Arizona Baseball Notes - at Arizona State
May 21, 2003
Notes From the Oregon State Series: Arizona won its sixth Pac-10 series of the season with a two games to one win over the Beavers in the final home games of the season ... The Wildcats batted .427 as a team and posted a 4.67 ERA on the mound ... Sophomore Jeff Van Houten bounced back from a recent cold streak to lead Arizona at the plate with a .615 average in three starts. He finished with a team-high seven RBIs and scored five runs ... Starters Richie Gardner and Sean Rierson each won their ninth game of the season, tossing a combined 17 innings in two games ... Arizona improved to 17-12 all-time against the Beavers ... Saturday: Van Houten went 5 for 5 with a double, a triple, four RBIs and four runs scored as the Wildcats romped to a 20-6 win ... Arizona scored at least two runs in seven of its eight turns at bat ... The No. 4-9 hitters in the lineup went 18 for 30 in the game (.600) with 17 RBIs and 14 runs scored ... Chris Frey, Brian Anderson and Nick Hundley all finished with three hits apiece ... Arizona stole six bases in the game ... Gardner went eight solid innings on the mound, giving up just four earned runs on eight hits. He struck out four and walked two ... Sunday: Sean Rierson tossed his fourth complete game of the season and Moises Duran hit a pair of home runs as Arizona clinched the series with a 9-4 win ... Duran, who took over the team lead with his 14th and 15th HRs of the season, finished the game 4 for 5 with three RBIs and three runs scored ... Sophomore John Hardy went 3 for 4 with a RBI and a run scored in the win ... Junior Dallas Haught hit his sixth home run of the season in the second inning .... Rierson, who has six complete games to his credit in his career, finished with seven strike outs and no walks. He gave up three earned runs on eight hits for his ninth win ... Monday: After trailing for the majority of the game, Arizona took an ill-fated 9-8 lead with seven runs in the seventh inning ... The Beavers responded with five runs in the eighth for a 13-9 lead and held on to win 13-12 to avoid the sweep ... Arizona used 22 players off of its 25-man roster in the game ... Freshman Jordan Brown and Haught each hit a home run for the Wildcats ... Hundley led all Arizona players with a 3 for 5, 2-RBI day at the plate ... Freshman Lee Franklin went 2 for 2 with two runs and two RBIs after coming in the game in the seventh inning ... Reliever Mark Worrell was charged with his fourth loss of the year after giving up three runs on two hits in just a third of an inning.
Polling Place: Arizona's series win over Oregon State bumped the Wildcats up two spots to a season-high 15th in the latest edition of the Collegiate Baseball Poll. Baseball America also moved the Wildcats up two spots from No. 18 to No. 16 and USA Today/Sports Weekly held the UA firm in the No. 20 slot. See pages 6 and 7 for the complete polls.
Head Coach Andy Lopez: Andy Lopez, now in his second season at Arizona, has posted a career 753-460-6 (.620) record (Current). In his three previous coaching stops, Cal State Dominguez Hills, Pepperdine and Florida, he 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 CSUDH Pepperdine Florida Arizona1983 15-27 (.357) 1989 41-19-1 (.680) 1995 32-24 (.571) 2002 31-24 (.564)1984 25-35-1 (.418) 1990 37-23 (.617) 1996 50-18 (.735) 2003 35-18 (.660)
Overall Wins: Arizona has already surpassed its win total from a season ago and matched its highest win total in a season since the 1993 team also won 35 games. Arizona's next victory will give the 2003 Wildcats the most wins in a season since the 1989 Pac-10 championship team went 45-18-1.
Conference Wins: Arizona's two wins over Oregon State gave the Wildcats 13 Pac-10 victories for the year and placed the 2003 team in a tie with Arizona's 1999 squad for the most wins in a conference season since the Pac-10 North and South combined in '99.
Through Seven Pac-10 Series: The Wildcats have won six of their first seven Pac-10 series for the just the second time since Arizona joined the conference in 1978-79. Arizona's 1989 team won seven of its first eight series and eight of its 10 total season series in the now defunct Pac-10 South. Prior to this year, Arizona had never won more than four series in a season since the Pac-10 North and South combined in 1999.
