Cats Clash With No. 2 ASU

May 4, 2010

No. 22 Arizona (29-13) at No. 2 Arizona State (38-5)
Tempe, Ariz. | Packard Stadium

Series Schedule/Probable Starting Pitchers

Tuesday, May 4 | 6:30 p.m. | Live Stats | Radio: KCUB AM-1290
RHP Nick Cunningham (2-1, 4.67 ERA) vs. TBA

Some Series Themes: A re-match of an April 20 game that was won by the Wildcats, 4-2, in one of two non-conference games to be played between the schools in Tempe this season … The Sun Devils have bounced back from the mid-week loss to the Wildcats to win seven of eight games, including a weekend sweep at highly-ranked UCLA over the weekend … Meanwhile, Arizona has dropped four of its last six in losing weekend series to UCLA and at USC … UA’s victory in Tempe last month marked the program’s first win on its rival’s home field since 2007 and will try for a second-straight victory for the first time since 2005 … While UA’s bats have cooled a bit in the last two weeks, both schools rank No. 1-2 in most major statistical categories in the Pac-10, including batting average, on base percentage, runs and hits … The clubs have combined to score 710 runs, collect 1,030 hits and steal 170 bases on the season … The pitching staff’s have combined to strike out 688 batters while issuing just 259 walks on the year … Nick Cunningham is scheduled to make his first collegiate start for the Wildcats … Another Top-25 showdown in the series … The second of five games to be played between the schools this year as UA hosts the Pac-10 series May 15-17 at Kindall Field/Sancet Stadium … A State Farm Territorial Cup series matchup, with the winner of the season-long five-game series getting the point for the scoring … Arizona clinched the overall State Farm Territorial Cup Series trophy when its women’s golf team won the Pac-10 Championship in late April.

The Last Meeting: The No. 17 Wildcats knocked off No. 1 Arizona State, 4-2, in a mid-week game in Tempe on April 20 that did not count in the conference standings … The win was UA’s sixth-straight and improved the Wildcats to 3-1 on the season against ranked opponents (at the time of the game) … Daniel Workman pitched a solid 6.1 innings in an emergency start after scheduled starter Cory Bernard injured his throwing arm while warming up in the bullpen 20 minutes prior to the game. Workman answered the call, however, allowing just two runs with four strikeouts and no walks … Robert Refsnyder scored a run and collected two RBI in a 3-for-4 day at the plate. Bobby Brown added an RBI double and Seth Mejias-Brean hit a sacrifice fly to account UA’s other two RBI in the 4-2 game … Shortstop Alex Mejia turned in some sterling plays, including a bare-handed throw on the run and a diving catch on a line drive, both in the bottom of the ninth inning … Bryce Bandilla pitched out of a one-out, bases-loaded jam in the eighth, and Nick Cunningham earned his second save of the year in the ninth.

USC Series Recap: Arizona found the going tough on the road at USC last weekend, dropping the first two games (6-0, 7-5), before storming back with nine unanswered runs in the final four innings to salvage a victory on Sunday (9-7) … The Wildcats hit just .250 in the series while the Trojans had the hot bats to hit at a .343 clip … Two-out runs pestered the Wildcats all weekend long as USC drove in 10 of its 20 runs in the series with two outs, including six of seven on Saturday … Arizona was able to turn things around in Sunday’s win, scoring four two-out runs in the top of the eighth inning as UA completed a three-inning stretch in which it overcame a 6-0 deficit to take a 9-6 lead … Cole Frenzel started all three games (twice at DH, once at 1B) and collected five hits in 13 at bats, matching Robert Refsnyder for the best offensive showing in the series … Arizona collected only two extra base hits in the series and stole only two bags … On the flip side, Jett Bandy gunned down seven of eight USC base stealers … Bryce Bandilla pitched in all three games, combining for 5.1 innings pitched with seven strikeouts and no walks. He earned the win on Sunday tossing an impressive 3.1 innings to end the game in which he allowed just one earned run.

