Baseball Set to Take on Canes
June 4, 2008
Notes from the Ann Arbor Regional
The No. 1-seeded Wildcats swept their way through the Ann Arbor Regional on the opening weekend of the NCAA tournament. UA defeated No. 4 seed Eastern Michigan, 13-7, host school Michigan, 4-3, and No. 3 seed Kentucky, 5-3 ... The regional victory was Arizona's 16th in school history and its second under current head coach Andy Lopez (2004) ... Arizona's appearance in the regional championship game marked the fourth straight postseason the Cats have played in the title game. UA won the regional championship this year and at the South Bend Regional in 2004 and lost to Cal State Fullerton in 2005 and Wichita State in 2007 (Arizona did not advance to the NCAA tournament in 2006) ... The Wildcats had four members selected to the all-regional team upon completion of play - C Dwight Childs, 1B C.J. Ziegler, LHP Eric Berger and closer Jason Stoffel were all recognized by the assembled media. Stoffel, who earned three saves over the course of UA's three games, was named the regional MVP ... Stoffel took over sole possession of the single season saves record at Arizona and moved into a tie with former Wildcat Mark Melancon for the all-time career mark (18). His 13 saves this season are already two better than Melancon previous single-season record of 11 set in 2005.
Offensive Numbers - The Wildcats batted .284 as a team and finished with four doubles and a home run ... Led by stolen base leader T.J. Steele (4 for 4), Arizona went 7 for 10 in steal attempts ... Individually C.J. Ziegler led the Cats with a .545 batting average (6 for 11) and hit a double, drove in a team-high five runs and scored three times, as well ... Brad Glenn, who went hitless in four postseason games in Wichita, Kan., last year (0 for 13), wrapped up the Ann Arbor regional 4 for 11 (.364) with a double, three RBI and three runs scored ... Rafael Valenzuela, who took over the starting left field position on the final day of the regular season, went 3 for 9 (.333) with a double, an RBI and two runs scored in three games ... True frosh Bobby Coyle hit UA's only home run of the regional (vs. Kentucky). The two-run blast was the first of Coyle's career and the first by a UA pinch hitter this season ... Pitching Numbers - On the mound UA's pitchers went 3-0 with a 4.33 team ERA ... The staff struck out 32 hitters over three games and issued only seven walks in 27 innings pitched ... UM and UK combined to hit four homers off the Arizona staff, but the Cats limited the damage done by them, as all four were solo shots ... As noted above closer Jason Stoffel earned a save in all three games UA played ... Left-handed starters Eric Berger and David Coulon both turned in fine outings. Berger tied his career-high with 11 strikeouts while allowing just three runs on five hits over 7 1/3 innings in the regional championship game. Coulon tossed five innings against Michigan and allowed only two runs on five hits. He struck out four and walked only one.
Los Tres Hombres
Arizona's bullpen trio of junior right-hander Ryan Perry (95-100 MPH), junior left-hander Daniel Schlereth (94-97 MPH) and sophomore right-handed closer Jason Stoffel (92-95 MPH) are among the top three collegiate arms coming on in relief in the nation this season. Combined the trio have teamed up to go 11-5 with 15 saves and 217 strikeouts in 169 innings of work, while limiting the opposition to .199 batting average ... Last weekend in Ann Arbor, the relievers pitched in all three games and teamed up to go 1-0 with three saves, 14 Ks, three walks and a .212 opponent batting average against. No. 4 seed Eastern Michigan was the only school to score a run off of them (Schlereth) to help lead to a 1.00 ERA in nine innings of work ... Perry and Schlereth are both potential first round selections in the upcoming MLB first year player draft on Thursday, while Stoffel has already placed himself on the scout's radar (literally) for the next year's draft.
A Quick Look at Arizona
UA has an experienced ball club that regularly starts two seniors (1B C.J. Ziegler and 2B Colt Sedbrook), three juniors (3B Brad Glenn, CF T.J. Steele, RF Jon Gaston), two sophomores (C Dwight Childs and LF Rafael Valenzuela) and one true freshman (SS Bryce Ortega) in the field. The starting pitching has mainly consisted of a senior (LHP David Coulon), a redshirt junior (LHP Eric Berger) and a true junior (RHP Preston Guilmet), while the primary arms out of the bullpen are four juniors (RHP Ryan Perry, LHP Daniel Schlereth, RHP Mike Colla and RHP Cory Burns) and one sophomore (RHP Jason Stoffel).
