ... UCR (Feb. 27) - Arizona scored five runs in the first two innings and survived a late UCR rally to salvage a 5-4 victory during the weekend series ... Jason Donald threw out the game-tying run at home with two outs in the ninth to end the contest ... Arizona opened the game with four straight hits, including a three-run homer off the bat of junior Jordan Brown, his team-leading sixth HR of the year ... Senior Sean Rierson (5 1/3 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 3 K) made his first start since 2003 (his longest outing of the year) to pick up his second win in 2005 and his 25th career victory ... Closer Mark Melancon worked a scoreless final 2 1/3 innings for his second save of the year.

 

The Arizona Offense

The Wildcats enter this weekend’s match-up with Texas as the Pac-10 leader in nearly every offensive category. Arizona is batting a conference-best .355 as a team with 190 hits, 42 doubles, eight triples, 21 home runs and 135 runs scored. Where Arizona ranks in the Pac-10 statistics can be found on Page 5 of the notes.

 

Kervin Out

Freshman infielder Bryan Kervin has by lost for up to five weeks with a broken hand suffered in Arizona’s 11-5 win over Arizona on Feb. 23. The only true frosh to make the starting lineup, Kervin was batting .351 with six runs scored and seven RBI in 11 games before going down with the injury.

 

Scyphers Steps In

The injury to Kervin paved the way for classmate Brett Scyphers to take over the starting second base spot. In three starts since Kervin’s injury, Scyphers has hit a team-best .600 (6 for 10), including his second double of the year, and has scored three runs.

 

Two Outs? Rally’s On!

Led by a season-high nine two-out runs against Arizona State on Feb. 23, Arizona has scored 57 runs this season after the first two outs in an inning have been recorded (42 percent of UA’s 135 runs this year). As a team, Arizona is batting .375 as a team with two outs and has recorded 46 two-out RBI. Individually, junior Jordan Brown leads the two-out RBI parade with 12 runs driven in with a pair down. Brown is batting .600 (15 for 25) and has hit three of his team-leading six HRs with two outs so far this season.

 

One Streak Ends, Two Others Carry On

Junior Jordan Brown and senior Jeff Van Houten each extended their double-digit hitting streaks last weekend, while junior Trevor Crowe saw his come to an end. Van Houten, who carried a seven-game streak over from the 2004 season, has hit safely in all 13 games he has played in this season for a team-best 20 consecutive games with a base knock. Brown has a least one hit in all 14 games this year, including a team-best six home runs, to help him pace the Wildcat offense with 25 RBI. Crowe, who ended the 2004 season with an eight-game streak and a hit in Arizona’s first 12 games this season, saw his streak end at 20-straight with an 0 for 4 day at the plate last Saturday. During Crowe’s career-high hitting streak he batted .451 (41 for 91) with 29 runs scored, 15 doubles, three triples, three home runs and 17 RBI.

Active Hitting Streak Numbers

Van Houten ?- 20 Games ?- .417 Avg., 84 AB, 21 R, 35 H, 7 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 23 RBI, 11 BB

Brown ?- 14 Games ?- .444 Avg., 63 AB, 20 R, 28 H, 6 2B, 0 3B, 6 HR, 25 RBI, 3 BB

 

A Year Later

Through the first 14 games last season, Arizona was 7-6-1 and had just ended a five-game winless streak. The offense was mired in a slump and the pitching staff was not much better. Flash forward a year and the Wildcats are 11-3 with an offense that averages just under 10 runs, 14 hits, three doubles and 1.7 home runs per game and has a pitching staff with a better then 3-to-1 strikeout to walk ratio and a 3.16 ERA. A look at the first 14 games this season vs. the first 14 in 2004:

Stat 2004 (7-6-1) 2005 (11-3) Difference
Hitting
Avg. .300 .355 +55
Runs 87 135 +48
Hits 149 190 +41
2B 20 42 +22
3B 8 8 Even
HR 14 21 +7
RBI 84 120 +36
BB 63 57 -6
K 95 67 -28
SB 14 24 +10
Pitching
ERA 5.24 3.16 -2.08
IP 127.0 128.0 +1
Shutouts 0 2 +2
Hits 140 103 -37
Runs 90 56 -34
Earned Runs 47 45 -29
BB 58 53 -5
K 104 153 +49

