Potential Starting Lineup
|1||Diallo Fon||L/L||FR||Whataburger MVP, leads Pac-10 in Avg, Slg and OBP|
|2||Jon Gaston||L/R||RF||Leads UA with 15 runs scored in 11 games|
|3||C.J. Ziegler||R/R||1B||Team leader in HRs (8) and RBI (19)|
|4||Dillon Baird||R/R||3B||Team leader in hits (20) and is hitting .408|
|5||Brad Glenn||R/R||DH||Has scored 10 runs despite hitting only .206|
|6||T.J. Steele||R/R||CF||14 hits, 10 RBI and 13 runs scored in 11 games|
|7||Colt Sedbrook||R/R||2B||Hitting .408 with 10 RBI and 14 runs scored|
|8||Bryce Ortega||R/R||SS||Batting .389 after taking over starting SS spot|
|9||Dwight Childs||R/R||C||Has three RBI and four runs scored in seven starts|
|Fri||RHP Preston Guilmet||?||?||USA Baseball, Collegiate Baseball National Pitcher of the Week|
|Sat||LHP David Coulon||?||?||NCBWA, Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week|
|Sun||RHP Ryan Perry||?||?||Tossed seven shutout innings last week vs. Notre Dame|
|CP||RHP Jason Stoffel||?||?||0-0, Five saves, 9 Ks|
The Wildcats went 5-0 for the week to improve to 10-1 for the year. Since dropping the season opener at Georgia on Feb. 22, the Cats have won 10 straight games ˇ? The Wildcats hit eight home runs in five games to extend their streak of smacking at least one home run in a contest to all 11 games played thus far ˇ? Offensively Arizona batted .346 and averaged 11.8 runs, 12.4 hits, 2.0 doubles, one triple, 1.6 home runs and 9.4 RBI per game during the week ˇ? 13 of the 15 players with at least one at bat during the week scored at least one run, including eight with five or more runs scored ˇ? Four different players batted over .400 for the week, including Colt Sedbrook (7 for 14, .500, 6 R,??1 HR, 7 RBI), Diallo Fon (10 for 21, 6 R,? 3 2B, 3B, HR, 6 RBI), Mike Weldon (3 for 7, .429, 2 R, 2B, 3B, 5 RBI) and Dillon Baird (10 for 24, .417, 6 R, 2B, 5 RBI) ˇ? C.J. Ziegler (6 for 18, .333, 7 R, 2 2B, 3B, 3 HR, 6 RBI) hit three of his team-leading eight home runs during the week ˇ?Thanks to a shutout weekend at the Whataburger College Classic in Corpus Christi, Texas, the Arizona pitching staff went 5-0 with a pair of saves, 54 strikeouts and just 12 walks in 45 innings pitched ˇ? UNLV, South Alabama, Texas A&M Corpus Christi and Notre Dame managed hit just .170 against the UA pitching staff ˇ? Three different pitchers (starters Preston Guilmet, David Coulon and Ryan Perry) all finished the week with double-digit Ks while walking just a combined three ˇ? Closer Jason Stoffel picked up two of his team-leading five saves over the course of the week. The right-hander struck out four in 2 1/3 IP.
Whataburger College Classic
The Arizona pitching staff tossed a weekend shutout, holding South Alabama, Texas A&M Corpus Christi and Notre Dame scoreless in three straight games ˇ? Arizonaˇ?s streak with no runs surrendered marked the first time the Wildcats have tossed a weekendˇ?s worth of shutouts since 1997 (vs. Cal) ˇ? The pitching staff posted a 0.00 ERA in 27 innings pitched, while finishing with 39 strikeouts against only three walks ˇ? The opposition at the classic batted a meager .117 (11 for 94) with just two doubles ˇ? Starters Guilmet, Coulon and Perry teamed up to strike out 30 and walk only one in 23 innings pitched ˇ? The offense handed the Wildcat arms more than enough offense, rapping out 38 hits, including five doubles, three triples and four home runs, and scoring an average of 12.3 runs per game ˇ? Even when the offense wasnˇ?t clicking (see two hits in a 3-0 win on Saturday vs. TAMUCC) the Catsˇ? bats still made the hits count. Diallo Fon collected both UA hits vs. the Islanders ?C a solo homer in the first and a run-scoring double in the eighth ˇ? Dillon Baird (7 for 15, .467, 5 R, 1 RBI), Fon (6 for 13, .462, 2 2B. 1 HR, 5 RBI), Colt Sedbrook (5 for 11, .455, 4 R, 5 RBI) and C.J. Ziegler (4 for 12, .333, 3 R, 2B, 3B, HR, 5 HR) led the offensive onslaught for the Wildcats ... After dominating the opposition over the weekend it came as no surprise that a number of Wildcats appeared on the all-classic team. Sophomore Diallo Fon was named the MVP of the classic and was joined by teammates C.J. Ziegler (1B), Colt Sedbrook (2B), Dillon Baird (3B), Jon Gaston (OF), Preston Guilmet (RHP), David Coulon (LHP) and Jason Stoffel (RHP/Closer) on the all-classic team.
