College World Series Game Notes
June 15, 2004
Up Next: College World Series
Field: Texas, LSU, Arkansas, South Caroilina, Cal State Fullerton, Georgia, Miami
Times: Friday vs. Georgia - 1 pm CDT, 11 am PDT
Site: Rosenblatt Stadium, Omaha, Neb.
Radio: KNST 790 AM - Brian Jefferies on P-B-P
Television: The entire College World Series will be televised either on ESPN or ESPN2. Please consult your local listings for channel and game times.
Live Stats: www.ncaasports.com
Arizona In the CWS
2004 marks the 15th time Arizona has reached Omaha (2004, 1986, 1985, 1980, 1979, 1976, 1970, 1966, 1963, 1960, 1959, 1958, 1956, 1955, 1954) ... The Wildcats are 32-25 (.561) in 57 all-time CWS games ... The 32 wins are the seventh-most for any school in CWS history ... Arizona has won three national championships (1986, 1980, 1976) and has finished runner up three other times (1963, 1959, 1956) ... The three titles are tied with Cal State Fullerton and Minnesota for the sixth-most all-time ... Arizona has won 15 district/regional titles (1954, 1955, 1956, 1958, 1959, 1960, 1963, 1966, 1970, 1976, 1979, 1980, 1985, 1986, 2004) and a super regional title (2004) ... The Wildcats have won at least one game in Omaha in 11 of the previous 14 trips ... Andy Lopez, Jerry Kindall and Frank Sancet are the only three coaches in school history to take Arizona to Omaha.
Arizona In Postseason Play
The Arizona baseball program has a long and storied history in the NCAA postseason. , Including this year, the Wildcats have appeared in the postseason 31 times and are 85-61 (.582) all-time in the playoffs. The 31 total postseason appearances are second in the Pac-10 only to 12-time national champion USC's 39.
It's been a while, 18 years to be exact, but the Arizona baseball team is finally back in Omaha. The year was 1986, Ronald Regan was President, the Mets were still four months away from their World Series title, 'That's What Friends Are For' by Dionne Warwick was the top song, 'Top Gun' was the box office smash at the movies, UA head coach Andy Lopez was at Division II Cal State Dominguez Hills and nearly every member of the 2004 Wildcat baseball roster was three or four years old.
Longest of the Eight
Arizona's 18-year drought between CWS appearances is the longest for any of the eight teams still playing. Arkansas is next with a 15-year absence (1989), while the other six teams have been to Omaha at least once in the last three years.
Fastest To Omaha
When Nick Hundley scored Moises Duran with the game-winning run in the 11th inning of Arizona's super regional win over Long Beach State on June 13, Andy Lopez became the fastest coach in Arizona history to take the Wildcats to the College World Series. In only his third season in Tucson, Lopez beat legendary Wildcat head coach Jerry Kindall by a year and Kindall's predecessor Frank Sancet by two.
Lopez One of Three
Arizona head coach Andy Lopez is one of just three coaches in the College World Series with a national title on his resume. The Wildcat head man (Pepperdine 1992) joins Texas' Augie Garrido (Cal State Fullerton 1979, 1984, 1995; Texas 2002) and Miami's Jim Morris (1999, 2001), as the only three head coaches left in this year's field to have won it all in Omaha.
An Exclusive Neighborhood
UA's 2004 CWS appearance makes Andy Lopez just one of three coaches to take three different schools to Omaha. In the history of college baseball ,only Oklahoma's Larry Cochelle (Oral Roberts, 1978; Cal State Fullerton 1988, '90; Oklahoma 1992, '94, '95) and Mississippi State's Ron Polk (Georgia Southern, 1973; Mississippi State, 1979, '81, '85, '90; Georgia, 2001) have taken three different schools to the final eight in Nebraska. Lopez won a national title in 1992 while at Pepperdine, led the Florida Gators to a pair of College World Series appearances in 1996 and 1998 and has Arizona in its 15th all-time CWS in just his third season in Tucson to join Cochelle and Polk in the elite group.
Arizona is the lowest seed in the postseason to advance to the College World Series. The Wildcats were a No. 3 seed in the South Bend Regional and traveled to Palo Alto Regional champion Long Beach State (No. 2 seed) for the super regional. All other seven teams in Omaha were either a No. 1 or No. 2 seed in the regional rounds.
Regional SeedsNo. 1 Texas (1), South Carolina (2), Miami (3), Arkansas (8), Georgia, LSUNo. 2 Cal State FullertonNo. 3 Arizona
Number in () equals Top Eight National Seeding
Fewest Wins To Get To Omaha
The Wildcats have the fewest wins of any of the eight teams to get to the CWS. Arizona's 35 total victories this season are 20 fewer then top-seeded Texas' 55 and seven fewer then Cal State Fullerton's 42, the team with the second-fewest wins. Arizona's 35 wins this season are the fewest for a College World Series team since Cal advanced to Omaha in 1992 with a 35-26 overall record. The Golden Bears went 0-2 in the '92 CWS, losing to Miami and Florida State.
Evan's are Odd
The Wildcats have advanced to the CWS 10 times and have won all three national championships in an even numbered year ...Head coach Andy Lopez has guided four teams to the College World Series and all of them have come in an evened numbered year (1992, 1996, 1998, 2004)
The Road To Omaha
The Wildcats have taken the slogan of the NCAA regional and super regional rounds to heart. Arizona is the only school in this year's CWS to have played all of their postseason games on the road or neutral fields.
The Bags Have Been Packed
Including the postseason, Arizona has been on the road for six of the past eight weeks and logged 8,786 round trip miles to Seattle, Wash., Berkeley, Calif., Los Angeles, South Bend, Ind., and Long Beach, Calif. Toss in the 1,033 one-way miles to Omaha and Arizona will have traveled 9,819 total miles over the past nine weeks to get to the CWS.
