May 15, 2002
On The Air:All three games from Arizona's upcoming series with Washington State can be heard live on the radio on 790 AM KNST or over the internet at www.knst.com.
Next Up - Washington State: The Cougars come to Tucson having lost five of their last six games ... WSU is 19-29 overall and 4-14 in conference play ... The Cougars return four starters from last season's 15-39 team, including All-Pac-10 honoree Bookie Gates ... WSU is batting .313 with 40 home runs as a team this season ... Sophomore Justin Hart leads the Cougars at the plate with a .377 average, but is followed closely by Gates at .376 ... Freshman Derek Bruce provides the power in the WSU lineup with 10 home runs, 14 doubles and 33 RBIs ... Junior Jeff LaRue leads the team with 39 RBIs ... On the mound WSU has a team ERA of 7.69 with 286 strikeouts and 218 walks this year ... They will send Eddie Bonine (7-7, 6.25 ERA), Brandon Hundt (6-6, 6.69 ERA) and Bryce Chamberlin (0-1, 8.36 ERA) on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, respectively ... Arizona leads the all-time series between the two schools 12-5, including winning two of three in Pullman last season.
Probable Starting Pitchers Friday - RHP Eddie Bonine (7-7, 6.25 ERA) vs. RHP Sean Rierson (7-3, 4.60 ERA) Saturday -RHP Brandon Hundt (6-6, 6.69 ERA) vs. LHP Joe Little (6-5, 5.17 ERA) Sunday - RHP Bryce Chamberlin (0-1, 8.36 ERA) vs. RHP Marc Kaiser (5-4, 5.80 ERA)
Wildcat Notes From The UCLA Series: (Overall) The series loss to UCLA was the fifth of the conference season for the Wildcats ... The Bruins scored first in all three games ... Arizona pitchers struck out 26 UCLA hitters, while walking just six ... Moises Duran led the Arizona offensive attack, finishing the three-game series 6 for 11 (.545) with two doubles, a triple and a grand slam. He twice cleared the bases en route to a nine RBI weekend ... Senior Chris Cunningham had at least one hit in all three games to extend his hitting streak to a season-high 10 straight games ... Despite the two weeks off for finals, the Wildcats came out of the series banged up. Freshman John Hardy did not start on Saturday or Sunday. Senior Justyn St. Clair played in two of the games, but was held out on Saturday due to a sore hand. Jeff Van Houten had his wrist injury, which has caused him to sit out a number of games this season, flare up, but he still managed to start all three games ... Sunday- Arizona's nine-run first was the second-highest scoring output in an inning this season for the Wildcats (10 at Cal 4/13)... Moises Duran's grand slam extended the school record to seven slams for the season ... Jeff Van Houten's three-run blast was his first since March 17 ... The multi-homer inning was the eighth of the season for Arizona ... Arizona had 14 hits in the game, seven of which went for extra bases ... Marc Kaiser has given up nine runs in each of his last three starts ... Brian Anderson struck out a career-high seven batters over just 2.2 innings pitched ... Saturday- Joe Little struck out eight batters in the game. The southpaw has struck out five or more batters in nine of his 15 starts this season ... The 11 strikeouts by the pitching staff equalled the season high ... Arizona scored all of its runs in the third inning and left four runners in scoring position after the fifth inning ... Little gave up his 16th home run of the season to Billy Susdorf in the seventh inning. The school record for HRs given up in a season is 19 by Gil Heredia in 1986 ... Friday- Seven of the nine starters on offense collected at least one hit in the game ... Pat Reilly's 3 for 3 effort at the plate was his fourth three-hit game of the season ... Senior Brad Hassey hit his fourth home run of the season to lead off an inning and his second to lead off a game ... Sophomore Brian Anderson's game-winning RBI in the 10th inning was his second extra inning game-winning hit in his career. He also drove home the go-ahead run in the 10th inning against Cal last season on April 22.
Hitting for the Cycle: Last season former Wildcat Matt Abram hit for the cycle in Arizona's 17-14 loss to the Cougars. The cycle was the 10th in the history of Arizona and the third against Washington State. A year earlier Kenny Huff had a single, double, triple and home run against the Cougars and Scott Stanley had one of each kind of hit in 1979.