Power Surge: Arizona has hit 19 of its 71 home runs in its last 10 games (27-percent). Junior Moises Duran has supplied the majority of the long ball power with six home runs during the 10-game stretch.
D-Money's Going Yard: Dallas Haught has been absolutely ridiculous when he's made contact at the plate this year. The junior college transfer has 13 hits this season, seven of which are home runs (54-percent). In Pac-10 play alone the junior outfielder is 4 for 11 (.364) with all four hits going over the fence for home runs. The last six hits he has recorded are, yes you guessed it, home runs.
Three Times The Fun: Arizona's 48 triples this season has established a new high-water mark in the Pac-10. This season's team eclipsed the 1986 Arizona team for the most triples in a single season in conference history. However, while the 48 triples this season set a new Pac-10 record, the 2003 team has a ways to go before breaking the school record of 64 three-baggers set in the 1960 season. The 2003 team is currently tied for fifth all-time in Arizona's history.
National Leaders: Arizona continues to rank, both individually and as a team, among the top teams in the nation in a number of statistical categories. Heading into play this week, here's where UA and its players rank:
Batting Average Scoring (Runs per game) 1. Southern .360 1. Southern 10.69. Arizona .334 5. Arizona 9.6
Triples Per Game HR Per Game1. Lee Curtis, Col. Charleston 0.20 1. Bill Becher, NMSU 0.544. Jeff Van Houten, Arizona 0.17 23. Moises Duran, Arizona 0.328. Brad Boyer, Arizona 0.169. Brian Anderson, Arizona 0.15
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. The Wildcats have already stolen 139 bases this season, 65 more than Arizona stole the entire season last year, and are just the 10th team in school history to swipe over 100. The Wildcats currently average nearly three steals a game and 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) Top Arizona TeamsYear Stolen Bases Rk. Year SB2003 139 - Through 53 games. 1. 1985 1502002 74 2. 1986 1472001 52 3. 2003 1392000 67 4. 1980 1351999 62 5. 1956 1301998 69 6. 1957 1201997 112 7. 1960 1121996 78 1997 1121995 881994 47
Grand Theft: Arizona's ability to steal bases has made the 2003 one of the most successful in terms of stolen bases vs. attempts. The 2003 team is stealing bases at a 78-percent success rate. That figure is bettered by only a handful of Arizona teams in school history, none of which attempted as many steals as the 2003 team.
Stolen Base Percentage Leaders1. 1975 114 for 123 93%2. 1970 82 for 98 84%3. 1971 64 for 79 81% 1981 102 for 126 81%5. 1973 49 for 61 80%6. 1977 88 for 11 79% 1976 110 for 139 79%8. 2003 139 for 178 78%
Getting Offensive: The Arizona offense currently has a team .334 batting average, up six points from last week's .328 ... Arizona has hit two inside-the-park home runs this season (Jeff Van Houten vs. Wagner 3/14 and Brian Anderson's grand slam at Stanford 4/26) ... The Wildcats have 71 home runs, 11 more than all of last season and the most since the 2000 team had 78... As a team, Arizona ranks either first or second in nearly every offensive category in the Pac-10 this season ... Heading into play this weekend, the Wildcats are slugging at a Pac-10-best .551 clip and have a .400 on-base percentage, second in the conference ... The Wildcats' 48 triples and 139 stolen bases not only lead the Pac-10, but nearly double up on the closest school in the rankings ... Heading into the weekend, sophomore Jeff Van Houten continues to lead Arizona in average (.418) and RBIs (71) and is also first in the Pac-10 with a .727 slugging percentage ... Junior Brian Anderson has hit career-highs in both home runs (14) , triples (8) and RBIs (61) ... Classmate Moises Duran took over the team home run lead against Oregon State with his 14th and 15th blasts of the season ... Freshman Brad Boyer has 69 runs scored, second in the Pac-10, and 24 stolen bases, best in the conference ... See pages 4-5 of the notes for the Pac-10 leaders and where Arizona ranks heading into this week.