General Postseason Notes
Postseason Odds and Ends
- Friday's game against Georgia will be the latest in a year Arizona has played since defeating Eastern Michigan 7-1 for the CWS title on June 18, 1976.
- Arizona won its first-ever super regional appearance over Long Beach State 2-1.
- The Wildcats are batting .257 as a team in the first six games and have hit five doubles, three triples and six home runs.
- Richard Mercado and Jason Donald are the only two other Arizona players to have at least one hit in all six postseason games. Mercado is carrying a team-best eight-game hitting streak, while Donald has hit safely in his last seven straight.
- Nine of the 10 Arizona players that have 10 or more at bats in the postseason have collected at least three hits. Junior John Hardy is the lone Wildcat still looking for a base knock.- Arizona is 9 for 10 in stolen bases in six games.
- The pitching staff has recorded a 3.88 ERA and opponents are batting just .261 against them.
- The much-maligned Arizona bullpen has given up just three earned runs in 13 1/3 innings (2.03 ERA) while going three for three in save opportunities.
- Arizona opponents have committed 12 total errors in six games and are fielding at a .945 clip.
Arizona In The 2004 Postseason
The Wildcats spent the final five weeks of the regular season just trying to qualify for the postseason. The final, must-win, 15-game stretch was more than worth it as UA swept its way to the South Bend Regional title and won its first-ever super regional appearance over Long Beach State to advance to its 15th CWS. The Wildcats avenged a regular season series loss to UC Irvine with a 7-3 win over the Anteaters in the opening game of the South Bend regional on June 4, defeated No. 4-seed Kent State 7-4 in the winner's bracket game on June 5 and completed the sweep of the regional with a tough 7-6 win over host school Notre Dame in the final on June 6. Then in Long Beach, Arizona won the opening game of the super regional with four runs in the ninth, dropped the second game 9-4 and went on to down the 49ers in 11 innings on June 13 to play at least two more games this year.
They've Been Close
Arizona's margin of victory this postseason has been close. The Wildcats (5-1 postseason) will enter the CWS with an average margin of victory in their five wins coming by just two runs. After winning the opening game of the South Bend Regional over UC Irvine in a four-run 'blowout' and beating Kent State by three in the winner's bracket in Indiana, Arizona has won its last three postseason games by just one run each time. In fact, going back to the regular season ending series at USC (May 28-30), five of Arizona's last seven wins have come by just one run.
Arizona's Postseason WinsDate Opponent Round Score Margin6/4 UC Irvine Regional 7-3 4 runs6/5 Kent State Regional 7-4 3 runs6/6 Notre Dame Regional 7-6 1 run6/11 Long Beach State Super Regional 6-5 1 run6/13 Long Beach State Super Regional 4-3 1 run
Arizona vs. the Tournament Field
Arizona faced 10 of the 64 teams that advanced to the 2004 postseason and went 11-18-1 against them. Arizona won series over Stanford (2-1), UNLV (2-0) and Cal State Fullerton (2-1), dropped season series to Arizona State (1-4), UC Irvine (0-2-1), Washington (0-3) and Long Beach State (0-3), split six games with UCLA (3-3), won a single game over TCU and dropped a neutral site game to Notre Dame. CS Fullerton is the only regular season opponent that Arizona would face in the CWS should both teams advance to the title series.
It's Been A While
The Wildcats' championship in South Bend June 4-6 marked the first time since 1986 that UA has emerged as the winning team in regional play. The super regional round of play that this season's team qualified for had yet to be instituted then, and the '86 Cats went on to win their third national championship in 11 years at the College World Series in Omaha, Neb.
Prepping For the Postseason
The pressure of coming through in the clutch, where every hit, pitch and catch matters, comes with the territory during postseason play. For the Wildcats that kind of win or go home mentality has been a part of their lives for the better part of the last two months. After getting swept in a three-game series at Washington in Seattle on April 23-25, the Wildcats were teetering at 21-18-1 overall and in danger of failing to make the postseason. The final five weeks of the regular season therefore became a must-win situation and playoff-like atmosphere every time UA took the field. The resilient Wildcats responded to the call to qualify for the NCAAs with a 9-6 stretch-run record that saw them win four of their five regular season series to put them on the roll they needed to sweep their way through the South Bend Regional and defeat Long Beach State in the super regional.
Then There Was One
A strong strength of schedule and presumably lofty RPI allowed the Wildcats to become the first Pac-10 team since the league merged in 1999 to earn a postseason berth with a .500 league record. The 12-12 and fifth-place Wildcats joined conference champion Stanford, nationally-seeded Arizona State, Washington and UCLA as the five schools that moved on to play in the postseason. With the top four finishers in the conference standings all losing in the opening round of the tournament, it was up to Arizona to save a streak of seven straight years of at least one Pac-10 team making it to Omaha. The Wildcats' hard-fought win over Long Beach State did just that and the Pac-10 can now boast that at least one conference school has made it to the CWS in eight straight years.
The Pac-10 In Omaha2004 Arizona2003 Stanford2002 Stanford2001 Stanford, USC2000 Stanford1999 Stanford1998 USC (National Champions), Arizona State1997 Stanford, UCLA1996 None
The Revenge Factor
The Wildcats certainly had an axe to grind in the first two rounds of the postseason. Of the four opponents they faced, three of them - UC Irvine, Notre Dame and Long Beach State - had combined to hold the Wildcats winless in seven games during the regular season with a 0-6-1 record. In the opening round of the South Bend Regional, Arizona began its revenge tour and ended a three-game winless skid against UC Irvine with a 7-4 win on June 4. The Anteaters defeated the Wildcats 3-1 and 6-5 in Tucson on Feb. 20-21 and had to catch a flight before the third game could be completed with it ending in an 8-8 tie in 10 innings on Feb. 22. The Wildcats continued their payback against South Bend Regional host school Notre Dame in the final two days later. The Fighting Irish defeated Arizona 4-2 on March 12 in Round Rock, Texas, at the Round Rock College Classic before falling to UA 7-6 to advance the Wildcats on to face Long Beach State in the super regional. The win against the Fighting Irish on Sunday also snapped a two-game losing streak against UND, as Notre Dame beat Arizona 13-5 in the opening round of the 2003 NCAA tournament in the Fullerton Regional on May 31. Finally the Wildcats earned redemption against the 49ers with a two games to one series win in the super regional at Blair Field after getting swept there in the regular season. Long Beach State had dominated the earlier three-games series, limiting UA to just four runs on 22 hits.
