Cats, Bears Open Three Game Set
May 1, 2009
California (19-23, 6-12 Pac-10) @ Arizona (19-21, 5-13 Pac-10)
Tucson, Ariz. – Jerry Kindall Field
Friday, May 1 – 7 p.m.
Saturday, May 2 – 6 p.m.
Sunday, May 3 – Noon
On the Air: All three games this weekend can be heard live on 1290 AM with Brian Jeffries calling the action. Each game will also be broadcast live in Spanish on KTKT 990 A.M. with Abelardo Oquita handling calling the play-by-play.
Some Series Themes: The Cats and Bears are each seeking to make a late-season climb in the Pac-10 standings after disappointing 5-13 and 6-12 starts, respectively … Each dropped a mid-week game, with the Wildcats losing 20-3 to ASU and Bears falling 16-11 to Pacific … The Wildcats earned their first Pac-10 series victory of the season last weekend, while Cal has won two Pac-10 series (Stanford, Oregon) … Despite overall struggles, neither team has found it difficult to hit, with Arizona (.315) edging Cal (.305) as the leader in the Pac-10 in batting average … The two clubs rank near the top nationally in doubles, with UA tallying 99 to date on the season and the Bears clubbing 93 two-baggers … Pitching has been a limitation for each team, with Cal’s team ERA checking in a 5.70 and UA’s at 5.68.
Series History: The Wildcats and Golden Bears have met 158 times on the baseball diamond in a series that dates back to 1951. Arizona owns a 92-66 edge in the all-time series. Last season, the Bears won 2-of-3 in Berkeley.
Last Time In Tucson: Arizona and Cal met up for a three-game Pac-10 series in Tucson in 2007. The Wildcats swept the set, winning a an 11-inning, 1-0 pitcher’s duel between UA’s Preston Guilmet and Cal’s Tyson Ross on Friday, outslugging the Bears 15-12 on Saturday and pull off the sweep with a 5-3 win on Sunday.
A Glance at the Bears: The Bears come to Tucson hungry to snap a losing trend that includes 13 losses in their last 17 games … The Bears have won two Pac-10 series, but also been swept in two … Playing on the road is nothing new to Cal, as it has played 18 of 42 games on the road, including a stretch of eight in a row before hosting ASU last weekend … A talented offensive team, Cal is second in the conference in batting average at .305 and have slammed a league-best 58 home runs … In fact, 12 different Golden Bears have hit a home run on the season … Cal has struggled offensively against Pac-10 teams, as it is hitting only .270 in league games.
Stanford Series Recap: Arizona won its first Pac-10 series of the season at Stanford, capturing Games 1 and 3 by scores of 11-1 and 8-7 … The Wildcats outscored the Cardinal 27-17 over the three games, and out-hit Stanford .330-.253 in terms of batting average … Brad Glenn led the Wildcats offensively, breaking out of a lengthy slump as he went 6-for-12, drove in five runs, scored three and hit his 40th career home run … On Friday night, Preston Guilmet turned in a solid seven innings of work while limited Stanford to only one run … Guilmet was rewarded with his sixth career Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week honor … On Sunday, Jason Stoffel earned his eighth save of the season as the Wildcats hung on to win the game and the series … A pair of freshman – Jett Bandy (5-for-10) and Steve Selsky (4-for-5) – turned in stellar weekeneds at the plate, which pushed their averages over .300 to .311 and .307, respectively … The Pac-10’s top hitter, Dillon Baird (.416), also was steady at the plate, going 6-for-13, and drove in three runs.
Dillon is Delivering: Junior first baseman Dillon Baird has turned in exceptional numbers during his second season with the Wildcats. The Prescott, Ariz., native is hitting a team-best .411, is second on the team with 35 runs scored, and leads all Wildcats with 36 RBI. He also leads the club in slugging (.651) and on-base percentage (.597). His batting average leads the Pac-10, while his slugging and on-base percentages check in at No. 5 and No. 2, respectively. The left hand hitter is second on club with five home runs and his 19 walks are second most on the team. Additionally, Baird has shown marked improvement defensively, posting a fielding percentage of .988 while committing only four errors on the season – the fewest for any regular infield player on the club.
Jett Re-Fueled: After a mid-season slump, freshman Jett Bandy has become UA’s hottest hitter of late and his 16 doubles are not only a team-high, but tied for the most in the Pac-10 (Jason Kipnis, ASU). Earlier this season, Bandy approached the .300 mark when he hit .296 on March 11. Two weeks later, Bandy bottomed out at .243 on March 27. Now, Bandy boasts a .318 batting average entering the Cal series, thanks to a remarkable eight game stretch. Since April 17, Bandy is hitting .517 (15-for-29), with six doubles and two home runs. He has driven in eight batters while slugging at a .931 clip and reaching base at a .641 clip. The stretch marks an eight-game hitting streak for the Thousand Oaks, Calif., native, in which he has six multi-hit games.
