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First Place In The Pac-10 On The Line This Weekend For Baseball
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 04/17/2005
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Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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On the Air

All of the remaining Pac-10 conference games this season can be heard live on the radio on 1290 AM or over the Internet by subscribing to All Access at www.arizonaathletics.com. Brian Jeffries will provide all the play-by-play conference action ... Additionally, All Access subscribers will have an opportunity to watch selected games via live streaming on the Internet. All three games against Oregon State this weekend will be streamed live with audio from 1290 AM.

 

This Week

The No. 8-ranked Wildcats will attempt to continue the best conference start in school history against Oregon State at Jerry Kindall Field at Frank Sancet Stadium this weekend ... The three-game series against the Beavers will mark the midpoint of the Pac-10 season for Arizona ... Oregon State enters the weekend of play with a 26-5 overall record and a 5-1 mark in the Pac-10 ... The Beavers are ranked 15th this week in the Sports Weekly/ESPN Coaches Poll and recently won their first series at Stanford since 1970 ... UA and OSU have met 32 time previous to the three-game series this weekend ... Arizona leads the all-time series 19-13 and took two of three games from OSU in Corvallis last season.

 

Last Week Recap

The Wildcats swept their second straight Pac-10 road series, winning all three games against Washington State in Pullman last weekend ... The second straight sweep marked just the second time in school history a UA team has swept two Pac-10 road series in a single season (1989) and the first time it has happened in back-to-back road trips ... The Wildcats batted .387 as a team in the series and hit nine doubles, three triples and five home runs ... Juniors Trevor Crowe and Nick Hundley paced the Arizona effort at the plate ... Crowe batted .643 (9 for 14) with two doubles, a triple, four RBI and six runs scored. He was intentionally walked three times in the series ... Hundley went 6 for 14 (.429) with two doubles, a triple and a pair of home runs in the series ... On the mound, the UA pitching staff went 3-0 and posted a 2.00 ERA in 27 innings pitched. The hurlers finished with 21 strikeouts and eight walks ... Friday - Junior John Meloan held WSU scoreless over the first eight innings and teamed up with freshman reliever Matt Baugh for the fifth shutout of the season in a 13-0 series-opening victory. Meloan (6-0) gave up just four hits over eight innings with seven Ks and just three walks for his 16th straight victory ... Led by a 4 for 5 day by junior Trevor Crowe, the Arizona offense rapped out 17 hits, including four home runs ... Crowe missed out on hitting for the cycle by just a homer ... Sophomore Jason Donald hit a pair of home runs in the contest and Nick Hundley added a three-run shot and Bill Rhinehart a solo homer ... Derek Decater finished the game 4 for 5 with a pair of runs scored ... Saturday - Junior Kevin Guyette picked up his second straight complete game victory after limiting the Cougars to just four runs on seven hits in nine innings in the 7-4 win ... He finished with eight strikeouts and one walk ... Offensively, Arizona tallied with 15 hits in the contest, but left a season-high 13 runners on base ... Junior Nick Hundley went 3 for 5 with his eighth homer of the season, two RBI and two runs scored ... Sunday - The Wildcats overcame a season-high five errors and a five-run deficit to sweep the series with a 13-10 win ... Eight of the 10 runs surrendered in the contest were unearned ... Sophomore Mark Melancon picked up the win after limiting WSU to just one run on two hits over the final 3 1/3 innings ... Arizona scored four runs in the both the sixth and seventh inning to come from behind ... All nine Arizona starters finished with at least one hit in the contest ... Junior Jordan Brown led all players with three RBI.

 

The Arizona Offense

The Wildcats enter the week of play with a Pac-10-best .342 batting average ... Arizona is averaging nine runs and 12.7 hits per game this season ... Entering play this weekend, the Wildcats lead the Pac-10 in average, slugging (.537), on base percentage (.424), runs (306), hits (431), RBI (272), doubles (91), triples (22), total bases (677) and walks (165). Arizona’s ranking and the Pac-10 leaders can be found on Page 5 of the notes.