Regular Season PostseasonFeb. 20 UC Irvine 3, Arizona 1 June 4 Arizona 7, UC Irvine 3Feb. 21 UC Irvine 6, Arizona 5Feb. 22 UC Irvine 8, Arizona 8
Mar. 12 Notre Dame 4, Arizona 2 June 6 Arizona 7, Notre Dame 6
Mar. 18 Long Beach St. 4, Arizona 0 June 11 Arizona 6, Long Beach St. 5Mar. 19 Long Beach St.10, Arizona 2 June 12 Long Beach St. 9, Arizona 4Mar. 20 Long Beach St. 4, Arizona 2 June 13 Arizona 4, Long Beach St. 3 (11 Inn.)
Making An Impact
All though freshmen SS Jason Donald and RHP Mark Melancon, junior RHP Koley Kolberg, sophomore RHP Kevin Guyette and senior RHP Scott Burns are all making their first career postseason appearances this season, all five have contributed to the Wildcats' success thus far. Donald scored the game-winning run against Kent State and hit a two-run homer against Notre Dame, while Kolberg (UC Irvine), Burns (LBSU) and Melancon (KSU, LBSU) each won at least one game on the mound and all three hav each picked up a save. Guyette pitched very well against KSU and LBSU, but did not earn a decision against the Golden Flashes and was charged with the loss against the 49ers.
First-Timers In The PostseasonJason Donald .304, 5 R, 7 H, 3 RBI, HRKoley Kolberg 1-0, Save, 4.30 ERA, 14 2/3 IP, 10 KsScott Burns 1-0, Save, 2.70 ERA, 3 1/3 IP, 4 KsMark Melancon 2-0, Save, 0.00 ERA, 6.1 IP, 3 KsKevin Guyette 0-1, 4.28 ERA, 12 1/3 IP, 9 Ks
Arizona, Georgia and the SEC
Arizona and Georgia have never met in baseball ... The Wildcats have played five teams that currently call the SEC home in school history and have gone 5-9 against them ... The last SEC school Arizona played was Mississippi in Oxford in 2001 (a 5-4 loss in 17 innings) ... UA has face three SEC in postseason and has gone 1-2 against them ... Arizona beat Mississippi in the 1956 College World Series, 7-3 ... UA lost to Arkansas, then in the Southwest Conference, in the 1979 CWS 10-3 ... The Wildcats faced Auburn in the 1993 regional in Stillwater, Okla., and lost 9-1.
Arizona vs. The SECSchool Record Last GameArkansas 1-1 1988Auburn 0-1 1993Kentucky 1-1 1991Mississippi 1-1 2001Mississippi State 1-4 1981
The Wildcats and Bulldogs faced no common opponents in 2004.
Long Beach Super Regional Notes
Arizona's 11-inning win over Long Beach State in the third game of the super regional was just the sixth extra inning game in the best-of-three round since its inception in 1999.
Extra Inning Super Regional GamesYear Site Results 2000 Houston, Texas Houston 5, San Jose State 2 (14 Innings)2001 Lincoln, Neb. Nebraska 9, Rice 6 (10 Innings) * New Orleans, La. LSU 4, Tulane 3 (13 Innings) Athens, Ga. Georgia 8, Florida State 7 (10 Innings)2003 Coral Gables, Fla. Miami 11, NC State 5 (11 Innings) *2004 Long Beach, Calif. Arizona 4, Long Beach State 3 (11 Innings) *
* Team won the Super Regional with the extra inning victory.
Playing All Three
The Long Beach Super Regional that Arizona won was the only one of the eight that needed all three games to decide the winner.
It Was Just Long Enough
Arizona won the super regional against Long Beach by the narrowest of margins. UA trailed LBSU for 8 1/3 innings on Friday before scoring four in the ninth to steal the win, took a third of inning lead with two outs in the fifth inning in Saturday's loss before succumbing to a three-run sixth and held a 3-2 advantage on Sunday with two outs in the bottom of the seventh before LBSU tied the game with one out in the top of the ninth. Nick Hundley's one-out sac-fly ended the game two innings later in the bottom of the 11th.
Payback For 1989
In 1989 the highly talented Arizona baseball team hosted the West IRegional in Tucson. A scrappy little team from Long Beach State came to town and walked away with a trip to Omaha after upsetting a Wildcat team that boasted future major leaguers Scott Erickson, Trevor Hoffman and JT Snow. It's too early to tell if the 2004 versions of LBSU or Arizona will have any futrue MLB stars, but the story of a scrappy underdog stealing a CWS berth turned tides last weekend as the Wildcats took two of three from the 49ers on their home field for a trip to Omaha.
Game I Recap
All-American Jered Weaver (5 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 12 K) dominated the Wildcats for 7 2/3 innings and LBSU jumped out to a 5-2 lead, but the Wildcats knocked around the 49er bullpen for four runs in the ninth inning to steal the win and take a 1-0 lead in the series. Sophomore Brad Boyer, who was just 1 for his last 21 at the plate, continued his postseason resurgence with a two-run single to tie the game in the ninth inning and came around to score the game-winning run on Trevor Crowe's triple to right-center one batter later. Freshman Mark Melancon bailed the Wildcats out in the bottom of the ninth as he stranded the tying run on third with a strikeout to end the game for his second save of the postseason.
