Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Baseball Heads To ASU
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: May 02, 2006
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Up Next: 7 p.m. Tuesday, at Arizona State - Parkard Stadium
Radio: 1290 AM in Tucson, All Access Webcast via the Internet

A Quick Look at the Cats
Arizona enters Tuesday’s nonconference match up at Arizona State with a 20-22 overall record ... The Wildcats are batting .291 as a team and averaging 6.5 runs, 10 hits and 5.8 RBI per game ... On the mound, the Arizona staff has posted a 4.50 ERA in 372 1/3 innings pitched ... The Wildcat hurlers have struck out 388 batters this season and walked 163 ... Opponents are batting .283 against the Wildcats on the year.

Winding Down
Tuesday’s game at Arizona State will wrap up a busy 12-day stretch in which the Wildcats will have played nine games. UA opened the marathon of contests with a three-game series against Stanford on April 21-23, played a two-game set against Southern Utah last Tuesday and Wednesday, and most recently took on Washington in three games in Seattle last weekend. The Wildcats are currently 5-3 during the stretch, having won two of three from the Cardinal, swept the Thunderbirds and lost two out of three to the Huskies.

A Break from the Pac
Tuesday’s game at ASU, and the three-game series this weekend against UNLV in Tucson, will wrap up Arizona’s nonconference slate during the regular season. Arizona still has Washington State and the Sun Devils in Pac-10 play at home and a conference road series at USC still remaining after this week.

Offense Turns it up a Notch
The quick succession of games has proved to be a tonic of sorts for the Arizona offense. In UA’s last eight games, the Wildcats are batting .346 (101 for 292) with 17 doubles, four triples and 10 home runs. The Cats are averaging 12.6 hits, 10 runs and 8.6 RBI per game over the stretch, and saw a six-game streak with at least one home run hit come to an end on Sunday at Washington. The recent offensive tear has improved Arizona’s team batting average for the season a very impressive 14 points from .277 on April 18 to its current .291 level.

Powering Up
As noted above, the Wildcats have seen an increase in the number of extra base hits recently. While it is more pronounced over the 11 days, the power surge started a couple of weeks back. Through the first 23 games of the season, Arizona hit just eight home runs. In the last 19 the contests, the  Wildcats have doubled that number with 16 bombs to raise its homer total to 24 for the year. In addition to the balls going over the fence, Arizona has also hit 39 doubles (50% of the season total) and seven triples over the last 19 games. The extra base-athon has improved UA’s slugging percentage 30 points from .398 on March 26 to its current .428

A pair of juniors have a couple of noteworthy streaks - one is still on going, one just came to an end ... Shortstop Jason Donald has hit safely in each of UA’s last 13 games. During this time span, the three-year starter is batting .356 (21 for 59) with five doubles, four home runs, nine runs scored and 14 RBI ... Classmate Bill Rhinehart saw his season-high 14-game hitting streak come to an end with a 0 for 4 game at Washington on Sunday. Still the junior outfielder’s stats during his streak were impressive - .407 average, 22 for 54, seven doubles, two triples, two home runs, 18 RBI and 19 runs scored.

Don’t Forget About Us
Not be outdone with all of the offense, the Arizona pitchers have also chipped in despite the busy schedule. The Cat staff has a 3.21 ERA over the last eight games and has limited the opposition to a .233 batting average during the span. The UA hurlers have struck out 74 batters over the last 70 innings, while walking only 26.

About Tuesday’s Starter
True freshman Ryan Perry will get his second start of the season on Tuesday. The right-hander started UA’s contest against the Sun Devils on April 2 at Chase Field. Perry went 4 1/3 innings in that start, surrendering four earned runs on eight hits, while striking out two and walking one. For the year he is 2-0 with a 6.08 ERA in 23 2/3 innings pitched. He has struck out 12 and walked five.

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