Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Baseball To Wrap Up Season at USC
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: May 24, 2006
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Potential Starting Lineup
1 Brad Boyer L/R 2B Fourth all-time at UA in runs and stolen bases
2 Colt Sedbrook R/R 1B Leads the NCAA in HBP/Game (0.48, 25 HBP in 2006)
3 Bill Rhinehart L/L LF Has posted career-highs in hits, runs, 2B, 3B and RBI in 06
4 Jason Donald R/R SS 23-game hitting streak, team leader in RBI (48)
5 T.J. Steele R/R CF Batted .500 with two runs and 3 RBI vs. ASU last weekend
6 Jon Gaston L/R RF Missed the cycle by a 2b against ASU last weekend
7 Brad Glenn R/R DH Team-leading nine HR this year
8 Konrad Schmidt R/R C Hit his second HR of the against ASU last weekend
9 Travis Peep R/R 3B Hittin .432 in 18 games this season
Fri.  Preston Guilmet RHP Leads all pitchers with 89 IP in 2006
Sat. Brad Mills LHP Team-leader with six wins in 2006
Sun. TBA
CP Daniel Schlereth LHP Team leader with five saves this season 


On the Air

Brian Jeffries, The Voice of the Wildcats, will have all of the live play-by-play action of the weekend series with the Trojans. All three games can be heard live on 1290 AM KCUB in Tucson, or fans that have subscribed to Arizona All Access package can listen over the Internet.


Last Week

The Wildcats took two of three from visiting rival Arizona State to close out the home schedule ... ASU won the opening game, 15-6, but the Wildcats prevailed 18-12 and 5-4 to win the conference series (2-1) and the regular season series (3-2) with ASU ... The Arizona offense batted .294 in the series and finished the three-game set with five doubles, two triples and five home runs.


Home Protection

Arizona protected a 10-year string of winning seasons at home last weekend against ASU. Taking two of three from the Devils handed the Wildcats a 16-15 home record for the year. UA last failed to record a winning record on its home field in 1995 when it went 14-19.


A Quick Look at USC

The Trojans and Wildcats will be playing for pride this weekend as neither school can finish with a winning record overall for the year ... USC has limped home with a 3-16 mark in its last 19 games and is 25-30 overall for the year ... Despite its struggles, USC is in a tie for third with ASU in the conference standing with an 11-10 record in the Pac-10 ... USC, which has lost seven games in a row, most recently dropped a non-conference contest to No. 2 Cal State Fullerton, 6-3, in 11 innings on Tuesday ... As a team USC is batting .312 as a team and is averaging 6.5 runs, 10.8 hits and 6.0 RBI per game this season ... Matt Cusick leads all players in the roster with a .376 batting with a team-high 59 runs and 35 RBI this season ... Cyle Hankerd has launched a team-leading 10 home runs and paces the club with 55 RBI and 15 doubles ... On the mound, USC has a 5.04 team ERA in 489 innings pitched ... The Trojans will start RHP Ian Kennedy (5-6, 3.68), LHP Tommy Milone (7-3, 5.22) and RHP Ryan Cook (4-4, 5.64) against the Wildcats this weekend.


The History

Previous to this weekend, Arizona and USC have met 197 times on the baseball diamond in a series that dates back to 1921 ... The Trojans hold a 104-92-1 edge in the series, but Arizona has won six of the last nine games between the two schools.


Last Season

Arizona and USC met up for three games in the regular season last year, with the Wildcats taking two of three from the Trojans for a third straight year ... USC, and most notably Ian Kennedy, dealt Arizona a 13-0 loss in the series opener in Tucson. Kennedy blanked the Wildcats on three hits over eight innings while striking out 14 and walking three ... Arizona rallied back for a 7-2 win in game two of the series to even things up and then secured the three-game win with an 18-4 victory on Sunday ... In the series finale victory, the Wildcats sent 17 batters to the plate and scored 13 runs on 11 hits in the third inning alone.


Offense Turning It On

Since bottoming out at a season-low .266 team batting average at Cal on April 1, the Arizona offense has found its stroke. In the 27 games since the game against the Golden Bears, the Wildcats are batting .329 as a group and are averaging 8.6 runs, 12.2 hits, 2.1 doubles, 1.0 home runs and 7.5 RBI per game, well ahead of their season totals. The recent offensive surge has raised the team batting average from .266 to its current .301 mark, a 35-point swing.


Offensive Numbers

Entering the weekend of play, the Arizona offense is batting .301 as a team, and averaging 7.2 runs, 10.6 hits and 6.4 RBI per game.


All In a Day’s Work

The Arizona offense exploded for 29 runs on 27 hits in a 25-run win over Washington State on May 13. The Wildcats scored a season-high 13 runs in the fourth inning alone and tied the previous season-high with eight runs in the seventh in the 29-4 victory. Arizona set school records for the most runs scored in a Pac-10 game (29), the most RBI in a Pac-10 game (29) and the most at-bats in a nine-inning Pac-10 game (50). UA collected three doubles, three triples and two home runs in the win.