Cats Vs. Cougs - Offense Prevails: Last season the Wildcats hit a school record seven home runs in a game at Washington State and lost. The 17-14 slugfest really wasn't much of a surprise because when the two teams get together offense prevails. Since the Pac-10 North and South joined in 1999 Arizona and Washington State have played nine times. The Wildcats hold a 6-3 advantage during that span, but the win-loss record is secondary in noteworthiness. Since 1999 Arizona has hit an astounding .385 (142 for 369) against Cougar pitching with a .604 slugging percentage on 24 doubles, six triples and 15 home runs. The Wildcats have scored 105 runs on 92 RBIs for an average of just under 12 runs per game, while the WSU pitching staff has an ERA of 9.11 against the Wildcat offense during that span. The Cougars, during this same time, are batting .302 against Arizona pitching (101 for 335) with 22 doubles, two triples and seven home runs. They have scored just over nine runs per game and the Wildcat pitching staff has a 7.00 ERA.
Series Best: Despite putting together an offensive fireworks display at USC, the three-game numbers didn't quite make the series season best list. Here's a look at the top offensive marks posted after the 13 three-game series already played this season:
Avg: .400 vs. UC Irvine (February 22-24) ABs: 137 vs. Stanford (April 5-7) Runs: 37 vs. New Mexico Hits: 44 vs. UC Irvine (February 22-24) Extra Base Hits: 14 vs. UC Irvine (February 22-24) HRs: 7 vs. UC Irvine (February 5-7) RBIs: 33 vs. UC Irvine (February 22-24) BBs: 22 vs. New Mexico (April 5-7) SB: 10 at California (April 12-14) Pitching IP: 35.0 vs. Stanford (April 5-7) Runs: 7 vs. New Mexico (January 25-27) Earned Runs: 6 vs. New Mexico (January 25-27) Hits: 20 vs. Utah (February 1-3) BB: 3 vs. New Mexico (January 25-27) Ks: 26 vs. San Diego State (February 7-9) and vs. UCLA (May 10-12) Opp Ba: .200 vs. Utah (February 1-3)
The Streak Ends: Senior Brad Hassey's season-high 13-game hitting streak came to an end in the second game of the series last month against UC Riverside (4/20). The shortstop completed the streak with a .441 average (26 for 59) 14 RBIs and 13 runs scored. He also walked eight times, helping him to a .507 on-base percentage. Despite the streak coming to an end, Hassey has still hit safely in 32 of his last 34 games. During this 34-game span he is batting .362 (55 for 152) with 32 RBIs, 34 runs, six homers and 15 walks.
Cunningham Catches Fire: Senior catcher Chris Cunningham is enjoying a renaissance at the plate. Since seeing his batting average bottom out at .245 three weeks ago, the Wildcat backstop has gone on a season-high 10-game hitting streak in which he has torn up opposing pitching to the tune of 19 hits in 44 at-bats (.432). He has tallied four home runs, 16 RBIs and 12 runs scored while improving his overall season average 45 points during his 10-game resurgence.
Swiping Them Silly: While the Wildcats don't necessarily possess a ton of team speed, Arizona has already surpassed the stolen base output from a season ago. The Wildcats' 10 stolen bases against California (4/12-14) pushed the team total to 57 for the season and past the 2001 final tally by five. With 69 total SBs this season, the 2002 team has matched 1998 club for the most stolen bases in the last five seasons. Double play partners Brad Hassey and Moises Duran are one-two on team with 15 and 13, respectively. The figures are both career highs for pair.
Turning Two: The Arizona defense has turned 39 double plays this season, three more than last season's team turned all of last year.
Hitting Notes: Arizona's team batting average dropped one point after the three-game series with UCLA ... Senior Justyn St. Clair has scored at least one run is nine straight games ... The Wildcats have hit at least one home run against 18 of their 19 opponents this season, including the last 14 straight. The only team not to give up a long ball to the Cats thus far is Texas A&M-Corpus Christi ... Senior Brad Hassey leads the team with 47 runs scored this season ... 11 of the 13 players that are averaging at least one at-bat per game have hit one or more home runs this season ... Of the returning players that have at least one at bat per game (seven total), five have recorded career high numbers in home runs ... Senior Chris Cunningham has hit a team-high 12 home runs and 12 doubles this season and also paces the Cats with 51 RBIs ... 10 of the 13 players that average an at-bat per game have 20 or more RBIs, six of whom have 33 or more.
