Arizona Baseball Notes

March 9, 2004

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Up Next: Express College Classic (TCU, Notre Dame, Penn State)
National Rankings: Notre Dame 14th BA, 8th CB, 10th SW
Times: T - 6 pm, F - 3 pm, S - 7 pm (All times are CST)
Site: Dell Diamond - Round Rock, Texas
Radio: None
Live Stats: Thursday only (baseball page)
Series Record: UA Leads TCU 6-1, UA Leads Notre Dame 5-1, UA leads Penn State 1-0
Current Streak: UA has won 4 straight over TCU, ND has won one over UA, UA has won one over PSU
Pitching Probables:
Thursday: LHP Eugene Espineli (1-0, 3.71 ERA) vs. RHP Koley Kolberg (1-1, 2.83 ERA)
Friday: TBA vs. RHP Luis Cortez (2-1, 4.97 ERA)
Saturday: TBA vs. RHP Kevin Guyette (2-2, 7.81 ERA)

A Look At The Express College Classic Field
Arizona will take on three different opponents at the Dell Diamond in Round Rock, Texas, this week ... UA will face TCU at 6 pm CST on Thursday, No. 14-ranked Notre Dame at 3 pm CST on Friday and Penn State at 7 pm CST on Saturday ... TCU enters the week of the play with a 8-7 overall record ... The Horned Frogs beat St. John's twice last weekend and fell to crosstown rival UT Arlington on Sunday ... Offensively TCU is batting .306 as a team with 22 home runs ... Individually freshmen Chad Huffman and Shelby Ford lead the way with the lumber. Huffman is batting a team-best .403 with eight RBI and 17 runs scored and Ford is leading the team with six home runs, 18 RBI and 20 runs scored ... On the mound TCU has a 6.09 team ERA with 111 Ks in 133 IP ... Arizona will face left-hander Eugene Espineli in the game on Thursday ... Arizona holds a 6-1 advantage in the all-time series against TCU, however the two schools last met in 1970 ... Notre Dame will take on UT San Antonio on Tuesday and Penn State on Thursday before meeting up with Arizona on Friday ... The Irish enter play this week with an 8-1 overall record ... Offensively Notre Dame enters the week of play with .352 team batting average and 10 home runs ... Freshman Sean Gaston has paced the offense individually with a .571 batting average and eight runs scored ... Junior Matt Edwards has already hit four home runs and tallied 14 RBI in just nine games played ... On the mound, The Irish have a 5.16 ERA with 67 Ks in 82 innings pitched ... Arizona and Notre Dame last faced each other in the 2003 NCAA Regional in Fullerton, Calif. ... The Irish defeated the Wildcats for the first time 13-5 ... UA holds a 5-1 advantage in the all-time series ... Penn State enters the College Classic with a 5-2 overall record ... The Nittany Lions will take on Notre Dame Thursday and Southwest Texas State on Friday before meeting up with Arizona for the first time since the 1963 College World Series ... Offensively the Lions are batting .294 as a team through seven games and have hit two home runs ... Junior Mike Milliron has been the offensive catalyst early on, batting .419 with a team-high 11 runs scored ... On the mound, PSU has a team ERA of 4.06 with 63 Ks in 62 innings pitched ... The 1963 CWS match-up between PSU and UA, a game won by Arizona 8-1, is the only meeting between the two.

Sac State Recap
Arizona won the series over Sacramento State two games to one ... UA has won four of its five three-game series this season ... The Wildcats out-scored the Hornets 24 to 17 in the three games, hitting .361 to CSUS's .266 ... Arizona played its second consecutive doubleheader on Saturday after a Sac State travel delay caused Friday's contest to be postponed ... Offense: Arizona hit .361 (39 for 108) with four doubles, two triples and two home runs in the series ... Senior Moises Duran led all players with a 8 for 11 weekend (.727) ... Duran drove in a team-high tying five runs, was 3 for 3 in stolen bases and scored three times ... He finished Sunday's series clinching win 4 for 4 with two RBI and two runs scored ... Sophomore Trevor Crowe, who entered the weekend hitting just .206, went 6 for 10 (.600) against the Hornets to raise his batting average 118 points to .324 ... Crowe led all Wildcats with five runs scored and also collected a triple and his second home run of the season ... Freshman Bill Rhinehart went 5 for 10 (.500) with his second HR of the year, a team-high tying five RBI and two runs scored ... Pitching: The Arizona hurlers went 2-1 with a 3.00 ERA in 27 innings pitched ... UA struck out 23 batters against 14 walks ... The Wildcat arms were victimized by a season-high five errors in Saturday's opening game loss. A total of six of Sac State's nine runs in the game were unearned ... Arizona's three starters (Kolberg, Cortez, Guyette) went 2-0 with a 2.11 ERA in 21 1/3 innings in the series ... Cortez struck out a team season-high tying eight batters in his 8 2/3 innings of work in Saturday's second game ... Guyette, who went 0-2 with a 12.46 ERA in three starts last week, evened his record at 2-2 with 6 2/3 innings of work on Sunday. The right-hander scattered eight hits and gave up just one run.