Powering Up

After hitting just eight home runs in the first 23 games of the season, the Wildcats have seen a surge in pitches going over the fence. In Arizona’s last 29 games it has quadrupled its home run numbers with 28 bombs to raise its total to 36 for season.

        Individually, freshman Brad Glenn has led the home run charge, hitting seven of his team-leading nine homers over the last 29 games, with classmate David Plante, junior Jason Donald and sophomore Colt Sedbrook adding four apiece.  Bill Rhinehart and freshman Jon Gaston have chipped in with three fence-busters each and Konrad Schmidt has added two HRs and Brad Boyer one.


23 and Counting

Junior Jason Donald’s current 23-game hitting streak is the longest for any Arizona player this season. Beginning on April 9 at Oregon State and still going, Donald is hitting .365 (38 for 104) with nine doubles, a triple, four home runs, 24 RBI and 19 runs scored during his streak. It is the most consecutive games with a hit in Donald’s three-year career at UA (nine, twice) and has helped boost his season average 38 points from .291 to .329.


Maybe It’s Contagious

Perhaps it’s coincidence, maybe it’s not, but during Donald’s 23-game hitting streak eight other Wildcat hitters are batting over .300 during that same time span. Travis Peep (.457) is over the .400 mark, while Colt Sedbrook (.382), Bill Rhinehart (.374), Matt Denker (.323), T.J. Steele (.394), Jon Gaston (.309), Brad Glenn (.301) and Brad Boyer (.343) have all seen more success at the plate during Donald’s streak. As a team, Arizona is hitting .336 with 49 doubles, 15 triples, 24 home runs and 182 RBI over the last 23 games.


He’s More Than Just Target Practice

Sophomore Colt Sedbrook, UA’s single season HBP leader (see note below), has been on a tear at the plate when not getting plunked by a pitch. In Arizona’s last 13 games, Sedbrook is batting .400 (20 for 50) with a double, a triple, four home runs, 19 RBI and 15 runs scored. And just to make sure he hasn’t forgotten his past, he’s also been hit five times for good measure. The recent efforts have raised his batting average 18 points, from .326 to its current team-best .344, and moved him into fifth in the Pac-10 in on-base percentage for the year (.461).


Chalk It Up

Senior Brad Boyer has been on a run-scoring tear of late. The four-year starter has come around to score at least one run in 16 of UA’s last 18 games, including a pair of straight steals of home, and has scored in 37 of the 50 games he has played in this season. The recent run, pun intended, has boosted Boyer into some very exclusive company in the annals of Arizona baseball history. With 215 career runs scored, Boyer is only the fourth player in Arizona history to tally 200 or more at UA. Against Washington on April 30 he moved past former teammate Jeff Van Houten for fourth on career list and he needs five runs in UA’s final three games in the regular season to tie Les Pearsey for third on the list.

Top Run Scorers in School History

1.             Dave Stegman      1973-76                   287

2.             Chip Hale               1984-87                   246

3.             Les Pearsey           1975-78                   220

4.             Brad Boyer           2003-Present       215


Grand Theft

In addition to his run-scoring prowess, Brad Boyer has also become one of the most successful base stealers at UA. With 73 career stolen bases, Boyer is currently fourth all-time at Arizona. However, he’ll be hard pressed to move up the list over UA’s three remaining regular season games, as Dave Stegman currently holds the No. 3 slot with 86 thefts.


Post Easter Peep

One day away from redshirting the 2006 season, Travis Peep has taken advantage of his opportunities over the last month. Making his first collegiate appearance at Oregon State on April 7, Peep has collected 16 hits in 37 at-bats for a .432 average. The first-year Wildcat has two doubles, six RBI, scored 10 runs and four hits in seven pinch hit appearances.


The Nine Hole

The last spot in the batting order has been one of the most productive for Arizona this season. The No. 9 hole in the order has seen the 11 players that have hit there hit a batting order-best .358 (67 for 187) with 39 runs scored, 31 RBI and two home runs this season. Freshman Travis Peep, who hit in No. 9 hole last weekend against Arizona State, is batting .393 with eight runs scored and four RBI in the No. 9 slot this season..


Wearing It

When T.J. Steele was plunked with the bases loaded against Southern Utah on April 25, it pushed the Wildcats into uncharted territory in the annals of school history. Steele’s third HBP of the year was the 70th overall for Arizona as a team, eclipsing the former school record of 69 set in 55 games in 2002. The Wildcats have been hit 23 more times since then to extend the record to 93 for the year. At the current pace, 1.8 HBP/game, Arizona will end its 55-game regular season with 98 HBP.