Game II Recap
Long Beach evened the series at a game apiece by breaking the closely contested game open with seven runs in the sixth and seventh innings. Tied 2-2 after four and half innings, the Wildcats took a short-lived lead with a run in the fifth, but a pair of errors in the top of the sixth cost the Wildcats the lead and the game. Sophomore Trevor Crowe, troubled by a setting sun, misplayed a fly ball for a two-base error which was then followed by a wild pitch and a misguided Brad Boyer throw to home in the next at bat to allow the tying run to score. A RBI-single and a sac-fly later handed LBSU the lead for good and a tie in the series.
Game III Recap
Trailing 2-1 through six innings, Arizona took a 3-2 lead in the bottom of the seventh and was just two outs away in the ninth from putting the 49ers out of the tournament, but LBSU rallied to tie the game at 3-3 to force the game into extra innings. The Wildcats dodged a pair of bullets in both the ninth and tenth innings before Nick Hundley won the game with a sac-fly to center that scored Moises Duran from third with the game-winner. After LBSU had tied the game in the ninth, it had runners on the corners with just one out. Freshman reliever Mark Melancon came on in relief of John Meloan and got LBSU's Danny Mocny to line into a double play at third base to end the threat and the inning. Still tied at 3-3 in the 10th freshman Jason Donald let a potential double-play ball slide through his legs to once again put runners on the corners with no outs. Melancon rose to the occasion and got out the jam with a fielder's choice grounder to Moises Duran at second. The senior second baseman threw ahead of the go-ahead run at home and another fielder's choice grounder and fly out ended the inning with the 49ers failing to score. After LBSU had been retired in order in the 11th, Duran led off the bottom of the inning with a grounder that was misplayed for a two-base error, a failed sac-bunt by Donald, a wild pitch and walk to Mercado proceeded Hundley's super-regional-ending sac-fly as UA advanced to the College World series for the first time since 1986.
South Bend Regional Notes
All-South Bend Regional Team
As the saying goes - To the victors go the spoils. Arizona had five members named to the 11-person all-regional team after sweeping its way through the field in South Bend last weekend. Junior right-hander Koley Kolberg was named the regional MVP in a pair of outings. The Coppell, Texas, native finished the regional 1-0 with his second career save, a 2.57 ERA and five strikeouts in seven innings pitched. Joining Kolberg with regional honors were junior DH Richard Mercado (.417, HR, 2 R, 5 RBI), freshman shortstop Jason Donald (.300, HR, 4 R, 3 RBI), sophomore center fielder Derek Decater (.333, HR, 2 R, RBI) and junior right fielder Jeff Van Houten (.364, 3B, 4 R, 3 RBI).
2004 All-South Bend Regional TeamP Koley Kolberg (MVP) ArizonaP Tom Thornton Notre DameC Mark Wagner UC Irvine1B Matt Edwards Notre Dame2B Steve Sollmann Notre Dame3B Matt Sega Kent StateSS Jason Donald ArizonaOF Steve Andres Notre DameOF Derek Decater ArizonaOF Jeff Van Houten ArizonaDH Richard Mercado Arizona
South Bend Regional Recaps
Notre Dame Recap
Moises Duran scored Jeff Van Houten from second base with a one-out single up the middle in the bottom of the seven to hand Arizona back the lead after the Fighting Irish had rallied to tie the game to give Arizona its first regional title since 1986 with a 7-6 win in South Bend. Sophomore John Meloan surrendered four home runs in the game, but struck out nine and kept the Fighting Irish off balance enough to improve to a perfect 9-0 on the year in eight innings of work. After winning the regional opener as the starter against UC Irvine, junior Koley Kolberg entered the game in the ninth the with tying run on first and finished the game for his second career save. The Wildcats battled back from a two-run deficit with four runs in the fourth inning, which was highlighted by a two-run homer by freshman Jason Donald. Richard Mercado and Nick Hundley hit back-to-back homers in the sixth for a 6-3 UA advantage before UND's Cody Rizzo tied the game with a three-run homer in the top of the seventh.
Notes From the Notre Dame Game
For the second straight game Arizona did not record a hit in the first three innings ... Sophomore John Meloan improved to 8-0 in nine starts this season, he also won one game as a reliever ... Meloan's eight innings against the Fighting Irish was his ninth-straight start with six or more innings pitched ... Meloan fell one strikeout short of his career-high of 10 set earlier this year against UT-Pan Am ... Meloan gave up four HRs in the game, but three of them came with the bases empty Freshman ... Jason Donald hit his first home run since April 3, a stretch of 30 games, with his two-run blast in the fourth inning ... Mercado and Hundley's homers in the sixth inning were the second back-to-back homers hit in a game for the Wildcats this season (Jordan Brown and Moises Duran at UCLA, May 8) ...
Kent State Recap
The Wildcats overcame a disastrous four-run seventh inning to advance to its first postseason regional final in 11 years with a 7-4 win over Kent State in the winner's bracket of the South Bend Regional on Saturday. Freshman Jason Donald scored the game-winning run from second with two outs in the bottom of the seventh on a single by teammate Richard Mercado. Donald bounced back to score the winning run after committing a costly error on potential double play ball in the top of the inning that helped lead to three KSU runs. The Wildcats tacked on a pair of insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth to move on to their first regional championship since 1993. Freshman reliever Mark Melancon picked up the win with 2 2/3 innings of scoreless relief. UA starter Kevin Guyette did not factor in the decision despite giving up just two earned runs on six hits in 6 1/3 innings.
