Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Baseball Opens Two-Game Set vs. Utah Valley State
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: February 06, 2007
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This Week
Feb. 6 ?- Utah Valley State ?- 4 p.m.
Feb. 7 ?- Utah Valley State ?- 4 p.m.
Feb. 9 ?- New Mexico ?- 4 p.m.
Feb. 10 ?- New Mexico ?- 1 p.m.
Feb. 11 ?- New Mexico ?- 12 p.m.
Kindall Field and Sancet Stadium
Tucson, Ariz.

Potential Starting Lineup
Name B/T Pos Notes
1 Jon Gaston L/R RF Started two games last weekend vs. Gonzaga
2 Robert Abel R/R SS Batted .429 with six runs vs. Gonzaga
3 Bill Rhinehart L/L 1B Hit his 19th career HR on Sunday
4 C.J. Ziegler R/R DH Batted .556 with four 2Bs, five RBI and eight runs scored
5 Brad Glenn R/R LF Hit .308 with three runs scored and five RBI vs. Gonzaga
6 T.J. Steele R/R CF Extended his hitting streak 11 straight games last weekend
7 Erik Castro L/R 3B Batted .500 with three runs and three RBI vs. Gonzaga
8 Kevin Rodland R/R 2B Hit. .364 with six RBI vs. the Zags
9 Dwight Childs R/R C Batted .556 with two 2bs and three RBI vs. Gonzaga
Tues  LHP David Coulon First start of ?'07, went 4-3 for the Cats last year
CP RHP Jason Stoffel True freshman



Getting Off On a Good Foot

After opening the 2007 season with a series sweep over visiting Gonzaga, the Cats have won 13 straight opening weekend series dating back to 1995 and have gone 33-7 on the first weekend of the year during that span ... Dating back to 1994, Arizona is 13-1 on opening day, with the lone loss coming from BYU in 2003 ... Under sixth-year head coach Andy Lopez, UA is 16-2 all-time on opening weekend and has won five of six season-opening games.


Off Fast and in a Hurry

The Wildcats’ flurry to start the year continues on Tuesday and Wednesday when they host Utah Valley State for a pair of games at Kindall Field. The two-game set against the Wolverines marks the midpoint in an eight games in 10 days stretch to open the 2007 season. The Wildcats swept Gonzaga in the three-game series last weekend and will host New Mexico for three games this weekend after the UVS series.


Doing it with Two

The Arizona offense took advantage of the final out in an inning in its season opener against Gonzaga. The Wildcats scored 21 of their 36  (58%) runs in the series with two down in a frame.


Guilmet Named National Player of the Week

Arizona sophomore Preston Guilmet was named one of three Louisville Slugger National Players of the Week, Collegiate Baseball Newspaper announced on Monday. The right-hander from Citrus Heights, Calif., flirted with the seventh no-hitter in Arizona history for eight strong innings in UA’s season-opener vs. Gonzaga last Friday. He allowed just three base runners (two BB, one HBP) over the first eight innings and at one point retired 17-straight Bulldog hitters before allowing a base hit to lead off the top of the ninth inning. Despite missing out on the no-no, Guilmet still picked up the victory after allowing just the one hit over 8 1/3 innings. He struck out four and walked two in the 14-0 Arizona victory. Guilmet became the first Arizona player to be recognized by the publication with national POW honors since John Meloan who also narrowly missed out on a no-hitter in UA’s 2005 season opener against New Mexico.


Still Streaking

Arizona’s weekend sweep of Gonzaga to open 2007 extended its carryover win streak from 2006 to eight straight games. After taking two in a row from Arizona State and sweeping USC to close 2006, the Wildcats downed the Bulldogs three straight last Friday-Sunday to move the streak to eight. The offense has been a major catalyst for the streak, as the ?'06 and ?'07 bats have combined to hit .376 (112-for-298) and average 11.5 runs, three doubles, one triple and 10.3 RBI per game over the eight games.


Extra, Extra

The Wildcats hit eight doubles, three triples and home run in their season opener last Friday. The 12 extra base hits in that contest were the most put up by a UA squad in school history, eclipsing the previous high-water mark of 11 set by the 1985 and 2001 teams ... Junior DH C.J. Ziegler tied the UA single-game school record for doubles in his first career start last Friday, swatting three two-baggers. He finished the contest 4-for-5 with three RBI and four runs scored.


11 and Counting

With at least one hit in all three games last weekend against Gonzaga, outfielder T.J. Steele extended his carryover hitting streak to 11 straight games. The sophomore is batting .490 with 17 runs scored, five doubles, two triples, a home run and 14 RBI during his two-season tear at the plate.


Ready, Willing and Abel

No that’s not a typo on Abel, but rather a nod towards UA shortstop Robert Abel and his fellow newcomers to the Arizona program. In the season-opening series against Gonzaga last weekend seven different newbies started at least one game for the Cats (four true freshmen, two redshirt freshman and one JC transfer) and the group did not disappoint. Collectively the seven newcomers went 28-for-66 (.424) at the plate with nine doubles, one triple, 19 RBI and 23 runs scored in the series. Three-fourths of the UA infield was comprised of true freshmen (SS Abel, 2B Kevin Rodland and 3B Erik Castro), both catchers (Fr. Dwight Childs and RSFr. Daniel Butler) made their initial appearances at UA, redshirt frosh Diallo Fon got one start in left after transferring from Vanderbilt and junior C.J. Ziegler started all three games at DH after moving over from Pima CC.


