April 2, 2003
Notes From the UCLA Series: The Wildcats lost just their third series of the season in falling twice to the Bruins in Los Angeles ... Arizona struggled offensively, managing just a .255 batting average over the three-game set ... The pitching staff fared no better going 1-2 with a 7.20 ERA against the Bruins ... The consecutive losses on Friday and Saturday matched Arizona's season high for losses at two straight ... The Wildcats still have not been swept by an opponent this year ... Junior Brian Anderson led all Arizona players at the plate with a 6 for 12 (.500) weekend. He also drove in a team-high six runs ... Freshman Brad Boyer scored four runs in the three games while batting .333 ... The Wildcat pitching staff issued as many walks (15) as batters they struck out for the first time in 2003 ... Friday: The Wildcats rallied from a 3-0 deficit through the first three innings to take a 4-3 lead with three runs in the fourth and one in the fifth, but could not hang on as the Bruins scored the final three runs of the game to win 6-4 ... Freshmen Brad Boyer and Jordan Brown were the only Arizona players to finish with more than one hit in the game, going 2 for 5 and 2 for 4 respectively ... Junior Joe Little did not earn a decision in his first-ever Friday start ... Reliever Mark Worrell was hit with his third loss of the season after giving up two runs on one hit and four walks ... Junior Sean Rierson made his first relief appearance since his freshman season in the ninth inning ... Saturday: UCLA's Wes Whisler shut the Arizona bats down on just two hits over seven innings as UCLA took the second game 7-5 ... The Wildcats made it close with four runs in the ninth inning, but Bruin reliever Kevin Jenkins ended the threat on Jordan Brown's fly out to center ... Richard Mercado hit his second home run of the season in the four-run ninth ... Arizona starter Richie Gardner suffered his first loss at UA after giving up seven runs on 10 hits in just 4 1/3 innings ... Sunday: The Wildcats hung on to win 12-10 in the series finale to avoid the sweep ... Junior Brian Anderson went 3 for 5 with four RBIs and his team-leading ninth home run of the season in the win ... Leadoff hitter Terrence Taylor went 2 for 3 with two doubles and two runs scored in the win ... Sean Rierson, making his second relief appearance of the series, picked up his fifth win of the season with two innings out of the bullpen
Polling Place: Arizona's two-loss-weekend to UCLA dropped it to No. 21 in the Collegiate Baseball poll, out of the Baseball America poll and to No. 25 in the USA Today/Sports Weekly poll.
Not By Much: Even in defeat, the Wildcats have still managed to keep the games close. In the 10 losses this season, the average margin of defeat has been just over three runs. Toss out the 10-run loss to USC, the only blowout defeat of the season for the Wildcats, and the margin of loss drops to just two runs per game. Arizona has lost one one-run game, four two-run games, four three-run games and have just the one 10-run blowout loss this year.
M*A*S*H: The Wildcats are fighting through a number of injuries at this point in the season. Injured, but still playing, are Moises Duran (knee), Pat Reilly (hand), Jeff Van Houten (ribs) and Terrence Taylor (ankle). Freshman catcher Nick Hundley hurt his thumb on his glove hand on a play at the plate against UCLA on Sunday and is still a question mark, while classmate Derek Decater, who has missed the past two series with a sore back, is set to return to practice this week.
Anderson Adding Up: Junior Brian Anderson has bounced back nicely from a down year in 2002. The third-year starter has already matched his career home run total of nine in just this season alone. He is also on pace to top his single-season-bests in runs scored (32 in 2003, 40 in 2001), RBIs (31 in 2003, 38 in 2001) and stolen bases (8 in 2003, 8 in 2001). His seven triples this season not only lead the team this year, but is also one more than his freshman and sophomore seasons combined.
Pitching Rotation: Juniors Richie Gardner and Joe Little will share the innings in Friday's series opener against Miami (Ohio). Gardner will get the start before giving way to Little, who will then leave the team after game to attend his sister Amy's wedding. Kevin Guyette will move up to pitch on Saturday and Sean Rierson will toe the rubber for the Wildcats on Sunday.
Freshmen Phenoms: Offensively Arizona knew it was going to have to rely on its youth to produce this season, and so far it has. As a class, the seven freshmen that have played this season have 156 hits, 112 runs, 36 doubles, 9 triples, 10 home runs, 97 RBIs and 34 stolen bases. Brad Boyer is currently third on the team with a .393 batting average and leads all players with 53 hits, 39 runs scored and 12 stolen bases.