 

Leaders Of The Pac

Heading into the week of play, the Wildcats have numerous individuals atop the Pac-10 statistical leaders. Of the three players in the conference hitting .400 ore better, two hail from Arizona (Crowe and Van Houten). Three of the top 10 players in slugging percentage  (Crowe, Hundley, Brown) and on-base percentage (Crowe, Hundley, Van Houten) are Wildcats. Six different Arizona players are among the top 10 in runs scored (Crowe, Brown, Van Houten, Frey, Boyer, Hundley) and four are among the leaders in hits (Crowe, Van Houten, Brown, Frey). Pac-10 RBI leader Jordan Brown leads a list of four Arizona players among the top 10 in runs driven in and Brown is currently third in the league with nine home runs. To see where Arizona’s players rank in the conference individually, please see page five of the notes.

 

Spreading It Around

The Wildcat batting order has produced top to bottom. In Arizona’s 34 games this season, all nine starters have collected a hit in four games, eight of nine in nine games and seven of nine in seven others (20 contests with at least seven players getting one hit in a game). Five of the nine starters have 48 or more hits, six have scored 30 or more runs and six have driven in 20 or more. Batting a Pac-10-best .342 as a team, seven different starters are batting .300 or better individually for the year, including two over .400. The offense is averaging just nine runs and 12.7 hits per contest this season.

 

Free Ride

Heading into the week of play, Arizona leads the Pac-10 with 165 walks. That alone is noteworthy, but it becomes even more impressive when you toss in that UA, which also leads the conference with a .537 slugging percentage, has walked nearly as much as it has struck out (165 BB to 184 K) and that 59 of the 165 free passes (36 percent) have come around to score this season. Individually, Arizona has six different players in the lineup that have walked more times than they have struck out this season.

 

Two Outs? Rally’s On!

Led by a season-high 10 two-out runs against Fullerton on March 20, Arizona has scored 124 runs this season after the first two outs in an inning have been recorded (41 percent of UA’s 306 runs this year). As a team, Arizona is batting .356 as a team with two outs and has recorded 105 two-out RBI. Individually, junior Jordan Brown leads the two-out RBI parade with 26 runs driven in with a pair down. Brown is batting .441 (26 for 59) and has hit four of his team-leading nine HRs with two outs so far this season.

 

Hitting Streaks

Juniors Nick Hundley and Trevor Crowe have both put together a pair of impressive 10-game hitting streaks. Since March 20, Hundley has helped UA go 8-2 by batting .409 (18 for 44) with 14 RBI and 10 runs scored. The most impressive part of his hitting streak is that of the 18 hits he has collected, 14 of them have gone for extra bases. Hundley has nine doubles, a triple, four home runs and an outrageous .932 slugging percentage in Arizona’s last 10 games. Crowe’s streak is no less impressive, as he is batting a team-best .447 (21 for 47) with four doubles, two triples, 10 RBI and 16 runs scored during the 10-game span.

 

Taking a Dose

Sophomore Jason Donald leads the Pac-10 in getting hit by pitches. The second-year starter has been plunked 15 times this season, tying him with Kenny Corley for the single season record at Arizona he set in 1997. Donald is already second all-time at Arizona in HBP with 25 in his two-year career and is only seven misguided pitches away from Corley’s career record of 32.

 

Donald Getting It Going

Sophomore Jason Donald has been hot at the plate. After struggling offensively at times, he is hitting .500 (9 for 18) in Arizona’s last five games. He has hit three home runs, driven in six runs and scored six times during the five-game run. The recent offensive surge has improved his batting average 38 points from .234 to its current .272.

 

Leading It Off

Junior Trevor Crowe, the Pac-10 leader in runs, hits, doubles and triples, 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 19 times (17 hits, two walks) in Arizona’s 34 contests this season (56 percent) and has come around to score 13 times for an early run (38 percent). He has hit eight singles, six doubles, two triples and an inside-the-park home run as the Wildcats’ first hitter in a game and has reached base 29 times in 60 opportunities when leading off any inning (.483). For the year, Crowe has at least one hit in 32 of 34 games, two or more hits in 23 of 34 and scored two or more runs in 19 contests.