It Didn’t Last Long

Jason Donald’s stay atop the single season list for getting hit by pitches was a short one. Sophomore teammate Colt Sedbrook displaced his junior teammate in the record books in less than one season when he was hit for the 20th time on against Southern Utah on April 26. Donald, the all-time HBP leader at UA with 39, was hit by 19 pitches in 55 games last year. To put things further in perspective, Sedbrook’s 25 HBP this season places him alone in third on the all-time career list at UA. The sophomore, who enters the week first among all Division I players in HBP/Game (0.48), is getting dosed about an average of every other game. With three games remaining on the regular season schedule, Sedbrook is looking to get tagged at least once more times before the end of May to finish the regular season with 26.


Bulls Eye

Getting plunked in back-to-back ABs against La Salle on Feb. 25 moved junior Jason Donald past Kenny Corley for the top spot on the all-time HBP list at Arizona. Donald, who was hit by 10 pitches his freshman season and by 19 last year, has been hit by 10 pitches in 51 games this season for an all-time high of 39. To put Donald’s record-breaking wayward pitch magnetism in perspective, Corley’s former record of 32 was set in 201 games played over four seasons (1995-98). Donald has been hit by 39 pitches in two-plus seasons and 174 games played.


So Close

Arizona has been just a couple of runs away from being a struggling sub-.500 team to a force in college baseball this season.  In seven losses to No. 3 Cal State Fullerton, No. 6 Nebraska and No. 19 Mississippi State earlier this year, six were by two runs or less, including a pair of one-run losses. For the year, 12 of Arizona’s 28 losses have come by two or fewer runs. The Wildcats have dropped seven games by one run and five by two.


One Pitch, One Swing, Two Accomplishments

Freshman Jon Gaston hit the first collegiate pitch thrown to him over the right field fence at Kindall Field in UA’s season-opener against LMU on Feb. 3. The home run marked the first time since Nick Hundley in 2003 that a UA player homered in his first career at-bat. Hitting the home run as pinch hitter, Gaston’s HR was also the first for a replacement batter at Arizona since Dallas Haught went yard for the Wildcats as a PH against Washington State on 4/19/2003.


Pitching Numbers

Through 52 games, the Wildcats have posted a 5.50 team ERA in 463 1/3 innings pitched, and have 459 strikeouts against 219 walks ... Arizona leads the Pac-10 in strikeouts this season, including a conference-best 158 punch outs looking.


Sitting Them Down

As noted above, Arizona leads the Pac-10 in strikeouts this season. All 10 pitchers that have thrown for the Wildcats have more Ks then BBs this year, including seven with better then a 2-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio. As a team, UA is averaging 8.9 strikeouts per game. As a comparison, last year’s staff that struck out a school record 554 batters in 60 games averaged 9.2 K/nine innings. Arizona has punched out double digit hitters in 21 of 52 contests thus far, including a season-high 17 against Cal on April 1.


Pressing On

Any team that plays without not only its Friday starter but its closer as well would certainly struggle, and Arizona is no exception. With the loss of starter Eric Berger for the season and relief expert Mark Melancon for an extended time (about 14 of the 27 regulation innings pitched over a weekend) a number of Arizona pitchers have been thrust into different roles. True freshman Preston Guilment went from being the Saturday starter to the Friday guy. Left-handed junior Brad Mills has also been bumped up a day, from Sunday to Saturday, and fellow southpaw David Coulon went from the bullpen, where had been pitching well for the Wildcats, into the Sunday starting spot. Left-handed transfer Daniel Schlereth has gone from a match-up/set-up reliever out of the bull pen to the closer.


Run of the Mills

Junior Brad Mills has emerged as one of the top pitchers on the UA staff. After only accumulating only 23 1/3 innings in his first two years at UA, Mills has tossed 91 1/3 innings this season. His 4.43 ERA this year is the best for all active pitchers and his six wins on the mound leads the team. Mills has also played a part in two of UA’s three shut out wins this season. The left-hander blanked Notre Dame over five innings at the Metrodome in a 2-0 win over the Irish earlier this season and he most recently went a season-high eight innings in Arizona’s 15-0 whitewashing of Washington on April 29.


Renovations Replay

The offseason was busy time around Jerry Kindall Field at Frank Sancet Stadium. After the July summer camps wrapped up the heavy equipment moved in, tore out the entire playing surface, a total of six rows of bleachers and the old score board. In their stead was placed a laser-leveled playing surface, grass berms for seating down both the right and left field lines and a new score board and video board. Also added was a billboard in right field with UA’s 15 CWS appearances and three national titles represented. The left field area behind the grass berm, which is still under construction, is being remade into a Legends Plaza and picnic area. The plaza will honor all the individual award winners at UA, as well as the team members from UA’s 15 CWS teams.


2016 College World Series