On the Bump: Arizona's staff ERA sits at 4.57 heading into the weekend series with the Sun Devils, up a fraction from 4.56 after the Pac-10 series with Oregon State ... The team ERA is fourth among Pac-10 schools ... The Wildcat hurlers have recorded a better than 2-to-1 strike out to walk ratio this season (389 to 181) ... Opponents are batting 15 points lower against Arizona pitchers this season than last year ... Junior Richie Gardner ranks among the league leaders in the conference in ERA (3.69), strike outs (86) and innings pitched (97.2) ... Classmate Sean Rierson is tied with Gardner for second in the conference in wins (9) and also ranks among the top 10 in innings pitched (97.0) and strike outs (63).
Up Coming: Arizona closes out its regular season with a road trip to Tempe and a three-game series with Arizona State ... Arizona State is coming off a six-game road trip that saw the Sun Devils go 3-3 against Oregon State and Washington ... The Wildcats and Devils are currently tied in the conference standings in second place at 13-8 ... ASU, which has been ranked among the top 10 teams in the nation all season, enters the weekend with an overall record of 47-12 ... The Devils return six starters, six pitchers and 21 lettermen from last season's 31-27 NCAA regional team ... ASU is leading the Pac-10 in nearly every offensive category and have All-America candidates Dustin Pedroia and Jeff Larish to thank for it ... Pedroia, a sophomore infielder, is batting a Pac-10-best .424 with 108 hits, 69 runs and 48 RBIs ... Classmate Larish has also been impressive this year with a .358 average, 15 home runs and a conference-leading 81 RBIs ... ASU has a conference-leading .349 team batting average and is posting 10 runs per game, fourth-best in Division I baseball ... On the mound the Devils have a Pac-10-best 3.40 team ERA ... ASU hurlers have struck out 469 batters this season against just 206 walks ... Closer Ryan Schroyer is leading the team with a 1.49 ERA in 42 1/3 innings pitched. The right-hander has seven saves and 47 strike outs ... Freshman Erik Averill is 7-1 with a 3.82 ERA in 13 starts this year ... Head coach Pat Murphy is in his ninth season in Tempe and has tallied a career 353-138-1 record as the Sun Devils' skipper.
Arizona Probable Pitching Rotation at Arizona StateFriday - Richie Gardner RHP (9-1, 3.69 ERA)Saturday - Sean Rierson RHP (9-1, 4.45 ERA)Sunday - TBA
Arizona vs. Arizona State All-Time: Arizona's oldest continuous rival, the Wildcats and Sun Devils played each other for the first time back in 1907. Over the course of the next 96 years the two schools from the Grand Canyon State have played 395 games against each other. Arizona owns a 219-175-1 (.556) advantage in the all-time series, but the Sun Devils have enjoyed much of winning in the recent years. Since 1995, when current ASU head coach Pat Murphy took over for the legendary Jim Brock, ASU is 27-15 (.643) against Arizona. Arizona last won a season series over ASU in 1999 when the Wildcats took 2 of 3 from the Devils in Tempe to advance to its most recent NCAA regional appearance. The Wildcats are 1-2 against ASU since Andy Lopez took over last season.
Van Hitting: Perhaps Jeff Van Houten should request a name change. From the first game played this season, the sophomore outfielder has done nothing but hit. In 52 games (he missed one game at UCLA with sore ribs) he is batting a team-high .418 while leading the team in RBIs (71). After reaching a season-high of .445 on April 12, Van Houten went into a 'slump' over the next 14 games in which he hit 'only' .302 and saw his average dip down to .403. An 8 for 13 series against Oregon State last weekend bumped the sophomore back up .418 for the year. No Arizona player over the past 12 seasons has been hitting over .400 53 games into the season. Robbie Moen is the last Arizona player to hit .400 or better in a season when he finished at .403 in 1991. This season Van Houten has posted 21 multi-hit games and 19 multiple RBI games. His season-low for batting average came on March 8 at Texas when it 'dropped' to .373. He has collected at least one hit in 44 games this year, and when he has gone hitless he has still managed to put the ball in play. In eight hitless games he has struck out just nine times, while recording three RBIs.
Ninth Inning Woes: The Wildcats have picked a particularly bad inning to be out-scored in this season. Arizona is out-scoring its opponents in the first eight innings by a combined 228 runs this year. The ninth inning however has proven to be a different matter. With big innings being the main culprit, the Wildcats are getting out-scored by over a 2-to-1 margin (42 to 20) in the final frame. The good news is that Arizona has won 11 of the 16 games that it has surrendered runs in the ninth, including an 11-inning win over Washington State on April 18. The bad news is that the Wildcats have blown five ninth-inning leads that have eventually led to losses.
