Tuesday, March 18?- at No. 1 Arizona State - Packard Stadium
Television - FSNA
Radio - 1290 AM in Tucson (Ryan Radtke on the call)
The Wildcats took two of three from the visiting Cal State Fullerton, winning the three-game series opener 8-3 and Saturdayˇ?s series-clincher 6-2 ˇ? Sundayˇ?s 10-7 loss snapped UAˇ?s 12-game winning streak and was the Wildcats first defeat since opening day ˇ? The series victory was UAˇ?s fifth in five tries this season ˇ? On Friday Arizona broke a 40-year old record for consecutive shutout innings. The Wildcats, who blanked all three opponents at the Whataburger Classic March 7-9 in Corpus Christi, Texas, rode the arm of ace Preston Guilmet for 7 2/3 shutout frames against the Titans to extend the scoreless streak to 34 2/3 straight innings, breaking the 1968 clubˇ?s previous record of 33 ˇ? Offensive Numbers: The Wildcats batted .314 as a team and hit six doubles, three triples and two home runs in the series ˇ? UA saw its streak of 12 straight games with at least one home run come to an end on Saturday ˇ? Sophomore Mike Weldon made a push for more playing time, going 3-for-3 with two triples, a double, three runs scored and a RBI in two appearances (one start ) ˇ? True frosh Bryce Ortega went 2-for-3 in his lone start before getting scratched due over the final two games to an ankle injury suffered in Fridayˇ?s opener. The first-year Wildcat led UA to come-from-behind victory on Friday, delivering the go-ahead runs on two-run single in the eighth ˇ? T.J. Steele (.250, 3 R, 1 RBI) and Brad Glenn (.222, R, 2 RBI) both hit solo home runs in the series. It was Steeleˇ?s fourth of the year and Glennˇ?s first ˇ? C.J. Ziegler (.333, 2 R, 2 2B) finished with three RBI to push his team lead to 22 for the season ˇ??Pitching Numbers: The Wildcat pitching staff posted a 3.67 ERA in 27 innings of work ˇ? A week after posting 39 Ks against just three walks, the UA arms displayed impressive control again against the Titans with 23 punchouts vs. five walks ˇ? RHP Preston Guilmet (7 2/3 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 7 K vs. CSF) extended his walk-free streak to 22 2/3 innings in a 7 2/3 inning, seven-strikeout performance against CSF. Dating back three starts, Guilmet has 30 strikeouts against no walks and has an 11-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio for the year (33-to-3) ˇ?. The right-hander did not earn a decision against CSF despite limiting the Titans to two earned runs on four hits on Friday ˇ? Closer Jason Stoffel blew his first career save on Friday (he was 10-for-10 entering Friday), but rallied to pick up his first win of the season ... Left-hander David Coulon (5 1/3 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K) picked up his team-leading fourth win of the season in a solid 5-plus inning outing on Saturday ˇ? Relief ace Daniel Schlereth dominated behind Coulon on Saturday, tying his career-high with seven strikeouts in three innings of work. The left-hander posted his first save of the year to move him two away from tying Mark Melanconˇ?s career record of 18.
The 2008 Wildcats broke the 1968 clubˇ?s 40-year old school record for consecutive shutout innings last Friday against Cal State Fullerton. Seven different pitchers (Preston Guilmet - 16 2/3 IP, David Coulon - 8 IP, Ryan Perry - 7 IP, Daniel Schlereth - 1 IP, Eric Berger - 1 IP, Jason Stoffel - 1 IP and Grayson Adams - 1 IP) combined to help snap the previous mark and catchers Dwight Childs (26 2/3) and Daniel Butler (8) were on the receiving end of all 34 2/3 innings. During the scoreless streak UA pitchers allowed just 14 hits, struck out 46 and walked only three.
Arizonaˇ?s loss on Sunday to Cal State Fullerton dropped the Cats from No. 1 to No. 2 in the weekly Baseball America?poll and from No. 2 to No. 4 in the Collegiate Baseball rankings. The Wildcats remained second in both the USA TODAY/ESPN Coaches and NCBWA polls and third in the Rivals.com rankings.
Arizona ?vs. Arizona State - The All-Time Series
The Wildcats and Sun Devils have met 418 times on the baseball diamond dating back over 100 years to the first contest in 1907. Arizona leads the all-time series 229-188-1.
Cats-Devils - The Last Time Out
Arizona and Arizona State met up for five games last season - two non-conference, three Pac-10 games. ASU won three of five to take the season series for the first time since 2004. The Devils pounded the Wildcats 22-8 in the first non-conference meeting in Tucson on April 27, but the Cats evened things up with a second straight victory in the Challenge at Chase, winning 6-5 on the Arizona Diamondbacks home field. The Devils capped off their run to the 2007 Pac-10 title with a pair of victories (8-5 and 8-7) in the first two conference contests at the end of May before falling to the Wildcats 14-5 in the final game of the regular season.