 

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 nine times (eight hits, one walk) in Arizona’s 14 contests this season and has come around to score six times for an early run. He has hit three singles, four doubles and a triple as the Wildcats’ first hitter and has reached base 15 times in 23 opportunities when leading off any inning. For the year, Crowe has two or more hits in nine of 14 games and scored two or more runs in 10 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 13 games as he did in 2003 (He missed one game vs. UC Riverside this season due to illness).

Van Houten’s First 13 games in 2003 vs 2005

2003        .471 Avg., 51 AB, 13 R, 24 H, 3 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR, 19 RBI, 4 BB

2005        .456 Avg., 57 AB, 16 R, 26 H, 6 2B, 0 3B, 2 HR, 17 RBI, 6 BB

 

Joltin’ Jordan

Junior Jordan Brown has been a machine when it comes to driving in runs. The third-year starter leads Arizona with 25 RBI this year and has driven in two or more runs in 10 of UA’s 14 games. The team leader with six HRs, it certainly doesn’t hurt that he has collected multiple hits in eight games and has a 14-game hitting streak 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 13 of 14 games this season (he missed one start due to family matters) and has thrived in doing so. Batting .415, he has already scored 17 runs, driven in 10 more, hit four doubles, stolen a team-high six bases and has tied his single-season-high for home runs at four in UA’s first 14 games. In addition to his offensive numbers, Hundley has nearly flawlessly handled a pitching staff that has recorded 153 strikeouts, a 3.16 ERA and limited opponents to a .218 batting average this season.

 

Spreading It Around

The Wildcat batting order has produced top to bottom. In Arizona’s 14 games this season, all nine starters have collected a hit in one game, eight of nine in four games and seven of nine in four others. All nine regular starters have collected double digit hits this season, seven have scored 10 or more runs and seven have driven in 10 or more. Batting a Pac-10-best .355 as a team, five different starters are batting .400 or better individually and three are over .300 for the year. The offense is averaging 10 runs and just under 14 hits per contest this season.

 

Extra! Extra!

The Wildcat offense is unquestionably potent and nothing is more telling then the fact that 37 percent of UA’s hits this season have gone for extra bases. Through the first 14 games, Arizona has 190 total hits, 71 of which have gone for two or more bases. In comparison, UA opponents have collected just 21 extra base hits this season (20 percent of the total hits). The Wildcats have posted 42 doubles (an average of 3.0 per game), seven triples (0.6/game) and 21 home runs (1.5/game) thus far.

 

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 3.16 team ERA and a Pac-10-best 153 strikeouts in 128 innings pitched. Arizona will start junior RHP John Meloan (2-0, 3.48 ERA, 31 K, 20 2/3 IP) on Friday, junior RHP Kevin Guyette (2-1, 3.04 ERA, 37 K, 26 2/3 IP) on Saturday and senior RHP Sean Rierson (2-0, 4.72 ERA, 15 K, 13 1/3 IP) on Sunday.

 

12 Straight

Friday starter John Meloan is 16-1 all-time at UA and has won 12 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 25 games, made 15 starts and gone 12-0. Used primarily as a reliever early in his career at UA, he has flourished as a starter with an 12-0 record, a 3.31 ERA and 102 strikeouts when taking the ball from the get go.

