Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Coaches Tab UA Baseball No. 2 in Pac-12
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: February 14, 2012
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Feb. 14, 2012

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TUCSON, Ariz. - The Arizona baseball team is ranked second in the Pac-12 Preseason Coaches' Poll, released by the conference on Tuesday. Stanford is the near unanimous favorite with 10 of 11 possible first-place votes.

The Wildcats, who have garnered a national preseason No. 5 ranking by Baseball America, received 85 total points, trailing the Cardinal by 15 points. Arizona State received 84 points, including one first-place vote. UCLA and Oregon State round the fourth and fifth spots, respectively. California, which made a run to the College World Series last June, holds the No. 6 position, followed by Oregon, USC, Washington State, Washington and Utah.

"I always say it is a credit to our players and our program to receive attention like this," head coach Andy Lopez said. "But once the lights are turned on and we throw that first pitch on Friday night, the rankings don't mean anything. From that point forward, it's about playing baseball and improving throughout the season."

The Wildcats host Stanford, Arizona State and UCLA - the three of the other top-four ranked teams - for three-game conference series at Hi Corbett Field this season. Oregon, Washington State and Washington also visit Tucson, while UA will travel to play at Oregon State, California, Washington and Utah.

Arizona opens the season on Friday at 6 p.m. at Hi Corbett Field in the first of three games against North Dakota State. The visiting Bison are coached by UA alum Tod Brown. 

The season-opening three-game series also coincides with UA's annual Alumni Weekend. This year the Wildcats are honoring former coaches Frank Sancet and Jerry Kindall, along with the 1962 baseball team for its 50-year reunion. Kindall will be joined by Sancet's grandson, Hank Sancet, in throwing out the ceremonial first pitches. A post-game fireworks show will also be featured following the season-opener on Friday night.

On Saturday, two-time World Champion manager and 1980 Golden Spikes Award winner Terry Francona headlines a Major League autograph session before the 4 p.m. game. Starting at 3:15 p.m. fans can get autographs from Francona, Brian Anderson, George Arias, Jordan Brown, Jason Donald, Shelley Duncan, Gil Heredia, Jack Howell, Nick Hundley, Brad Mills and Ed Vosberg.

Season, mini-plan and individual game tickets are on sale through the McKale Ticket Office in person, by phone and online

2012 Pac-12 Baseball Preseason Coaches' Poll 

School Points
1 Stanford (10) 100
2 Arizona 85
3 Arizona State (1) 84
4 UCLA 72
5 Oregon State 64
6 California 56
7 Oregon 38
8 USC 36
9 Washington State 33
10 Washington 20
11 Utah 17

First-place votes in ()

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