April 3, 2002
Radio Broadcasts: All three games this weekend can be heard live on 790 AM KNST or on the Internet at www.knst.com. Brian Jeffries and Ryan Radtke will bring all the action live to the air on Friday beginning at 6:55 p.m.
Next Up - Stanford: The Cardinal come to the Old Pueblo as the second ranked team in the country. Owning a 20-6 overall record, they defeated San Francisco in a non-conference game this week before heading south. The three-game series with Arizona is the first conference set of the season for Stanford. The 2001 national runner up at the College World Series, Stanford returns eight starters from last season's team, seven pitchers and 10 letterwinners. Outfielder Jason Cooper leads the way offensively for the Cardinal. The junior is batting .409 on the season and has five home runs and 27 RBIs through last weekend's series with Texas. Junior Ryan Garko (.340, 6 HR, 25 RBIs) and senior Chris O'Riordan (.333, 31 R, 21 RBIs) are also players to watch for. On the mound Stanford is loaded again and leads the conference with a 3.80 ERA. Ace Jeremy Guthrie, a third-round selection in the MLB draft last year, returns to the Farm and has posted a perfect 6-0 record with 53 strikeouts and a 3.31 ERA. Saturday's starter Tim Cunningham did not earn a decision last week despite tossing a nine inning shutout in SU's 10-innings loss to Texas. The Cardinal won the three-game series between the two schools last season in Palo Alto two games to one and own a 87-47 advantage in the all-time series.
SU-UA Probable Pitchers Friday - RHP Jeremy Guthrie (6-0, 3.31 ERA) vs. RHP Sean Rierson (5-2, 4.26 ERA) Saturday - LHP Tim Cunnningham (4-1, 2.85 ERA) vs. LHP Joe Little (5-2, 4.65 ERA) Sunday - RHP John Hudgins (5-0, 3.63 ERA) vs. RHP Marc Kaiser (5-2, 2.63 ERA)
Wildcat Notes From The Oregon State Series: Senior Brad Hassey led the Wildcats in hitting in the three-game series, tallying a .500 average with six hits in 12 at bats. He led the team with five RBIs and hit his fourth home run of the season in the series opener ... After scoring 13 runs in the first game alone, the Wildcats managed to cross home only once more in two games ... Justyn St. Clair had his seven game hitting streak snapped on Friday, going 0 for 4 at the plate ... The one run given up by Joe Little in seven innings of work on Friday was a career low for the left-hander as a starter ... Richard Mercado picked up just the third pinch hit of the season for Arizona with a eighth inning single on Friday ... Thursday's win snapped a six game losing streak on the road for the Wildcats ... Arizona manufactured five of its 13 runs in Thursday's game, scoring on a balk, a wild pitch, two sac flies and an error ... The Wildcats hit three home runs in Thursday's win, the eighth multi-home run game of the season for UA.
Wins vs. Loses: Through 33 contests this season the Wildcats have won 21 games (.636). In 16 of the 21 wins Arizona has either out-hit or equalled the number of hits of its opponents and is 15-1 when doing so. In 10 of their 12 losses the Wildcats have been out-hit by an average of over five base knocks per game. As a team, the Wildcats are hitting .331 in the wins and just .201 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 215 to 82 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 3.5 runs per game and are being out-scored by 3.6 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 2-8 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 .194 average and 3.4 runs per game away from Tucson. The Arizona offense has posted one-hit, three-hits (twice) and four-hits in separate road games this year and have been shutout all four 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 4.70 ERA on the road. Their control in Tucson appears to be better as well, posting 170 strikeouts to 64 walks at home and just 35 K's against 19 walks in the visitors' dugout. With the gloves, Arizona is fielding at .960 clip at Sancet Field and .957 on the road.
Going The Distance: Marc Kaiser's second consecutive complete game performance of the season against Arizona State (3/24) 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.
Stick Around For the Stretch: Arizona has out-scored its opponents 40-10 in the seventh inning this season. The 30 run difference is the most of all innings for the Wildcats this year. The second inning is the closest, in which Arizona holds an 20 point discrepancy with a 40-20 advantage. (See page 9 of the notes for an inning-by-inning breakdown of runs scored)
Hitting Notes: Arizona's team batting average dropped three points to .285 after its three-game series with Oregon State ... The Wildcats have hit at least one home run against 12 of its 13 opponents this season. The only opponent not to give up a long ball to the Cats thus far is Texas A&M-Corpus Christi ... Senior Brad Hassey has improved his batting average 44 points over Arizona's last 10 games (.265 to .309). During the afore mentioned span the shortstop is hitting a team-best .421 (16 for 38) with seven RBIs and nine runs scored ... Hassey and sophomore Marc Kaiser are tied for the team lead with 30 runs scored this season ... The Wildcats need only nine more stolen bases this season to equal the number swiped last year ... Nine of the 11 players that are averaging at least one at bat per game have hit one or more home runs this season ... Of the returning players that have at least one at bat per game (seven total), five have recorded career high numbers in home runs.