 

Van Houten Keeps On Hitting

Senior Jeff Van Houten has at least one hit in 30 of the 33 games he has played in this season. He has 16 multiple hit contests and recorded two or more RBI 13 times. The last player to hit .400 in a season at Arizona (2003), Van Houten has seen his average dip below the .400 mark just once for a three-game span from March 24-16 this season. In his 193-game career at Arizona, Van Houten has been held hitless for two or more consecutive games only eight times and he has never gone hitless for more than three straight contests.

 

Van Houten’s Streak Ends

Senior Jeff Van Houten saw his school record-tying 28 game hitting streak come to an end with an 0 for 4 day at the plate in Arizona’s 1-0 win over Cal State Fullerton on March 18. Van Houten strung together seven straight games to end the 2004 season and had at least one hit in his first 21 games this season to tie Ernie Durazo and Jack Daugherty for the longest two-season hitting streak in school history. Former Wildcat Brian Anderson owns the longest single season hitting streak. He finished with 27 straight games with a hit in 2003.

28 Game Hitting Streak Numbers

Jack Daugherty (March 29, 1981-Feb. 9, 1982) - 106 AB, 32 R, 43 H, 27 RBI, .406 Avg

Ernie Durazo (May 19, 2000-March 10, 2001) - 117 AB, 24 R, 43 H, 32 RBI, .368 Avg

Jeff Van Houten (June 6, 2004-March 16, 2005) - 121 AB, 27 R, 50 H, 35 RBI, .413 Avg

 

Joltin’ Jordan

Junior Jordan Brown has been a machine when it comes to driving in runs. The third-year starter leads the Pac-10 with 54 RBI this year and has driven in two or more runs in 18 of UA’s 34 games. The team leader with nine HRs, it certainly doesn’t hurt that he has collected multiple hits in 16 games 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 33 of 34 games this season (he missed one start due to family matters), including the last 21 straight. Hundley passed his previous career high of 32 starts behind the dish against Washington State on April 9.

 

Fully Mended

Freshman Bryan Kervin broke his hand on Feb. 23 against Arizona State after starting the first 11 games of the season. Prior to the injury, Kervin was hitting .351 with six runs scored and seven RBI. After having to sit out four weeks to heal, Kervin has returned better then before. In his nine games back, the first year starter is hitting .407 with five RBI, two doubles and eight runs scored.

 

Career-Highs Abound

A number of Wildcats have already surpassed or are nearing their single season career highs in just 34 games played this season.

Stat 2005 Numbers Career High
Trevor Crowe
Runs 50 53 - 2004
Hits 65 71 - 2004
2B 19 13 - 2004
3B 7 9 -2004
HR 4 5 - 2004
RBI 34 35 - 2003
Jordan Brown
Runs 40 37 - 2004
Hits 56 67 - 2004
2B 11 11 - 2004
HR 9 13 - 2004
RBI 54 57 - 2004
Nick Hundley
Runs 33 37 - 2003
Hits 48 48 - 2003
2B 14 13 - 2004
3B 2 2 - 2003, 04
HR 8 4 - 2004
RBI 27 27 - 2004

       

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).

 

Pac-10 Player of the Week Jordan Brown

Junior Jordan Brown led UA to a two-games-to-one series victory over visiting Washington on the opening weekend of Pac-10 March 24-26. The Wildcats’ first baseman hit .429 (6 for 14) with a team-high seven RBI and five runs scored in the three games. Four of his six hits in the series went for extra bases, including two doubles, a triple and his team-leading eighth home run of the season. In Friday’s come-from-behind 6-5 victory, Brown forced the contest into extra innings after hitting a two-out, two-run double down the left field line to tie the game at 5-5 in the ninth inning. Teammate Jeff Van Houten ended the game with a walk-off home run in the 12th inning.