Streaking: A trio of Wildcats are currently riding hitting streaks that stretch over at least seven games. As mentioned above, Bandy currently has an eight-game hitting streak, but teammates Dillon Baird and Bryce Ortega have recorded a hit in each of the last seven games played. In those seven games, Baird is hitting .452 while Ortega stands at .321.
Standard Ortega: Sophomore shortstop Bryce Ortega gets the moniker for his steady play in the field that has been exceptional at times and is backed up by the fact he has committed only one error in 18 Pac-10 games and leads all conference players with 151 assists on the season. But, Ortega has been one of UA’s steadiest offensive performers throughout the 2009 season as well. The Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., native is hitting .362 on the season – second on club – and leads the team with 45 runs scored. Ortega, who stole 13 bases in 15 attempts a season ago, is a 13-for-15 in steals this season. Additionally, Ortega, who has spent most of his time hitting in the leadoff spot, also has 27 RBI, which ranks third on the team. He is slugging .507 and is reaching base at a .462 clip, thanks in part to his 23 walks and six hit-by-pitches this season.
Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week: Preston Guilmet was named Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week on Tuesday after leading the Wildcats to an 11-1 victory at Stanford. A right hander, Guilmet picked up his first road win of the season and pushed his overall record to 3-4 on the season and lowered his ERA to 3.63. Ranked No. 4 in Pac-10 history and No. 3 at Arizona for career strikeouts (385), Guilmet fanned only three Cardinal hitters last Friday, but turned in season lows for hits (5) and runs allowed (1). The native of Citrus Heights, Calif., stifled Cardinal hitters all evening long, preventing any chance of a Stanford rally as opposing hitters were 0-for-7 on the night with runners on base. The weekly award is the sixth-all-time for Guilmet, who was honored as the Pac-10 Pitcher of the Year in 2007 when he boasted a 12-2 record and a 1.87 ERA. He was recognized four times in his sensational sophomore season and once a year ago as a junior. Earlier this season, junior Jason Stoffel was tabbed Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week on March 17 after tallying a pair of saves in three dominating performances against Oklahoma State and Michigan. All-time, Arizona pitchers have been tabbed 42 times for the weekly award.
Childs Play: Arizona catcher Dwight Childs is turning in a breakout junior season. Through 40 games, Childs has started in 25, sharing time with classmate Daniel Butler. But Childs has made the most of his time, hitting a career best .330 one year removed from his .193 campaign as a sophomore. Childs, who had one career home run through two seasons, already has three in 2009 and his 24 RBI already surpassed his 15 from the entire 2008 season. Last month at UCLA, he hit a team best .750, reached base at a .846 clip and slugged an incredible 1.625 in three starts behind the plate at UCLA. Childs, in only eight official at bats, tallied six hits, including one double and two home runs. He scored five runs and batted in seven runs to pace the Wildcats. Childs also walked four times and was hit by a pitch once and reached base an amazing 12 consecutive plate appearances.
We’ll Take Two, or Three! Out of Arizona’s 449 hits on the year, 152 have gone for extra bases. UA’s preferred extra base hit on the season seems to be the double, as they have hit a double in every game of the season except the April 14 game against New Mexico. The Wildcats have hit 99 doubles on the season which averages out to 2.475 doubles per game. Entering the week, the per game figure ranked No. 16 in the nation. UA also has laced 20 triples on the season, which ranks No. 8 in the nation. Seven different Wildcats have tripled on the season, with four players tallying three triples (Dillon Baird, Bobby Coyle, Bryce Ortega and Dwight Childs).
Stoffel is No. 1: Jason Stoffel continues to close out games for the Wildcats at a record-breaking clip. In fact, each save he earns the rest of the way in his career will break his own career record for saves. On Feb. 20, Stoffel earned his 19th career save to surpass Mark Melancon as the program’s all-time leader in the category. Now, the Baseball American pre-season first team All-American season stands alone with 26 career saves. In mid April, Stoffel was named a mid-season watch list honoree for the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Stopper of the Year Award. The junior is also competing with teammate Cory Burns for most appearances on the season (currently 27), as both are within reach of breaking the school record for appearances in a season.
Coming Soon: With 28 appearances already in 2009, Jason Stoffel will soon become UA’s all-time leader for career appearances. He trails teammate Cory Burns (29) appearances) for the season mark, but Stoffel had a slight edge on Burns entering the year for total appearances. In his three seasons at Arizona, Stoffel has thrown in 87 games, which currently ranks No. 2 all-time. One more appearance will tie him with Ron Sismondo, who threw in 88 career games from 1979-1982.
Feeling the Burns: Senior RHP Cory Burns has been one of the club’s top options out of the bullpen in 2009, having pitched in 29 of UA’s first 40 games … Burns, who earned his first victory of the year last Sunday at Stanford and has one save, has pitched 34.2 innings and struck out 40 batters … At his current pace (appeared in 73 percent of UA’s games), he will surpass the UA’s all-time mark for appearances in a season, which is currently held by Tod Brown, who pitched in 35 games in 1993 (Top-10 can be found on page 63 of UA media guide) … Burns, who leads all Pac-10 pitchers in appearances this season, has been one of UA’s most reliable relievers in recent years and he is quickly moving up the UA career chart for career appearances … To date, Burns has appeared in 82 career games, which is No. 4 all-time at UA (Top-10 can be found on page 61 of UA media guide). He needs six more appearances to tie Ron Sismondo as UA’s all-time leader for appearances, but he also trails teammate Jason Stoffel, who currently has 87.
