Arizona Baseball Notes - Vs. Long Beach State

March 5, 2002

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Next Up - Long Beach State: The 49ers return home to host the Wildcats after dropping two of three to No. 7 Louisiana State in Baton Rouge last weekend. The series loss was the first of the season for LBSU which has already won three-game sets with USC, California and Arkansas. The 49ers return five starters, four pitchers and 17 lettermen from last season's team that finished 35-23 overall and made an NCAA appearance in regional play. LBSU is under the direction of first-year head coach Mike Weathers, a former assistant for the now retired Dave Snow. The 49ers swept Arizona in a high-scoring three-game series at Sancet Field last season to move within four games of Arizona in the all-time series. Despite the three-game sweep last season, Arizona still holds a 14-10 advantage in the 24 games played between the two schools.

Pitching ProbablesFriday- Sean Rierson (4-1, 1.99 ERA) vs. Abe Alverez (3-0, 1.82 ERA)Saturday - Joe Little (4-1, 3.82 ERA) vs. Daniel Eisentrager (3-1, 2.35 ERA)Sunday - Marc Kaiser (3-0, 2.45 ERA) vs. Jered Weaver (0-2, 6.86 ERA)

Notes From CS Dominguez Hills: The Wildcats matched their longest winning streak of the season at six with Sunday's win. The six straight equals the mark set from Feb 4-13 ... Arizona is now 34-6 all-time vs. CSUDH ... Jeff Van Houten's three-run triple in Sunday's game was the fifth bases clearing hit of the season for the Wildcats (two grand slams, two bases loaded triples, one bases loaded double) ... Five of Arizona's nine starters scored two or more runs in Sunday's game ... Chris Cunningham tied Moises Duran and Van Houten for the team lead in home runs at four with his three-run shot in the first inning on Sunday ... The Wildcats left at least one runner on base in each inning on Sunday and 11 total for the game ... The eight extra base hits (six doubles, two triples) in Saturday's game were the most for the Wildcats this season ... The six doubles hit on Saturday were the most in game this year for Arizona ... Rierson's 10 strike outs on Saturday were a career high for the sophomore and equaled the team season high, now shared with Joe Little ... The four hits and five total bases in Saturday's game were the fewest given up by the Arizona pitching staff this season ... Saturday's win was the first victory earned by the starting pitching staff over five games ... Will Thompson's two triples on Saturday established a team season high ... Marc Kaiser and Jeff Van Houten have each hit safely in seven straight games.

Notes From New Mexico State: Richard Mercado slugged the first home run of his career ... Marc Kaiser came onto pitch in the fifth inning for his first career relief appearance ... Kaiser's victory was the fourth straight for the bullpen ... Six of Arizona's 11 hits in the game went for extra bases ... After posting 24 combined runs in the first five innings, neither team scored in the game again ... Chris Cunningham had his seven-game hitting streak snapped, finishing the game 0-for-2 with three walks.

Wearin' It: It's painful to be a Wildcat batter in 2002. Opposing pitchers have plunked Wildcat hitters 33 times already in just 21 games (1.57 HBP per game). In comparison, last year Arizona batters were hit 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 33 HBP this season have already surpassed the season totals of 23 other Arizona teams.

Manufacturing, Inc. : Arizona has scored a total 171 runs this season and amazingly 56 of them (33 percent) have come without Arizona recording a hit to score the run. In 18 of the 20 games in which Arizona has scored, at least one run was scored 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 13

Warming Up: A number of players that got of to a slow start at the plate in 2002 have started to heat up. Over the last five games Clayton Bried, Will Thompson and Justyn St. Clair have all stepped up their offensive production. Bried, who was batting just .107 five games ago, has improved his batting average 143 points to .250. Over the last five games, he is hitting a team high .583 (7-for-12) with a home run, three RBIs and four runs scored. Thompson has found success at the plate as well, going 7-for-16 (.438) in Arizona's last five games with two triples, four RBIs and five runs scored. The outburst has improved his average 75 points from .171 to .246. St. Clair, who five games ago was hitting .152, has since gone on to hit .400 (6-for14) to raise his overall average to .229, a 77 point swing. He has scored four runs and driven in a team-high 10 runs over the last five.

A Year Later: Arizona's sophomore dominant pitching staff has shown definite improvement from their freshmen season. Starters Sean Rierson, Joe Little and Marc Kaiser are a combined 11-2 this season with a 2.74 ERA and have struck out 79 hitters while walking only 19. Through 21 games as freshmen, the trio had a 7-3 record and a 4.29 ERA with 74 K's and 33 walks. Classmate and reliever Tony Sulser leads the staff with a 0.84 ERA this season, an improvement of nearly four runs (4.70 through 21 games in 2001). He has also tallied three saves as the closer this year. As a staff, the Wildcats have improved across the board since last year. After an equal amount of games, Arizona has four more wins, an ERA that is 2.28 points lower (5.49-to-3.21) and an opponent batting average that has dropped 19 points (.279-to-.260) this season.

Using All Three Outs: Brad Hassey's 0-2 game winning single in the 10th inning of Arizona's 7-6 victory over UC Irvine (2/23) is just one of many two-out hits the Wildcats have posted this season. Arizona is hitting .296 (66-for-223) and have scored 78 of their 184 runs (42%) as a team with two down in an inning this season. Leading the way individually are seniors Chris Cunningham and Brad Hassey who are hitting .375 and .409, respectively, when there are two outs. Cunningham has nine RBIs in the situation and Hassey has eight. Freshman John Hardy leads the team in two-out RBIs with 11.

The More The Merrier: Arizona is doing a fine job of hitting with runners on base, posting a .336 batting average at the plate. However, that average increases significantly when all three bases are occupied. In 20 official at bats with the bases loaded, Arizona is hitting .450 (9-for-20) with a pair of grand slams (see note below) and an 1.000 slugging percentage. The Wildcats have also hit six sac-flies, walked five times and been hit by pitches three times in bases loaded situations. Senior Justyn St. Clair has made the most of his three bases loaded opportunities going 2-for-2 with a double, a triple and a sac fly for a team leading seven RBIs.

Having A Grand Time: John Hardy's first career home run on Feb. 2 came with the bases loaded and was the second grand slam of the season for the Wildcats. 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 '99 team shares the school record for slams in a season with six 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. He now stands at 704 victories.

Arizona-Arizona State Game To Be Televised: The Pac-10 Conference Office announced that the March 23 game between Arizona and ASU will be shown live on Fox Sports Net. The time of the game has been changed from its originally scheduled 1 p.m. first pitch to 2 p.m. to accommodate TV. The game is one of just four Pac-10 games to be televised on Fox Sports Net this season.

Frank Sancet Field: Located on the corners of Enke and National Championship Drives, Frank Sancet Field has been the home of Arizona baseball for over 35 seasons. Know 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 baseball team has gone 898-386-3 in 1,287 games for a .699 winning percentage (Current through 3/7/02). 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).

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