Back-to-Back 40 Wins
Head coach Andy Lopez has guided the Arizona baseball program to back-to-back 40-win seasons for the first time since 1985-86. The Wildcats won 40 games for the first time since 1989 last year when they went 42-17 and their win at Michigan in the Ann Arbor Regional last Saturday pushed them past the mark this year.
Arizona's Regional History
The 2008 Ann Arbor regional title marked Arizona's 16th all-time championship in regional play and second under head coach Andy Lopez... In seven seasons under Lopez the Wildcats have participated in five regionals (2003-05, 2007-08) ... The 2008 postseason marks the 34th time UA has advanced to play past the regular season ... The 34 postseason invitations are the second-most in the Pac-10 Conference, trailing only 12-time national champion USC's 40 ... After the Ann Arbor Regional sweep, the Wildcats are now 58-39 (.598) in regional play since 1950.
Arizona's Regional Championships
1954, 1955, 1956, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1963, 1966, 1970, 1976, 1979, 1980, 1985, 1986, 2004, 2008
Arizona's Super Regional History
The Wildcats have played in just one super regional since the NCAA changed the postseason format in 1999. The 2004 Arizona club swept its way through the South Bend (Ind.) Regional, defeating UC Irvine, Kent State and Notre Dame, to move on to a super regional appearance in Long Beach, Calif. Arizona and Long Beach State went the full three games in the series, with the Wildcats winning the opener, 6-5, dropping the second game, 9-4, and taking the SR title and UA's 15th berth in Omaha with a 4-3 win in 11 innings in the three-game series finale.
The Arizona baseball program has a long and storied history in the NCAA postseason. Including this year, the Wildcats have made 34 postseason appearances, won 16 regional titles, one super regional title, made 15 appearances in the College World Series, won three national titles (1976, 1980, 1986) and finished runner-up at the CWS three other times.
Lopez in the Postseason
Including this season, Arizona head coach Andy Lopez has guided 13 teams to the NCAA postseason tournament in 20 years on the Division I level, including five at Arizona, and four teams to Omaha and the College World Series ... He also led Cal State Dominguez Hills to two Division II playoff berths, including a trip to the D-II College World Series in 1987 ... Lopez is one of just nine active coaches on the Division I level with a national title to his credit (Pepperdine, 1992) and one of only three coaches in the history of college baseball to lead three different schools (Arizona, Florida, Pepperdine) to the College World Series and the only one still actively coaching (Larry Cochell and Ron Polk). ... He has a 38-27 postseason record on the Division I level and a 43-32 career mark on both the D-I and D-II levels.
Flying Under the Radar
Since Andy Lopez took over the Arizona baseball program the Wildcats have made a return to the national scene. After disappearing nationally nearly all together from 1994-2001, Arizona has made five postseason appearances (2003-05, 2007-08) in the last six seasons, has played for four regional championships (2004-05, 2007-08) - winning two of them (2004 and 2008), won a super regional title (2004), and made its 15th trip to Omaha (2004). Impressive feats on that very basic level, but when you factor in that UA still hasn't hosted a postseason game at home since 1992, the simple fact that Lopez and Wildcats have been able to achieve so much on the road makes it just that more impressive.
What's Left in the Postseason
Arizona faced four of the 15 other schools that advanced to the super regional round of the NCAA tournament. The Wildcats won three-game series against all four to post a 8-5 record for the year. UA defeated national seeds Georgia, Cal State Fullerton and Arizona State and super regional host Stanford two games to one each. Arizona and Arizona State actually split their season series 2-2 with ASU winning a single non-conference game in Tempe and one in the Pac-10 series in Tucson.
