April 23, 2003
Notes From the Washington State Series: The Wildcats won their third Pac-10 series of the season two games to one over the Cougars in Pullman ... Arizona batted .270, its third lowest average in a three-game series this season, and posted a 7.39 team ERA ... Junior Dallas Haught, who has hit four home runs this season, highlighted the Arizona offense for the weekend, despite getting just four at bats. Haught hit a game-winning home run in the 11th inning of Arizona's 6-4 win on Friday and added a two-run blast a day later in the 12-8 loss ... Sophomore Jeff Van Houten also hit a pair of home runs in the series to take over the individual team lead at 11 for the season ... On the mound, the Wildcats tallied 15 strikeouts and 15 walks, just the second time in a series this season that the walks have equalled the punch outs ... The Wildcats finished with nine stolen bases in the series ... Thursday: The Wildcats scored a pair of runs in the top of the ninth to hold off the comeback-minded Cougars 11-9 ... Junior Brian Anderson scored Brad Boyer from second for the go-ahead run in the top of the ninth, paving the way for Wes Zlotoff to pick up his first save of the season with a perfect ninth inning ... Freshman John Meloan improved to 4-0 on the season with 2 1/3 innings of relief ... The Wildcats rapped out 11 hits in the game and stole four bases ... Sophomore John Hardy finished 2 for 4 with two doubles, two RBIs and a run scored in the win ... Van Houten hit his 10th home run of the season, a two-run shot in sixth, and Moises Duran tallied his ninth homer of the season on his three-run blast over the scoreboard in left that tied the score at 3-3 in the third ... Friday: Junior Dallas Haught's solo home run in the top of the 11th handed Arizona its first extra-inning win in four tries this season, as the Wildcats once again held off the Cougars' late inning rally ... Haught's blast, his third of the season, came with one out in the top of the 11th. Freshman Lee Franklin tripled with two outs in the inning and scored on Brian Anderson's single to give the Wildcats a two-run cushion ... Reliever Mark Worrell bailed the Wildcats out in the top of the 10th to pick up his second win of the year. With the winning run on second and one out, Worrell struck out the first two hitters he faced on six pitches to end the inning and the WSU threat. He finished with four K's in the game, including the game-ending out ... Junior Terrence Taylor, whom Haught replaced as the DH in the lineup, went 3 for 4 with a double, two runs scored and three stolen bases in the win ... Sophomore John Hardy finished 2 for 5 with two RBIs ...Saturday: The Wildcats failed to complete the sweep as Washington State banged out a season-high-tying 18 hits off of five Arizona pitchers ... WSU scored seven combined runs in the third and fourth innings to snap a 2-2 tie ... Arizona, down 12-3, rallied for five runs in the seventh inning on three home runs, but did not draw any closer ... Haught hit his fourth home run of the season, while freshmen Nick Hundley and Brad Boyer chipped in with their second and fourth of the season, respectively ... Starter Kevin Guyette was charged with his third loss of the season after giving up six runs on 10 hits in just 2 2/3 innings.
Notes From the Sac State Game: The Wildcats dropped a game in the ninth inning for the fifth time this season, losing 12-11 to the Hornets ... The two teams combined for 23 runs, 27 hits, seven errors, three hit batters, four wild pitches and two passed balls in the 3 hour 41 minute game ... The four-run ninth inning erased Moises Duran's tie-breaking three-run homer in the seventh ... Duran finished with four RBIs on a pair of hits in the game ... Senior Brian Pemble was charge with his second loss in four days after giving up all four runs in the ninth ... Arizona used a season-high seven pitchers in the game ... The Wildcats will face Sac State again this season on Monday, April 28 in Sacramento, Calif.
Closing Out The Non-Conference Regular Season: Arizona's Monday rematch with Sacramento State will mark the final non-conference game of the season for the Wildcats. In posting a 21-10 record against non-Pac-10 teams this season, the Wildcats have hit .347 as a team and a 3.83 team ERA. Individually, 10 Wildcat players are hitting over .300 for the season in non-conference action. Sophomore Jeff Van Houten has led the Wildcats with a .439 batting average with a team-high 47 RBIs and 34 runs scored. On the mound, starter Richie Gardner has posted a perfect 5-0 record with a 2.09 ERA and 48 strikeouts in 47 1/3 innings pitched. The pitching staff, which has five shutouts against non-conference teams, has an impressive 245 to 94 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Through Four Pac-10 Series: The Wildcats have won three of their first four Pac-10 series for the just the fourth time since Arizona joined the conference in 1978-79. The Wildcats also won at least three of their first four series in 2001 (3-1), 1992 (3-1) and 1989 (4-0). Heading into play this week against conference leader Stanford, Arizona will attempt to win its fourth series in five tries. Only the 1992 team and the 1989 teams won four out of their first five series in the season.
