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Arizona Baseball Travels to UCLA
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 04/01/2005
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Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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This Week

Arizona will head out of town for the first Pac-10 road trip of the season to Los Angeles for a three-game series against UCLA at Jackie Robinson Stadium ... The Bruins will return to action after taking last weekend off and will be playing their first Pac-10 games of the season ... UCLA enters the weekend of play in the midst of a 10-game losing streak and a 7-13 overall record ... UCLA dropped a 7-6 decision to Cal State Fullerton on Tuesday ... The Arizona-UCLA all-time series is one of the closest in UA’s school history. The two schools have met 209 times previous to this weekend with UCLA holding a scant 105-103-1 advantage over UA.

Last Week Recap

Arizona opened the conference season with a two-games-to-one series victory over Washington in Tucson last weekend ... Arizona batted .339 as team and finished the series with nine doubles, three triples and three home runs ... Derek Decater led the way individually with a .556 average in three games ... Nick Hundley, Jordan Brown and Jeff Van Houten all homered over the weekend ... Brown led all players with seven RBI ... John Meloan and Mark Melancon each picked up victories on the mound ... Thursday - Meloan and reliever Eric Berger teamed up to strikeout a season-high-tying 18 batters and the Wildcats scored 13 runs on 12 hits in the Pac-10 opener ... Junior Chris Frey went 3 for 4 with two RBI and three runs scored in the contest ... Friday - Senior Jeff Van Houten hit a leadoff home run in the bottom of the 12th inning to lead Arizona to its second walk-off victory in extra innings this season ... Jordan Brown came through with a two-out, two-run double in the bottom of the ninth to tie the game at 5-5 and force extra innings ... Brown finished the contest 2 for 5 with his team-leading eighth home run of the year and four RBI ... Saturday - The Wildcat pitching staff struggled in a series finale for the third straight week, giving up 16 runs on 15 hits, including four home runs ...Washington scored seven runs in the third inning and fended off numerous Arizona comeback attempts ... Despite the loss, Arizona’s offense still rapped out 15 hits in the contest.

Jordan Brown Pac-10 Player of the Week

Junior Jordan Brown was named the March 29 Pac-10 Player of the Week after leading Arizona to a series victory over Washington. Brown batted .429 (6 for 14) with a team-best seven RBI and five runs scored. Four of his six hits in the series went for extra bases, including two doubles, a triple and his team-leading eighth home run of the year. In Friday’s come-from-behind victory, Brown, the current Pac-10 RBI leader, tied the game at 5-5 in the ninth inning with a two-out, two-run double.

Brown vs. The Bruins

In nine career games played against UCLA, junior Jordan Brown is batting .429 (15 for 35) with a double, five home runs, 17 RBI and 11 runs scored and has slugged .886 with a .474 on-base percentage The current Pac-10 Player of the Week, Brown garnered his first career conference recognition after batting .455 (5 for 11) with three home runs and 10 RBI in a non-conference series against UCLA at Jackie Robinson Stadium in 2004.

Third Time’s No Charm So Far

Arizona’s search for arms in the final contest of a three-game series continues. In the first two games of a weekend series, the UA pitching staff is 12-4 with a 3.14 ERA and 197 strikeouts against only 57 walks. Those numbers change drastically in game three, as the Wildcat arms are 3-5 with a 7.47 ERA and 58 strikeouts against 31 walks in the series finale game. The last three weeks have amplified the issue as Arizona is 0-3 with a 13.50 ERA, 14 Ks, 16 walks and nine hit batters in the series-ending games.

The Arizona Offense

The Wildcats enter the week of play with a Pac-10-best .335 batting average ... Arizona is averaging 8.6 run and 12 hits per game this season ... Entering play this weekend, the Wildcats lead the Pac-10 in average, slugging (.527), on base percentage (.416), runs (242), hits (343), RBI (214), doubles (72), triples (19), total bases (540) and walks (130). Arizona’s ranking and the Pac-10 leaders can be found on Page 5 of the notes.