On the Road Again
UC Irvine and Arizona are neck-and-neck in a dogfight for frequent flyer miles. The Anteaters, who won the Lincoln (Neb.) Regional last weekend, are slated for a super regional berth in Baton Rouge against LSU this weekend. Total mileage for UCI in the postseason thus far - 4,096 miles as the crow flies (round trip from Irvine to Lincoln and one-way to Baton Rouge). That's pretty stout, but the Cats got `em beat. Total mileage for UA in the postseason thus far - 5,187 miles as the crow flies (round trip from Tucson to Ann Arbor and one-way to Miami) ... Being on the road is nothing new for the Wildcats. Including the 3,284 round trip miles to the regional in Ann Arbor last weekend and the 1,903 one-way miles to Miami this weekend, Arizona has traveled a grand total of 19,809 round trip miles on road trips this year to Athens, Ga. (3,190), Corpus Christi, Texas (1,744), Tempe, Ariz. (204), Stillwater, Okla. (1,672), Los Angeles (910), Seattle, Wash., San Diego, Calif. (2,588 between UW, SDSU and Tucson), Albuquerque, N.M. (636), Corvallis, Ore. (2168), Berkeley, Calif. (1,510), Ann Arbor (3,284) and Miami (1,903 - one way).
Arizona had five players named first-team All-Pac-10 in a vote by the league coaches. UA's Preston Guilmet (RHP), Daniel Schlereth (LHP), Jason Stoffel (RHP), Jon Gaston (OF) and T.J. Steele (OF) were all named to the conference's first team. C.J Ziegler and Bryce Ortega were both named honorable mention All-Pac-10 ... The five first-teamers tied for the second-most in a single season at Arizona (1989 and 2005) ... Arizona's five first-team selections tied conference champion Arizona State for the second-most all-league selections this season. Pac-10 runner-up Stanford finished with six first-team selections.
Junior relief ace Daniel Schlereth was named a third-team All-American by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper. The postseason honor is the first in Schlereth's career and follows up a third-team preseason honor by the same publication from earlier this year.
Not by Much
The Wildcats dropped seven of their 17 losses in the regular season by a single run. In those seven defeats, the Wildcats stranded a total of 26 runners in scoring position. A key hit here or there and who knows?
Arizona vs. Miami - The History
The Wildcats and Hurricanes have met eight times on the baseball diamond prior to the super regional opener on Friday ... Miami owns an 8-3 advantage all-time against Arizona in a series that dates back to 1926 ... Arizona and Miami have met twice in the postseason with the Cats winning, 5-1, at the College World Series in 1979 and the Canes defeating UA, 4-2, in Omaha in 1986 ... Arizona and Miami last met up in 1989 with the Canes scoring an 11-1 win over the Cats at the Carolina Invitational in Chapel Hill, N.C.
UA and UM did not share a single common opponent this season.
The Arizona pitching staff is 41-17 with 15 saves ... The Wildcats have a Pac-10-best 3.93 team ERA in 517 innings pitched ... Opponents are batting just .255 against the Wildcats this season ... The opposition is averaging only 4.7 runs, 8.7 hits and 4.2 RBI per game this season ... With 546 strikeouts against 186 walks, UA has a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 2.9-to-1 ... The Wildcats' 546 Ks this year are second-most in a single season in school history and just nine away breaking the all-time team record of 554 set in 2005.
The Arizona pitching staff has notched seven shutouts this season. Left-hander David Coulon tossed a CG shutout against Washington on April 5, Preston Guilmet a CG shutout at Oregon State on April 25 and the other five have been combined efforts. The seven whitewashing this season are the most since 1976. The 2008 Cats have chalked up the most single season shutouts in over 30 years, but they still have ways to go to match the 1976 CWS championship club that finished with 11 shutouts, the second-most in school history.
Date Opponent Score Pitchers (Win/Save, IP)
4/5 Washington 5-0 Coulon (W, 9)
4/12 Indiana State 5-0 Coulon (W, 5 2/3), Schlereth (2 1/3), Stoffel (1)
4/25 Oregon State 7-0 Guilmet (W, 9)
5/10 Utah Valley 7-0 Coulon (W, 7), Schlereth (2)
Ringing `Em up
The Arizona pitching staff is on a record pace for strikeouts. With 546 Ks this season, the Cats already second all-time while averaging 9.5 strikeouts per nine innings pitched and 9.4 Ks per game (58 games). The all-time strikeout leaders at Arizona, the 2005 pitching staff, finished the season with 554 Ks while averaging 9.2 Ks per nine innings pitched and 9.2 strikeouts per game (60). The Wildcats, who finished second nationally in strikeouts per nine innings last season, enter the super regional round of the tournament fourth in the nation in the category.
