June 5, 2004
No. 4 seed Kent State vs. No. 3 seed Arizona
June 5, 2003 – 3:05 p.m.
Frank Eck Stadium – Notre Dame, Ind.
This afternoon’s game was the first meeting on the baseball diamond between the Arizona Wildcats and the Golden Flashes of Kent State.
Kent State will face Notre Dame tonight at 7:05 p.m. (EST) in an elimination game, with the winner moving on to face Arizona at 1:05 p.m. (EST) on Sunday.
ARIZONA TEAM NOTES
Arizona advanced to the championship game of the NCAA regionals for the first time since 1989.
This marks Arizona’s 31st appearance in the NCAA tournament. The Wildcats are 49-35 in regional play since 1950, and 81-60 all-time in postseason play.
The Wildcats’ victory today is the latest win in a calendar year for Arizona since beating Florida State at the College World Series on June 6, 1986.
Arizona’s only other postseason matchup with a team from the Mid-American Conference resulted in two wins over Eastern Michigan en route to the 1976 national title.
In the first 3.1 innings, six Arizona runners reached base without the team recording a hit (three errors, two walks and a fielder’s choice).
KENT STATE TEAM NOTES
Kent State is making its seventh all-time appearance in the NCAA baseball tournament. The Golden Flashes are now 6-13 in tournament action.
The Golden Flashes are making their second appearance in three years at Eck Stadium. KSU played in the 2002 South Bend Regional, losing to South Alabama and Ohio State.
Kent State had won seven of its last eight games, and 16 of its last 20 before falling to the Wildcats today.
The Golden Flashes have never opened 2-0 in NCAA play, and have won multiple games in the NCAA tournament just twice (1993 and 2001).
Kent State’s six errors on the afternoon are a new season high. Today’s game is the ninth this season in which the Golden Flashes have committed at least three errors.
ARIZONA PLAYER NOTES
Junior catcher Richard Mercado is 4-for-8 with four RBI in the series. Three of his hits have driven in runs with two outs in the inning.
Sophomore pitcher Kevin Guyette made his 20th start of the season for the Wildcats this afternoon, tying him with former major league hurler Scott Erickson for third on the single-season list in that category.
In his six starts prior to today’s game, Guyette was 1-2 with an 11.20 ERA. Against KSU, he went 6.1 innings, gave up six hits and three earned runs.
Sophomore designated hitter Nick Hundley’s fourth-inning single drove in the first two Arizona runs. Over his last eight games Hundley is 13-29 (.448) with 11 RBI.
Junior rightfielder Jeff Van Houten grounded into only his second double play of the season in the second inning. His only previous GDP came on March 20 at Long Beach State.
Freshman pitcher Mark Melancon’s seventh-inning wild pitch was his 10th of the season in 53 innings pitched.
Melancon had given up at least one run in his last 10 outings prior to today, when he pitched 2.2 scoreless innings.
KENT STATE PLAYER NOTES
In Kent State’s first two games of the regional, senior second baseman Matt Sega is 5-for-8 (.625) at the plate with an RBI, in addition to scoring the game-winning run in the Golden Flashes’ series opener versus Notre Dame. He was hitless in his last 19 at-bats heading into the NCAA tournament.
Senior first baseman Chad Kinyon’s career-long hitting streak ended today at 21 games. He reached base on a walk and an error and scored a run, but ended 0-for-4 in official at-bats.
Senior infielders Kinyon and Sega both started their 62nd game of the season, establishing a new Kent State single-season record for that category.
Freshman catcher Will Vazquez’s second-inning double extended his hitting streak to six. Over that stretch, he is 7-for-23 (.304).
Sophomore second baseman Joe Tucker’s seventh-inning single extended his hitting streak to five games, over which he is hitting .474 (9-for-19).
Freshman shortstop Andrew Davis’ two errors in the ballgame give him six in his last five games. Prior to that stretch, he had committed only seven all season.
Prior to today’s game, junior pitcher Jason Brunke was averaging only 2.4 walks per outing. Today Brunke issued five free passes to Arizona hitters.
The 4.0+ innings that Brunke went today for the Golden Flashes qualify as his second shortest outing of the season. His shortest came in his first start of the year, when he went only 2.0 innings and gave up seven earned runs against Nebraska.
Junior pitcher Shane Curry’s sixth-inning pickoff of Arizona’s Derek Decater was Curry’s first of the season.
Curry’s two scoreless innings today marked the 11th time in 16 appearances that he hasn’t been scored upon. In his last five appearances, he has given up only one run in 6.2 innings (1.35 ERA).
Freshman pitcher Ryan Davis hit Arizona’s Derek Decater with a pitch to lead off the eighth inning – his first hit batsman of the season.