2003 Arizona Freshmen Numbers (Boyer, Brown, Crowe, Decater, Franklin, Frey, Hundley)
Catagory Combined Total Percent of Team Total
AB 453 38%
Runs 112 36%
Hits 156 39% (The freshmen have class .344 BA)
2B 36 44%
3B 9 27%
HR 10 26%
RBIs 97 35%
SB 34 40%
Scoring Position: The Wildcats have made scoring from first base a common occurrence this season. Through 32 games, an Arizona player has come around to score from first base on the next hit 33 times for a total of 11-percent of Arizona's runs.
Stealing Them Silly: Head coach Andy Lopez and his staff put an emphasis on improving Arizona's team speed. It appears they did just that. In addition to scoring 33 runs from first base on the next hit this season, the Wildcats have already stolen 85 bases this season , 11 more than Arizona stole the entire season last year. The Wildcats are currently 85 for 109 in stolen bases this season for an average of nearly three swipes a game. The Wildcats stole a season-high 11 bases in their 15-12 win over Portland on March 12. The school record for stolen bases in a season is 150 set by the 1985 team.
Team Stolen Bases (Last 10 Seasons)
2003 85 - Through 32 games.
Speed Kills: Along the same lines of improved team speed is the ability to take extra bases. Arizona has consistently turned singles into doubles this season (81 total doubles for the year, just eight behind 2002's 56-game total) and has already surpassed its triples total from last season by eight with 33. Including Jeff Van Houten's inside-the park home run, the Wildcats have 115 hits that have gone for extra bases and are not traditional over the fence homers (81 doubles, 33 triples, one inside-the-park home run) which accounts for nearly 30-percent of all of Arizona's hits for the season. Toss in the 37 traditional home runs and 38-percent of UA's hits are for extra bases.
Double Digits: The Wildcats have found success this season when scoring double digit runs. Arizona is 12-2 (.857) when scoring 10 or more runs in a game this season.
T-Squared: Having gained his eligibility prior to the Texas road trip, junior Terrence Taylor has played in 11 games, including eight starts in the outfield. During that short span, the speedy JC transfer is batting .438 with 14 runs scored, five doubles, two triples and seven stolen bases.
Stringing Them Together: Junior Brian Anderson snapped former Wildcat Ernie Durazo's longest single-season hitting streak in school history on March 21 against USC. The third-year starter hit safely in the first 26 games he played this season to break Durazo's 2-year-old 2001 mark. His streak ended a day later with an 0 for 3 performance
Single-Season Hitting Streaks All-Time Hitting Streaks
26 Brian Anderson (2003) 28 Jack Daugherty (1981-82)
25 Ernie Durazo (2001) 28 Ernie Durazo (2000-01)
23 Todd Trafton (1985) 26 Brian Anderson (2003)
Putting Up Zeros: The Wildcat pitching staff already has five shutouts to its credit in 29 games played this season. The 2003 tally has already surpassed the season totals for the past five years and is tied for the most for an Arizona staff since the 1997 club also shutout five opponents during the season. The school record for shutouts in a season is 14 by the 1974 team. In Arizona's shutout wins this season, the Wildcat pitching staff has limited their opponents to under four hits per game, including a pair of two-hitters, and a combined .121 batting average.
Tread Lightly: Arizona's battery of pitchers and catchers have made running on the Wildcats dangerous proposition for their opponents this year. Wildcat pitchers and catchers have caught 24 of 49 would-be base stealers this season for a 49-percent throw out rate. Arizona has also picked off four base runners.
Touchin' 'Em All In A Hurry: Sophomore Jeff Van Houten hit his fifth home run of the season against Wagner on March 14, but didn't have much of an opportunity to savor it. The outfielder became the first Arizona player in over 10 years to circle the bases on an inside-the-park home run. Van Houten smacked a ball down the right field line, circled the bases in a dead sprint and crossed home plate standing up for a home run. Jason Thompson was the last Arizona player to circle the bases with the ball still in play on Feb. 1, 1992 against New Mexico.
Trip(le) Up: Arizona recorded a team single-game-tying five triples in its 20-0 win over Wagner on March 14. The feat, last accomplished against New Mexico in 2000, has be done seven time previous to this season.
Five Triples in A Game
1955 vs. Pepperdine
1955 vs. Utah
1962 vs. Cal Poly
1969 vs. UTEP
1986 vs. Hartford
1987 vs. Cal
2000 vs. New Mexico
2003 vs. Wagner
Scoring Trend Reverses: Early in the 2003 season, the Wildcats often found themselves falling behind in games early and having to fight their way back. In fact through the first 10 games of the season, Arizona was out-scored 16-10 in the first inning alone. That trend has seemingly reversed itself lately with Arizona jumping out to early leads. In the last 22 games the Wildcats have out scored their opponents 36-13 in the first inning alone and hold a 46-29 advantage in the frame for the season.