Left-hander Daniel Schlereth has been nearly untouchable this season coming out of the bullpen. The relief ace has a 2-0 record, one save, a 1.81 ERA and an unworldly 76 strikeouts in only 54 2/3 innings of work. The southpaw has allowed just two runs over his last 17 appearances to post a 0.65 ERA in 27 2/3 innings of work. Despite being a reliever Schlereth is among the Pac-10 leaders in strikeouts (t8th) and is only 14 behind UA ace Preston Guilmet's team-high 89. He tied his career-high with seven strikeouts in three innings of work against Cal State Fullerton on March 15 and has recorded two or more punchouts in 22 of his 34 outings thus far.
Schlereth's Last 17 Appearances
1-0, 0.65 ERA, 27 2/3 IP, 13 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 6 BB, 35 K
Closer Jason Stoffel has been just as dominating as Schlereth. The right-hander opened the season with five saves in his first five appearances and his 10 total saves this year are tied for the second-most in a single season in school history. He has punched out 67 hitters in just 41 innings pitched this year.
Sophomore closer Jason Stoffel has successfully converted 18 of his 19 career save tries. The right-hander enters super regional play deadlocked with current New York Yankee farm hand Mark Melancon for the all-time lead at Arizona with 18 saves.
Just Call Him Mr. NCAA
Sophomore Jason Stoffel has been pretty amazing all around during his two years at UA, but there seems to be something about the postseason that turns it up a notch for him. Don't believe it? Check out his numbers from six postseason appearances from this season and last:
Stoffel in the Postseason
6 Games, 0-0, 5 Saves, 8 1/3 IP, 0.00 ERA, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 16 K, 1 BB, .107 opp avg.
* The right-hander was named the Ann Arbor Regional MVP this season and to the all-regional team both in 2007 at Wichita and this season at Ann Arbor.
From Cardinal and Navy to Red, White and Blue
Arizona sophomore Jason Stoffel has accepted an invitation to try out for the 2008 USA Baseball National Team. The right-hander was among the initial list of 12 collegiate players nationwide to be extended a team trials offer. The national team schedule includes a six-game friendship series against Chinese Taipei and a month-long trip to Europe where the team will compete in the Haarlem Baseball Week in the Netherlands and the IV FISU World Collegiate Baseball Championship in the Czech Republic.
Team USA Alums
All-time UA saves leader Mark Melancon (2005) and future first round selection Trevor Crowe (2004) are the last two Wildcats to have played for Team USA. Melancon did not surrender a single run with a team-high five saves in the summer of 2005, while Crowe helped lead Team USA to the gold medal at the 2004 World University Baseball Championship in Taiwan. Current Arizona junior Preston Guilmet had to pass on an opportunity to try out last year after pitching 135 innings during UA's season.
Perry's Pretty Special
After starting the season as UA's third starter in the weekend rotation, right-hander Ryan Perry has become a pretty tough arm to face out of the bullpen. The junior, who regularly hits 98 MPH and went over triple digits last weekend in Ann Arbor with his heater to go along with a pretty nice slider and change, is 5-1 with a 1.74 ERA as a reliever this season. Serving as one of the top options out of the bullpen, Perry has punched out 44 hitters in just 46 2/3 relief innings.
Ryan Perry - Starting vs. Relief
Starting Numbers - 1-2, 5.70 ERA, 23 2/3 IP, 28 H, 18 R, 15 ER, 5 BB, 25 K, .283 Opp BA
Relief Numbers - 5-1, 1.74 ERA, 46 2/3 IP, 29 H, 11 R, 9 ER, 12 BB, 44 K, .179 Opp BA
More Depth out of the Pen
With the midweek games a thing of the past, the Wildcat pitching bullpen will get a shot with the return of Mike Colla. The junior right-hander became a mainstay in the midweek rotation - he made seven midweek starts - but will now bring his 4-2 record, 51 strikeouts and 4.75 ERA back to the bullpen as one of the top arms available to pitching coach Andy Lopez.
