Regional Preview: #4 Seed Utah Utes

Utah won only two of thirteen weekend series (against Cal State Bakersfield and Air Force) but were only swept twice. Despite that poor series record, Utah has a 30 SOS according to Boyd's World and is 12-13 against teams that made the regional field.

  • Overall Record – 26-29
  • Conference Record – 8-16 (6th place)
  • How they qualified for a regional – Won the Mountain West Conference Tournament (BYU 2-1, TCU 9-7, San Diego State 8-9, San Diego State 4-1, TCU 6-4, San Diego State 9-3)
  • Last Regional Appearance – 1960
  • RPI/ISR – 91/78

Season Summary

Utah won only two of thirteen weekend series (against Cal State Bakersfield and Air Force) but were only swept twice.  Despite that poor series record, Utah has a 30 SOS according to Boyd's World and is 12-13 against teams that made the regional field including wins against fellow Fullerton regional member Gonzaga (1) as well as TCU (4), San Diego State (3), UC Irvine (1), Texas A&M (1), Washington State (1) and Sam Houston State (1).  Utah was the longshot in the MWC Tournament before getting on a hot streak and pulling off several upsets on their way to the tournament championship.  The Utes have a solid offense but they don't have gaudy numbers like you would expect for a MWC team that plays most of their game at high altitude.  After their #1 starter Utah has struggled with getting consistent outings from the rest of their pitching staff but they did pitch very well in the conference tournament except for an 8th inning meltdown in their loss to San Diego State.

 

Offense

Park Factor according to Boyd's World – 110 (increases offense by 10%).

Batting Average – .301 (142)

Runs Per Game – 6.9 (137)

Home Runs – 54 (109)

Stolen Bases – 55 (159)

Slugging Percentage – .454 (143)

Walks – 210 (134)

HBP's – 46 (206)

Sac Bunts – 52 (20)

 

Batting Order

2B Corey Shimada (LH – .335-6-36-16).  2nd team all-conf.  Leads team with 58 R's and 42 BB's.  Hit .329 and stole 21 bases in 2008.

LF Tyler Yagi (RH – .323-0-30-1).  Second on team with 8 SAC bunts.

3B Nick Kuroczko (LH – .351-5-37-4).  Leads team in BA and OBP.  Second on team in SLG and walks (39).

C/DH C.J. Cron (RH – .341-9-51-1).  MWC FR of the YR.  Leads team in HR and RBI.

DH/C Devin Walker (RH – .327-8-35-0).  Leads team in SLG.  Tied for 2nd in HR's.

1B Austin Jones (RH – .280-8-46-3).  Second on team in RBI's and tied for 2nd in HR's.  2nd on team with 41 K's.

RF Rick Cornu (RH – .274-8-29-8).  Tied for 2nd in HR's.

CF Cooper Blanc (RH – .222-6-23-9).  Hit .345 and stole 14 bases in 2008.

SS Michael Beltran (RH – .300-0-19-7).  Leads team with 11 SAC bunts and 53 K's.  Hit .372 in 2008.

 

Defense

Fielding .966 (95) – 74 errors.  Beltran has good range but has committed 17 errors.  Kuroczko has committed 12 errors. Shimada has committed only 6 errors.

Double Plays – 49 (89)

Stolen Base Attempts – 41-53 against two main catchers.  Cron 23-29.  Walker 18-24.  Cron has picked off five runners and Utah has picked off 21 runners.

WP's/PB's Allowed – 53

 

Pitching

ERA – 5.76 (142)

BA – .306

HR – 44

H's/9 IP – 11.16 (178)

BB's/9 IP – 3.48 (70)                 

K's/9 IP – 7.2 (98)

 

Starting Pitchers

Jodan Whatcott (RHP – 5-2, 3.59 ERA, 16 apps, 14 starts, 1 save, 85 IP, 76 H, 43 BB, 61 K,  .247 BA, 2 HR, 13 HBP, 6 WP).  2nd team all-conf.  Easily the best and most consistent SP.  Has wins against UC Irvine and Texas A&M.  Won two games in MWC Tournament (BYU, San Diego State) and save another game (TCU).  Picked off 7 runners.  4-10 SB's.

Brian Budrow (RHP – 5-5, 5.32 ERA, 15 apps, 14 starts, 1 save, 93 IP, 112 H, 29 BB, 74 K, .296 BA, 5 HR, 9 HBP, 12 WP).  Friday SP (Whatcott started during the season on Sundays).  Won his start against TCU in the MWC tournament and saved a game against San Diego State.  Was more effective in 2008 (6-5, 3.49 ERA, 13 starts, 80 IP).

Andrew Wilding (RHP – 2-5, 6.05 ERA, 13 apps, 13 starts, 74 IP, 96 H, 13 BB, 44 K, .319 BA, 9 HR, 8 HBP, 3 WP).  Held San Diego State to 2 R on 6 H in 7 1/3 IP in his start in the MWC Tournament.

Bryn Card (LHP – 5-2, 5.67 ERA, 16 apps, 11 starts, 60 IP, 73 H, 23 BB, 48 K, .304 BA, 9 HR, 4 HBP, 1 WP).  Held TCU to 3 R on 7 H in 5 2/3 IP in his start in the MWC Tournament.


Relief Pitchers

Closer – Greg Krause (RHP – 1-4, 5.09 ERA, 29 apps, 4 saves, 41 IP, 52 H, 15 BB, 45 K, .301 BA, 6 HR, 7 HBP, 3 WP).  Had two saves in MWC Tournament and allowed 1 R (0 ER) in 5 2/3 IP in three appearances.

Stephen Streich (LHP – 2-3, 6.03 ERA, 25 apps, 2 saves, 34 IP, 48 H, 18 BB, 27 K, .338 BA, 4 HR, 3 HBP, 3 WP). 

Tyler Andersen (LHP – 1-1, 7.71 ERA, 19 apps, 23 IP, 37 H, 5 BB, 19 K, .356 BA, 0 HR, 3 HBP, 0 WP). 

Robert Chimpky (RHP – 2-2, 8.62 ERA, 23 apps, 3 saves, 24 IP, 35 H, 14 BB, 27 K, .347 BA, 5 HR, 5 HBP, 3 WP).

Bennett Askew (RHP – 1-4, 9.13 ERA, 17 apps, 24 IP, 32 H, 9 BB, 25 K, .327 BA, 3 HR, 4 HBP, 1 WP).

Joe Pond (RHP – 1-1, 8.61 ERA, 15 apps, 2 starts, 23 IP, 36 H, 17 BB, 20 K, .364 BA, 1 HR, 2 HBP, 4 WP).