Turning Two: Arizona is turning double plays at a record pace entering this week and actually was the top club nationally in turning double plays earlier in the year. A season ago, the Wildcats turned only 47 on the entire season. This season’s tally of 49 (1.26 per game) projects to nearly 75 on the season, which would come close to breaking the school record of 81 in a season set by the 1979 club. In fact, the highest total in the Lopez era is the 60 turned by the 2003 team. UA’s per-game mark was No. 8 in the nation entering the week, and UA turned four in the three-game series at Stanford.
Glenny Hits No. 40: With his six home runs on the season, senior Brad Glenn has a total of 40 round-trippers in his four seasons at Arizona. That mark is No. 2 all-time at Arizona, trailing only Shelley Duncan, who blasted 55 home runs as a Wildcat. Glenn also has been hit by 42 pitches, which is also good for No. 2 all-time at Arizona. Again, he’ll have a tough time catching the leader, Colt Sedbrook, who was hit by a pitch 55 times in his career. Interestingly, 55 is the all-time mark in the two categories. Lastly, look for Glenn to move into the UA Top 10 for all-time games played later this season. To date, he has played in 199 games as a Wildcat and trails Kenny Corley’s 201 games played, which ranks No. 10 at Arizona.
Shutting ‘Em Out: The Arizona pitching staff has combined to throw three shutouts in the last nine games. The Wildcats shutout UMass in the series finale (9-0) and completed bookend shutouts of Michigan last weekend (2-0, 14-0). The 2008 club, which set a school record with 34.2 scoreless innings at one point, threw seven shutouts on the season.
Stacking Up the Pac: The Wildcats continue to be one of the top offensive teams in the Pac-10 Entering the weekend, UA is near the top of the league in almost every offensive category. Here’s a look at the numbers entering the weekend series:
Category Stat Rank
Batting Ave. .315 1
Slugging % .482 3
On Base % .390 3
Runs Scored 304 2
Hits 449 2
RBI 274 2
Doubles 99 1
Triples 20 1
Homeruns 33 7
Mix and Match: Due to a handful of nagging injuries, head coach Andy Lopez has been forced to shuffle his lineup on nearly a daily basis. In fact, no player has started all 36 games this season. In all, 15 different position players have started a game and all 15 have made at least seven starts. Additionally, UA has used 37 different lineups (out of 40 possible), using the same lineup multiple times on three occasions. On the mound, Arizona has used 12 different pitchers, with 11 making at least three appearances.
Swipin’ Bags: The Wildcats were second in the Pac-10 in stolen bases with 91 in 2008, and this 2009 version may be in line to challenge that mark. Through 39 games, Arizona has stolen 58 bases, which ranks second in the Pac-10 and trails only Arizona State (66). Bryce Ortega (13-for-15) and Hunter Pace (both 11-for-15) lead Arizona in the category, but 13 different players have stolen at least one base.
Hitting in the Clutch: While the season is young, the Wildcats have proven clutch at the plate with runners in scoring position. Arizona is hitting .332 on the season with runners in scoring position, .342 with runners in scoring position and two outs, and is scoring runs at a .645 clip with runners on third and less than two outs, which includes scoring 78 runs in 121 chances. On the season, the Cats have driven in 117 runners with two outs in an inning.
Young, But Talented: A total of 12 players with no prior Arizona experience have already played key roles for the Wildcats this season either as starters or key reserves. Offensively, Steve Selsky and Jett Bandy have found every day roles in the lineup, while newcomers are in the regular pitching rotation. That does not include Matt Chaffee or Joe Allison, each who are in their second year in the program but making their most significant contributions. Ryan Doyle also made his season debut against Oklahoma State, marking his second career appearance.
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.
Light Up the Scoreboard: In UA’s first Pac-10 win last month at UCLA, the 19 runs scored by the Wildcats were their most in some time. In fact, UA last scored 19 runs back on March 13, 2007 at Hawaii-Hilo in a 19-3 victory. Arizona had not tallied that many runs in a Pac-10 game since a 27-4 rout against Washington State on May 13, 2006. For Pac-10 road games, it was the largest offensive output since a 20-9 victory in Los Angeles on May 8, 2004.
24 No More: With the addition of Oregon to mix of Pacific-10 baseball, the Conference season has been extended to a 27-game schedule from its previous 24-game slate. All league teams will play each other three times during the season. Like football, the home-away split will be unbalanced with nine opponents, meaning half the league will have five conference home series, while the other half will only play four at home.
On Deck: After this weekend’s series, UA will turn around and travel to Fullerton, Calif., to face Cal State Fullerton in a two-game series May 5-6. The Wildcats will continue non-conference action with a three-game series against Loyola Marymount in Tucson beginning on Saturday, May 9.