Anderson Adding Up: Junior Brian Anderson has bounced back nicely from a down year in 2002. The third-year starter has already surpassed his career home run total of nine in just this season alone with a team-high 14 and has also topped his single-season-bests in runs scored (58 in 2003, 40 in 2001) and RBIs (61 in 2003, 38 in 2001). His eight triples this season are also one more than his freshman and sophomore seasons combined.
Doing the Streak: Brian Anderson has put together three impressive hitting streaks this season. The third-year starter has not gone hitless in consecutive games this year and has at least one hit in 49 of the 52 games he has played. Only USC (3/22), Washington State (4/19) and Oregon State ( 5/18) have managed to keep Anderson from collecting a hit. He has hitting streaks of 26, 13 and nine games this season.
Anderson's Hitting StreaksJan. 30-Mar. 21 (26 Games*) .375 (39 for 104), 27 runs, 7 2B, 6 3B, 7 HR, 23 RBIMar. 23-Apr. 18 (13 Games) .456 (26 for 57), 15 runs, 5 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR, 19 RBIApr. 22-May 17 (9 Games) .410 (16 for 39 ), 13 runs, 0 2B, 1 3B, 4 HR, 18 RBI* Set Arizona's Single-Season Record
One-Two Punch: Arizona's junior tandem of Richie Gardner and Sean Rierson have provided the Wildcats with a potent one-two punch on the mound this season. The classmates are a combined 18-2 (.900) in 30 appearances. They have 149 strike outs against just 48 walks in 194 2/3 innings pitched and opponents are hitting only .271 against them. Should both of the them win their final starts in the regular season this weekend against ASU, they would become the first duo of 10-plus game winners in the same season for Arizona since Craig Lefferts and Ron Sismondo went 10-3 and 11-6, respectively, in 1979. Should either of the right-handers reach the double-digit win plateau they would be just the 12th pitcher in the last 25 years to win 10 or more games in a season at Arizona.
10-Plus Game Winners Since 19781978 Craig Chamberlain - 10-11978 David Crutcher - 11-51979 Craig Lefferts - 10-31979 Ron Sismondo - 11-61980 Ron Sismondo - 10-51983 Ed Vosberg - 10-21985 Joe Magrane - 13-81986 Gil Heredia - 16-31987 Gil Heredia - 10-81989 Scott Erickson - 18-32000 Ben Diggins - 10-4
Working Late: Junior right-hander Richie Gardner has taken the ball deep into the game for Arizona all season long. The junior college transfer is averaging around 6 2/3 innings pitched per start this season. He has worked seven or more innings in nine of his 14 starts (64-percent) and has failed to last more than five innings just once (not surprisingly it was his only loss of the year). Twice he has pitched nine innings, but has not received credit for a complete game either time as both nine-inning starts went extra innings.
Gardner's Innings Pitched Per StartIP # Gardner's Record Arizona's Record9.0 2 0-0 0-2 (Both Losses Were In Extra Innings)8.0 + 3 3-0 3-07.0 + 4 4-0 4-06.0 + 2 1-0 2-05.0 + 2 1-0 2-04.0 + 1 0-1 0-1
Going The Distance: Junior Sean Rierson has tossed four complete games for Arizona this season, the most for a Wildcat pitcher since Ryan Frace went all nine innings five times in 1996.
Rierson Moves Up In Career Numbers: While his record-tying 30 hit batters probably isn't the highlight of his career, junior Sean Rierson is also climbing up the career record books in both games started and innings pitched. With 48 career starts, Rierson is firmly entrenched in the No. 3 spot on Arizona's career list behind all-time leader Ed Vosberg (60) and No. 2 Joe Magrane (53). His 314 1/3 career innings pitched places him 10th all-time top at Arizona. A five inning-plus outing against the Sun Devils this weekend would bump him up to seventh on the list.
Seven's Up: If recent starts are any indication, junior Sean Rierson should move into the No. 7 slot on the afore mentioned career innings pitched list. The right-hander has worked seven or more innings in each of his last six starts.