Gilly Gets After It
Friday ace Preston Guilmet, the 2007 Pac-10 Pitcher of the Year, enters his 16th start of the season with a 6-4 overall record and a 4.29 ERA in 92 1/3 innings pitched. The right-hander leads Arizona with 89 strikeouts this season while limiting the opposition to a .276 batting average.
Guilmet'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
March 14 vs. CS Fullerton ND, 7.2 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 7 K
March 21 at USC W, 7.0 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 K
March 28 vs. UCLA ND, 7.0 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 K
April 4 at Washington L, 6.1 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 2 K
April 11 vs. Indiana State W, 7.2 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 10 K
April 18 vs Washington State ND, 5.1 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 4 K
April 25 at Oregon State W, 9.0 IP, 5 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 10 K
May 2 at No. 16 Cal L, 6.1 IP, 7 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 1 BB, 8 K
May 9 vs. Utah Valley W, 5.0 IP, 10, 4 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 6 K
May 17 vs. Stanford ND, 4.1 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 2 K
May 22 vs. Arizona State L, 3.1 IP, 10 H, 7 R, 6 ER, 3 BB, 2 K
May 30 vs. Eastern Michigan ND, 4.1 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 0 BB, 3 K
A Whole Lotta Ks
Preston Guilmet went over the 300 strikeout mark at Oregon State on April 26. The milestone made the junior just one of eight UA players all-time to eclipse the 300 K barrier. Entering his Friday start, Guilmet has 322 strikeouts to place him fourth all-time at Arizona. He needs just 11 more Ks to move into a tie for third with Jim Nichols at 333. Guilmet's 319 punchouts in his career are the most for any UA pitcher in the last 43 years. Carl Thomas' 422 all-time strikeout lead at Arizona appears to be safe for the time being.
The Road Warrior
Mel Gibson has nothing on Saturday left-hander David Coulon. The senior southpaw has proven to be a true road warrior over the course of his four-year career.
Coulon's Career Home vs. Road Pitching Numbers (2005-Present)
Home W-L ERA IP H R ER BB K
2005 2-2 6.55 34 1/3 41 26 25 19 33
2006 2-3 13.85 26 47 48 40 19 22
2007 4-2 5.75 36 39 25 23 18 30
2008 4-1 4.32 41 2/3 47 29 20 15 39
Totals 12-8 7.04 138 174 128 108 71 124
2005 1-1 3.50 18 25 19 7 8 11
2006 2-0 0.88 * 30 2/3 20 4 3 14 27
2007 0-1 4.13 32 2/3 30 19 15 22 32
2008 4-2 2.72 * 39 2/3 35 13 12 16 37
Totals 7-3 2.75 121 110 55 37 60 107
* Coulon tossed complete-game shutouts at USC in 2006 and at Washington in 2008
Well Done Berger
Junior Eric Berger has come into his own over his last two starts. The left-hander has faced two of the top offensive teams in the nation - Arizona State and Kentucky - and has gone 2-0 with a 2.08 ERA in 13 innings of work. The southpaw shut out ASU over 5 2/3 innings in his final start of the regular season and then earned his way on to the Ann Arbor all-regional team after limiting UK to three runs on five hits while tying his career-high with 11 Ks in 7 1/3 IP. Entering the postseason Arizona State was third nationally, averaging 9.6 runs per game, while UK was 22nd at 8.2 runs per game.
Berger's Last Two Starts
2-0, 2.08 ERA, 13 IP, 10 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 5 BB, 15 K
Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week - Ryan Perry
Junior Ryan Perry was named the April 15 Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week after helping Arizona to perfect 5-0 record from April 8-13 with a his second victory of the season and his second career save in two appearances. The right-hander dominated San Diego State and Indiana State by tossing 9 2/3 shutout innings with nine strikeouts and only one walk. The Aztecs collected just one hit off of him and the Sycamores none to lead to an opponent batting average of .034 for the week. In UA's 5-2 win at SDSU on April 9 he struck out five and walked only one in 4 1/3 scoreless innings of work to record his first save of the season. He sat at 98 MPH with his fastball and did not dip below 95 with the pitch. In the three-game series finale against Indiana State on April 13, he outdid him self with 5 1/3 perfect innings of work. With Arizona trailing 6-1 with two outs in the fourth inning, Perry entered with a runner on second and retired the next 16 straight batters. He finished the contest with four punchouts and obviously no walks to help the Wildcats rally from a five-run deficit for a 7-6 win.
Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week - Preston Guilmet
UA ace Preston Guilmet was named the April 29 Pac-10 Pitcher of the week. The right-hander tossed a complete-game, five-hit shutout to pick up his fifth win of the season in a 7-0 UA victory at Oregon State on April 26. The reigning Pac-10 Pitcher of the Year mixed in 10 strikeouts against just one walk and was backed up by an error-free effort by the Wildcat defense. It was Guilmet's sixth career complete game and his third career CG shutout.
Six for Us, Five for Them
The Wildcats have been pretty good when scoring six or more runs and surrendering five or less in a game this season. When posting six or more runs the Cats have tallied a record of 30-4 and are just 11-13 when scoring five or less. Conversely, Arizona is 30-8 when allowing five or less runs and 11-9 when giving up six or more.
The Wildcats are batting .305 as a team and averaging 7.1 runs, 10.5 hits and 6.5 RBI per game this season ... Arizona's 73 home runs this season are the most for any UA club since 2000 (78) and is just one shy of tying for fifth all-time in a single season at Arizona (74 HRs in 1986) ... Led by senior C.J. Ziegler's team-best .350 batting average, eight different Arizona regulars are hitting over .300 for the year ... Ziegler has hit a team-high 19 home runs this season, fifth-best for a single season in school history ... Juniors Brad Glenn (14), Jon Gaston (11) and T.J. Steele (10) have all hit 10 or more homers this season as well to give UA the first foursome with double-digit jacks in the same season since 1998 ... Arizona is 85 for 112 in stolen base tries this season.
The Long Ball
The homer has been a staple for the Wildcats this season. UA has hit at least one fence-buster in 40 of the 58 games played thus far and is 33-7 when doing so. Arizona is 17-2 when hitting one homer and 16-5 when socking two or more fence-busters in a game. Arizona's 73 team home runs this year is just one shy of tying for fifth for a single season in school history
All-Time Home Run Teams at Arizona
1 - 115 in 1993
2 - 87 in 1998
3 - 78 in 2000
4 - 76 in 1998
5 - 74 in 1986
Senior C.J. Ziegler has been on a tear in his final season at Arizona. The second-year starter has a hit in 33 of his last 37 games played, including a season-high 18-game hitting streak that came to an end against Utah Valley on May 10. During the 37-game hot stretch Ziggy is batting .384 with 10 doubles, 11 homers, 36 RBI and 31 runs scored. Ziegler has gone hitless in just 10 of his 57 starts this year.
Colt's Coming On
Senior infielder Colt Sedbrook turned it on over the final month of the regular season. The third-year Wildcat put together a month of May in which he went 26 for 52 (.500) with six doubles, a triple, 14 RBI and 14 runs scored.
Glenny's on Fire
After bottoming out at a season-low .193 with the batting average after going 0 for 5 against Indiana State on April 11, junior Brad Glenn has gone on a tear at the plate. The third-year starter enters super regional play scorching after collecting at least one hit in 25 in his last 29 games played, including a current 14-game hitting streak. During the 29-game hot streak Glenn is batting .383 (46 for 120) with 10 homers, nine doubles, two triples, 38 RBI and 33 runs scored. The tear has improved his season batting average 110 points from the lowly .193 to its current .303 level.
It Was Even Shorter This Time
Brad Glenn can take solace in the fact that at least his share of the single game home run record (3 HRs) lasted over a year. C.J. Ziegler made Dillon Baird's 'latest one' to share the mark last less than two months. Ziegler blasted three homers in a single game against Utah Valley on May 9 to make it a seven-way tie for the record. Baird accomplished the feat earlier this year at USC and Glenn pulled off the trifecta against Utah Valley last season to give UA three players on the current roster on the list.