Three Times The Fun: Arizona's 40 triples this season has UA on the door step of knocking off one the greatest Wildcat teams in school history in the Pac-10 record books. The 1986 College World Series champion Arizona team tallied a single-season Pac-10 record 43 three-baggers. With 13 games remaining on the schedule this season, the 2003 squad will likely surpass the 16-year old conference mark by a considerable margin.
National Leaders: Arizona continues to rank, both individually and as a team, among the top teams in the nation in a number of statistical categories. Heading into play this week, here's where UA and its players rank:
Batting Average Scoring
1. Southern .360 1. Southern 10.5
7. Arizona .336 6. Arizona 9.5
Batting Average RBIs Per Game
1. Rickie Weeks, Southern .491 1. Billy Becher, NMSU 2.18
15. Jeff Van Houten, Arizona .431 11. Jeff Van Houten, Arizona 1.41
23. Moises Duran, Arizona 1.23
Triples Per Game
1. Josh Pineiro, St. Peter's 0.26
t7. Brad Boyer, Arizona 0.18
t9. Jeff Van Houten, Arizona 0.17
t9. Brian Anderson, Arizona 0.17
Getting Offensive: The Arizona offense currently has a team .332 batting average, down nine points from last week's .341 and three points lower than the previous season low of .335 (3/9) ... The Wildcats struck out a season-high 14 times in their 4-0 loss at Grand Canyon on Tuesday ... As a team, Arizona ranks either first or second in nearly every offensive category in the Pac-10 this season ... Heading into play this weekend, the Wildcats are slugging at a Pac-10-best .541 clip and have a .396 on-base percentage, third in the conference ... The Wildcats' 40 triples and 111 stolen bases not only lead the Pac-10, but double up on the nearest school in the rankings ... Heading into the weekend, sophomore Jeff Van Houten continues to lead Arizona in average (.432), hits (66), home runs (11) slugging percentage (.769) and RBIs (58) ... Van Houten's slugging percentage is the best in the Pac-10 so far this season and his average is the second among all Pac players ... Junior Brian Anderson has hit career-highs in both home runs (10) and triples (7)... Freshman Brad Boyer has 53 runs scored, third in the Pac-10, and 17 stolen bases, tied for the conference lead ... See pages 4-5 of the notes for the Pac-10 leaders and where Arizona ranks heading into this week.
On the Bump: Arizona's staff ERA sits at 4.31 heading into the weekend series with the Huskies, up from 4.11 after the Pac-10 series at Washington State, but third among the Pac-10 schools ... The Wildcat hurlers have recorded a better than 2-to-1 strike out to walk ratio this season (319 to 186) ... Junior Richie Gardner ranks among the league leaders in the conference in ERA (3.63), strike outs (66) and innings pitched (74.1) ... Classmate Sean Rierson is tied for the conference lead in wins (7) and is among the top 10 in innings pitched (72.0) ... Arizona's much maligned bullpen picked up both wins at Washington State last week and recorded just the sixth save of the season as well.
Up Coming: The Wildcats will head to Pac-10 leader Stanford this week for three games at Sunken Diamond in Palo Alto ... Stanford is ranked among the top five in the polls and is coming off a 5-1 win over Sac State on Tuesday ... The 27-11, 9-2 Cardinal return 15 letterwinners , six starters and seven pitchers from last season's College World Series club ... Junior outfielder Carlos Quinten overtook Arizona sophomore Jeff Van Houten for the league lead in average after Tuesday's non-conference games ... Quinten's .434 average paces a Cardinal team that is hitting .319 as a group ... Senior Ryan Garko and sophomore Danny Putnam are Stanford's home run leaders, each hitting nine this season ... Garko also leads the team with 48 runs batted in ... On the mound, Stanford has announced John Hudgins as the starter for Friday night's game and has listed both the Saturday and Sunday starters as TBA ... The Cardinal have a 4.08 team ERA with 305 strikeouts against just 129 walks ... Head coach Mark Marquess is in his 27th season as the skipper of the Cardinal and has tallied a 1120-544-5 record.