Cats in the Rankings: The Wildcats, after a 1-2 mark last weekend, dropped slightly in the national polls and currently have an overall record of 29-13. Arizona appears in all five major collegiate baseball polls, including No. 22 in the USA Today/ESPN coaches poll and No. 23 in  the Baseball America top 25. The Wildcats check in as high as No. 19 in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association top-30. UA is ranked No. 26 this week in Collegiate Baseball and No. 25 in the poll.

The Home Stretch: Tonight’s game against Arizona State ends a brief four-game stretch of road games for the Wildcats. From here, they’ll host in Cal State Bakersfield in a non-conference series this weekend at Kindall Field/Sancet Stadium as spring semester class end and final exams begin this week. The Wildcats will then host Arizona State in a three-game Pac-10 series in Tucson May 15-17, before closing the 2010 regular season home schedule with Stanford May 21-23. The regular season comes to a close on the road at Oregon State May 29-31.

Approaching 1,000 Wins: Arizona head coach Andy Lopez is quickly approaching one of the greatest coaching milestones: 1,000 Division I career victories. To date, Lopez has 998 career victories. Already this year, Ohio State’s Bob Todd and LSU’s Paul Mainieri, Sam Houston State’s Mark Johnson, and South Carolina’s Ray Tanner and Rutgers’ Fred Hill have reached 1,000 Division I coaching victories. Currently, 45 coaches have reached the milestone. Lopez’s career Division I coaching record is 998-615-7 (.619).

300 Wins: Arizona coach Andy Lopez already has reached one coaching milestone this season: 300 wins as the skipper of the Wildcats. UA’s 11-7 victory over New Mexico on March 24 marked win No. 300 in Lopez’s nine seasons in Tucson. At Arizona, Lopez holds a record of 311-197-1 (.614).

Alive With Five: One of those interesting “magic number” statistics that can indicate, to a strong likelihood, the outcome of a game this season for Arizona is the number of runs its opponent scores in a game. In 21 such games, the Wildcats are 20-1 this season when holding an opponent to five or fewer runs in a game this season. The lone blemish on the record was a 4-3 loss at Berkeley on April 3. The statistic is complemented by the fact the Wildcats are 28-4 on the year when scoring five runs or more.

Frenzel’s Frenzied Return: After missing nearly two full months of action due to an operation on his right wrist, freshman Cole Frenzel made three starts at USC last weekend. The starts were his first since Feb .27 against Long Beach State, although he made his initial return a week earlier against UCLA in a pair of pinch hit situations on April 23-24. Since returning from injury, Frenzel is 6-for-14 (.429) at the plate, including an impressive 5-for-13 performance over the weekend at USC. The left-handed hitter collected two of UA’s four hits in the opener on Friday and added two more base-knocks in the series finale on Sunday. The second of the two hits on Sunday jump-started a six-run eighth inning for the Wildcats, who overcame a 6-3 deficit to claim a 9-6 edge.

Balance in the Order: Arizona has found offensive production up and down its order throughout the season. Of their seven regular starters in the batting order, the Wildcats have seven players who have scored at least 25 runs and collected 25 RBI. At the top of the order, Joey Rickard has collected a team-high 39 RBI, which is tied for sixth-most in the Pac-10. At the bottom of the order, Alex Mejia has driven in 26 runs while scoring 25. In fact, Mejia is the only regular bat in the lineup hitting below .300, but he has improved that number to .291 in recent weeks. Typically, UA will shuffle its DH and LF spots with Bobby Brown and Bobby Rinard. The two have combined to score 28 runs and collect 30 RBI. With Cole Frenzel in the mix, it’s another bat that can be counted on.

