Arizona Baseball Notes - Pac-10 Opener Vs. Arizona State
March 19, 2002
Radio and Televison: The weekend series will be broadcast live by 790 AM KNST. Ryan Radtke will bring all the play-by-play action for Arizona fans on the radio or on the Internet at knst.com . Should the third-seeded Arizona basketball team advance to the NCAA Tournament West Region finals, Saturday's game will not be broadcast on the radio.
Saturday's game will be televised live nationally on Fox Sports Net at 2 p.m. MST. Legendary former Arizona head coach Jerry Kindall will provide the color commentary. Please consult you local listings for channel information
Next Up - Arizona State: The Sun Devils, led by head coach Pat Murphy, come to Tucson for the Pac-10 Conference opening weekend for both schools. The three-game series is the only meeting between the traditional instate rivals this season. ASU carries a 16-8 overall record into the weekend against one of the toughest schedules in the country. They suffered three losses in four of their games last week, dropping an 8-7 decision on the road at New Mexico State on Tuesday before falling two games to one in a tightly contested series against Oklahoma last weekend at home.
Offensively, the Devils are led by Steve Garrabrants and Jon Schaffer who share the team lead with a .375 batting average. Garrabrants, however, has missed ASU's last five games with a back/shoulder injury. Sophomore Jermey West leads the Sun Devils in home runs (6) and RBIs (30).
On the mound Arizona State has three quality starters in Mike Esposito, Robbie McClellan and Bryce Kartler and will likely call on Ryan Schroyer as their main man out of the bullpen.
The Sun Devils return 14 letterwinners for the 2001 team that went 37-20-1 and made an appearance in the NCAA Regionals. The Devils won a tightly contested series in Tempe last season two games to one and own an all-time series record of 158-133 over the Cats.
Pitching ProbablesFriday - RHP Mike Esposito (4-3, 2.79 ERA) vs. RHP Sean Rierson (4-2, 3.35 ERA)Saturday - RHP Robbie McClellan (5-2, 2.90 ERA) vs. LHP Joe Little (5-1, 4.47 ERA)Sunday - LHP Bryce Kartler (2-1, 3.57 ERA) vs. RHP Marc Kaiser (4-1, 2.50 ERA)
Arizona - Arizona State Fast Fact: Since joining the Pacific-10 in 1978-79, the two schools have opened the conference baseball season against each other only twice (1995 and 1982).
Wildcat Notes From The UNC Wilmington Series: Brad Hassey's two hits on Sunday extended his team-leading hitting streak to 12 straight games ... The Wildcats collected a season-high 17 hits against Wilmington on Sunday and are now a perfect 12-0 when posting more hits in a game than their opponents. Arizona is 5-8 when their opposition out hits them and 2-0 when both teams have the same number of hits ... Sophomore Marc Kaiser (4-1) tossed the second complete game of the season for Arizona against the Seahawks on Sunday. The righthander scattered five hits while striking out three and walking only one in the 14-2 victory. The CG was the second of Kaiser's career, as he also went the distance against Oregon State last season ... Every Wildcat starter on Sunday collected at least one hit and scored at least one run in the game ... Jeff Van Houten hit Arizona's fourth grand slam of the season on Sunday, tying the school record for team slams in a single season. The bases loaded blast was his team-high-tying sixth of the season ... Brian Anderson's grand slam on Saturday was the first of his career and the third of the season for Arizona ... His five RBIs in the game were career high ... ... Joe Little won his team-leading fifth game of the season in Saturday's victory ... Every Arizona starter collected at least one hit in Friday's loss ... Pat Reilly made his first career start on Friday ... Friday's game was the second contest Arizona has lost in the ninth inning this season (LBSU 3/9) ... The defeat was just the second at home for Arizona this season ... Marc Kaiser and Hassey were each hit by a pitch on Friday to remain tied for the team lead at six each ... The seven runs surrendered by Arizona starter Sean Rierson were the most in 10 starts by the sophomore (10 vs. California 4/21/01).
Sanctity At Sancet: The Arizona baseball team has thus far played Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde this season in regards to home and road games. The Wildcats have posted an impressive 18-2 record in the Old Pueblo against a horror like 1-6 record on the road.
The Wildcats have found the home environment much more appealing on offense as evidenced by its .328 batting average and 10 runs per game at Sancet Field as opposed to a lowly .167 average and 2.86 runs per game away from Tucson. The Arizona offense has posted one-hit, three-hits and four-hits in separate road games this year and have been shutout all three times in those contests.
The pitching and defense aren't exempt from the comparison as the Wildcat hurlers have posted a 3.36 ERA at home and a 4.40 ERA on the road. Their control in Tucson appears to be better as well, posting 157 strikeouts to 51 walks at home and just 19 K's against 12 walks in the visitors' dugout.
With the gloves, Arizona is fielding at .967 clip at Sancet Field and .955 on the road.