A Quick Look at Arizona State
The top-ranked Sun Devils enter Tuesdayˇ?s game as the hottest team in the nation with a scorching 17-0 record ... Arizona State boasts a highly potent offense that is batting .326 and averaging 10.6 runs, 10.8 hits, 2.2 doubles, 1.8 home runs and 9.6 RBI per game ... Thus far ASU has outscored its opposition 181 to 55 ... The Devils have not announced a starter for the midweek game, but as a team they have a 2.29 ERA and 165 strikeouts in 153 innings of work.
The Wildcats are hitting .334 as a team and are averaging 9.8 runs, 11.6 hits, 1.9 doubles, 0.9 triples, 1.6 home runs and 8.7 RBI per game ... Entering the week of play, UA leads the Pac-10 in batting average (.334) and triples (13), while striking out the fewest times of any of the nine league teams (75) ... Individually two different players are batting over .400 for the year and seven different players have scored 11 or more runs and six already have double digit RBI thus far.
In a Pinch
The Wildcat replacement players have been at the top of their game this season. UAˇ?s pinch hitters are batting a combined .444 (8 for 18) with two triples, 11 RBI and six runs scored. Additionally the Wildcats have used six pinch runners this season and all six have made their way around the bases and eventually scored.
Diallo Dials it up
After not starting UAˇ?s first three games of the season sophomore Diallo Fon has forced his way into the leadoff spot and the starting left field position. The second-year Wildcat enters the week of play leading the Pac-10 in batting average (.450), is second in slugging percentage (.900) and is fifth in on base percentage (.511). Fon has 18 hits on the season, of which 11 are for extra bases (six doubles, three triples and two home runs).
Long Distance Rates May Apply
The Wildcats have been on a power surge to start the 2008 season. UA has hit at least one home run in 13 of their 14 games played thus far and has gone yard multiple times in six contests to amass an impressive 23 for the year. C.J. Ziegler has led the charge with eight fence-busters and is followed by T.J. Steeleˇ?s four, Jon Gastonˇ?s three and Dillon Bairdˇ?s, Colt Sedbrookˇ?s and Diallo Fonˇ?s two. The Cats have recorded an inside the park homer (Sedbrook vs. UNLV), a grand slam (Baird vs. Sac State) and an individual multi-homer game (Ziegler vs. Sac State). The Wildcats didnˇ?t hit their 23rd homer of the season last year until their 35th game.
Senior C.J. Ziegler has 18 hits, a .333 batting average and leads the team in both homers (8) and RBI (22) this season. Noteworthy numbers in-and-of themselves, however, itˇ?s the type of hits that he has put together that has been most impressive. The second-year Wildcat has seen 15 of his 18 total hits go for extra bases (83%). He has six doubles and a triple to go along with his eight home runs thus far to lead the Pac-10 in slugging percentage (.926)
With all of the pitching and hitting flying around by the top-ranked Wildcats, true freshman Bryce Ortegaˇ?s introduction has gone largely unnoticed. Since taking over the starting shortstop role on March 4 against UNLV, the first-year Wildcat is batting .429 (9 for 21), with two doubles, four RBI and six runs scored. Ortega hasnˇ?t been hacking away at pitches either, showing a keen eye with six walks against no strikeout thus far. Defensively, he committed his lone error against the Rebels in his second start, but has been flawless on his last 17 chances. He recently missed two games against Cal State Fullerton last weekend after injuring his ankle on a slide into second in the series opener on Friday and is listed as day-to-day.
Boosted by the school record shutout streak the Wildcats enter the week of play with a 3.38 team ERA in 125 innings pitched ... The Cats have punched out 136 hitters this season and walked only 37 for a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 3.7-to-1 ... Opponents are hitting just .240 against the UA arms this season.
Mike Takes the Mound
Right-hander Mike Colla is the scheduled starter for the Wildcats non-conference game against Arizona State on Tuesday. The junior is currently 1-0 with a 3.55 ERA and eight strikeouts in 12 2/3 innings pitched. He has made one start and four relief appearances this season.
Arizona ace Preston Guilmet has been doing just that. The junior right-hander has a disgusting 11-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio (33-to-3) this season and has not issued a single free pass in his last three starts - a span of 22 2/3 innings pitched.