Long Ball Stats: At the beginning of the year, the position of Arizona's long ball leader was up for grabs. With the departure of UA's all-time home run king, Shelley Duncan, and only six home runs returning to the current roster, the role could have gone to any number of players. And, in a way, it has. A total of 11 different Wildcat players have hit at least one of UA's 53 round-trippers this season, six of whom have five or more. The 2002 team has, in fact, hit seven more home runs through 49 games than the 2001 team did (53-46). Leading the way with a career-high 12 fence busters is Chris Cunningham. Cunningham has gone yard with nobody on six times, one runner on five times and with two runners on once for 19 runs batted in on homers. Classmate Brad Hassey, who had never homered in his three previous seasons at Arizona, is second on the team with eight homers. He has 12 RBIs on six solo shots and two three-run blasts. Jeff Van Houten, a freshman, and sophomore Moises Duran are tied for third on the team with seven each. Van Houten has hit two solos shots, three two-run homers, a three-run shot and a grand slam for 15 RBIs on home runs. Duran has gone yard with the bases loaded twice, with one on twice and hit three solo shots for a total of 15 RBIs. Sophomore Marc Kaiser has smashed five solo home runs and one two-run shot for six homers and seven RBIs. (See page 8 of the notes for the entire team break down) The Wildcats are 21-8 this season in the 29 games when at least one player hits a homer and are 11-3 in the 14 games two or more players connect for the four-base hit.
Getting Started: Senior Brad Hassey has hit a career high eight home runs this season, while that in and of itself is very noteworthy, it is also prudent to point out that four of his fence crashers has led off innings for the Wildcats. As a team, the Wildcats have hit 15 of their 53 home runs (28 percent) this season leading off an inning.
No Pac-10 Swoon For Some: The conference season is the time of the year that some players see their stats take a turn downward. Not so for many of the Wildcats, as four players are posting better numbers against Pac-10 opponents this season then they are against non-conference competition and many others are maintaining a steady pace against both. Senior Brad Hassey has torn up the Pac-10 with a .395 average in 18 games, while in 31 non-conference games this season the shortstop hit just .282. He has also tallied 17 RBIs and 19 runs scored in conference action. Freshman John Hardy has thrived at the plate against Pac-10 competition posting a .327 average with 16 RBIs against just a .298 average and 18 RBIs out of conference play. Sophomore Marc Kaiser is batting .305 in Pac-10 and 30 points lower against non-conference opponents.
Pitching Notes: The Wildcats pitching staff maintains a better than two-to-one strike out to walk ratio this season (2.4-to-1) ... In Marc Kaiser's two complete games this season the sophomore has had to toss only 93 pitches both times ... Senior Wes Zlotoff continues to lead the team with a 2.42 ERA in 26.0 innings pitched this season ... Joe Little is the team leader in strike outs (75) and Sean Rierson leads the team in wins (7) ... Rierson also continues to lead the team in innings pitched (101.2) ... The Wildcat starting staff (Rierson, Little and Kaiser) is averaging better than six innings per start ... Closer Brian Anderson is now six for eight in save opportunities in his career ... Through 49 games the 2002 Arizona pitching staff is on pace for one of the better statistical seasons in last five years:
Year-By-Year Comparison (through 49 games) 2002 2001 2000 1999 1998 ERA 5.12 5.42 7.11 5.74 6.20 Opp BA .293 .291 .304 .297 .300 CG 4 1 3 4 0 Sho 2 2 0 2 1 CBO 1 2 0 2 1 Sv 8 14 5 13 9 IP 441.1 442.0 429.0 442.0 423.2 H 522 522 535 529 505 R 315 328 414 330 338 ER 251 266 339 282 292 BB 126 180 256 219 235 SO 308 336 429 386 429
Pac-10 Stats: After the slug-out with UCLA, the Wildcats, both as a team and individually, continued to rank among the conference leaders in a number of categories. Offensively, Arizona leads the conference in walks (235). Somewhat surprisingly the Wildcats are fifth in the conference with 53 home runs. On the mound the Wildcats have given up the fewest walks (126). The pitching staff is fourth amongst Pac-10 teams in ERA (5.12) and fourth in innings pitched (441.1). Individually, Moises Duran is second in the Pac-10 in walks (34). Senior Brad Hassey's recent hot streak at the plate has him sixth in the conference in total hits with 69 on the season. Cunningham's 12 home runs are tied for fifth-best amongst all players thus far.