Two-Out Facts: It’s a well-known fact that driving in base runners with two outs can go a long way to helping a team win; at the same time, pitchers stranding opposing base runners is just as important. The Wildcats have found it tough in recent weeks to get out of innings and have been unable to drive home runs with two outs. In fact, UCLA and USC have combined to collect 14 two-out RBI in the four combined wins over Arizona the last two weeks. In those games, Arizona has collected just four two-out RBI of its own. And in those games, the opposition is hitting .404 with two outs, while the Wildcats have hit just .267. On the season, wins and losses break down in similar fashion. Arizona has an 89-30 advantage in two-out RBI in its 29 wins, while it has surrendered a 44-21 margin to opponents in the 13 losses. Opponents hit just .212 with two outs in games the Wildcats win, but hit at a .329 pace in games the Wildcats lose.

So Long to the Long Ball? Arizona has gone 10 straight without a home run. Sound like a long stretch? It is. The last time a UA team went 10 or more games without hitting a long ball was in the 1994 season and it happened twice – once for 10 games and another for 13 games. For the 10-game stretch, Chris Cooper homered on March 27 in a 27-4 loss to Stanford. UA’s next home run came on April 22 as Rob Frisbee homered in an 8-3 loss to Stanford (coincidence?). In between were 10 games without a home run. Earlier that season, Ron Tegland hit a home run on Feb. 11 in a 12-9 loss to NMSU. UA’s next home came on March 15 when Menno Wickey and Matt Lake each hit a home run against Sacramento State. Otherwise, 13 games were played in between without a home run. An interesting note to the 2010 home run slump is the fact that Arizona hit seven home runs in the four games immediately prior to the current drought and had hit at least one homer in 13 of the previous 15 games.

Selsky Powering Up: Sophomore right fielder Steve Selsky has racked up 21 extra base hits in his last 31 games after hitting just two extra base hits in the first 10 games of the season. Not that Selsky was struggling at the plate to begin the season as he was actually hitting an even .400 through 10 contests. Interestingly, Selsky’s batting average has risen with increased power numbers in the last 31 games. Selsky is now hitting .402 on the season 9was hitting .420 prior to the USC series) and has collected 10 doubles, five triples and six homers in the last 31 games.

More on Steve: Steve Selsky has asserted himself as one of the top offensive players in the Pac-10 through the first half of the 2010 season. Selsky leads all conference players with 70 hits on the season and his .402 average is No. 3 in the league. The right fielder’s on-base percentage of .472 is No. 2 on the team and No. 6 in the conference, while his .632 slugging percentage is No. 5 in the Pac and tops on the team. He is tied for second with Rafael Valenzuela in triples (5) and is tied for ninth in home runs (6) among all league players. Selsky, who drove in only 21 runs last season, is No. 6 with 39 RBI and is No. 2 in runs scored with 47. In his career, Selsky is hitting .363 with 60 RBI, 20 doubles, seven triples and 13 home runs.

Bandy On Bench Award Watch List: Arizona sophomore catcher Jett Bandy was added to the official watch list for the 2010 Coleman Company-Johnny Bench Award delivered by Papa John’s Pizza, The Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission announced in mid-April. The 6-foot-4 Bandy, who has started all 42 of UA’s games, including 35 behind the plate, is fifth in the Pac-10 with a .395 batting average. He has collected 64 hits and scored 46 runs, marks that rank with Steve Selsky as two of the top three figures in the Pac-10 in each category. Bandy’s on-base percentage (.482) and slugging percentage (.605) rank No. 3 and No. 6 in the conference, respectively. He is one of five Wildcats with 30 RBI. In 89 career games, Bandy has a .347 batting average with 113 base hits. He has belted 40 doubles in his one and a half seasons and roped nine homers. He has nearly as many career walks (31) as strikeouts (35), and already ranks in UA’s top-5 for career hit by pitches with 29.

Miscellaneous Diamond Notes: Arizona continues to be one of the nation’s top offensive teams, boasting averages of 7.8 runs and 12.1 hits per game … UA’s pitchers have held opponents to 5.0 runs and 9.3 hits per game … UA has six players who have strung together 10+ games consecutively with a hit … UA has three players with five home runs or more – Steve Selsky (6), Jett Bandy (5) and Joey Rickard (5) – which matches the total number of players with 5+ homers from a season ago … The Cats have played 23 games under the three-hour mark out of 39 games this season … The Cats have 110 two-out RBI this season, which is 36 more than their opponents have. In fact, UA hits .322 as a team with two outs compared to opponents .252 clip … Alex Mejia (SS), Joey Rickard (CF) and Steve Selsky (RF) are the only three players to start all 42 games at the same position. Jett Bandy has started all 42 games, but has 35 starts at catcher, three at first base and four as designated hitter.