Free Ride

Heading into the week of play, Arizona leads the Pac-10 with 130 walks. That alone is noteworthy, but it becomes even more impressive when you toss in that UA, which also leads the conference with a .527 slugging percentage, has walked nearly as much as it has struck out (130 BB to 157 K) and that 48 of the 130 free passes (37 percent) have come around to score this season.

Two Outs? Rally’s On!

Led by a season-high 10 two-out runs against Fullerton on March 20, Arizona has scored 101 runs this season after the first two outs in an inning have been recorded (42 percent of UA’s 242 runs this year). As a team, Arizona is batting .351 as a team with two outs and has recorded 83 two-out RBI. Individually, junior Jordan Brown leads the two-out RBI parade with 18 runs driven in with a pair down. Brown is batting .447(21 for 47) and has hit four of his team-leading eight HRs with two outs so far this season.

Van Houten’s Streak Ends

Senior Jeff Van Houten saw his school record-tying 28 game hitting streak come to an end with an 0 for 4 day at the plate in Arizona’s 1-0 win over Cal State Fullerton on March 18. Van Houten strung together seven straight games to end the 2004 season and had at least one hit in his first 21 games this season to tie Ernie Durazo and Jack Daugherty for the longest two-season hitting streak in school history. Former Wildcat Brian Anderson owns the longest single season hitting streak. He finished with 27 straight games with a hit in 2003.

28 Game Hitting Streak Numbers

Jack Daugherty (March 29, 1981-Feb. 9, 1982) - 106 AB, 32 R, 43 H, 27 RBI, .406 Avg

Ernie Durazo (May 19, 2000-March 10, 2001) - 117 AB, 24 R, 43 H, 32 RBI, .368 Avg

Jeff Van Houten (June 6, 2004-March 16, 2005) - 121 AB, 27 R, 50 H, 35 RBI, .413 Avg

Van Houten Hitting Streak Part II

After having his hitting streak snapped against Cal State Fullerton on March 18, Jeff Van Houten also went hitless the next day to mark the first time in 70 games that he posted back-to-back hitless contests (Feb. 22, 2004 vs. UC Irvine, Feb. 24, 2004 vs. Arizona State). He has since had at least one hit in Arizona’s last four straight games.

Frey Guy

Becoming a full-time outfielder for the first time in his three-year career at Arizona has paid off handsomely for junior Chris Frey. He has already surpassed his previous two-year offensive numbers in Arizona’s first 28 games this season. A left-handed reliever and defensive replacement his first two years at UA, Frey is among the team leaders this season in average (.385, 4th), slugging (.561, 5th), on base percentage (.464, 4th), runs (32, 3rd), hits (41, 4th), RBI (24, 4th), doubles (9, 4th); triples (3, t3rd), total bases (60, 5th) and walks (15, 4th).

Taking a Dose

Sophomore Jason Donald leads the Pac-10 in getting hit by pitches. The second-year Wildcat has been plunked 12 times this season and is just three misguided pitches away from equalling Kenny Corley’s single season record at Arizona of 15 HBP set in 1997.

Leading It Off

Junior Trevor Crowe has truly made a pest of himself right from the start. UA’s leadoff hitter, Crowe has successfully reached base in his first AB of the game 16 times (14 hits, two walks) in Arizona’s 28 contests this season and has come around to score 11 times for an early run. He has hit six singles, five doubles two triples and an inside-the-park home run as the Wildcats’ first hitter and has reached base 25 times in 49 opportunities when leading off any inning. For the year, Crowe has two or more hits in 18 of 28 games and scored two or more runs in 14 contests

The Return of Jeff Van Hitting

A sophomore in 2003, current senior Jeff Van Houten became the first Arizona player since 1996 to bat over .400 during a season. His efforts (.413 avg. 72 RBI, 11 HR, nine 3B, 11 2B, 53 R) earned him the Pac-10 batting title that season and third-team All-America honors from Collegiate Baseball. Two years later, Van Houten has posted similar numbers in his first 24 games as he did in 2003 (He missed one game vs. UC Riverside this season due to illness).