The Wildcats swept a midweek two-game series against visiting UNLV in Tucson ... The sweep improved Arizona to 5-0 at home early on ... The team batted .353 with five doubles, two triples and four home runs in two games ... Senior Colt Sedbrook hit a two-run inside-the-park homer on Tuesday ... Juniors T.J. Steele and Jon Gaston and senior C.J Ziegler all hit traditional homers against the Rebels ... True frosh Bryce Ortega made an impression in his first two starts, batting .571 (4 for 7) with a double and run scored ... Mike Weldon also made his first start of the year in the finale on Wednesday and went 3 for 4, with a double, a triple, five RBI and two runs scored ... Steele wrapped the series by going 3 for 5 with two RBI and three runs scored, while also taking away a home run in the field ... On the mound the Arizona pitching staff went 2-0 with a save, a 5.00 ERA and 15 strikeouts in 18 innings of work ... Relievers Cory Burns and Eric Berger each picked up their first win of the season, while closer Jason Stoffel tallied his fourth save of the year.
As noted above the Wildcats have been pitching pretty well lately. Arizonaˇ?s weekend whitewashing of the Whataburger College Classic field marked just the fourth time in school history that the Cats have tossed three consecutive shutouts. UAˇ?s 27-inning scoreless streak is the fourth-longest for any UA pitching staff.
Longest Streak of Shutout Innings Pitched
1968??????? 33 Innings???????????? Final six innings vs. UOP on 3/8 and three shutouts vs. UOP and UTEP 3/9-12
1973??????? 29 Innings???????????? Three straight shuouts vs. Oklahoma and Denver 3/19-20 and first two innings vs. N. Colorado on 3/23
1997??????? 28 Innings???????????? Final inning vs. Stanford on 3/29 and three shutouts vs. Cal 4/4-6
2008??????? 27 Innings???????????? Three shutouts at Whataburger College Classic 3/7-9
The Wildcats remained the No. 1 team in the nation in the weekly Baseball America poll and held firm in the No. 2 slot of the Collegiate Baseball rankings. The Wildcats moved up one spot, from 3rd to 2nd, in the USA TODAY/ESPN Coaches poll and jumped up three spots in both the Rivals.com, No. 6 to No. 3, and NCBWA, No. 5 to No. 2, polls.
Thorpe Winner to Toss Out First Pitch
Arizona cornerback Antoine Cason, the 2007 Jim Thorpe Award winner, will toss out the ceremonial first pitch in UAˇ?s series opener against Cal State Fullerton on Friday. Cason, a four-year letterwinner on the gridiron, was recognized as the top defensive back in the nation last season after posting 71 tackles and picking off a team-high five passes, including two for touchdowns.
Arizona vs. Cal State Fullerton - The All-Time Series
The Wildcats and Titans have met 91 times on the baseball diamond leading up to this weekendˇ?s three-game set. Fullerton owns a 60-31 advantage over the Cats in a series that dates back to 1973.
Cats-Titans The Last Time Out
Arizona and Fullerton met up for three games last season in Southern California. The Cats won a pitcherˇ?s duel, 2-1, in the opening game on Friday with UA ace Preston Guilmet besting CSF ace Wes Romer. From then on however? it was all Titans, as they romped to a 9-0 win on Saturday and a 9-2 victory on Sunday.
A Quick Look at Cal State Fullerton
The No. 20 Titans come to Tucson with an 8-5 overall record 13 games into the season, having dropped a 6-2 decision against San Diego on Tuesday ... As a team CSF is batting .306 for the year and is averaging 7.2 runs, 10.4 hits and 6.1 RBI per game ... Individually Josh Fellhauer leads the charge at the plate, batting a team-high .429 with 14 runs scored ... Erik Komatsu has hit a team-best three home runs and leads the Titans with 16 RBI this season ... On the mound Fullerton has a 3.97 team ERA and 118 strikeouts in 113 1/3 innings pitched ... The Titans have announced a starting rotation of RHP Jeff Kaplan (2-1, 5.89 ERA) on Friday RHP Daniel Renken (3-0, 1.26 ERA) on Saturday and RHP Cory Arbiso (1-2, 5.28 ERA) on Sunday ... Head coach Dave Serrano is in his first season at CSF, taking over for long-time skipper George Horton after he left to take the head job at Oregon.