What A Difference A Year Makes: Through 32 games this season, Arizona's offense continues to blow away the 2002 team's numbers by a considerable margin. At this point a year ago Arizona was batting .290 with 309 hits, 257 runs scored, 59 doubles, 16 triples, 33 home runs and 222 RBIs. This year the Wildcats are batting .339 with 403 hits, 313 runs scored, 81 doubles, 33 triples, 38 home runs and 276 RBIs.
Individually, Arizona had just four players batting .300 or better through the first 32 games last season, while the Wildcats have two players hitting better than .400 this season and 11 at .300 or better.
Average .290 .339
Hits 309 403
Runs 257 313
Doubles 59 81
Triples 16 33
Home Runs 33 38
RBIs 222 276
Slugging Pct. .468 .558
Players Batting .300+ 4 11
Players Batting .400+ 0 2
Stolen Bases 41 of 65 85 of 109
Getting Offensive: The Wildcat offense has posted some impressive numbers through the first 32 games of the season. The team has a Pac-10 leading .558 slugging percentage, a .402 on-base percentage and is averaging over 10 runs, 13 hits and nine RBIs per game this season.
Up Coming: Arizona will play its final three-game non-conference series of the season this weekend against Miami (Ohio) ... Arizona still has a single game with Grand Canyon and two one-game meetings with Sac State remaining out of conference ... The Redhawks, who defeated Wright State 23-10 on Tuesday, come to Tucson 11-12-1 overall and 3-1 in MAC Conference play ... Miami returns 18 letterwinners, eight starters and eight pitchers from last season's 31-28 team ... Through 24 games, senior David Cook is leading the way at the plate ... Cook is batting .340 with a team-high 24 runs scored and 20 RBIs ... Classmate Michael Carlin has nine home runs and a team-high 28 RBIs ... On the mound the Redhawks have 10 pitchers with five or more appearances this season ... Freshman Matt Long has made a team-high six starts and is 0-2 with a 8.22 ERA ... Head coach Tracy Smith is in his seventh season as the skipper and has amassed a 211-169-1 record in Oxford heading into play this week.
Arizona Probable Pitching Rotation vs. Miami
Friday - Richie Gardner RHP (6-1, 3.19 ERA)
Saturday - Kevin Guyette RHP (2-1, 1.91 ERA)
Sunday - Sean Rierson RHP (5-1, 5.81 ERA)
Arizona vs. Miami (Ohio) All-Time: 2003 will mark the first meeting between the two schools in their respective histories.
Keeping 'Em Down: Arizona's series with Wagner marked the second time this season that Arizona has limited an opponent to just one run in a three game series while also posting back-to-back shutouts.
In addition to keeping Wagner off the scoreboard for most of the weekend, Arizona also limited UC Irvine to just one run in 27 innings earlier this season. The two series are strikingly similar in their dominance by the Arizona pitching staff. The two, one-run series by the Arizona pitchers are the fewest runs given up over a three-game span since the 1997 team shut out California three in a row.
UC Irvine Wagner
Wins 3 3
Team ERA 0.33 0.00
Hits 13 11
Runs 1 1
Earned Runs 1 0
Strikeouts 26 36
Walks 5 5
Sean Rierson - National, Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week: Junior Sean Rierson's complete game 2-hitter against UC Irvine on Feb. 15 earned the right-hander Collegiate Baseball/Louisville Slugger National and Pac-10 Conference Pitcher of the Week honors. His national recognition was the seventh all-time at UA and the first for an Arizona pitcher since former Wildcat Ben Diggins was honored the week of Feb. 28, 2000. The conference honor was the 25th all-time for a Wildcat pitcher and the first in Rierson's career. Rierson became the first Arizona pitcher to toss a complete game 2-hitter in nearly 20 years. Former Major Leaguer Joe Magrane was the last Arizona pitcher to go the distance on the strength of a 2-hitter in a 10-1 win over UNLV on Feb. 4, 1984. Rierson's 2-hitter also had the added bonus of being a shutout which was last done by David Carley, James McDonald and Jeff Hird in a combined 1-0 shutout of Pepperdine on two hits on Feb. 6, 1986. Interestingly, the Wildcats got only one hit in that game, which was Todd Trafton's game-winning solo home run in the seventh inning.
Sean Rierson - Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week Part II: Rierson was named the conference pitcher of the week for the second time in 2003 after a dominating performance at Texas in which he limited the defending national champion Longhorns to just one run on seven hits in a complete game performance. He struck out nine and walked two in his fourth win of the year.