Clean Takeoff: Sophomore catcher/first baseman Jett Bandy has been one of UA’s top offensive performers in the team’s first 42 games. Bandy, who tied for the team lead with 21 doubles a year ago, leads the club in on-base percentage (.482), while his .605 slugging percentage and .395 batting average are second and third-best on the club, respectively. He also is second in runs (46), is second in hits (64) and home runs (5), and third in RBI (37).  Just as impressive, in 162 official at-bats, Bandy has struck out only 16 times on the season while walking 17 times and being hit by 15 pitches. For his career, Bandy has struck out just 35 times in 326 at-bats, or once every 10 at-bats. Pretty good figures for a power bat in the lineup. Bandy was named Pac-10 Player of the Week for the first time in his career on March 22.

Carry Over: Jett Bandy’s hot start to 2010 can be traced back to the second half of the 2009 season when he was one of UA’s steadiest offensive weapons. Including the final 22 games he played as a freshman, Bandy is hitting a robust .380 (93-for-245) with 41-percent of his hits going for extra bases (30 2B, 8 HR). In the 64-game span, Bandy has collected 53 RBI and scored 56 runs. As a freshman, Bandy earned freshman All-American recognition by Collegiate Baseball and set a UA record for freshmen by being hit by a pitch 14 times. He was plunked three times against Cal State Fullerton March 5-7, and is now 5th all-time at Arizona in career HBP after being hit 15 times this season for a career total of 29.

Refsnyder Rollin’: Freshman Robert Refsnyder is one of four regular freshman starters for the Wildcats and he as quietly put together a sensational first half of the season. In fact, Refsnyder has become one of the Pac-10’s top hitter as his .400 batting is fourth-best in the league. Refsnyder, who can play various positions including left field, third base and second base, is second among UA regulars with that .400 batting average to go with 31 runs scored and 35 RBI. His batting average currently ranks No. 4 in the Pac-10, while his .461 on base percentage is No. 10 in the league. His 64 hits are tied for second-most on the club and third-most in the conference. Refsnyder has also stolen six bases in nine attempts on the season and has been hit by a pitch eight times, which is tied for second-most on the squad.

Scoring Early And Often: One thing that the Wildcats have been extremely consistent at doing over the course of the season is scoring runs in bunches early in games. While the Wildcats have out-scored opponents 329-212 on the season, they have dominated opponents by a margin of 178-100 through the first four innings of games. The early leads have been welcomed by the pitching staff and often led to victories. In fact, Arizona is 25-2 this season when it leads after the sixth inning, much because the early leads in games have led to a 243-132 margin after six innings of play. Indeed, the Cats like to score early and often in games.

‘K’urt Heyer: Entering this week’s action, freshman Kurt Heyer is third amongst all Pac-10 pitchers with 80 strikeouts. Of his 80 strikeouts, 29 have been looking, which checks in No. 2 in the league. Heyer’s arm has accounted for 80 of UA’s 314 strikeouts as a team (25.5 percent) despite throwing just 18.5 percent of UA’s innings as a team. On the year, Heyer has a 6-1 record in 11 starts with an ERA of 2.18, which is No. 3 in the Pac-10 and best among regular weekend starters. He has allowed just 15 walks on the season and his 1.9 walks per nine innings ratio is also the best among regular starters. In his six Pac-10 starts, Heyer has a 2.25 ERA, eerily close to his 2.18 season mark. Opponents are hitting just .243 against him for the season and Pac-10 foes are batting .244.