Notes From The Kent State Game
The game marked the first ever meeting between the two schools ... The win bumped Arizona's nonconference record to 20-12-1 for year ... Arizona improved to 8-2 all-time against teams from the Mid-American Conference with the victory and 3-0 against MAC schools in the postseason (2-0 vs. Eastern Michigan, 1-0 vs. KSU) ... The win was Arizona's fifth in its last six games ... Junior Richard Mercado scored Jason Donald with the game-winning run with his team-best fourth RBI of the postseason ... The Wildcats went hitless over the first 3 1/3 innings against the Golden Flashes, but still managed to put four runners on base ... Pitchers Kevin Guyette and Mark Melancon combined to end Chad Kinyon's 21-game hitting streak. Kinyon finished the game 0 for 4 with a RBI and a run scored ... Melancon improved to 5-4 for the year with 2 2/3 innings of scoreless relief. The victory was the first for the freshman right-hander since April 3 at Oregon State (Nine appearances) ... Sophomore Trevor Crowe improved to 23 for 24 for the year in stolen base with a pair of swipes against the Golden Flashes on Saturday ... Sophomore Jordan Brown extended hits team-high hitting streak to six straight games.
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 ... 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.
General Notes Of Interest
- Andy Lopez won his 100th game at Arizona in UA's super regional win over Long Beach State on June 11.
- Arizona's next game will be the 62nd it has played this season, the most in a year for a Wildcat team since 1989 (64).
- Arizona is 15-2 when scoring 10 or more runs in a game
- The Wildcats are 32-11-1 when scoring five or more runs in a game and just 3-14 when scoring four or less.
- The Wildcats have won four times more one-run games this season (12) then it did all of last year (3)
- Arizona has posted double-digit hits in 36 of its 61 games and has gone 24-11-1 when doing so
- Junior John Hardy saw his team-high 114-straight games played streak come to an end after suffering a concussion in the opening game of the super regional against Long Beach State. He missed the next two games, but will be ready to go in the CWS. Freshman Jason Donald has now played in the most consecutive games for UA at 61-straight.
- UA's 14 saves this year are tied for the fifth-most in a single season (1985, 1999).
- Koley Kolberg and John Meloan's nine wins this season tie them with last year's team leaders Richie Gardner and Sean Rierson. Ben Diggins in 2000 was the last Arizona pitcher to record double digit wins (10)
- Kevin Guyette tied Joe Magrane for second on the single season games started list at 21 against LBSU on June 12. His next start on the mound will tie him with Gil Heredia for the single season record of 22.
- Mark Melancon has made 27 appearances on the mound for the Wildcats this season, tied for the most for any freshman in school history (Tony Sulser, 27 in 2001).
- John Meloan is 13-1 all-time on the mound at Arizona.
Oh So Close
Of the 25 games Arizona has lost this season, 14 have been by two or fewer runs. The Wildcats are 12-7 overall in one-run games and 2-7 in two-run games.
Arizona's Loss Total by Runs1 run 7 Losses2 runs 7 Losses3 runs 0 Losses4 runs 4 Losses5 runs 4 Losses6 runs 1 Loss7 runs 0 Losses8 runs 2 Losses
Out of the Pen
Junior Koley Kolberg has become a fireman for the Wildcats over the past three weeks. The right-hander has worked out a pair of jams where the tying run has been on base late in the game for his first two career saves. In three relief appearances this season, Kolberg has yet to give up a hit or a walk, while striking out six of the nine hitters he has faced in 3 1/3 innings.
Limiting the Damage
While the 17 home runs surrendered by Arizona starter John Meloan this season are nothing to brag about, he has limited the damage suffered from them. Of the 17 home runs giving up, 12 of them have come when the bases were empty.
The Wildcats appear to have found their power stroke. Over the course of the last 21 games Arizona is averaging over a home run per contest (29 HR for a 1.4/per game average). Individually, sophomore Jordan Brown (8 HR), senior Moises Duran (4 HR) and sophomore Nick Hundley (4 HR) have accounted for 16 of the 29 fence busters.
Freshman Record Book
For the second straight season a Wildcat newcomer is making an assault on the freshman record book at Arizona. Last year Brad Boyer broke five frosh records at Arizona and is being chased by this year's rookie sensation Jason Donald.
Freshman Record BookCategory Donald LeaderGames Played 61 - t2nd Dwight Taylor (1979) - 65At Bats 249 - 2nd Damon Mashore (1989) - 250Runs 56 - 4th Brad Boyer (2003) - 71Hits 80 - 3rd Brad Boyer (2003) - 83Doubles 11 - t11th Brad Boyer (2003) - 16Home Runs 8 - 3rd Shelley Duncan (1999) - 20RBI 43 - t5th Shelley Duncan (1999) - 68Extra Base Hits 20 - t6th Shelley Duncan (1999) - 33Total Bases 117 - 5th Shelley Duncan (1999) - 135
Just Getting It Done
With all the credit due to head coach Andy Lopez, who also serves as the pitching coach, and the hurlers who have gutted it out throughout the season, for the Wildcats to have made it this far into the College World Series with the limited number of arms available on the pitching staff is nothing short of impressive. Meaning no disrespect to the current pitchers on the staff who have made it possible for Arizona to advance to its 15th CWS, the Wildcat rotation was shaping up differently just two days before the start of classes last August then the one that will take the mound in Omaha. It was in late August that the Cincinnati Reds made a final push and were able to lure 2003 ace Richie Gardner into the professional ranks. Then, just a couple or weeks later, three-year starter Sean Rierson left the team with a season-ending injury with hopes of returning in 2005. The pair of arms lost in that short span of weeks accounted for 18 of UA's 35 wins (51%), 212 of the 519 2/3 innings pitched (41%) and 159 of 413 strikeouts (38 %) in 2003, not to mention a ton of experience. Add in the loss of last year's third starter and senior-to-be Joe Little to the pros and injuries to freshman Donald Veal, an 11th-round draft pick, Tyler Tiedeman and Griffin Phelps, and the Wildcats pitchers that have taken the mound in 2004 can take great pride in all that they have accomplished this year.