Arizona Probable Pitching Rotation at Stanford
Friday - Richie Gardner RHP (6-1, 3.63 ERA)
Saturday - Sean Rierson (7-1, 4.50 ERA)
Sunday - TBA
Arizona vs. Stanford All-Time: In a series that dates back to 1923, Stanford and Arizona have played 140 games against each other ... The Cardinal own an all-time advantage of 90-50 (.643) over the Wildcats ... Stanford won 2 of 3 from Arizona last year in a series that saw one game go 18 innings and another just eight ... Arizona last won a season series over Stanford in 1993 when the Wildcats won five of the six games in the old Six Pac regular season.
Van Hitting: Perhaps Jeff Van Houten should request a name change. From the first game played this season, the sophomore outfielder has done nothing but hit. In 42 starts (he missed one game at UCLA with sore ribs) he is batting a team-high .423 while leading the team in hits (66) and RBIs (58). This season he has posted 18 multi-hit games and 16 multiple RBI games, both are the best for any player on the Arizona roster. His season-low for batting average came on March 8 at Texas when it "dropped" to .373. He has collected at least one hit in 36 games this year, and when he has gone hitless he has still managed to put the ball in play. In his six hitless games he has struck out just six times, while recording three RBIs. No Arizona player in the last five seasons been hitting over .400 43 games into the season.
Ninth Inning Woes: The Wildcats have picked a particularly bad inning to be out-scored in this season. Arizona is out-scoring its opponents in the first eight innings by a combined 192 runs this year. The ninth inning however has proven to be a different matter. With big innings being the main culprit, the Wildcats are getting out-scored by over a 3-to-1 margin (41 to 13) in the final frame. The good news is that Arizona has won 10 of the 15 games that it has surrendered runs in the ninth, including last week's 11th-inning win over Washington State. The bad news is that the Wildcats have blown five leads that have eventually led to losses.
Anderson Adding Up: Junior Brian Anderson has bounced back nicely from a down year in 2002. The third-year starter has already surpassed his career home run total of nine in just this season alone and has also topped his single-season-bests in runs scored (42 in 2003, 40 in 2001) and RBIs (42 in 2003, 38 in 2001). His seven triples this season not only lead the team this year, but are also one more than his freshman and sophomore seasons combined.
Freshmen Phenoms: Offensively Arizona knew it was going to have to rely on its youth to produce this season, and so far it has. As a class, the seven freshmen that have played this season have 197 hits, 141 runs, 40 doubles, 13 triples, 12 home runs, 121 RBIs and 41 stolen bases. Nick Hundley is currently fourth on the team with a .359 average while classmate Brad Boyer is currently fifth in average (.373) and leads all players with 53 runs scored and 17 stolen bases.
2003 Arizona Freshmen Numbers (Boyer, Brown, Crowe, Decater, Franklin, Frey, Hundley)
Category Combined Total Percent of Team Total
AB 595 37%
Runs 141 35%
Hits 197 37% (The freshmen have class .331 BA)
2B 40 41%
3B 13 33%
HR 12 23%
RBIs 121 34%
SB 41 37%
Freshman Record Book: As far as freshmen Wildcats are concerned, first-year starter Brad Boyer is posting numbers that rival some of the best in school history. Boyer already ranks among the Arizona freshmen leaders in a number of offensive categories:
Stat Freshman Record Boyer's Numbers/Rank
Runs Keoni DeRenne (1999) - 68 53/3rd
Hits Keoni DeRenne (199) - 81 63/t9th
Triples Alan Zinter (1987), - 7 7/t1st
Damon Mashore (1989)
Stolen Bases Damon Mashore (1989) - 22 17/2nd
Extra Base Hits Shelley Duncan (1999) - 33 21/5th
Total Bases Shelley Duncan (1999) - 135 99/7th
Batting Average Dave Page (1981) - .374 .358/4th
On-Base % Dave Page (1981) - .457 .422/t9th
Stealing Them Silly: Head coach Andy Lopez and his staff put an emphasis on improving Arizona's team speed. It appears they did just that. The Wildcats have already stolen 111 bases this season, 37 more than Arizona stole the entire season last year and just the 10th team in school history to swipe over 100. The Wildcats currently average nearly three steal a game. Arizona stole a season-high 11 bases in their 15-12 win over Portland on March 12. The school record for stolen bases in a season is 150 set by the 1985 team.