Hitting His Spots: Junior Sean Rierson has always shown impressive control in his pitching, but never so much as this year. If the season ended today, Rierson would own Arizona's single season record for the fewest walks per nine innings. Rierson's 15 walks this season in 97 innings pitched gives him an average of 1.39 BB/9 IP. Mike Crawford, Arizona's current single-season record holder, walked just 1.54 batters per nine innings pitched in 1999. For his career, Rierson has not allowed a free pass in 13 of his 48 starts (27-percent), including his last start against Oregon State, and his game-high for walks is just four.
Rierson's Control In 48 Career Starts0 Walks 13 Starts (4 in 2003)1 Walk 14 Starts (5 in 2003)2 Walks 16 Starts (5 in 2003)3 Walks 4 Starts (0 in 2003)4 Walks 1 Start (0 in 2003)
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 230 hits, 174 runs, 50 doubles, 15 triples, 15 home runs, 147 RBIs and 50 stolen bases. Brad Boyer is currently fifth on the team with a .356 average and leads all players with 24 stolen bases and 69 runs scored. Classmates Nick Hundley and Derek Decater are fourth and sixth in average (.368, .325) and Trevor Crowe is second on the team with 14 doubles.
2003 Arizona Freshmen Numbers (Boyer, Brown, Crowe, Decater, Franklin, Frey, Hundley)Category Combined Total Percent of Team TotalAB 758 39%Runs 193 38%Hits 251 38% (The freshmen have class .331 BA)2B 53 45%3B 17 35%HR 16 23%RBIs 178 38%SB 53 38%
Freshman Record Book: As far as freshmen Wildcats are concerned, first-year starter Brad Boyer is posting numbers that rival some of the best in school history. Boyer already owns four freshman records at UA and is on pace to break several more in Arizona's final three regular season games:
Stat Freshman Record Boyer's Numbers/RankRuns Brad Boyer (2003) - 69 69/1stHits Keoni DeRenne (1999) - 81 78/3rdDoubles Brad Boyer (2003) - 16 16/1stTriples Brad Boyer (2003) - 8 8/1stStolen Bases Brad Boyer (2003) - 24 24/1stExtra Base Hits Shelley Duncan (1999) - 33 29/t2ndTotal Bases Shelley Duncan (1999) - 135 125/3rdBatting Average Dave Page (1981) - .374 .353/4thSlugging % Shelley Duncan (1999) - .640 .566/4thOn-Base % Dave Page (1981) - .457 .413/11th
More Freshman Records: Boyer, Trevor Crowe, Derek Decater and Nick Hundley are all on pace to finish in the top 10 for freshmen in batting average ... Decater and Hundley are currently ranked among the top 10 Arizona freshmen in slugging percentage ... Freshman right-hander John Meloan is currently tied for fourth on the first-year saves list with two.
Speed Kills: Arizona has already surpassed 2002's totals in both doubles (118 this season, 89 in 2002) and triples (48 this season, 25 in 2002). Including Jeff Van Houten and Brian Anderson's inside-the park home runs, the Wildcats have 168 hits that have gone for extra bases and are not traditional over the fence homers (118 doubles, 48 triples, two inside-the-park home runs) which accounts for over 26-percent of all of Arizona's hits for the season. Toss in the 69 traditional home runs and 36-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 19-4 (.826) when scoring 10 or more runs in a game this season.
Open Up The Record Books: With 99 years of baseball in the history books, it hasn't been easy to match single game records set in Arizona's illustrious past. However, the 2003 team is doing just that. After April 28's record-setting game against Sac State, this year's team has set or equaled a number of records:
2003 Single Game Mark School RecordAt Bats (9 inn. game) 61 - vs. BYU 2/1 61 - vs. New Mexico 5/7/65Hits 32 - vs. BYU 2/1 32 - vs. New Mexico 5/7/65Triples 5 - vs. Wagner 3/14 5 - Seven timesHome Runs 7 - vs. Sac State 4/28 7 - at Wash St. 4/8/01Fewest Left On Base 0 - vs. Sac State 4/28 1 - Three TimesHits (Player) 6 - Richard Mercado vs. BYU 2/1 6 - Five TimesRuns (Player) 6 - Brad Boyer at Sac St. 4/28 6 - Cliff Myrick vs. Colo. 3/19/51Doubles (Player) 3 - Brad Boyer at Sac St. 4/28 3 - 24 Times
Most Grand: In addition to the numerous single game records this season, junior Moises Duran also etched his name in the record books for a career mark. The third-year starter hit his fourth career grand slam at Sac State on April 28 to tie him with 1986 College World Series hero Dave Shermet for the most bases loaded home runs in school history. Duran hit two last season and has one at UC Irvine and Monday's blast this year. Duran's two slams this season ties him with himself and eight others for the second-most grand slams in a single season. Only former Wildcat Jason Thompson, who had three GS in 1993, has hit more in a single year in an Arizona uniform.