Inexperienced ArmsPitcher, Year Notes prior to this season/2004 StatsScott Burns, Sr. 5th-yr Sr, 12 career IP/22 app., 30 1/3 IP, 1-1, 3 saves, 26 KsLuis Cortez, So. Texas Transfer, 0 career IP/11 app., 9 starts, 3-3Kevin Guyette, So. 50 2/3 career innings pitched/21 starts, 6-7, 112 1/3 IPSean Jarrett, So. Mid-yr JC transfer/8 app., 14.2 IP, 9 KsKoley Kolberg, Jr. JC Transfer/23 app. 20 starts, 9-6, 2 saves, 140 IP, 117 KMark Melancon, Fr. Freshman/26 app., 1 start, 6-4, 2 saves, 58 1/3 IP, 44 KsJohn Meloan, So. 1 career start, 43 1/3 IP/17 app., 10 starts, 9-0, 86 1/3 IP, 72 KsBrad Mills, Fr. Frosh, only walk on to make team from fall try-outs/14 app., 4.82 ERADerek Rodriguez, Jr. 15 1/3 career IP/23 app., 24 2/3 IP, 7 saves
Just a simple glance at Arizona's stats and one will see that there isn't any one player on the roster that has carried the team. The 2004 season has been a total team effort. Each week, each game, each inning a different Wildcat has stepped up and helped the UA advance to the College World Series. Just looking back over the final five weeks of the regular season and the first two rounds of the NCAAs show that a team effort has carried the Wildcats.
April 30- May 2 at Cal Jordan Brown - 2 HR, 6 RBI Scott Burns - First two career savesMay 7-9 at UCLA Jordan Brown - 3 HR 10 RBI John Meloan - CG, 2-hitterMay 16-18 Stanford Richard Mercado - 3-run double in ninth inning in 19-18 win Trevor Crowe - 7 for 12, 9 RBI, 7 R, 3 2B, 2 3B, HRMay 21-23 Arizona St. John Meloan - Series-saving win on the mound despite being illMay 28-30 at USC Nick Hundley - GW HR in the 8th to help Arizona into postseason Koley Kolberg - CG win on Friday, 1st career save on SundayJune 4-6 NCAA Regional Derek Decater - 1st HR in over a year against UCI Richard Mercado - Team-high 5 RBI in three games Koley Kolberg - Win on Friday, save on Sunday Jason Donald - First HR in 30 games on Sun., GW run on Sat.June 11-13 Super Reg. Brad Boyer - .500 (5 for 10), 4 runs, GW 2-run single in SR-opening win. Mark Melancon - 3 1/3 IP, 0 R, 2 K, save in SR opener, win in SR title game.
A Quick Look At Arizona From the Regular Season
The Wildcats entered the postseason with a 30-24-1 overall record and a 12-12 mark in the Pacific-10 Conference ... Arizona finished fifth in the Pac-10 behind Stanford, Washington, UCLA and Arizona State ... Arizona won five of its eight conference three-game series ... The Wildcats went 18-12-1 in nonconference games against a very tough schedule ... UA played 30 of its 55 games in the regular season against teams that advanced to the postseason, including eight against nationally seeded teams ... Arizona faced six nationally ranked schools and went 7-10 against them ... As a team, Arizona batted .309 in the regular season with 102 doubles, 30 triples, 53 home runs, 69 stolen bases and 355 RBI ... On the mound the Wildcats tallied a 5.37 team ERA with 364 strikeouts in 486 1/3 innings pitched ... Individually, Arizona's year at the plate was a team effort. Nine Wildcat regulars hit over .300 in the regular season, 10 finished with two or more home runs, eight finished with 25 or more runs scored and seven had 30 or more RBI ... The Wildcats regularly played a young but seasoned lineup that featured just one senior, three juniors, four sophomores and two freshmen ... On the mound junior Koley Kolberg and sophomore Kevin Guyette held down two of the three starting roles throughout the year, while John Meloan provided a huge boost as the No. 3 starter for the second half of the regular season.
The Wildcats are averaging 7.0 runs, 10.6 hits, 4.4 walks and 1.9 doubles per game this season
Overall Non Conf. Pac-10 NCAAsGames 61 34 24 5Avg. .304 .303 .314 .257Runs 428 (7.0) 231 (6.8) 183 (7.6) 35 (5.8)Hits 646 (10.6) 357 (10.5) 264 (11.0) 53 (8.8)2Bs 107 (1.8) 53 (1.6) 52 (2.2) 5 (0.8)3Bs 33 (0.5) 21 (0.6) 10 (0.4) 3 (0.5)HRs 59 (0.9) 33 (0.9) 25 (1.1) 6 (1.0)RBI 388 (6.4) 212 (6.2) 163 (6.8) 33 (5.5)Stolen bases 78 (1.3) 49 (1.4) 25 (1.1) 9 (1.5)
Numbers in ( ) are per game averages
In The Nick Of Time
Sophomore Nick Hundley went into the final two games of the regular season with zero home runs in his first 36 games played. Since then he has hit four fence busters in his last nine games, including two in the postseason.
Starting It Off
Arizona's Trevor Crowe, the leadoff hitter in the Wildcat order, has been on a run-producing tear of late. The sophomore outfielder has scored at least one run in 14 of UA's last 17 games, including at least one in each postseason game. His total over the 17-game stretch is 25 runs scored to go along with a very impressive .475 on-base percentage.
Trevor Crowe has put together an impressive season to follow up his Freshman All-America year from 2003. The second-year starter is currently tied for the team lead in batting average (.335), second in runs scored (48) and first in triples (7). He also has a team-leading 23 stolen bases this season and has been caught only once. Over the last 13 games, Crowe is batting .415 (22 for 53) with 15 RBI, 19 runs scored, four doubles, three triples, two home runs and seven stolen bases.