Jeff Van Houten - Pac-10 Player of the Week: Sophomore Jeff Van Houten has been named the March 18 Pac-10 Player of the Week for his dominating performance at the plate against Portland and Wagner. The outfielder finished Arizona's 5-0 week 10 for 14 (.714) with three home runs (including two in one game and an inside-the-park HR), two triples, a double, seven runs scored, a 1.714 slugging percentage and a .700 on-base percentage. The player of the week honor is the first in his career and the 38th all-time at Arizona. Former Wildcat All-American Shelley Duncan was Arizona's last conference player of the week in 2001. Current teammate Sean Rierson has been named the pitcher of the week twice already this season.
Richie Gardner - Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week: Junior Richie Gardner was named the March 25 Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week. The right-hander went 2-0 in a pair of starts against New Mexico and USC with 17 strike outs and a 1.80 ERA. The week improved Gardner to a team-best 6-0 for the season.
The Last Time...: ...Arizona played two extra inning games in a series was back in 1997 against California in Berkeley. Unlike the 2003 version against Baylor, Arizona went on to win both of those contests, defeating the Bears 8-7 in 15 innings on February 28 and again 2-1 in 10 innings a day later on March 1.
Individual Record Setting Game: Richard Mercado's six-hit afternoon against BYU on Feb. 1 was the first for an Arizona player in 10 seasons and tied the school record for base knocks in a single game. The sophomore backstop tied former UA greats John Glenn (1972), Ron Hassey (1974), Les Pearsey (1978) and Chris Gump (1993) for the record. His five runs scored on the afternoon tied him with 21 other former players for the second-most in a single game ... Freshman Derek Decater's 11 total bases in the blowout win placed him tied for sixth in school history.
Six-Hit Games At Arizona
John Glenn vs. Iowa 3/30/1972
Ron Hassey vs. Colorado 3/22/1974
Les Pearsey vs. Azusa Pacific 2/20/1978
Chris Gump vs. Cal (10 inn.) 4/18/1993
Richard Mercado vs. BYU 2/01/2003
Scoring At Will: Arizona's 52 runs scored in the three games against BYU is tied for the third-most in a series in school history. Arizona posted 64 runs in two games against St. Francis in 1995 to establish the school record and the 1965 team scored 56 times in three games against New Mexico. In 1998 Arizona scored 52 total runs in a three-game series with Portland State.
The 32-run game marks the third-highest run total for a single game at Arizona. The Wildcats tallied a school record 40 runs in a game against St. Francis in 1995 and put up 36 against the Lobos in 1965.
The 29-run margin of victory against the Cougars ties for the second-largest ever at Arizona, trailing only the 30-run advantage the 1995 team enjoyed over St. Francis.
Runs in a Series Most Runs in Game
1995 64 vs. St. Francis (2 games) 40 vs. St. Francis (2/22/95)
1965 56 vs. New Mexico (3 games) 36 vs. New Mexico (5/7/65)
1998 52 vs. Portland State (3 games) 32 vs. BYU (2/1/03)
2003 52 vs. BYU (3 games) 31 vs. Colorado (3/19/51)
Road Series Sweep: Arizona's three-game sweep at UC Irvine Feb. 14-16 was the first road series sweep for Arizona since the 1999 team swept three games at Washington State on April 17-18.
Head Coach Andy Lopez: Andy Lopez, now in his second season at Arizona, has posted a career 738-451-6 (.621) record (Current). In his three previous coaching stops, Cal State Dominguez Hills, Pepperdine and Florida, he has averaged eight more wins in his second year than in the first. At Florida his second-year team won a school record 50 games, 18 more than the year before, and advanced to the College World Series.
Andy Lopez's First vs. Second Seasons
Cal State Dominguez Hills Pepperdine Florida
1983 15-27 (.357) 1989 41-19-1 (.680) 1995 32-24 (.571)
1984 25-35-1 (.418) 1990 37-23 (.617) 1996 50-18 (.735)
100 Years Of Arizona Baseball: This year will mark the 100th year of Arizona baseball. Since beginning with a 6-1 record in 1904 under head coach B.L. Cosgrove, the Wildcat program has found enormous success in its first 99 seasons. Arizona has recorded 2,248 victories (seventh all-time among Division I teams), won three national championships, finished second three other times, appeared in 14 College World Series, made 29 NCAA regional appearances, had 128 players get drafted and sign professional contracts (of which 52 reached the Major Leagues) and placed 73 players on 54 different All-America teams.