Heyer Standards: Arizona freshman pitcher Kurt Heyer set the bar pretty high for himself in his collegiate debut. He was named Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week and one of “Louisville Slugger’s” National Player’s of the week as announced by Collegiate Baseball for his effort against Utah Valley. Additionally, named Heyer as its West Region Pitcher of the Week. In just six innings of work, the 6-foot-2 right hander struck out 13 batters, tying for second-most ever in a single game by a UA freshman pitcher. A native of Huntington Beach, Calif., Heyer struck out 13 of the 22 batters he faced, allowing just one run on three hits and only one walk. Heyer’s performance paced the Wildcat pitching staff to 17 strikeouts, the most for a UA staff in a single game since the Wichita Regional opening game against Oral Roberts in 2007. Heyer’s 13 strikeouts were the most for a UA pitcher in over two seasons, dating back to Preston Guilmet’s masterful 15-strikeout performance against Stanford in 2007. Heyer surpassed the 13-strikeouts with a 14-strikeout performance on April 16 against Washington State.

What A Relief: Sophomore lefty Bryce Bandilla is just more comfortable pitching out of the bullpen. He says so himself and the numbers back it up. His ERA and opposing batting average are significantly lower, as his number of walks. Here’s a look at Bandilla’s breakdown throwing out of the bullpen compared to his outings as a starter:

                                ERA        App.        W-L         IP             H             R              ER            BB           K       Opp. BA
Starts                     5.81        6              1-2          26.1        34           23           17           16           17           .327       
Relief                      3.34        13           4-1          35.0        36           17           13           8              36           .265      
Season                   4.40        19           5-3          61.1        70           40           30           24           53           .292

Simon Says: Arizona sophomore right-hander Kyle Simon has steadied himself after an up-and-down start to the season and turned in the best performance of his career at Washington on April 11. In the game against the Huskies, Simon tossed a complete game as he allowed just one run on three hits. Earlier this year, Simon won his first decision of the year on Feb 21 against Utah Valley in an eight-inning effort in which he allowed just one run and struck out seven. He then struggled in his next two starts and saw his ERA peak at 5.06 following a second-straight loss on March 6 against Cal State Fullerton. Since, Simon has been brilliant, picking up four wins in seven starts, including last month in Seattle. The recent run of success has pushed his record to 6-4 on the season with a 3.69 ERA. In his last 62.0 innings pitched, Simon has allowed just 32 runs – 22 earned (a 3.19 ERA) – and has 30 strikeouts against 15 walks.

Workman Back to Work: Daniel Workman has worked his way back into the Sunday spot in UA’s starting rotation. After a bit of a rough start to the season, Workman went nearly a month between pitching appearances. He was forced into an emergency start on April 20 at Arizona State when scheduled starter Cory Bernard injured his arm warming up. Workman responded and turned in a sensation 6.1 innings in which he allowed two runs on five hits with four strikeouts and no walks. The performance earned him the starting nod against UCLA and USC the last two weekends. Workman’s combined efforts against Arizona State and UCLA on April 20 and April 25 earned him recognition as on the Primetime Performer Weekly Honor Roll by

Joltin’ Joey: Freshman centerfielder Joey Rickard has kicked off his collegiate career in impressive fashion. Through 42 games – all starts – Rickard is hitting .316 with eight doubles, three triples and is second on the team with five home runs, including a grand slam against Sacramento State on March 20. The Las Vegas native’s 39 RBI not only ranks tied for the team lead, but ranks tied for No. 6 for all Pac-10 players. He was named Pac-10 Player of the Week on March 15 following a sensational five-game stretch. In the field, he’s patrolled the spacious Kindall Field outfield like a veteran, serving as a key component in the middle of UA’s defense.