Now Thatˇ?s More Like It
Friday ace Preston Guilmet was roughed up for eight runs - four earned - on seven hits and three walks in just four innings in the season-opener at Georgia on Feb. 22. Since then the right-hander has reverted back to the form that earned him numerous postseason accolades in 2007 and even more preseason recognition heading into the 2008 campaign. In his last three starts Guilmet is 2-0 with a 1.59 ERA, 30 strikeouts, zero walks and a .175 opponent batting average. He was named the national pitcher of the week by both USA Baseball and Collegiate Baseball?after his March 7 start vs. South Alabama in which he tossed eight shutout innings, struck out a season-high 12 with no walks and did not give up a hit over his final 5 1/3 innings pitched.
Guilmetˇ?s Starts This Season
Feb. 22 at Georgia????????????????????????????????L, 4.0 IP, 7 H, 8 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 3 K
Feb. 29 vs. Sac State????????????????????????????W, 7.0 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 11 K
March 7 vs. South Alabama???????????????W, 8.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 12 K
March 14 vs. CS Fullerton??????????????????ND, 7.2 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 7 K
Saturday arm David Coulon has been the Wildcats most consistent starter three weeks into the season. The southpaw enters his fourth start of the year 4-0 with a starter-best 2.28 ERA in 23 2/3 innings pitched, is second on the team in strikeouts with 30, has walked only six hitters and is allowing the opposition to hit just .186 off of him. He was named the Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week and the Proline National Pitcher of the Week by the NCBWA after dealing against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi on March 8. Coulon was perfect through the first four innings, allowed just one hit over eight shutout innings and tied his career-high with 11 punchouts against just one walk in his third win of the year.
Coulonˇ?s Starts This Season
Feb. 23 at Georgia????????????????????????????????W, 5.1 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 8 K
March 1 vs. Sac State??????????????????????????W, 5.0 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 7 K
March 8 at TAMU-CC????????????????????????W, 8.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 11 K
March 15 vs. CS Fullerton??????????????????W, 5.1 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K
Arizona relief ace Daniel Schlereth has been mowing down the opposition this season. In a team-high eight appearances the left-hander is 1-0 with a 1.54 ERA and a .167 opponent batting average. Schlereth tied his career-high with seven strikeouts in three innings of work last weekend against Cal State Fullerton and has record 22 total punchouts this season to account for 63% of the outs recorded in his 11 2/3 innings pitched.
Arizona closer Jason Stoffel has been the man coming on late in games for the Wildcats during his one-plus seasons at UA. The sophomore right-hander is 10-for-11 in save tries dating back to last season and has tallied a flawless 6-0 record during his Wildcat career. This season Stoffel has a Pac-10 best five saves in seven appearances, a 1.00 ERA and 11 Ks in nine innings of work. Last year as a freshman Stoffel allowed just one earned run in 12 Pac-10 appearances, went 5-0 and posted five saves in five tries. In the Wichita Regional in the postseason he struck out 11 of the 16 hitters he faced in three appearances.
The crowd of 3,398 on opening day against Sac State on Feb. 29 was the fourth-largest to witness the Wildcats first home game of the year and the most fans for opening day since 4,012 turned out to watch the 1992 home opener against New Mexico. The weekend tally of 6,700 fans was the best for any home opening weekend since the 1980 club drew 12,111 fans to see the Cats take on the 1979 CWS champs Cal State Fullerton in a three-game series ... The crowd of 4,250 against Cal State Fullerton on March 14 was the largest at Kindall Field since the Cats hosted top-ranked Texas on March 4, 2005 (4,644).
Itˇ?s On Like Donkey Kong
Last weekendˇ?s three-game series against Cal State Fullerton began what might be the busiest stretch of baseball in UAˇ?s 100-plus years of play. The Cats hosted the Titans for three games March 14-16, took Monday off before traveling to Arizona State on Tuesday for a single non-conference game. UA then packs its bags for its 2008 Pac-10 opener against USC in Los Angeles this Thursday-Saturday. The Wildcats get Easter Sunday off before heading back out on the road on Monday, March 24, to Stillwater, Okla., for a midweek two-game set against Oklahoma State on Tuesday and Wednesday before returning home for a home conference three-game set against UCLA March 28-30. Total tally for the final 18 days of March - 12 games, three travel days, three days off and zero days of practice. Once the month of March comes to an end, all Arizona has to then face is an April slate of 20 games in 30 days.
Coaches Pick Cats
The Wildcats have been named the team to beat in the Pacific-10 Conference this season. In a vote by the leagueˇ?s coaches, Arizona was named to the top spot, garnering 61 total points. Coaches are not allowed to vote for their own team and the point totals go eight for a first place vote, seven for second and so on. It is the first time Arizona has been named the preseason favorite since the Pac-10 North and South merged prior to the 1999 season.
Preseason Pac-10 Poll (First-Place Votes) Total Points
1 Arizona (6) 61
2 Arizona State (3) 56
3 UCLA 51
4 Oregon State 44
5 Cal 32
6 Stanford 30
7 USC 23
8 Washington State 18
9 Washington 9