Crowe Lone Wildcat On All-Pac-10 Team
After having four players named to the All-Pac-10 a season ago, sophomore Trevor Crowe was the lone Wildcat to earn first team honors this season. Named to the honorable mention all-conference team were Jordan Brown, Jason Donald, John Hardy, Nick Hundley, John Meloan Jeff Van Houten and Richard Mercado.
Donald Bounces Back
Freshman shortstop Jason Donald has certainly carried more than his fair share of the offensive load for the Wildcats this season, However, after leading the team in home runs, RBI and runs scored through the first 14 games of the year, a midseason slump from March 13-April 14 saw him hit just .206 (14 for 68) to drop him to a season-low average of .290. Since then though, the first-year Wildcat has bounced back nicely over the last 27 games with a .365 average (38 for 104) with seven doubles, 16 RBI and 26 runs scored. The latest hot streak has improved his overall batting average from .290 to .321 for the year.
Freshman All-America Honors For Donald
Shortstop Jason Donald garnered Freshman All-America honors from Collegiate Baseball last week. The honor marks the fifth time in the last seven years that at least one Wildcat newcomer has been feted by the publication.
Donald To Try Out For USA Baseball National Team
Freshman Jason Donald's appearance in Omaha will serve a dual purpose. In addition to helping the Wildcats to a fourth national title in baseball, he will also be trying out for the USA Baseball National Team that will compete at 2004 FISU World University Baseball Championships in Chinese Taipei, July 23-August 1.
Mo Muscles Up
It took a while, but senior Moises Duran finally broke into UA's top 10 list for career home runs. The four-year starter came into the season needing just three home runs to break into the exclusive group with 28. He started the year quickly, winning the series opener against UC Riverside with a walk-off solo homer and hitting his second HR of the year in UA's sixth game, but cooled off considerably through the middle part of the year. In fact, it was another 38 games before he finally hit the 28th home run in his career. Part of a five home run barrage at UCLA on May 8th, Duran hit a solo home run in the sixth to join Arizona's all-time power hitters. To prove that it was no fluke he hit two more a day later against the Bruins to vault all the way into a tie for sixth with former Wildcat Robert Woodside with 30. He hit a solo home run against USC on May 29 to move into a tie for fifth all-time with Todd Trafton.
Arizona's All-Time Home Run LeadersRank Player Years HRs1. Shelley Duncan 1999-2001 552. Kenny Corley 1995-98 363. David Shermet 1985-88 344. Les Pearsey 1975-78 335. Todd Trafton 1983-86 31 Moises Duran 2001-04 316. Robert Woodside 1975-78 30
He's Not Cal Ripken, but....
Freshman Jason Donald is the lone Wildcat to start all 58 games this season. The first-year infielder, who has made 57 starts at shortstop and four at third base, has not missed a play in any of Arizona's contests this year. With John Hardy seeing his consecutive game's played streak end at 114-straight with a concussion last Friday, Donald has taken over the iron man role of the team.
The Kindall Field Comeback
A bases-loaded walk by Stanford closer David O'Hagan to John Hardy in the bottom of the ninth inning on May 16 capped off a win that probably saved Arizona's season. All totaled, Stanford and Arizona combined for 37 runs, 42 hits, eight home runs, 10 doubles and two triples over four hours and 11 minutes, but it was the eye of Hardy that scored the game-winning run. Trailing 15-12 after eight innings, the potent Cardinal offense rose up to retake the lead with six runs on four hits (including a solo home run and a grand slam) to all but put the game away in the top of the ninth at 18-15. The Arizona offense, however, had other ideas. Having already rallied to overcome a three-run deficit earlier in the game and numerous Stanford attempts to regain the advantage, Moises Duran got things started on an improbable comeback with a leadoff double down the right field line off of O'Hagan (5-0 for the year with six saves). Bill Rhinehart was hit by a pitch in the next at bat and Jason Donald followed with a single to center field to load the bases for Richard Mercado. The junior catcher, who entered the at bat 0 for 2 with a pair of walks in the game, drilled O'Hagan's 1-0 offering down the left field line and to the wall for a base-clearing, game-tying three-run double. After speedy pinch runner Terrence Taylor replaced Mercado at second, O'Hagan intentionally walked Chris Frey and gave up a bunt single to Derek Decater to re-load the bases for Hardy. The third-year starter, who had gone 0 for 4 with four strikeouts the night before, battled the Cardinal closer to a full count before taking an ever-so-close pitch for ball four to force Taylor in from third with the winning run. The final ninth inning tally for the Wildcats - seven batters, seven base runners, zero outs, two doubles, two singles, one intentional walk, one hit by pitch and one bases-loaded, game-winning John Hardy walk.
Nick Hundley - June 1 Pac-10 Player of the Week
Sophomore Nick Hundley garnered his first career weekly conference award after leading the Wildcats to a series victory at USC May 28-30. The second-year Wildcat batted .500 (6 for 12) with all six of hits going for extra bases. He finished with four doubles and his first two home runs of the year to post a 1.333 slugging percentage for the weekend. Capping off the impressive series, Hundley hit a game-winning three-run homer in the eighth inning on Sunday to cement Arizona's postseason berth.
Trevor Crowe - May 18 Pac-10 Player of the Week
Sophomore Trevor Crowe was named the May 18 Pac-10 Player of the Week after torching the top-ranked Stanford Cardinal pitching staff for a .583 average (7 for 12) with three doubles, two triples, a home run, nine RBI and seven runs scored in three games. Six of Crowe's seven his against the Cardinal went for extra bases as he finished the series with a very impressive 1.417 slugging percentage. In Sunday's come-from-behind win, Crowe went 4 for 4 with two doubles, two triples, a school Pac-10 record tying five runs scored and three RBI. His run and RBI total accounted for 42 percent of UA's 19 runs in the game.