Three-Homer Games at Arizona
Dennis Haines at UTEP 4/7/1972
Ron Hassey vs. Weber State 3/20/1974
Erik Torres at Washington 4/8/2000
Shelley Duncan vs. Utah 2/23/2001
Brad Glenn vs. Utah Valley 2/7/2007
Dillon Baird at USC 3/21/2008
C.J. Ziegler vs. Utah Valley 5/9/2008
Single Season Homers
C.J. Ziegler's seven homers in his last 12 games played has bumped his season total to 19. The current mark is fifth on the single season home run chart at Arizona. Ziegler needs to stay hot in order to make a run at Shelley Duncan's single season record of 24 bombs established in 2001.
Single Season Home Run Leaders at Arizona
1 Shelley Duncan (2001) 24
2 George Arias (1993) 23
3 Jason Thompson (1993) 20
Shelley Duncan (1999) 20
5 C.J. Ziegler (2008) 19
6 Gary Alexander (1987) 18
Alan Zinter (1989) 18
All-Time Fence Busters
Brad Glenn and C.J. Ziegler have moved into the top 10 all-time at Arizona for career homers. Glenn hit a two-run homer against Arizona State last weekend to raise his career total to 34 in three seasons and a tie for third all-time. Meanwhile, Ziegler has reached the top six all-time despite playing only two seasons at UA. While getting as high as No. 2 (36 HRs) isn't out of reach for either player, current New York Yankee Shelley Duncan's 55 career bombs appears to be quite safe.
Career Home Run Leaders at Arizona
1 Shelley Duncan (1999-2001) 55
2 Kenny Corley (1995-98) 36
3 Dave Shermet (1985-88) 34
Brad Glenn (2006-Present) 34
5 Les Pearsey (1975-78) 33
6 Moises Duran (2001-04) 32
C.J. Ziegler (2007-Present) 32
8 Todd Trafton (1983-86) 31
Bill Rhinehart (2004-07) 31
Strong as Steele
It's no secret that the Wildcats are a much better team with junior T.J. Steele in the lineup. The fact was driven home when the center fielder missed five games with a concussion from March 21-28 and the Cats went 0-5. With him roaming the outfield, UA is a much more impressive 41-12 this season. In the five games without Steele, Arizona batted just .213 and averaged only 1.4 runs per game. With him in the lineup Arizona is hitting .313 and averaging 7.7 runs per contest this year.
Leading it Off
Junior Jon Gaston has hit a career-high 11 home runs this season. Amazingly he has hit seven of them to lead off an inning.
In a Pinch
The trio of Mike Weldon (4 for 10, 5 RBI), Bobby Coyle (8 for 12, 7 RBI) and Rafael Valenzuela (5 for 11, 5 RBI) have been on point in pinch hitting appearances this season. Combined the three are 17 for 33 (.515) with two doubles, two triples, a home run and 17 RBI when entering the game as a pinch hitter this year.
Don't Slight Dwight
Although Arizona catcher Dwight Childs is batting only .200 for the year, his contributions to UA's success are further reaching than his bat. In addition to leading the team with 12 sac bunts, the sophomore backstop has thrown out 13 of 38, has only one passed ball and is fielding at a .995 clip with only two errors this season. He has not committed a defensive miscue in his last 373 chances, a span of 46 games played that includes 34 starts. Additionally, he has expertly handled a dominating but tricky UA pitching staff that has uncorked a Pac-10-high 55 wild pitches this season.
Aiding and Abetting
Arizona's top base thief this year has a long history of grand larceny. Junior T.J. Steele is 24 for 26 in stolen base tries this season to add to a career rap sheet that would make any burglar blush. During his three-year career at Arizona, Steele is 50 for 56 (89%). The speedster was caught one as a freshman in 2006 (5 for 6), three times last season as sophomore (21 for 24) and only twice this season (24 for 26). He needs just two more stolen bases this season to match his previous two-year total from his freshman and sophomore seasons.
Colt Sedbrook has hit not just one, but two inside-the-park home runs this season. The senior first raced around the bases against UNLV on March 4 and then repeated the feat on March 28 against UCLA.