Meloan’s Overall Career Numbers

42 GP, 16-1, 4.37 ERA, 156.2 IP, 153 H, 94 R, 76 ER, 85 BB, 148 K

Meloan’s Career Starting Numbers

17 GS, 12-0, 3.74 ERA, 113.0 IP, 94 H, 55 R, 47 ER, 54 BB, 106 K

 

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

 

Rierson Gets The Nod For Sunday

Senior Sean Rierson has worked his way back from Tommy John surgery to earn the role of Sunday starter. Arizona’s Friday guy in 2001 and 2002 (he moved to Sat. in 2003), Rierson took all of last year off after under going elbow surgery in the fall of 2003. Now 18 months removed from the operation, he is 2-0 with a save this season and has struck out 15 hitters in 13 1/3 innings pitched. He made his first start since May 30, 2003, last weekend against UC Riverside and will take the mound on Sunday in UA’s series finale against Texas. Rierson is 1-0 all-time against UT, earning Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week honors in 2003 after tossing his fourth career complete game in Austin. He struck out nine Longhorn batters and gave up just one run on seven hits in a 5-1 UA victory at Disch-Falk Field.

 

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 13 appearances he has given up just two earned runs in 24 1/3 innings pitched. Over this span he has surrendered just 13 hits (0.5/game) and issued only seven walks (0.3/game), while picking up two wins, four saves, striking out 21 and limiting opposing hitters to a .156 batting average.

Melancon’s Last 13 Appearances (2004 and 2005)

2-0, 4 Saves, 0.74 ERA, 24 1/3 IP, 13 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 7 BB, 21 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 reliever to ace John Meloan on Friday, a role he has excelled in. Having already surpassed his season total of innings pitched from 2004 in UA’s first 14 games this year, he is 1-1  with a 2.40 ERA, 16 strikeouts and just two walks, while limiting opponents to a .218 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.

 

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 36 of UA’s 128 total innings this season (28 percent) and have gone 4-1 with 38 strikeouts, 19 walks and a 3.75 ERA.

 

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 Houtens Numbers All-Time Rank All-Time Leader at UA
Games Played 173 NR Chip Hale - 225
At Bats 635 NR Chip Hale - 978
Runs 154 NR Dave Stegman - 287

Hits

227 14th Chip Hale - 337
Multi-Hit Games 66 t-11th Robbie Moen - 102
Doubles 36 NR Dave Stegman - 72
Triples 18 t-9th Charles Shoemaker - 30

Home Runs

23 t-17th Shelley Duncan - 55
RBI 163 14th Ron Hassey - 235
HBP 17 t-8th Kenny Corley - 32
Walks 98 NR Chip Hale - 162
Sac Flies 15 t-4th Chip Hale - 21
Extra Base Hits 77 t-15th Dave Stegman - 110
Total Bases 368 11th Chip Hale - 507

 

Sean Rierson

Record Rierson's Numbers All-Time Rank All-Time Leader
Games Pitched 57 t-11th Ron Sismondo - 88
Starts 51 3rd Ed Vosberg - 60
Wins 25 t-12th Don Lee - 36
Innings Pitched 334.1 7th Ed Vosberg - 405.1
Strikeouts 228 17th Carl Thomas - 442
BB/9 IP 1.94 2nd Tad Heydenfeldt - 1.77

 

Head Coach Andy Lopez

Entering his fourth season as the skipper at UA, Lopez has reenergized the Wildcat program. The fastest coach in school history to lead a team to College World Series, he has posted a 113-77-1 record (current) in his first three-plus seasons. Last year’s postseason run extinguished a streak of 18 years without a UA appearance at the CWS and made him one of just three coaches in NCAA Division I history to lead three different schools to Omaha. In addition to his role as head coach, Lopez also serves as the pitching coach for the Wildcats.

 

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

 

Preseason Honors

Junior teammates Trevor Crowe and John Meloan were feted with preseason All-America recognition by three different sources. Crowe, who finished with a team-high .350 batting and led the Pac-10 in stolen bases in 2004, was named second-team All-America by both the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association and Baseball America. Meloan, who finished the 2004 season a perfect 10-0 on the mound, garnered third-team preseason All-America honors from Collegiate Baseball.

 

No Place Like Home

A season removed from playing the fewest number of home games since 1973 (27 home games in 2004), Arizona will play 19 of its first 22 games of the season in Tucson, and will host a more-typical total of 34 regular season games at Kindall Field in 2005. Since moving to its current location on the corners of Enke and National Championship Drives in 1967, Arizona has posted 34 winning seasons at Kindall Field, including the last nine straight.

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