The Wildcats are hitting .339 as a team early on and are averaging 10.5 runs, 11.8 hits, 1.9 doubles, 0.9 triples, 1.9 home runs and 9.3 RBI per game ... Entering the week of play, UA led the Pac-10 in slugging percentage (.611) and home runs (21), while striking out the fewest times of any of the nine league teams (60) ... Individually three different players are batting over .400 for the year and seven different players have scored 10 or more runs and five already have double digit RBI thus far.
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 (.536), slugging percentage (1.143) and on base percentage (.606). Fon has 15 hits on the season, of which 10 are for extra bases (five doubles, three triples and two home runs). He has also walked five times while striking out only twice.
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 all 11 games played thus far and has gone yard multiple times in six contests to amass an impressive 21 for the year. C.J. Ziegler has led the charge with eight fence-busters, and is followed by T.J. Steeleˇ?s? and 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 21st homer of the season last year until their 27th game ... Itˇ?s still early, but the Cats are on track for 105 homers in the regular season, which would be second all-time at UA, and Ziegler appears to be on his way to smashing current New York Yankee Shelley Duncanˇ?s single-season school record of 24 bombs with a 40-homer pace thus far.
Senior C.J. Ziegler has 14 hits, a .333 batting average and leads the team in both homers (8) and RBI (19) 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 13 of his 14 total hits go for extra bases (93%). He has four doubles and a triple to go along with his eight home runs thus far for a very impressive 1.048 slugging percentage.
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 five games ago on March 4 against UNLV, the first-year Wildcat is batting .389 (7 for 18), with two doubles, two RBI and five runs scored. He committed his lone error against the Rebels in his second start, but has been flawless on his last 12 chances.
Boosted by a shutout weekend at the Whataburger College Classic last week, the Arizona pitching staff enters the series against Fullerton with a 3.31 team ERA and 113 Ks in 98 innings pitched ... The UA staff has a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 3.5-to-1 and has posted 12 or more Ks to just one walk in each of its last three games ... Opponents are hitting just .237 against the Wildcat staff this season.
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 two starts Guilmet is 2-0 with a 1.20 ERA, 23 strikeouts, zero walks and a .182 opponent batting average. He was named the national pitcher of the week by both USA Baseball and Collegiate Baseball after his most recent start against 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
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 3-0 with a starter-best 2.45 ERA in 18 1/3 innings pitched, is tied with Preston Guilmet for the team lead in strikeouts with 26, has walked only four hitters and is allowing the opposition to hit just .197 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 last weekend. 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
Ryan Rounds out the Rotation
Junior Ryan Perry (1-0) is slated to make hit fifth start of the season on Sunday. The right-hander appears to have found a groove after some rough going early on. In his start vs. Notre Dame last weekend, Perry tossed seven shutout innings, allowed only two hits, struck out seven and walked none. He hit 97 MPH with his fastball twice and sat at 95 MPH for the game. The contest against the Fighting Irish marked Perryˇ?s longest career outing and the seven Ks were the most in a single game in his three years at Arizona.
Perryˇ?s Starts This Season
Feb. 23 at Georgia??????????????????????????????? ND, 5.1 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 3 K
March 1 vs. Sac State????????????????????????? ND, 2.2 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 0 BB, 1 K
March 5 vs. UNLV?????????????????????????????? ND, 3.0 IP, 1 H , 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 K
March 8 vs. Notre Dame???????????????????? W, 7.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 7 K
Arizona setup southpaw Daniel Schlereth has been mowing down the opposition this season. In a team-high seven appearances the left-hander is 1-0 with a 2.08 ERA and a .188 opponent batting average. Schlereth has record 15 punchouts this season to account for 58% of the outs recorded in his 8 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 a perfect 10-for-10 in save tries dating back to last season and has tallied a flawless 5-0 record during his Wildcat career. This season Stoffel has a Pac-10 best five saves in five appearances, a 1.23 ERA and nine Ks in 7 1/3 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.
Itˇ?s On Like Donkey Kong
The three-game series against Cal State Fullerton begins what might be the busiest stretch of baseball in UAˇ?s 100-plus years of play. The Cats host the Titans for three games this weekend, take 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 next 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