Arizona Baseball Notes - Rd 2 vs. Kent State
June 5, 2004
No 3 seed Arizona will take on No. 4 seed Kent State in the winners bracket of the South Bend Regional at 3:05 (1:05 pm Tucson Time). The game will be broadcast live on on the radio on KNST 790 AM.
UC Irvine Recap
The Wildcats opened the 2004 postseason with a 7-3 win over UC Irvine at Eck Stadium in South Bend, Ind. Arizona rapped out 10 hits in the game, including two doubles and two home runs, to snap a three-game winless streak (2 losses, 1 tie) against the Anteaters. The Wildcats scored two runs in the first before UCI tied the game with a pair of scores in the third. Arizona's Derek Decater (2 for 4, HR, RBI, R) snapped the tie in the fourth with a solo home run to right and sophomore classmate Jordan Brown (2 for 5, HR, 2 R, RBI) added another solo shot in the fifth to extend the lead to 4-2. The Wildcats tacked on three runs in the top of the seventh and weathered numerous UCI scoring threats to open the postseason with a victory. Junior Koley Kolberg picked up his team-leading ninth win of the year with six innings of work. He gave up just a pair of runs on six hits while striking out three and walking four. Senior Scott Burns worked the final three innings for his third career save.
Notes From the UC Irvine Game
The win improved Arizona to 6-6-1 against Big West Conference Teams ... Arizona improved to 19-12-1 in non-Pac-10 games ... It was Arizona's third win in its last four games ... Derek Decater's home run was his first since April 28, 2003, when he hit a pair of homers at Sacramento State ... Decater entered the game just 1 for his last 21 and was 0 for 16 in Arizona's final six games of the regular season ... Decater, an outstanding defensive outfielder, committed his first error of the season in the third inning and just his third career fielding miscue in 130 chances ( a .977 fielding percentage) ... Brad Boyer's RBI double in the seventh inning was hit first hit since April 16 against UT Pan American. Heading into the pinch-hit at bat he was 0 for his last 17 ... Irvine's Brett Smith defeated the Wildcats earlier this season after limiting the Wildcats to just one run on six hits in a 3-1 victory ... Jordan Brown extended his hitting streak to five-straight games with a 2 for 5-night at the plate ... Brown's solo home run in the fifth was his third in the last two games and his team-leading 11th of the year ... Trevor Crowe and Nick Hundley each saw their four-game hitting streaks come to an end ... Arizona improved to 24-11-1 for the year when recording multiple hits in a game.
Opening Game Victory
The Arizona baseball team opened the postseason with a victory for the first time since defeating Eastern Kentucky in the 1989 West I Regional in Tucson. The four other Arizona postseason teams since then (1992, '93, '99, 2003) all opened their respective regional appearances with losses. The 1992, 1999 and 2003 teams did not win a game during the postseason, while the 1993 team lost its opening round game to Auburn 9-1 before rallying through the loser's bracket to advance to the regional championship game against Oklahoma State. The victory improved Arizona's NCAA opening game record to 16-15.
It's Been A While
The year of 1993 keeps popping for the Arizona baseball program. That season, 11 years ago when current Arizona head coach Andy Lopez was defending his national championship at Pepperdine, marked the last time the Wildcats had advanced to the postseason in back-to-back years since this season and last. It was also was the last time Arizona took two consecutive series against Pac-10 powerhouses Stanford and USC before beating the Cardinal and the Men of Troy two games to one in each of the last two seasons. Well, it's time to add another 'first since 1993' for the Wildcats. Friday's 7-3 victory over UC Irvine was the first postseason win for the UA program since defeating Oklahoma State 4-0 on May 31, (yes you guessed it) 1993.
First NCAA Victory Under Coach Lopez
The Wildcats' win over the Anteaters was the first for Arizona under head coach Andy Lopez. In just the third season under his direction, the Wildcats are making their second straight trip to the postseason, a feat that was last accomplished by a UA team in the 1992-93 seasons. The win improved Lopez's all-time NCAA record to 31-25 and his postseason record at Arizona to 1-2.
Latest Game Won
The victory on Friday against UCI was the latest win in a calendar year for the Wildcats since the 1986 team won its third game in Omaha 9-5 over Florida State on June 6.
The Wildcats, the Golden Flashes and the Mid-American Conference
Arizona and Kent State are meeting on the diamond for the first time on Saturday ... The two schools did not play a common opponent this season (except of course Notre Dame whom the Golden Flashes defeated 2-1 on Friday and the Wildcats lost to 4-2 in Round Rock, Texas on Feb. 12) ... Arizona has met up with three different schools from the MAC nine times previous to today's game and has gone 7-2 against them ... Arizona last played a school from the MAC in 2003 when it took two of three from visiting Miami (Ohio) in Tucson .... The Wildcats only other postseason meeting with a MAC school came when UA defeated Kent State's conference rival Eastern Michigan twice in Omaha en route to the 1976 College World Series title.