 

The Pitching Numbers

Arizona enters play this weekend with a 4.16 team ERA and a Pac-10-best 345 strikeouts in 309 2/3 innings pitched. Arizona will start junior RHP John Meloan (6-0, 3.26 ERA, 75 K, 58 IP) on Friday, junior RHP Kevin Guyette (6-2, 3.49 ERA, 86 K, 69 2/3 IP) on Saturday and David Coulon (2-1, 5.40 ERA, 34 K, 31 2/3 IP) on Sunday.

 

Punching ?'Em Out

Not since 1998 has an Arizona pitching staff put up similar strikeout numbers through the first 34 games as this season’s staff. The 2005 Wildcats have punched out 345 batters this year, an average of 10.0 per nine innings. The last team to put up similar numbers was the 1998 team that started the season 25-9. The ?'98 Cats had 303 strikeouts in the first 34 games for an average of 9.2 per nine innings. Individually, seven different UA pitchers have 20 or more strikeouts this season. Junior right-hander Kevin Guyette paces the staff with a Pac-10-best 86 Ks against 17 walks this year.

The Last Eight Years of Strikeouts (Through 34 Games)

Year Strikeouts Innings Pitched Avg. Per  9 Innings
2005 345 309.2 10.0
2004 230 301.2 6.9
2003 250 305.2 7.4
2002 214 309.1 6.2
2001 248 311 7.2
2000 288 298 8.7
1999 263 308 7.7
1998 303 295 9.2
 

A Year Later

While potent Arizona offense garners much of the attention, the pitching staff is more than holding its own as well this season. Despite throwing eight more innings through 34 games, the 2005 pitching staff is well ahead of last season’s numbers in nearly every category.

Pitching Numbers 2004 vs. 2005 (Through 34 games)

Stat 2004 2005 Difference
ERA 4.77 4.16 -0.61
Wins 18 24 +6
Innings Pitched 301.2 309.2 +8
Complete Games 3 3 0
Shutouts 0 5 +5
Saves 7 8 +1
Hits Allowed 335 290 -45
Runs Allowed 197 171 -26
Earned Runs Allowed 160 143 -17
Walks Allowed 160 122 -38
Strikeouts 230 345 +115
 

16 Straight

Friday starter John Meloan is 20-1 all-time at UA and has won 16 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 31 games, made 21 starts and gone 16-0. Used primarily as a reliever early in his career at UA, he has flourished as a starter with a 16-0 record, a 3.59 ERA and 152 strikeouts when taking the ball from the get go.

Meloan’s Overall Career Numbers

48 GP, 20-1, 4.13 ERA, 194 IP, 188 H, 109 R, 89 ER, 108 BB, 192 K

Meloan’s Career Starting Numbers (2 in 2003, 11 in 2004, 10 in 2005)

23 GS, 16-0, 3.59 ERA, 150.1 IP, 140 H, 70 R, 60 ER, 77 BB, 152 K

 

Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week John Meloan

Junior John Meloan was named the conference’s pitcher of the week after helping to shut out Cal State Fullerton on March 18. The right-hander scattered four hits over 7 2/3 innings for his fourth win of the season. The effort handed CSF ace Ricky Romero his first loss of the year and pushed Meloan’s winning streak won 14 straight games dating back to last season.

 

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.

 

K Guyette

A year ago Kevin Guyette struck out a career-high eight batters in his first start of the 2004 season against UC Riverside. He went on to finish the campaign with 83 punchouts, but never again approached the eight K plateau he established early on. A year later Guyette has struck out eight batters in a game three times, nine three times, 11 once and whiffed a career-best 15 in a complete-game loss to UCR on Feb. 26. The Pac-10 leader in strikeouts heading into the weekend, Guyette has punched out a career-high 86 hitters in 10 starts this season and is averaging 11.1 Ks per nine innings. 

