April 4, 2013
|2013 Arizona Baseball
April 5-7, 2013 | Tucson, Ariz. | Hi Corbett Field
California (16-13, 5-4 Pac-12) at Arizona (18-11, 3-6 Pac-12)
Friday, April 5 • 6 p.m. (MST) • Hi Corbett Field • Radio: None
Saturday, April 6 • 6 p.m. (MST) • Hi Corbett Field • Radio: 1290 AM
Video Stream | Audio Stream
Sunday, April 7 • 1 p.m. (MST) • Hi Corbett Field • TV: ESPNU • Radio: 1290 AM
Watch ESPN | Audio Stream
|Some Series Themes||Quick Links|
|The calendar turns to a new month, one that both California and Arizona hope will spring them into strong second halves of the season ... Good friends on and off the field, David Esquer and Andy Lopez will try to guide their ballclubs in what could prove to be a pivotal series for the eventual winner ... The Golden Bears try to stay above .500 in league play, while the Wildcats can scratch their way back to that even mark with a sweep ... Sweeps have been a theme for better or worse for the Wildcats, who dropped their first six conference contests before taking three tilts from Utah last weekend ... Still, Arizona needs to keep its momentum going at home, where it has already played 23 games with a 17-7 record ... California arrives in town reeling a bit having lost six of its last nine overall, so don't expect the Bears to feel sorry for the Wildcats position in conference ... On paper, the two sides are quite similar, with UA holding slight edges in batting average and team ERA ... Offensively, both teams move runners well in sacrifice situations, though the Golden Bears have more of a knack for the long ball, while the Wildcats prefer to swipe bases ... On the mound, strikeouts and walks are nearly identical, which means throwing strikes and limiting free passes could make or break this season ... No matter how it all plays out, winning the series is the vial stat, and that should mean this weekend's action is as intense as we've seen all year. Pac-12 action is indeed in full swing.||Game Notes (PDF)|
|2013 Season Stats|
|2013 Media Guide|
|College Baseball Rankings|
|California vs. Arizona Statistical Comparison||Arizona Statistical Leaders|
|16-13 (5-4 Pac-12)||Record||18-11 (3-6 Pac-12)||Avg.||Brandon Dixon (.413)|
|.267||Avg.||.308||Hits||Brandon Dixon (45)|
|140||Runs||199||Runs||Brandon Dixon (38)|
|260||Hits||288||RBI||Trent Gilbert (35)|
|42||2B||33||2B||Johnny Field (7)|
|4||3B||22||HR||Brandon Dixon (4)|
|17||HR||7||OB%||Brandon Dixon (.492)|
|11-20||SB-ATT||63-81||SLG%||Brandon Dixon (.651)|
|.348||OB%||.408||SB||Brandon Dixon (22)|
|.370||SLG%||.413||ERA||Mathew Troupe (0.90)|
|4.20||ERA||3.57||IP||Konner Wade (47.1)|
|205||K's||204||K's||James Farris (37)|
|Arizona Baseball Game Notes:|
- Trent Gilbert was named the Pac-12 Player of the Week after going 5-for-13 with three runs scored and six RBI last week vs. Utah.
- Gilbert is tied for No. 2 nationally with five triples.
- Arizona pitchers have eight saves this year after registering 10 all of last season.
- Mathew Troupe's 12 career saves rank No. 7 in program history.
- Johnny Field is batting .444 (8-for-18) since moving into the leadoff position four games ago.
- Brandon Dixon leads the Pac-12 in runs (38), hits (45) and stolen bases (22). He ranks second in batting (.413) and slugging (.651).
- Konner Wade has yet to throw a complete game in 2013 after throwing six last season, including one at California.
- Joseph Maggi is batting 7-for-13 (.528) over the last five games.
- UA hitters have drawn 130 walks and been hit by a pitch 42 times compared to only 142 strikeouts.
- Five of UA's first nine Pac-12 games have been decided by one run.
- Tyler Crawford is 3-2 with a 1.89 ERA over seven career starts.
- UA has hit .300 or better for 10 consecutive seasons.
- UA has 12 last at-bat victories since March of 2012.
- UA is 14-2 when out-hitting opponents this season.
UA-Utah Series Recap: Arizona snapped a six-game losing streak, its longest since 2008, by sweep Utah in a three-game series at Hi Corbett Field ... The Wildcats narrowly won the opener, 4-3, as Johnny Field had four hits and Zach Gibbons drove in Kevin Newman with the winning run in the bottom of the seventh inning. Tyger Talley earned the win and Mathew Troupe the save as the two relievers shut out Utah over the final three innings without a hit allowed ... Arizona cruised on Saturday, winning 15-4 as Trent Gilbert had a career-high five RBI, including a pair of two-run doubles. Talley again earned the victory from the pen as he tossed two shutout innings, and Nick Cunningham earned a three-inning save with just one run allowed ... Tyler Crawford shined on Sunday in what was his first career weekend start. The lefty tied a career-high with five strikeouts in 6.1 shutout innings. Field's two-out double plated the go-ahead run in the seventh and Gilbert's RBI single in the eighth put UA on top 2-0. Troupe earned his second save of the series, but surrendered a run and escaped a bases-loaded jam with two outs in the ninth ... Arizona hit .312 over the weekend and reached base at a .444 clip thanks to 17 walks and six hit batsmen ... Joseph Maggi (.571, 4-for-7) and Field (.538, 7-for-13) paced the offense, while Gilbert had six RBI and three runs scored over the weekend ... Wildcat pitchers posted a cumulative 2.33 earned run average and had 27 strikeouts to nine walks in the series ... The bullpen earned all three victories and had a save each day.