Anderson Returns: Since returning from a 15-game stretch on the disabled list with a sprained left knee six games ago, sophomore Brian Anderson is hitting .333 (7-for-21) with a grand slam, a solo home run, two doubles and eight RBIs. He has also pitched one inning of relief, tallying two strikeouts and earning his second save in 2002.
Stick Around For the Stretch: Arizona has out-scored its opponents 37-7 in the seventh inning this season. The 30 run difference is the most of all innings for the Wildcats this year. The first inning is closest, in which Arizona holds an 18 point discrepancy with a 30-12 advantage.
Hitting Notes: Arizona improved its team batting average 11 points to .288 for the season after battering UNC Wilmington's pitching staff with a .371 average over three games last weekend ... Senior Justyn St. Clair continues to wield a hot bat, finishing the three-game series with the Seahawks with a team-high .538 (7-for-13) batting average ... Over the last five games St. Clair is hitting a white hot .500 (9-for-18) with five RBIs and three runs scored ... During that same five game stretch, Jeff Van Houten and Brian Anderson have tallied eight RBI apiece and have both slugged two home runs, including one grand slam per player ... Redshirt freshman Pat Reilly was called on to take over the starting position at first base and has responded at the plate with a .400 (4-for-10) average in the three starts. He has three RBIs and has scored four times since moving into the starting lineup ... Senior Chris Cunningham continues lead or share the team lead in RBIs (30), home runs (6) and runs scored (24) ... Senior Brad Hassey leads the Cats with 32 hits and eight stolen bases this season.
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. Nine different Wildcat players have hit at least one of UA's 29 round-trippers this season and seven have two or more. The 2002 team has, in fact, hit six more home runs through 27 games than the 2001 team did (29-23).
Leading the way with six fence busters each are Jeff Van Houten and Chris Cunningham. Van Houten, a freshman, has hit two solos shots, three two-run homers and a grand slam for 12 RBIs on home runs. Cunningham has gone yard with nobody on three times, one runner on twice and with two runners on once for 10 runs batted in on homers.
The Wildcats are 13-3 this season when at least one player hits a homer and are 6-1 in the seven games two or more players connect for the four-base hit.
Coming Through In A Pinch: Ken Riley has produced in the pinch this season. Pinch hitting that is. The junior is the only Arizona player to come through with a pinch hit this year, and has done so twice. In three pinch hit at bats, Riley is batting .667 with a single, 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.
Pitching Notes: The Wildcats pitching staff remains at nearly a three-to-one strikeout to walk ratio this season (2.8-to-1) ... Marc Kasier tossed his second career complete game against UNC Wilmington on Sunday. He scattered five hits over the nine innings ... Senior Wes Zlotoff leads the team with a 1.93 in 14 innings pitched this season ... Joe Little is the team leader in both wins (5) and strikeouts (42) ... Sean Rierson continues to lead the team in innings pitched (53.2) ... Opponents are hitting .272 against Arizona pitching this season, eight points lower than a year ago through 27 games ... The Wildcat starting staff (Rierson, Little and Kasier) is averaging better than six innings per start ... Closer Brian Anderson is now five for six in save opportunities in his career.
Going The Distance: Arizona's two complete game performances on the mound this year are the most for a Wildcat team since 2000 when Ben Diggins went all nine three times. This season's pitching staff has a way to go before challenging the school record of 38 set by the 1956 team.
Series Sweep Rebounds: Dating back to 2000, the Wildcats have be swept in three-game series six times. That's the bad news. The good news is that five times after suffering a sweep, the Wildcats have gone on to win the series immediately following, including two this season.
The Wildcats most recently rebounded from a three-game sweep at Long Beach State (38-10) with a two games to one series win over UNC Wilmington. Earlier this season, after losing three straight at Texas A&M, the Wildcats swept UC Irvine at home.
In 2001, Arizona was downed three games to none by both Long Beach State and USC, but turned around to win series with New Mexico (3-0) and Oregon State (2-1) the following week. In 2000 the Wildcats dropped all three games in a series with ASU and UCLA, Arizona bested UCSB the next week after the ASU series loss, but fell two games to one to the same Sun Devil team following the sweep by the Bruins.
900 All-Time Wins: Arizona achieved its 900th all-time victory at Frank Sancet Field last Sunday in a 14-2 win over UNC Wilmington.
Located on the corners of Enke and National Championship Drives, Sancet Field has been the home of Arizona baseball for over 35 seasons. Known originally as Wildcat Field, it was renamed and dedicated Frank Sancet Field on April 19, 1986 to honor Arizona's longtime head coach.
Coach Sancet put Arizona on the collegiate baseball map, posting a 831-283-8 (.744) record in 23 seasons as head coach. His Wildcat teams made 16 postseason appearances during his tenure and nine trips to Omaha. He finished runner-up at the College World Series three times.
Since moving to its current location, the Arizona team has gone 900-387-3 in 1,290 games for a .699 winning percentage (Current through 3/21/02).
The Wildcats have suffered only three losing seasons on their home turf and nearly reach perfection in former head coach Jerry Kindall's second season with a 37-1 home record. Frank Sancet Field has been the site of four NCAA Regionals (1979, '80, '89, '92).