A Second Trip To Texas
After a 2-1 road trip to Waco during the last week in February, the Wildcats will be making their second trip of the year to Texas this week. The current Arizona roster has four players who hail from Lone Star State - Pitchers Koley Kolberg (Coppell), Luis Cortez (Sinton) and John Meloan (Houston) and infielder/catcher Joe Frazier (Odessa).

Offensive Numbers
The Wildcats are averaging 6.4 runs, 10.8 hits, 4.3 walks, 1.5 doubles and 1.2 home runs per game this season ... Arizona has scored in double figure runs in five of its 16 games thus far. In fact, Arizona's three double digit run tallies against CS Fullerton (11, 10, 10) marked the first time since 1986 that the Titans have given up 10 or more runs in each game of a series.

Sophomores Return
The talented sophomore class has begun to show signs that they are returning to the form they displayed as newcomers last season. In the three-game series against Sac State, Trevor Crowe, Brad Boyer, Jordan Brown and Nick Hundley combined to hit .452 (14 for 31) with a home run, two doubles, five RBI and 11 runs scored. The weekend of offensive output helped the class bounce back from start that saw them hit just .202 (29 for 142) with four doubles, two home runs, 21 RBI and 17 runs scored through UA's first 13 games. As freshman a season ago, the current sophomore class was vital cog in the Arizona offense. The group combined to account for 38 percent of UA's runs (197) and hits (259), 45 percent of the season total of doubles (55) and 35 percent of the RBIs (164).

T. Crowe's Wild Weekend
A pinch hit single in Arizona's ill-fated ninth inning rally against Sacramento State last Saturday kick-started an impressive weekend for sophomore Trevor Crowe. After singling in the ninth and pulling Arizona within a run in the eventual 9-8 loss in the opening game of Saturday's doubleheader, Crowe started the following two games and went 5 for 9 (.556) with a home run, two RBI and four runs scored. His resurgence helped lead Arizona to a pair of wins and the series victory, raised his average 118 points and more than doubled his hit and run totals for the year.

Crowe Then and Now	Before Sac State	vs. Sac State		NowAvg.	.208			.600			.324ABs	24			10			34R	3			5			8H	5			6			11HR	1			1			2RBI	3			2			5

Freshman Getting It Done
With the slow start by the sophomore class and junior preseason All-American Jeff Van Houten, the Wildcat freshman have been crucial in the early success of the Arizona offense. Led by starting shortstop Jason Donald and paced by DHs Bill Rhinehart and DJ Lewis, the three newcomers have accounted for 40 percent of UA's RBI total this season (38 of 96), 53 percent of the team's home runs (8 of 15) and 28 percent of the runs scored (29 of 103).

More On Donald
Freshman Jason Donald has been a terror in his first 16 games as a Wildcat. The team leader in hits (25), RBI (17), home runs (5) and runs scored (17), Donald has recorded at least one hit and one RBI in 12 of UA's 16 games and has tallied a team-best seven multi-hit games, six multiple run games and six multi-RBI contests.

Arizona's lone senior starter Moises Duran has provided a consistent bat in the Wildcat lineup. Hitting in four different spots in the order, the four-year starter currently leads Arizona in batting average (.386) and stolen bases (6), is second in RBI (15) and tied for third in runs scored (8). He will return to action this week after batting a team-high .727 (8 for 11) against Sacramento State last weekend. Against the Hornets, Duran finished with a 4 for 4 day in the series clinching finale, a team-high tying five total RBI and three runs scored.

Theft on the Decline
After swiping the third-most bases in school history last season, the Wildcats steal attempts are down this season. After averaging 3.2 attempts per game in 2003, UA is averaging just 1.7 this season. Sophomore Brad Boyer, who led the Pac-10 in stolen bases as a freshman last season with 25, has just one SB in two attempts this year.

Pitching Numbers
Arizona pitchers are 9-6 with a 4.97 ERA in 145 innings this season ... UA's starting staff is 5-4 with a 5.00 ERA overall this year, while the bullpen has tallied a 4-2 record with three saves and a 4.89 ERA ... Opponents are averaging 9.9 hits per game against Wildcat pitchers ... Opponents are batting .250 against Arizona's bullpen and .291 against the starters ... Arizona relievers have allowed 21 of their 49 inherited runners to come around and score (43%).

Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week
Junior Right-hander Koley Kolberg was named the Feb. 24-March 2 conference pitcher of the week after limiting Baylor to just one unearned run on three hits in UA's 2-1 victory over the Bears in Waco. Kolberg picked up his first win of the season with eight Ks in seven innings pitched. Early in the week, Kolberg entered Arizona's 4-0 loss to Arizona State with one out and the bases loaded in the eighth inning and struck out ASU's No. 3 and 4 hitters to keep the Devils from extending their lead.

Going the Distance
Junior Koley Kolberg tossed Arizona's first complete game of the season in a 3-1 loss to UC Irvine. The effort marked the first time since Shawn Barrington in 1996 that a UA pitcher has worked a complete game and been saddled with a loss. Barrington was on the losing end of a 4-3 decision at UCLA. Former Wildcat Richie Gardner worked nine innings twice last season without recording a win, but he also did not earn a decision in either contest as both games carried over into extra innings.

Closing the Door
Closer Derek Rodriguez has already surpassed Arizona's team-high for saves from a season ago. The junior tallied his second and third saves of the year on UA's road trip to Baylor. Last year John Meloan and Kevin Guyette shared the team saves lead at two apiece.

Polling Place
After a 2-1 week against Sacramento State, the Wildcats continued their tumble in the national rankings. Arizona fell three spots, from No. 16 to No. 19, in the Baseball America poll and one spot to No. 22 in the Sports Weekly/ESPN Coaches Poll. Collegiate Baseball no longer ranks Arizona among its top 25 teams.

Head coach Andy Lopez and the Arizona coaching staff has great flexibility in both the batting order and on defense. The depth in Arizona's lineup allows for the coaches to get hitter/pitcher match ups which favor UA at the plate and then move players around the field to make the lineup shifts on offense work on defense. The following is a list of Arizona regulars who can/have play(ed) more than one position:

Player		B/T		PositionsZach Bies 	R/R		1B, OFBrad Boyer	L/R		OF, 3B, 2BJason Donald	R/R		2B, 3B, SSMoises Duran	R/R		2B, 3B, SSChris Frey	L/L		LHP, OF, 1BJohn Hardy	R/R		2B, 3B, SSDJ Lewis	R/R		OF, C, DHPat Reilly	L/L		1B, OF

Wildcats Picked To Finish Third In Pac
In a vote by the conference coaches, the Wildcats have been selected to finish third in the Pac-10 this season. Trailing defending conference champs Stanford and Arizona State, the Wildcats received one first place vote in the poll. First place votes were worth eight points, second place seven, and so on. Coaches were not allowed to vote for their own teams.

2004 Pac-10 Preseason Coaches PollRank	School (1st Pl. Votes)	Total Points1.	Stanford (7)		622.	Arizona State (1)	543.	Arizona (1)		474.	USC			465.	Washington		396.	Cal			267.	UCLA			218.	Oregon State 		189.	Washington State	8

Preseason Honors
Junior Jeff Van Houten, who became the first UA player since 1993 to hit over .400 in a season last year, has been feted as a third-team All-American by both Collegiate Baseball and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association. Van Houten is the first Wildcat to garner such preseason recognition since 2001 when Shelley Duncan was named a second-team AA selection by Baseball America and third-team by Collegiate Baseball.

Kindall Field at Sancet Stadium
On January 24 the Arizona athletics department rededicated it baseball facility to honor the two winningest coaches in school history. Jerry Kindall and Frank Sancet combined to win 1,691 games, three national titles and advance to 14 College World Series appearances. The rededication of the field was held in conjunction with the Jim Click Alumni Weekend that featured a golf tournament, dinner and the annual alumni game. Formerly know as Frank Sancet Field, the facility will now be known as Jerry Kindall Field at Frank Sancet Stadium.

More Than Just A Name Change
In addition to a change in title, the baseball facility also continued its gradual facelift during the off-season. Recently completed projects include a brick facade around the outside of the ticket office and grandstand, as well as a new wooden outfield fence. The new wall in the outfield comes in at 12 feet high from the foul lines, before dipping down to eight feet across center field. The playing dimensions of the field will remain the same.

Head Coach Andy Lopez
Entering his third season with the Wildcats, Andy Lopez has already made a huge impact in revitalizing the program. In two-plus seasons he has put together a 74-53-1 (.580) record at UA, led the Wildcats to their first postseason appearance since 1999 and tallied a pair of top 10 recruiting classes. One of only eight coaches in Division I history to lead two different schools to the College World Series, Lopez is on track to join the select group of skippers to take three clubs to Omaha. Currently only Larry Cochelle (Oral Roberts, Cal State Fullerton, Oklahoma) and Ron Polk (Georgia Southern, Mississippi State, Georgia) can make a claim of that feat.

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