Jordan Brown - May 11 Pac-10 Player of the Week
Sophomore Jordan Brown was named the May 11 Pac-10 Player of the Week after lighting up the UCLA pitching staff for a .455 average, three home runs, 10 RBI and five runs scored in the three games last week. The left-handed first baseman went 4 for 5 with two HRs and a career-high seven RBI in Saturday's 20-9 win and added his team-leading eighth HR of the season a day later. In six games against UCLA this season Brown went 12 for 25 (.480) with five HRs, 16 RBI, 10 runs scored and 1.125 slugging percentage.
Arizona pitchers are 35-25 with a 5.21 ERA in 542 innings this season ... UA's starting staff is 25-15 with this year, while the bullpen has tallied a 10-9 record with 14 saves ... Opponents are averaging 9.9 hits per game against Wildcat pitchers ... Arizona relievers have allowed 52 of their 127 inherited runners to come around and score (41%).
Koley Saves Meloan, The Game and The Postseason
Junior Koley Kolberg has spent the year as Arizona's No. 1 starter. He has won a team-high tying eight games and chewed up a Pac-10 high 125 1/3 innings as the main arm on the Arizona starting staff. However it was his second relief performance of the year that quite possibly saved Arizona's postseason hopes. Holding a tenuous 7-6 lead with one out in the eighth inning of Arizona's regular season finale at USC, Kolberg entered the game with the tying run on second and the Trojans' No. 2 and 3 hitters up next. The right-hander got the Blake Sharpe to fly out for the second out in the inning and induced a comebacker from Jeff Clement to end the inning and the USC threat. Clement entered the eighth inning AB 2 for 3 with five RBI in the game. Kolberg retired the side in order in the ninth with a ground out and pair of strikeouts to pick up his first career save. The effort allowed John Meloan to remain undefeated on the year and tie Kolberg for the team lead with eight wins.
Meloan Remains Unbeaten
Since taking over Arizona's No. 3 spot in the weekend rotation on April 10, sophomore John Meloan has been nearly unbeatable. The right-hander has been rejuvenated with an 8-0 record as a starting pitcher this season and has gone six or more innings in all 10 starts. He twice helped Arizona avoid conference series sweeps during regular season and has failed to earn a win in just one start (at Washington, April 30). The Wildcats are 9-1 in games that Big John starts in.
Meloan's Starting Numbers vs. Bullpen Numbers in 2004Stat Starts Bullpen SeasonGames 10 7 17Record 8-0 1-0 9-0ERA 4.13 9.90 4.80IP 76.1 10.0 86.1H 77 15 92R 40 12 52ER 35 11 46BB 31 8 39K 65 7 72
Meloan's Career Starting Numbers (2003 and 2004)12 GS, 9-0, 3.87 ERA, 86 IP, 70 H, 43 R, 37 ER, 36 BB, 70 K
Day In, Day Out
Sophomore Kevin Guyette and junior Koley Kolberg have combined to start 41 of Arizona's 61 games this year. Neither pitcher has missed a start during the season to help them work 47 percent of Arizona's innings this season. The pair have combined to amass 252 1/3 innings of UA's 542 innings pitched this season.
Big John's Two-Hitter
It was only a matter of time before the Wildcats got a complete-game victory this season. With four losses in complete games through the first 45 games of the year (see note below), sophomore John Meloan finally broke through with a CG win. The 6-foot-5 right-hander went the distance at UCLA on May 9th and did so in convincing fashion. Meloan struck out six, walked just two on 99 pitches. At one point, he retired 18-straight Bruin batters from the end of the first inning through the first out in the seventh. The only two hits he gave up were solo home runs, but the offense supported him with four homers of it own and nine runs to make the issue a non-factor .
Koley Gets His CG Win
After four attempts, junior Koley Kolberg finally got a complete game win. The unlucky right-hander was 0-3 when going the distance heading into his final start of the regular season at USC. The team-leader in strikeouts recorded just one K over nine innings against the Trojans, but got USC to hit into 20 ground ball outs while stranding six runners in scoring position for the win.
Complete Games - A Losing Proposition For UA?
Prior to John Meloan's complete game victory at UCLA on May 9, Arizona starters Koley Kolberg (UC Irvine, Long Beach St., Washington ) and Kevin Guyette (UCLA) tossed at least one complete game apiece... and lost. While none of the four complete game losses were dominating performances by the two Wildcat arms, all four gave Arizona an opportunity to win. Kolberg and Guyette have an 0-4 record in their complete game efforts, combined for 3.97 ERA, struck out 25, walked just 12 and limited opponents to a .265 batting average when going all nine. The Wildcat offense certainly did not help either's case for a win in the situation. The Arizona bats produced just a .156 average (19 for 122) with one extra base hit and just five runs in support of Kolberg and Guyette in the four games.
Going the Distance
The four complete game losses mark the first time since Shawn Barrington in 1996 that a UA pitcher has worked all nine innings and been saddled with a loss. Barrington was on the losing end of a 4-3 decision at UCLA nine years ago. Former Wildcat Richie Gardner went the distance 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.
Koley's Among The Pac-10 Best
Junior Koley Kolberg ranks among the top pitchers in the Pac-10 in a number of statistical categories. With Arizona the only remaining Pac-10 team in the postseason, Kolberg will add to his lead in innings pitched (140.0), and have a shot at moving up from third in strikeouts (117 for the year, three out of 2nd) and seventh in wins (9 for year, three out of 1st)
March 2 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. Earlier 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.
May 4 Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week
Fifth year senior Scott Burns was named the conference pitcher of the week on May 4 after his outstanding performance at Cal. The right-hander picked up two saves in five innings of work. Cal collected just one hit (.063 average) while striking out four times against him. In Sunday's series clinching win, Burns entered the game with the bases loaded and the Wildcats clinging to a one-run lead. He got out of the inning with a liner to short to preserve the Arizona advantage. Burns, who entered the 2004 season with just 12 career innings pitched, earned his first two career saves.