Wearin' It: It's painful to be a Wildcat batter in 2002. Opposing pitchers have plunked Wildcat hitters 42 times already in just 27games (1.56 HBP per game). In comparison, last year Arizona batters were hit 'just' 35 times in 56 games (0.63 HBP per game). Should the Wildcats' opposition continue to assail batters at the current rate, Arizona will end up with over 80 hit bats men, smashing the current school record of 59 (1.02 HPB per game)set in 1997. The 42 HBP this season have already surpassed the season totals of 30 other Arizona teams.
Manufacturing, Inc. : Arizona has scored a total 220 runs this season and 62 of them (28 percent) have come without Arizona recording a hit to score the run. In 23 of the 24 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, sacrifice flies, straight steals and even batters being hit by pitches.
Game-By-Game Breakdown of Runs Scored Without a Hit1/25 vs. New Mexico 5 of 61/26 vs. New Mexico 7 of 231/27 vs. New Mexico 0 of 82/1 vs. Utah 2 of 32/2 vs. Utah 3 of 172/3 vs. Utah 2 of 52/4 vs. Southern Utah 6 of 102/5 vs. Southern Utah 3 of 112/7 vs. San Diego State 0 of 12/8 vs. San Diego State 1 of 62/9 vs. San Diego State 2 of 72/13 at Texas A&M-CC 2 of 42/16 at Texas A&M 2 of 42/17 at Texas A&M 2 of 62/22 vs. UC Irvine 2 of 142/23 vs. UC Irvine 2 of 72/24 vs. UC Irvine 3 of 132/26 vs. New Mexico St. 5 of 143/2 vs. CSUDH 6 of 123/3 vs. CSUDH 3 of 133/9 at Long Beach State 1 of 63/15 vs. UNC Wilmington 1 of 73/16 vs. UNC Wilmington 2 of 93/17 vs. UNC Wilmington 2 of 14
Using All Three Outs: Jeff Van Houten's grand slam against UNC Wilmington (3/17) was just one of many two-out hits the Wildcats have posted this season. Arizona is hitting .299 (91-for-304) and have scored 96 of their 220 runs (44%) as a team with two down in an inning this season. Leading the way individually are seniors Justyn St. Clair and Brad Hassey and freshman Jeff Van Houten. The trio are hitting .370, .375, and .350, respectively, with two outs. St. Clair and Van Houten each have nine RBIs in the situation and Hassey has eight. Freshman John Hardy leads the team in two-out RBIs with 12.
The More The Merrier: Arizona is doing a fine job of hitting with runners on base, posting a .334 batting average at the plate. However, that average increases significantly when all three bases are occupied. In 28 official at bats with the bases loaded, Arizona is hitting .464 (13-for-28) with four grand slams (see note below) and an 1.071 slugging percentage. The Wildcats have also hit seven sac-flies, walked five times and been hit by pitches five times in bases loaded situations. Freshman Jeff Van Houten has cleared the bases twice with the sacks full, tallying a three-run triple and a grand slam. He has also been hit by a pitch with the bases loaded for a team-high eight RBIs.
Having A Grand Time: Van Houten's two-out grand slam against UNC Wilmington (3/17) was Arizona's fourth sacks-full round-tripper of the season. Van Houten, Brian Anderson, John Hardy and Moises Duran's slams mark the first time since 1999 that an Arizona team has had two or more bases loaded home runs in a season. The 2002 team now shares the school record for slams in a season with seven other squads. Arizona's 1955, '56, '61, '88, '93, '98 and '99 teams all hit four grand slams in a season. Former Wildcat Dave Shermet holds the all-time individual career grand slam record with four.
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 27 games at UA, his career record now stands at 706-426-6 (.623).
Arizona Player Career Stats vs. Arizona State (Through 3/21/02)Hitter G BA AB R H RBI 2B 3B HR BB SBMoises Duran 3 .444 9 2 4 1 1 0 0 2 0Justyn St. Clair 3 .400 10 1 4 1 0 0 1 2 0Ken Riley 8 .364 11 0 4 0 1 0 0 0 1Brian Anderson 3 .333 12 1 4 2 0 1 0 1 1Chris Cunningham 5 .200 10 0 2 1 0 0 0 0 0Brad Hassey 8 .150 20 1 3 0 0 0 0 0 1Marc Kaiser 1 .000 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0Pitcher G GS W-L Sv. IP H R ER BB K ERAJoe Little 1 0 0-0 0 5.1 3 0 0 0 1 0.00Brian Anderson 2 0 0-1 1 3.1 2 1 0 3 2 0.00Sean Rierson 1 1 1-0 0 7.2 7 1 1 1 3 1.17Marc Kaiser 1 1 0-1 0 5.0 4 4 4 4 1 7.20Tony Sulser 2 0 0-0 0 1.1 1 2 2 2 0 13.50Chris Goodman 1 1 0-0 0 1.1 4 3 3 2 1 20.25