Seth Steps Up: One of UA’s top performers during the first half of the season is freshman third baseman Seth Mejias-Brean. The first-year Wildcat is hitting .400 since March 5, which has improved his season batting average from .176 on March 6 all the way to its current .352. Mejias-Brean has also been UA’s fifth-best run-producer during the stretch, collecting 26 RBI over the last 33 games while scoring 25 runs. Included was his first career home run on March 14 against Northern Colorado, a solo shot to center field. The week prior, Mejias-Brean began to break out of his early-season slump as he delivered a clutch game-winning single in the 11th inning of opener of the Cal State Fullerton series on March 5. Two days later, Mejias-Brean drove in three runs in the 10-1 series clincher. For his performance, Mejias-Brean was named to the Primetime Performer Weekly Honor Roll by

Pac-10 POWs: A pair of freshmen – Joey Rickard and Kurt Heyer (twice) – have been named Pac-10 Player/Pitcher of the Week this season, along with sophomores Jett Bandy and Steve Selsky … Selsky was named Pac-10 Player of the Week on March 29 after hitting 10-for-20 on the week and accounting for 17 total runs to go with two home runs … Bandy was named Pac-10 Player of the Week on March 22 after hitting .600 over a five-game stretch in which the Wildcats improved their winning streak to 11 games … Rickard helped lead the Wildcats to a pair of sweeps last week over Saint Joseph’s (March 10) and Northern Colorado (March 12-24). The 6-foot-1 native of Las Vegas hit .579 for the week, scored six runs and collected nine RBI in five games. Additionally, Rickard reached base five times with a walk and was twice hit by a pitch, yielding a .692 on base percentage, to go with five stolen bases … Heyer, in just six innings of work, struck out 13 batters against Long Beach State on Feb. 25, tying for what was then the second-most ever in a single game by a UA freshman pitcher. A native of Huntington Beach, Calif., Heyer struck out 13 of the 22 batters he faced, allowing just one run on three hits and only one walk … Heyer was again named Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week on April 19 after striking out 14 hitters in 8.2 innings against Washington State. The 14 K’s are the second-most ever by a UA freshman.

Top 25 Wins: On the season, the Wildcats are 4-3 against teams ranked in the USA Today/ESPN coaches poll at the time of the game.  In 2009, Arizona was just 1-14 against Top 25 teams, including 1-9 against such teams in Tucson.

UA’s 15-Game Winning Streak: Arizona mounted a 15-game winning streak from March 7 – March 27, the sixth-longest winning streak in program history and the seventh-longest home winning streak. Included in the streak were wins over Cal State Fullerton (1), Saint Joseph’s (2), Northern Colorado (3), Wichita State (2), Sacramento State (3), New Mexico (2) and Oregon (2).

Turning Two: The Wildcats have turned 46 double plays (40 on ground balls) on the season which is third-most in the Pac-10. The total double plays ranked No. 28 in the entire nation entering last week and has been a pitcher’s best friend throughout the season. The two usual suspects in turning two have also been UA’s busiest defenders. Alex Mejia leads the Pac-10 in total assists (151), followed closely by Ortega, who is just outside the top-10 despite missing several weeks of action (102). That’s some good early season work for the middle of UA’s infield.

2,500-Win Club: Arizona’s 8-1 season-opening victory over Utah Valley was the 2,500th win as a program dating back to its first season in 1904. Only six other schools have reached the milestone, including Fordham (4,024 wins in 149 seasons), Texas (3,157 in 113 seasons), Southern California (2,652 in 115 seasons), Michigan (2,633 in 136 seasons), Stanford (2,596 in 116 seasons) and Arizona State (2,601 in 98 seasons). All-time, Arizona is 2,528-1,338-22.

Young Cats: With only two seniors and 17 freshmen, Arizona is the youngest team in the Pac-10 conference this season. In fact, the Wildcats have 23 underclassmen on their roster, which doesn’t include three junior college transfers to the program. A look around the rosters at other league schools finds that UCLA and California have 15 freshmen apiece. While the Conference is thin on seniors at most every school, only Oregon State has as few seniors as the Wildcats do.