No More Non-Conference: The UC Riverside series marked the end of the non-conference schedule for the Wildcats. Arizona tallied a 22-9 record in 31 non-Pac-10 games. The Cats won eight of 10 multiple game series, including sweeps over New Mexico, San Diego State, Southern Utah, UC Irvine and Cal State Dominguez Hills. The Wildcats won all eight non-conference series at home, but were swept in both road series (Texas A&M, Long Beach). As a team the Arizona hit .293 in the 31-game non-conference season. Freshman Richard Mercado led the way individually with a .341 average in 91 at-bats. Senior Chris Cunningham feasted on non-conference pitching, recording team-highs in both RBIs (40) and runs scored (32). The pitching staff tossed 275.1 innings against non-conference opponents and posted a 3.76 ERA with 204 strike outs against only 68 walks. Sophomore Joe Little went 6-1 against non-Pac-10 teams in 52.1 innings pitched. Senior Wes Zlotoff recorded a 1.69 ERA in nine appearances and 16 innings.
Going The Distance: Sean Rierson's complete game against UC Riverside (4/19) was the second for the sophomore right-hander this season and the fourth total for the Wildcat pitching staff this year. Rierson previously went the distance in UA's 1-0 win over San Diego State on Feb. 7. Classmate Marc Kaiser tossed back-to-back complete games against UNC Wilmington and Arizona State earlier this season. The two CGs apiece for Rierson and Kaiser mark the first time since 1999 that more than one Wildcat hurler has gone the distance more than once in a year. Former Wildcats and top professional prospects Josh Pearce and Ben Digggins each tossed a pair of complete games during the 1999 season. Arizona's four complete games this season is the second most CGs for a pitching staff in the last five years. Both the 1999 and '97 staffs tossed five complete games each. The school single-season record is 38 by the 1956 team.
Coming Through In A Pinch: Ken Riley has produced in the pinch this season. Pinch hitting that is. The junior has three of Arizona's five pinch hits this year. In four pinch hit at bats, Riley is batting .750 with two singles, a triple and an RBI that scored the game tying run in the 10th inning of Arizona's come-from-behind win over UC Irvine on Feb. 23. Freshman Richard Mercado is the only other player to tally a pinch hit this year with two. The first-year Wildcat entered a game at the plate against Oregon State and delivered a single to right and most recently the designated hitter/catcher scored a pair of runners with a two-out single through the left side in the eighth inning against UC Riverside (4/19).
Get there Early, But Stick Around For the Stretch: Arizona's offensive explosions in the first inning the past weekend have given the opening inning the lead for the most productive frame this season. Arizona currently holds a 68-34 advantage (34 runs) in the opening inning. Arizona has out-scored its opponents by 25 runs in the fifth (60-35) and by 21 runs in the seventh (46-25). See page nine of the notes for an inning-by-inning breakdown of when Arizona scores its runs.
Wearin' It: It's officially the most painful season to be a Wildcat batter . Opposing pitchers have plunked Wildcat hitters a school record 61 times already in 49 games (1.25 HBP per game). In comparison, last year Arizona batters were hit "just" 35 times in 56 games (0.63 HBP per game). At the current rate, Arizona can expect to be hit by pitches just under 69 times this year.
The More The Merrier: Arizona is doing a fine job of hitting with runners on base, posting a .335 batting average at the plate. However, that average increases significantly when all three bases are occupied. In 55 official at bats with the bases loaded, Arizona is hitting .491 (27 for 55) with seven grand slams (see note that follows), 91 RBIs and a 1.055 slugging percentage. The Wildcats have also hit seven sac-flies, walked nine times and been hit by pitches five times in bases loaded situations. Moises Duran leads the team with 15 bases loaded RBIs this season on a pair of grand slams, a triple, two walks and a sac-fly.