Van Houten’s First 27 games in 2003 vs 2005

2003 .412 Avg., 97 AB, 28 R, 40 H, 5 2B, 4 3B, 6 HR, 38 RBI, 11 BB

2005 .393 Avg., 117 AB, 31 R, 46 H, 9 2B, 1 3B, 4 HR, 34 RBI, 16 BB

Joltin’ Jordan

Junior Jordan Brown has been a machine when it comes to driving in runs. The third-year starter leads the Pac-10 with 40 RBI this year and has driven in two or more runs in 14 of UA’s 28 games. The team leader with eight HRs, it certainly doesn’t hurt that he has collected multiple hits in 13 games either.

Hundley’s The One

For the previous two seasons, Nick Hundley split the catching duties with departed draftee Richard Mercado. Not once during that two-year run did Hundley start more than four consecutive games behind the plate. Now the primary backstop, Hundley has started 27 of 28 games this season (he missed one start due to family matters) just five away from his career-high of 32 starts at catcher in his freshman season of 2003.

Spreading It Around

The Wildcat batting order has produced top to bottom. In Arizona’s 28 games this season, all nine starters have collected a hit in two games, eight of nine in seven games and seven of nine in five others (19 contests with at least seven players getting one hit in a game). All nine regular starters have collected double digit hits this season, six have scored 20 or more runs and five have driven in 20 or more. Batting a Pac-10-best .335 as a team, six different starters are batting .300 or better individually for the year. The offense is averaging just under nine runs and 12 hits per contest this season.

Pac-10 Player of the Week Trevor Crowe

Junior outfielder Trevor Crowe was named the Pac-10 Player of the Week by the conference office on Feb. 22. Crowe led all Arizona players with a .529 batting average, nine hits (including a double, a triple and two home runs), as well as a team-best eight RBI, five runs scored and a 1.059 slugging percentage against ASU and UTPA. He collected at least one hit in all four games to extend his team-best hitting streak to 18-straight games dating back to last season (eight in 2004, 10 in 2005) and also walked a team-high six times to help him to a .652 on-base percentage in the four games ... In Friday’s series-opener at UTPA, Crowe tied his career-high with six RBI and hit both of his home runs for the week in the contest (3 for 5, three runs, six RBI, two HRs, BB in the game) ... The weekly honor was the second in Crowe’s three-year Arizona career.

The Pitching Numbers

Arizona enters play this weekend with a 4.61 team ERA and a Pac-10-best 298 strikeouts in 255 2/3 innings pitched. Arizona will start junior RHP John Meloan (5-0, 3.38 ERA, 63 K, 45 1/3 IP) on Friday, junior RHP Kevin Guyette (4-2, 4.01 ERA, 67 K, 51 2/3 IP) on Saturday and TBA on Sunday.

15 Straight

Friday starter John Meloan is 19-1 all-time at UA and has won 15 straight games in which he has factored in the decision. His only career loss at UA came on May 4, 2003, against Cal in his freshman year. Since then he has appeared in 29 games, made 19 starts and gone 15-0. Used primarily as a reliever early in his career at UA, he has flourished as a starter with a 15-0 record, a 3.66 ERA and 138 strikeouts when taking the ball from the get go.

Meloan’s Overall Career Numbers

46 GP, 19-1, 4.22 ERA, 181.1 IP, 175 H, 105 R, 85 ER, 101 BB, 180 K

Meloan’s Career Starting Numbers (1 in 2003, 11 in 2004, 8 in 2005)

20 GS, 15-0, 3.66 ERA, 137.2 IP, 116 H, 66 R, 56 ER, 70 BB, 138 K

Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week John Meloan

Junior John Meloan was named the conference’s pitcher of the week after helping to shut out Cal State Fullerton on March 18. The right-hander scattered four hits over 7 2/3 innings for his fourth win of the season. The effort handed CSF ace Ricky Romero his first loss of the year and pushed Meloan’s winning streak won 14 straight games dating back to last season.