Team Stolen Bases (Last 10 Seasons) Top Arizona Teams
Year Stolen Bases Rk. Year SB
2003 111 - Through 43 games. 1. 1985 150
2002 74 2. 1986 147
2001 52 3. 1980 135
2000 67 4. 1956 130
1999 62 5. 1957 120
1998 69 6. 1997 112
1997 112 1960 112
1996 78 8. 2003 111
Speed Kills: Along the same lines of improved team speed is the ability to take extra bases. Arizona has already surpassed 2002's totals in both doubles (97 this season, 89 in 2002) and triples (40 this season, 25 in 2002). Including Jeff Van Houten's inside-the park home run, the Wildcats have 138 hits that have gone for extra bases and are not traditional over the fence homers (92 doubles, 39 triples, one inside-the-park home run) which accounts for nearly 27-percent of all of Arizona's hits for the season. Toss in the 51 traditional home runs and 36-percent of UA's hits are for extra bases.
Double Digits: The Wildcats have found success this season when scoring double digit runs. Arizona is 14-3 (.824) when scoring 10 or more runs in a game this season.
T-Squared: Having gained his eligibility prior to the Texas road trip, junior Terrence Taylor has played in 20 games, including 16 starts. During that short span, the speedy JC transfer is batting .413 with 22 runs scored, seven doubles, two triples and 14 stolen bases.
Stringing Them Together: Junior Brian Anderson snapped former Wildcat Ernie Durazo's longest single-season hitting streak in school history on March 21 against USC. The third-year starter hit safely in the first 26 games he played this season to break Durazo's 2-year-old 2001 mark. His streak ended a day later with an 0 for 3 performance, but he then went on to hit safely in Arizona's next 13 games for at least one hit in 39 of the first 40 games he played this year.
Single-Season Hitting Streaks All-Time Hitting Streaks 26 Brian Anderson (2003) 28 Jack Daugherty (1981-82) 25 Ernie Durazo (2001) 28 Ernie Durazo (2000-01) 23 Todd Trafton (1985) 26 Brian Anderson (2003)
Putting Up Zeros: The Wildcat pitching staff already has five shutouts to its credit in 29 games played this season. The 2003 tally has already surpassed the season totals for the past five years and is tied for the most for an Arizona staff since the 1997 club also shutout five opponents during the season. The school record for shutouts in a season is 14 by the 1974 team. In Arizona's shutout wins this season, the Wildcat pitching staff has limited their opponents to under four hits per game, including a pair of two-hitters, and a combined .121 batting average.
Tread Lightly: Arizona's battery of pitchers and catchers have made running on the Wildcats dangerous proposition for their opponents this year. Wildcat pitchers and catchers have caught 31 of 66 would-be base stealers this season for a 47-percent throw out rate. Arizona has also picked off five base runners.
Touchin' 'Em All In A Hurry: Sophomore Jeff Van Houten hit his fifth home run of the season against Wagner on March 14, but didn't have much of an opportunity to savor it. The outfielder became the first Arizona player in over 10 years to circle the bases on an inside-the-park home run. Van Houten smacked a ball down the right field line, circled the bases in a dead sprint and crossed home plate standing up for a home run. Jason Thompson was the last Arizona player to circle the bases with the ball still in play on Feb. 1, 1992 against New Mexico.
What A Difference A Year Makes: Through 43 games this season, Arizona's offense continues to blow away the 2002 team's numbers by a considerable margin. At this point a year ago Arizona was batting .288 with 428 hits, 344 runs scored, 72 doubles, 20 triples, 45 home runs and 302 RBIs. This year the Wildcats are batting .332 with 528 hits, 398 runs scored, 97 doubles, 40 triples, 52 home runs and 355 RBIs. Individually, Arizona had six players batting .300 or better through the first 43 games last season, while the Wildcats have two players hitting better than .400 this season and nine at .300 or better.