Having A Grand Time: Moises Duran's second grand slam of the season, against UCLA, makes him the second Wildcat player to hit two bases loaded home runs this season. The sacks full fence buster extended Arizona's school single-season record to seven for the season. Pat Reilly, Jeff Van Houten, John Hardy and have all hit a grand slam apiece this season. Sophomores Brian Anderson and Duran have smashed two each. The seven slams mark the first time since 1999 that an Arizona team has had two or more bases loaded home runs in a season. Anderson's second GS of the season, against California on April 13, broke the previous school record of four shared by Arizona's 1955, '56, '61, '88, '93, '98 and '99 teams. Former Wildcat Dave Shermet holds the all-time individual career record with four.
Manufacturing, Inc.: Arizona has scored a total 402 runs this season and 97 of them (24 percent) have come without Arizona recording a hit to score the run. In 38 of the 45 games in which Arizona has scored, at least one run was plated without the benefit of a hit. The Wildcats have manufactured runs via ground ball outs to the left side of the infield, wild pitches, walks, balks, sacrifice flies, errors, straight steals and even batters being hit by pitches.
Using All Three Outs: Brian Anderson's game-winning single vs. UCLA (5/10) was just one of many two-out hits the Wildcats have posted this season. Arizona is hitting .303 (172 for 567) and have scored 179 of their 402 runs (45%) as a team with two down in an inning this season. Leading the way individually is senior Justyn St. Clair and freshman Pat Reilly. The duo are hitting .373 and .371, respectively, with two outs. St. Clair has 15 RBIs in the situation and Reilly has 12. Freshman John Hardy leads the team with 26 two-out RBIs. He has 34 total RBIs for the season.
700 and Counting: When Andy Lopez signed on with the Wildcats last summer he had accumulated 687 wins in 19 seasons as head coach at Cal State Dominguez Hills, Pepperdine and Florida. Arizona's win over UC Irvine on Feb. 23 propelled the first year Arizona skipper to his 700th career win. Through 49 games at Arizona, his career record stands at 717-438-6 (.620).
Head Coach Andy Lopez: First-year Arizona skipper Andy Lopez makes his return to the Pac-10 where he played collegiality at UCLA in 1974-75. Entering his 20th season as a head coach Lopez takes over as the head man at his fourth school. Starting out at Cal State Dominguez Hills in 1983, Lopez has also coached at Pepperdine and the University of Florida. While in Malibu, he led the Waves to the only team national championship in school history, winning the 1992 College World Series title in Omaha. He twice led Florida to Omaha and in the process doubled the Gators number of trips from two in 82 years to four in just seven more. Just the fifth head coach in the last 80 years at Arizona, he is also one of only seven active coaches with a national championship to his credit and one of eight men to ever lead two or more schools to the College World Series.
Arizona Player Career Stats vs. Washington State Hitter G BA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SB Brian Anderson 3 .429 14 5 6 0 0 0 4 1 0 Ken Riley 5 .318 22 2 7 0 0 0 3 0 0 Moises Duran 3 .286 14 2 4 0 0 0 1 1 0 Brad Hassey 6 .217 23 6 5 2 0 0 1 6 0 Justyn St. Clair 2 .167 6 1 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 Chris Cunningham 1 .000 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Marc Kaiser 1 .000 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Pitcher G GS W-L Sv. IP H R ER BB K ERA Chris Goodman 2 0 0-0 0 4.1 2 1 1 1 3 2.08 Sean Rierson 1 1 1-0 0 7.0 9 4 4 2 4 5.14 Wes Zlotoff 1 0 0-0 0 3.0 3 2 2 4 2 6.00 Brian Anderson 1 0 0-0 0 1.0 1 1 1 1 2 9.00 Marc Kaiser 1 1 0-0 0 4.1 8 7 5 4 1 10.38 Tony Sulser 2 0 0-0 0 1.0 4 5 4 2 0 36.00