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 33 round-trippers this season, seven of whom have two or more. The 2002 team has, in fact, hit six more home runs through 33 games than the 2001 team did (33-27). 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 six 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 ... In Kaiser's last four starts he is 2-2 with 2.79 ERA. Both wins were complete game outings and in both losses Arizona's offense failed to score any runs in support of its starter... Senior Wes Zlotoff leads the team with a 2.30 ERA in 15.2 innings pitched this season ... Joe Little is the team leader in strikeouts (52) and is tied with Kasier and Sean Rierson in wins (5) ... Sean Rierson continues to lead the team in innings pitched (67.2) ... Opponents are hitting .268 against Arizona pitching this season, 14 points lower than a year ago through 33 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 ... Through 33 games the 2002 Arizona pitching staff is on pace for one of the better statistical seasons in last five years:
Year-By-Year Comparison (through 33 games) 2002 2001 2000 1999 1998 ERA 3.95 4.81 7.73 5.69 5.48 CG 3 0 3 2 0 Sho 2 1 0 2 0 CBO 1 1 0 2 0 Sv 5 11 5 9 8 IP 291.1 301.0 290.0 299.0 286.0 H 303 341 392 363 330 R 167 202 301 234 208 ER 128 161 249 189 174 BB 83 118 171 142 131 SO 205 243 285 259 300
Pac-10 Stats: The Wildcats, both as a team and individually, continue to rank among the conference leaders in a number of catagories. Offensively, Arizona leads the conference in runs scored (257), RBIs (222), triples (16) and walks (164). On the mound the Wildcats are tops in wins (21), and fewest walks allowed (83). The pitching staff is second amongst Pac-10 teams in ERA (3.95) and innings pitched (291.1). Individually, Moises Duran (23), Marc Kaiser (23)and Chris Cunningham (20) are one-two-three in the conference in walks. Kaiser and Brad Hassey are tied for eighth in runs scored (30). Cunningham's seven home runs are fifth best amongst all players thus far. (See the list to the right and on the next page to see the league leaders and where the Cats rank)
Some Notes Are Just Too Good Die.
Found Below Are A Few Nuggets That If I Stop Keeping Track Of Them I Know Someone Will Ask About Later.
Wearin' It: It's painful to be a Wildcat batter in 2002. Opposing pitchers have plunked Wildcat hitters 44 times already in just 33 games (1.33 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 70 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 257 runs this season and 73 of them (28 percent) have come without Arizona recording a hit to score the run. In 27 of the 29 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 3/24 vs. Arizona state 2 of 10 3/27 at Oregon State 5 of 13 3/28 at Oregon State 0 of 1
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 .289 (105-for-363) and have scored 113 of their 257 runs (44%) as a team with two down in an inning this season. Leading the way individually are seniors Justyn St. Clair and Brad Hassey. The duo are hitting .394 and .345, respectively, with two outs. St. Clair and freshman Jeff Van Houten each have nine RBIs in the situation and Hassey has eight. Freshman John Hardy, who had four two-out RBIs against ASU (3/22), 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 .323 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 .412 (14-for-34) with four grand slams (see note that follows), 56 RBIs and an .912 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 33 games at Arizona, his career record now stands at 708-430-6 (.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. Stanford (Through 4/4/02) Hitter G BA AB R H RBI 2B 3B HR BB SB Brad Hassey 6 .250 16 5 4 1 2 0 0 4 0 Ken Riley 3 .444 9 0 4 1 0 0 0 0 0 Brian Anderson 3 .364 11 3 4 3 1 0 2 1 0 Moises Duran 3 .100 10 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 Justyn St. Clair 3 .000 8 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 0 Pitcher G GS W-L Sv. IP H R ER BB K ERA Tony Sulser 1 0 0-0 0 0.2 1 0 0 0 1 0.00 Sean Rierson 1 1 1-0 0 7.0 8 2 2 0 1 2.57 Joe Little 2 0 0-0 0 7.0 9 3 3 2 3 3.86 Marc Kaiser 1 1 0-1 0 6.1 13 6 6 2 2 8.53 Brian Anderson 1 0 0-0 1 2.0 1 2 2 3 1 9.00 Chirs Goodman 1 1 0-1 0 0.1 3 4 4 1 0 99.0