Average .288 .332
Hits 428 528
Runs 344 398
Doubles 72 97
Triples 20 40
Home Runs 45 52
RBIs 302 355
Slugging Pct. .454 .541
Players Batting .300+ 6 9
Players Batting .400+ 0 2
Stolen Bases 59 of 86 111 of 142
Sean Rierson - National, Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week: Junior Sean Rierson's complete game 2-hitter against UC Irvine on Feb. 15 earned the right-hander Collegiate Baseball/Louisville Slugger National and Pac-10 Conference Pitcher of the Week honors. His national recognition was the seventh all-time at UA and the first for an Arizona pitcher since former Wildcat Ben Diggins was honored the week of Feb. 28, 2000. The conference honor was the 25th all-time for a Wildcat pitcher and the first in Rierson's career. Rierson became the first Arizona pitcher to toss a complete game 2-hitter in nearly 20 years. Former Major Leaguer Joe Magrane was the last Arizona pitcher to go the distance on the strength of a 2-hitter in a 10-1 win over UNLV on Feb. 4, 1984. Rierson's 2-hitter also had the added bonus of being a shutout which was last done by David Carley, James McDonald and Jeff Hird in a combined 1-0 shutout of Pepperdine on two hits on Feb. 6, 1986. Interestingly, the Wildcats got only one hit in that game, which was Todd Trafton's game-winning solo home run in the seventh inning.
Sean Rierson - Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week Part II: Rierson was named the conference pitcher of the week for the second time in 2003 after a dominating performance at Texas in which he limited the defending national champion Longhorns to just one run on seven hits in a complete game performance. He struck out nine and walked two in his fourth win of the year.
Jeff Van Houten - Pac-10 Player of the Week: Sophomore Jeff Van Houten was named the March 18 Pac-10 Player of the Week for his dominating performance at the plate against Portland and Wagner. The outfielder finished Arizona's 5-0 week 10 for 14 (.714) with three home runs (including two in one game and an inside-the-park HR), two triples, a double, seven runs scored, a 1.714 slugging percentage and a .700 on-base percentage. The player of the week honor is the first in his career and the 38th all-time at Arizona. Former Wildcat All-American Shelley Duncan was Arizona's last conference player of the week in 2001.
Richie Gardner - Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week: Junior Richie Gardner was named the March 25 Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week. The right-hander went 2-0 in a pair of starts against New Mexico and USC with 17 strike outs and a 1.80 ERA. The week improved Gardner to a team-best 6-0 for the season.
Jeff Van Houten - Pac-10 Player of the Week Part II: Arizona sophomore Jeff Van Houten was named the April 8 Pac-10 Player of the week. The honor was the second of the season for Van Houten and the fifth weekly award for an Arizona player/pitcher this season. Van Houten garnered his second recognition of the year for his 9 for 13-weekend against Miami (Ohio). The second-year starter batted .692 with two triples, his seventh home run of the season, five runs scored and a team-high eight RBIs. He posted a .714 on-base percentage and tallied a 1.231 slugging percentage in helping Arizona win its final non-conference series of the season. In Sunday's 9-4 win he finished 3 for 4 with a career-high-tying six RBIs and needed just a double to hit for the cycle. He was recognized by the Pac-10 previously this season for the week of March 10-17. The Player of the Week honor is 39th all-time for an Arizona player and the second in Van Houten's career. UA's five weekly award winners this season (three pitchers, two players) are the most for a Wildcat team since the 1992 club also had five members (four pitchers, one player) recognized. The 1991 Arizona team tallied a school record eight Player/Pitcher of the Week honorees.
Head Coach Andy Lopez: Andy Lopez, now in his second season at Arizona, has posted a career 744-456-6 (.620) record (Current). In his three previous coaching stops, Cal State Dominguez Hills, Pepperdine and Florida, he has averaged eight more wins in his second year than in the first. At Florida his second-year team won a school record 50 games, 18 more than the year before, and advanced to the College World Series.
Andy Lopez's First vs. Second Seasons
Cal State Dominguez Hills Pepperdine Florida
1983 15-27 (.357) 1989 41-19-1 (.680) 1995 32-24 (.571)
1984 25-35-1 (.418) 1990 37-23 (.617) 1996 50-18 (.735)
100 Years Of Arizona Baseball: This year will mark the 100th year of Arizona baseball. Since beginning with a 6-1 record in 1904 under head coach B.L. Cosgrove, the Wildcat program has found enormous success in its first 99 seasons. Arizona has recorded 2,248 victories (seventh all-time among Division I teams), won three national championships, finished second three other times, appeared in 14 College World Series, made 29 NCAA regional appearances, had 128 players get drafted and sign professional contracts (of which 52 reached the Major Leagues) and placed 73 players on 54 different All-America teams.