 

Making His Own Luck

Heading into his start against UCLA on April 2, junior Kevin Guyette was a very unlucky 0-2 in his career when throwing a complete game. A lack of offensive production (.161 team batting average, 2 runs per game) was the main culprit in those losses. The right-hander made sure that one run was going to be more than enough in his third career CG, as he tossed a one-hit shutout in an 11-0 victory over the Bruins. He finished the April 2 game with 11 strikeouts on 100 pitches and did not allow a Bruin base runner past first after the second inning. A week later against Washington State he tossed his second straight complete-game victory in a 7-4 win at  Washington State. In bringing his career complete game record to 2-2, Guyette struck out eight Cougar hitters and walked only one on 110 pitches.

Guyette’s Complete Game History

4 Games, 36 IP, 23 H, 11 R, 9 ER, 8 BB, 40 K, 2-2, 2.25 ERA

 

Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week Kevin Guyette

Junior Kevin Guyette became the fourth straight Wildcat to garner weekly conference honors after being named the April 5 Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week. The right-hander tossed a complete-game one-hitter in an 11-0 victory over UCLA on April 2. He needed just 100 pitches to shut out the Bruins while recording 11 strikeouts and just two walks. He retired the final 11 hitters he faced in the contest and did not allow a UCLA base runner past first after the second inning.

 

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 23 appearances he has given up just 10 earned runs in 46 innings pitched. Over this span he has surrendered just 29 hits and issued only 12 walks, while picking up four wins, seven saves and 46 strikeouts. Impressive numbers for a closer who has worked two or more innings in 12 of the 23 appearances.

Melancon’s Last 23 Appearances (2004 and 2005)

4-2, 7 Saves, 1.96 ERA, 46 IP, 29 H, 11 R, 10 ER, 12 BB, 46 K

 

Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week Mark Melancon

Sophomore right-hander Mark Melancon was named the Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week by the conference office on March 15. Melancon garnered his first weekly honor after pitching in all three of UA’s games against Mississippi State (March 11-13) and striking out seven the 10 hitters he faced. He earned his third save of the year after working out a first and second, no-out jam in the ninth inning of a 7-3 Arizona win on Saturday.

 

Bullpen Suits Berger

Freshman left-hander Eric Berger has been used both as a starter and out of the bullpen this season. If his first 14 appearances are any indication, he’ll be relieving quite a bit in Arizona’s final 22 final regular season contests. In 10 games out of the pen this season, Berger is 3-0 with a 1.23 ERA. He has struck out a very impressive 29 batters in just 22 innings as a reliever. As a starter, the first-year southpaw is 0-0 with a 13.00 ERA.

Berger’s Starting vs. Relief Numbers In 2005

Starter    0-0, 13.00 ERA, 9.0 IP, 11 H, 13 R, 13 ER, 6 BB, 11 K

Relief      3-0, 1.23 ERA, 22 IP, 11 H, 6 R, 3 ER, 10 BB, 29 K

 

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 126-84-1 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.

 

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 Houten's Numbers Rank All-Time Leader
Games Played 193 t-13th Chip Hale - 255
At Bats 723 8th Chip Hale - 978
Runs 176 11th Dave Stegman - 287
Hits 259 7th Chip Hale - 337
Mulit-Hit Games 73 t-5th Robbie Moen - 102
Doubles 42 t-14th Dave Stegman - 72
Triples 19 t-6th Charles Shoemaker - 30
Home Runs 25 t-13th Shelley Duncan - 55
RBI 187 t-4th Ron Hassey - 235
HBP 17 t-8th Kenny Corley - 32
Walks 113 13th Chip Hale - 162
Sac Flies 17 3rd Chip Hale - 21
Extra Base Hits 86 t-7th Dave Stegman - 110
Total Bases 414 6th Chip Hale - 507

 

Sean Rierson

Record Rierson's Numbers Rank All-Time Leader
Games 61 11th Ron Sismondo - 88
Starts 53 t-2nd Ed Vosberg - 60
Wins 25 t-12th Don Lee - 36
Innings Pitched 345.2 6th Ed Vosberg - 405.1
Strikeouts 237 17th Carl Thomas - 422
BB/9 IP 1.95 2nd Tad Heydenfeldt - 1.77
 

Preseason Honors

Junior teammates Trevor Crowe and

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