No More Non-Conference: Arizona closed out its non-conference schedule last Monday at Sac State. The Wildcats finished their non-Pac-10 schedule with a 22-10 (.688) record. As a team, Arizona hit .348 in 32 games with 324 runs scored (10.1 runs per game), 289 RBIs, 93 stolen bases, 43 home runs, 83 doubles and 29 triples. Individually, sophomore Jeff Van Houten finished the non-conference slate with a .431 batting average and 47 RBIs, both team-highs. Junior Brian Anderson hit nine of his 13 home runs against non-conference opponents, while freshman Brad Boyer led all Arizona players with 45 runs scored and 16 stolen bases. The Arizona pitching staff tallied a 4.08 ERA away from the Pac-10 with an impressive 256 strikeouts against just 98 walks. Non-conference foes hit just .279 against UA pitchers. Juniors Richie Gardner and Sean Rierson combined to go a perfect 10-0 with a 3.23 ERA. The pair walked just 21 batters in 97 2/3 innings, while striking out 81.
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, but he then went on to hit safely in Arizona's next 13 games for at least one hit in 39 of the first 40 games he played this year.
Single-Season Hitting Streaks All-Time Hitting Streaks26 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 34 of 76 would-be base stealers this season for a 45-percent throw out rate. Arizona has also picked off six 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.
Touchin' 'Em All In Hurry II: Brian Anderson one-upped his outfield teammate Van Houten in Arizona's April 26 game at Stanford. The junior hit a line drive off the wall in left field with the bases loaded at Sunken Diamond for an inside-the-park grand slam, the only one of its kind in school history.
What A Difference A Year Makes: Through 53 games this season, Arizona's offense has surpassed the 2002 team's numbers by a considerable margin. At this point a year ago Arizona was batting .291 with 539 hits, 425 runs scored, 89 doubles, 25 triples, 58 home runs and 372 RBIs. This year the Wildcats are batting 43 points higher with 116 more hits, 85 more runs scored, 29 more doubles, 23 more triples, 13 more home runs and 91 more RBIs. Individually, Arizona had five players batting .300 or better through the first 53 games last season, while the Wildcats have a player hitting better than .400 this season and nine at .300 or better.
2002 2003Average .291 .334Hits 539 655*Runs 425 510*Doubles 89 118*Triples 25 48*Home Runs 58 71*RBIs 372 463*Slugging Pct. .460 .551Players Batting .300+ 5 9Players Batting .400+ 0 1Stolen Bases 72 of 105 139 of 178** Denotes 2003 numbers have already surpassed Arizona's final 2002 marks
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 was 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.
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.
Jeff Van Houten - Pac-10 Player of the Week Part II: Arizona sophomore Jeff Van Houten was named the April 8 Pac-10 Player of the week. The honor was the second of the season for Van Houten and the fifth weekly award for an Arizona player/pitcher this season. Van Houten garnered his second recognition of the year for his 9 for 13-weekend against Miami (Ohio). The second-year starter batted .692 with two triples, his seventh home run of the season, five runs scored and a team-high eight RBIs. He posted a .714 on-base percentage and tallied a 1.231 slugging percentage in helping Arizona win its final non-conference series of the season. In Sunday's 9-4 win he finished 3 for 4 with a career-high-tying six RBIs and needed just a double to hit for the cycle. He was recognized by the Pac-10 previously this season for the week of March 10-17. The Player of the Week honor is 39th all-time for an Arizona player and the second in Van Houten's career. UA's five weekly award winners this season (three pitchers, two players) are the most for a Wildcat team since the 1992 club also had five members (four pitchers, one player) recognized. The 1991 Arizona team tallied a school record eight Player/Pitcher of the Week honorees.
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.