Meloan Named Collegiate Baseball National Player of the Week

Junior right-hander John Meloan was named the co-national player of the week by Collegiate Baseball for his 7 2/3 innings, one-hit effort against New Mexico on Feb. 4. The honor was the first in Meloan’s career and the first for an Arizona player since teammate Sean Rierson garnered the award on Feb. 18, 2003. Meloan is the eighth UA player to be recognized by the publication as its player of the week since 1994.

Punching ?'Em Out

Not since 1998 has an Arizona pitching staff put up similar strikeout numbers through the first 28 games as this season’s staff. The 2005 Wildcats have punched out 298 batters this year, an average of 10.5 per nine innings. The last team to put up similar numbers was the 1998 team that started the season 23-5. The ?'98 Cats had 271 strikeouts in the first 28 games for an average of 10.0 per nine innings. Individually, seven different UA pitchers have 20 or more strikeouts this season. Junior right-hander Kevin Guyette paces the staff with a Pac-10-best 67 Ks against 14 walks this year.

The Last Eight Years of Strikeouts (Through 28 Games)

Year

Strikeouts

Innings Pitched

Avg. Per 9 Innings

2005

298

255.2

10.5

2004

193

248.2

7.0

2003

211

253.2

7.5

2002

183

248.1

6.6

2001

209

256

7.3

2000

243

245

8.9

1999

226

256

7.9

1998

271

243

10.0

K Guyette

A year ago Kevin Guyette struck out a career-high eight batters in his first start of the 2004 season against UC Riverside. He went on to finish the campaign with 83 punchouts, but never again approached the eight K plateau he established early on. A year later Guyette has struck out eight batters in a game three times, nine three times and whiffed a career-best 15 in a complete game loss to UCR on Feb. 26. The Pac-10 leader in strikeouts heading into the weekend, Guyette has punched out 67 hitters in eight starts this season and is averaging 11.7 Ks per nine innings.

Guyette Unlucky Again

For the second time in his career, junior Kevin Guyette tossed a complete game and got a loss for the effort. The right-hander struck out a career-high 15 UC Riverside batters on Feb. 26 and gave up just three runs on seven hits over nine innings and still took the ?'L’ in the 3-1 defeat. Guyette’s only other complete game effort in his three years at UA came in 2004 vs. UCLA. Against the Bruins, he went all nine, gave up four runs on eight hits, walked two and struck out six in a 4-3 loss. The Arizona offense has given him very little support in his two CG efforts, batting a combined .161 (10 for 62) with only one extra base hit and a two-game total of four runs scored. Arizona lost four the six games in which it pitchers tossed complete games in 2004.

Guyette’s Complete Game Misery

2 Games, 18 IP, 15 H, 7 R, 5 ER, 5 BB, 21 K, 0-2, 2.50 ERA

Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week Mark Melancon

Sophomore right-hander Mark Melancon was named the Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week by the conference office on March 15. Melancon garnered his first weekly honor after pitching in all three of UA’s games against Mississippi State (March 11-13) and striking out seven the 10 hitters he faced. He earned his third save of the year after working out a first and second, no-out jam in the ninth inning of a 7-3 Arizona win on Saturday.

Melancon Mows ?'Em Down

Dating back to Arizona’s postseason run in 2004, sophomore closer Mark Melancon has been impressive out of the bullpen. In his last 21 appearances he has given up just nine earned runs in 40 2/3 innings pitched. Over this span he has surrendered just 26 hits and issued only 11 walks, while picking up three wins, six saves and 43 strikeouts, impressive numbers for a closer who has worked two or more innings in 10 of the 21 appearances.

Melancon’s Last 21 Appearances (2004 and 2005)

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