Double the Fun: The Wildcats have hit at least one double in 37 of the 42 games this season. A year ago, UA hit a double in 52 of 55 games, including the first 30 of the season. Adding in the final two games of 2008, the Wildcats have doubled in 89 of their last 96 games (93 percent). Interestingly, after hitting 133 doubles a season ago (2.42 per game), UA had just 17 through the first 10 games of 2010 (1.7 per game). However, the Wildcats belted 13 doubles in the double-header against Saint Joseph’s on March 11, improving the season total to 30. The Cats added seven in three games against Northern Colorado and seven more against Wichita State, and their current total of 91 on the season averages out to 2.17 per game. Jett Bandy, who tied for the team lead with 21 a season ago, again leads the club with 19 to date, while Steve Selsky has 12 and Rafael Valenzuela has 11.

.300 Club: Through 28 games, the Wildcats are hitting .339 as a team, in line with recent UA clubs that have finished the season over .300. In fact, Arizona’s last seven teams have hit .300 or better for the season. The best figures were turned in by the 2003 and 2005 clubs, which each hit .328 respectively. Last year’s ’09 team was next in line with a .314 average. The 2004 College World Series team hit .305 as did the 2006 team. The Wildcat clubs of 2007 (.306) and 2008 (.301) also were above .300.

Unselfish Play: Arizona’s 5-4 victory in 13 innings over UNLV on March 3 included a record-tying performance by the Wildcats. UA executed five different sacrifice bunt plays to move runners up, tying the school single-game record previously establish at California on April 1, 2006. Interestingly, that game also lasted 13 innings. The last of this year’s five sacrifice hits proved to be the game winner as Alex Mejia successfully put a bunt down with a runner a second and an errant throw to first allowed the winning run to come in to score from second. On the season, UA has 13 sacrifice bunts in 12 games.

Home Sweet Home: The Arizona Wildcats are in the midst of a 26-game homestand to open the season at Jerry Kindall Field. That’s right, the Cats don’t hit the road until their Pac-10 opener at California on April 1 – and that’s no April Fools’ joke. It’s the longest stretch of home games in over 30 years for Arizona, which has stretches of 11 (2002) and 16 games (1998) to open seasons in recent years. The 1979 club opened its season with 24-straight games, but even that pales in comparison to the school’s longest streak. In 1967, the Wildcats hosted 39 home games before ever going on the road. As it relates to this year’s group, the Wildcats hope to continue success at home. Since the current Jerry Kindall Field at Frank Sancet Stadium opened in 1967, the Wildcats have emerged victorious in 1,072 games overall, having won nearly 70 percent of the games played. UA has posted 39 home winning seasons since 1967 with an average of 25 wins per year at the field. In 1974 the Wildcats were nearly perfect in Tucson, posting a 37-1 home record, and they went 28-4 at home in 2007 to record the best home winning percentage (.875) since 1976.

New Coaches: Head Coach Andy Lopez has introduced two new coaches to the program. Shaun Cole, who served as the baseball operations director last season, as assumed an assistant coaching position this season and he will work with the pitching staff. Brett Scyphers, a former player under Lopez in the 2005-06 seasons before becoming a three-year team manager, has been named the volunteer assistant coach. The duo brings a youthful combination of playing experience and baseball knowledge that hits home with players. Both officially joined the program prior to the start of the fall practice season.

Hitting in the Pac-10: Here’s a look where Arizona ranks statistically in the Pac-10 in offensive categories (all games) entering this weekend:

Category                      Stat                         Pac-10 Rank
Batting Avg.                 .339                        2
Slugging %                   .477                        3
On Base %                   .411                        2
Runs Scored                329                         2
Hits                               507                         2
RBI                                295                         2
Doubles                       91                           3
Triples                         21                           2
HR                                 24                           6
Walks                          140                         9
Strikeouts                    221                         10 (fewest)
HPB                               55                           4
Stolen Bases               79                           2

On Deck: The Wildcats will host a nine-game homestand over the next three weekends, starting with Cal State Bakersfield May 7-9. Arizona then hosts Arizona State (May 15-17) and Stanford (May 21-23) to conclude the 2010 regular season home schedule


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