Saturday's Starter Kevin Guyette
Redshirt sophomore Kevin Guyette (6-6, 6.84 ERA) will be making his 20th start of the season for the Wildcats which will tie him with former Wildcat great and future major leaguer Scott Erickson for third on the single season record list and just two behind all-time single season record holder Gil Heredia, another future major leaguer ... The right-handed Guyette has had a fair share of ups and downs during the season, but has come on strong in his last two starts against Arizona State and USC ... In his last outing against the Trojans on May 29 he did not earn a decision despite giving up just four runs on four hits over six innings.
2004 StartsFeb. 7 UC Riverside ND - 5.1 IP, 9 H, 8 R, 7 ER, 1 BB, 8 KFeb 14 CS Fullerton W - 7.0 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 4 BB, 4 KFeb. 21 UC Irvine L - 2.2 IP, 9 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 3 BB, 4 KFeb. 24 at Arizona State L - 2.0 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 4 BB, 1 KFeb. 28 Baylor ND - 4.0 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 2 KMar. 7 Sac State W - 6.2 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 1 KMar. 13 Penn State W - 6.2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 6 BB, 6 KMar. 20 at Long Beach St. L - 5.1 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 4 KMar. 28 Washington State W - 6.0 IP, 10 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 5 KApr. 3 at Oregon State ND - 4.2 IP, 5 H, 6 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 1 KApr. 9 UCLA L - 9.0 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 6 KApr. 14 at UNLV ND - 4.0 IP, 8 H, 8 R, 6 ER, 3 BB, 3 KApr. 18 UT Pan Am W - 7.1 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 1 KApr. 24 at Washington ND - 4.2 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 4 ER, 5 BB, 5 KMay 1 at Cal L - 2.1 IP, 5 H, 6 R, 6 ER, 1 BB, 1 KMay 8 at UCLA W - 6.0 IP, 9 H, 8 R, 6 ER, 1 BB, 6 KMay 16 Stanford ND - 3.1 IP, 10 H, 9 R, 9 ER, 1 BB, 2 KMay 22 Arizona State L - 7.0 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 4 BB, 5 KMay 29 at USC ND - 6.0 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 3 K
Heading into the season, Arizona's offense was thought to be the main driving force that would make the Wildcats go. A number of slow starts by key individuals and a propensity for leaving runners on base and, more importantly, in scoring position caused the Wildcats to be somewhat inconsistent with the bats. The last five series of the regular season and the postseason opening game against UC Irvine has changed all that. Since UA's three-game trip to Cal on April 30-May 2 the Wildcats have hit .312 as a team in 16 games and are averaging 8.8 runs (141 total), 11 hits (176), 2.3 doubles (36), 1.6 home runs (25) and 8.3 RBI (132) per game. A total of six players are batting .300 or better during the 16 game stretch, six have scored 15 or more runs and eight have posted double digit RBI.
The Last 16 Games vs. The First 40 Last 16 First 40Avg. .312 .307Runs 141 (8.8) 259 (6.5)Hits 176 (11.0) 427(10.7)2Bs 36 (2.3) 68 (1.7)3Bs 5 (0.3) 25 (0.6)HRs 25 (1.6) 30 (0.8)RBI 132 (8.3) 230 (5.8)
Numbers in () are per game averages
Team home run leader Jordan Brown has hit eight of his 11 home runs in Arizona's last 15 games. The second-year Wildcat has hit them in clusters with five of them coming over a five-game stretch at Cal and UCLA from May 1-9 and the latest barrage of three in the last two games (May30-June 4). Brown's slugging percentage over the last 15 games is a very impressive .733 and he has driven in a team-high 20 runs. A total of 10 of his 11 home runs this season have been hit against schools that hail from California (5 vs. UCLA, 2 vs. Cal, 2 vs. USC and 1 vs. UC Irvine)
Starting It Off
Arizona's Trevor Crowe and Jeff Van Houten, the No. 1 and 2 hitters in the Wildcat order, have been producing runs at a steady rate. Crowe has scored at least one run in nine of UA's last 12 games, including five with two or more runs scored, for a total of 19 runs scored and a .491 on-base percentage. Meanwhile, Van Houten has crossed home at least once in 14 of Arizona's last 17 contests, including six games with two or more runs, for a total of 23 runs during the 17-game span and a very impressive .471 on base percentage.