A Quick Look at Utah Valley State

The Wolverines begin their 2007 season with the two-game set against the Wildcats ... UVS, a Division I independent, finished the 2006 season 19-37 overall ... The Wolverines welcome back 10 letterwinners from the ?'06 team, including first baseman Dan Bulow who batted .337 with 13 home runs and 51 RBI ... Right-handers Bryan Smith and Tai Penrod will start the games vs. Arizona ... Head coach Steve Gardner is in his 17th season at UVS and has a 429-365 record in Orem.


Arizona vs. Utah Valley State - The History

Arizona and Utah Valley state have met up on the baseball diamond just once prior to the two games on Tuesday and Wednesday. In 2006 the Wildcats defeated the Wolverines 16-0, 12-1 and 7-2 in Tucson in an early May three-game series.


It’s Still Early, but...

The Arizona pitching staff is off to a much improved start this year as opposed to last season. Both the ?'06 (Loyola Marymount) and ?'07 (Gonzaga) Arizona squads took on schools from the West Coast Conference and both UA teams won their opening weekend series. The similarities stop there however, as the 2006 pitching staff emerged from the weekend against the Lions with a 2-1 record, a 4.67 ERA and a .271 opponent batting average. The 2007 arms went 3-0 in their season debut and posted a 1.33 ERA and limited the Bulldogs to a .179 team average. LMU scored 20 runs in the three games in 2006, while GU managed just four runs in the same number of games.


Back with the Pitchers

Arizona head coach Andy Lopez will once again serve as the pitching coach for the Wildcats. During his 25 years as a head coach on the collegiate level, Lopez has served as the pitching coach for all four of his College World Series teams, including UA’s 2004 squad.


Perry Out

The only Wildcat down with injury to start the year in sophomore right-hander Ryan Perry, who was injured in an off-field incident prior to the opening of spring camp. Perry, who broke his left arm, is out for at least a couple more weeks, will return to the pitching rotation and will factor in as either a part of the starting rotation or as the team’s closer.


The Non-Conference Slate

Arizona will take a number of familiar faces in 2007, some that it hasn’t seen in a long time and one that it has never matched up against. On the more recent tip, Arizona will be looking for a measure of revenge against 2006 opponents New Mexico, UNLV and Cal State Fullerton. The three schools combined for a 7-2 record against Arizona last season, including a three-game sweep at the hands of the Titans. Of the more-recent opponents, independents Utah Valley State and Northern Colorado, both of whom faced UA in 2005, will head back to Tucson in the early part of the year. In the “Those Arizona has faced, but not recently” category Gonzaga (1980) has gone the longest since facing the Cats, while the series against Liberty (1990), Hawaii (1992) and Eastern Michigan (1997) will renew long dormant match ups. Hawaii-Hilo, which will host Arizona for a two-game set in March, opened its 2001 season against Arizona on the Big Island. The lone school meeting the Cats for the first time ever is Morehead State from the Ohio Valley Conference. The Eagles will pay a visit to Tucson in mid-match to help close out the non-conference part of UA’s slate.


New Faces

The coaching staff has a pair of new faces, although those familiar with the UA program and Tucson baseball are probably already aware of them. Assistant coach Jeff Casper, a four-year letter winner for the Cats from 1998-2001, returns to Tucson after two years as an assistant at Yavapai JC in Prescott, Ariz. Casper not only played for the Cats, but he also served as the volunteer assistant under head coach Andy Lopez for three seasons (2002-04). Volunteer assistant Keith Francis begins his first year on the UA staff. He most recently spent the last two years at Pima CC here in Tucson, and was also the head coach at Canyon Del Oro High School in town. Francis guided the Dorados to a pair of 5A state championships in baseball. Casper’s primary responsibilities with the Cats will be with the outfielders and hitters, while Francis will look after the catchers and assist with the hitters as well.


Cats Picked Fifth

In a vote by the league coaches, the Wildcats were picked to finish fifth in the conference standings in a preseason poll. Arizona State was chosen to win the conference title, followed by defending national champion Oregon State, Stanford and UCLA. Southern California was tabbed sixth with Cal, Washington State and Washington rounding out the nine-team rankings.


Looking Back

The Wildcats completed the 2006 season 27-28 overall and 12-12 in the Pac-10. Arizona came up probably just one win shy of appearing in its fourth straight NCAA postseason after finishing fourth in the Pac-10 standings ... Offensively, last year’s squad batted .305 for the year and averaged 7.4 runs, 10.8 hits and 6.6 RBI per game ... After losing their top two pitchers to injury, the Cats struggled on the mound, finishing with a 5.41 ERA in 490 1/3 innings pitched. Still the pitching staff managed to post a better than 2-to-1 strikeout to walk ratio and average 8.8 Ks per game.


Renovations Continue

The renovation of Jerry Kindall Field at Frank Sancet Stadium continued over the offseason. Introduced to the complex this year in a brand new press box and plaza in left field. The new press facility dwarfs the old one in size, features two independent radio booths, two extensive areas for print and electronic media members and a separate room for the game operations personnel. Additionally, the Legends Plaza honoring the team and individual player accomplishments has been added to the area down the left field line ... The air conditioned press box and left field plaza are just two of many features that have been added to the facility since 2002, including a three-tunnel batting cage (2003), a laser leveled new playing surface (2006), new bullpen mounds (2006), grass berm seating along the right and left field lines (2006), new score and video boards (2006), turf halo around home plate (2006), billboard in right field honoring UA’s 15 CWS teams (2006) and a new wooden outfield fence (2004).

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