Turning Point: Arizona entered a three-game series at California last May having just been knocked out of first place in the Pac-12 by Oregon. The Wildcats responded by sweeping the Golden Bears. From there, Arizona won 18 of its last 20 games, including a perfect 10-0 run in the postseason en route to the national championship. Here's a look back at the turning point in the 2012 season: Kurt Heyer pitched his fifth complete game of the season, Alex Mejia drove in two runs and Robert Refsnyder hit a solo homer in UA's 3-1 series-opening victory on May 11, 2012 ... Konner Wade matched Heyer's complete game on Saturday and benefitted from three first-inning runs as the Cats clinched the series with a 4-1 ... Johnny Field collected four hits, including a homer, and scored three runs, as the Wildcats received four shutout innings of relief from Tyler Crawford to secure the sweep in a 7-4 decision on Sunday ... Cal entered the series as the third-best hitting team in the Pac-12, but UA's staff limited the Bears to a .156 average over the three games ... Field led all hitters with seven hits, including three for extra bases, with four runs scored in the series while extending his hitting streak to 12 games... Refsnyder hit a homer in each of the first two games, and Joey Rickard led off Game 2 with his first dinger of the season ... The Cats committed only two errors in the series and a were 3-of-4 in stolen base attempts .
Arizona Head Coach Andy Lopez: The Wildcats are coached by Andy Lopez, who is now in his 12th season with a 421-257-1 record at the school. A three-time national coach of the year, including in 2012, Andy Lopez has reestablished Arizona as one of the nation's elite baseball programs, guiding the school to the 2012 NCAA National Championship, two College World Series appearances, and eight postseason berths in the last 10 seasons. Last year, Lopez became just the second NCAA Division I head coach to win a title at two schools (Arizona, Pepperdine). He is one of just three coaches to lead three different schools (Pepperdine, Florida and Arizona) to the College World Series. Further, he is one of just four coaches to take two schools to Omaha on multiple occasions (Arizona, Florida). Under Lopez, the Wildcats have won at least 30 games in six straight years and in 10 of Lopez's 11 seasons at the school, and have won 40 games in three of the last six seasons. Overall, Lopez owns a career record of 1,108-675-7 in 30 years as a head coach, including stints at Cal State Dominguez Hills (1983-88), Pepperdine (1989-94), Florida (1995-2001) and Arizona (2002-present). Lopez led Pepperdine, Florida (twice) and Arizona (twice) to College World Series appearances. His total victories are 12th-most among active coaches.
Lopez Wins No. 1,100: With a 5-2 victory over San Francisco on March 2, 2013, Andy Lopez became the 38th head coach in NCAA history to reach the 1,100-win benchmark. The three-time national coach of the year now boasts a career record of 1,108-675-7 in a career that includes head coaching gigs at four-year schools at Cal State Dominguez Hills (168-152-2 from 1983-88), Pepperdine (241-107-3 from 1989-94), Florida (278-159-1 from 1995-2001 at Florida) and now Arizona (421-257-1 from 2002-13).
The Youthful Cats: A season ago, 53 percent (306-of-585 games) of Arizona's position starts were made by junior or seniors. After 29 games this season, only 26 percent (69-of-261) starts have been made by upper classmen. In fact, the Wildcats' starting lineups this season have seen as many as six freshmen penciled into positions. Kevin Newman has started all 29 games at shortstop, while Zach Gibbons (23), Ryan Koziol (19), Scott Kingery (15 starts), Jackson Willeford (5), Cody Ramer (6) and David Real (2) push the total to 99 starts by freshmen on this still young season. On the mound, lefty Cody Moffett and righty Tyger Talley have combined for 18 appearances and five starts.
Against California: Some notes on current Wildcats against California in past seasons: Johnny Field enters this weekend's series with a .429 (9-for-21) batting average in six career games against the Golden Bears. Field has hit for the career cycle vs. Cal with three doubles, a triple and a home run. The homer came on May 13, 2012, at Evans Diamond ... Sunday's probable starter, LHP Tyler Crawford, earned a save and pitched the final 4.0 shutout innings with just one hit allowed and no walks in a no-decision relief appearance on May 13, 2013 ... Brandon Dixon went 1-for-6 with a double in three games played, including two starts, at California last season ... Saturday's projected starter James Farris allowed three runs on five in hits and three walks in 3.0 innings in his start at California last season ... Trent Gilbert went 2-for-6 with two runs scored in three starts at Cal last season ... Friday starter Konner Wade tossed a complete game three-hitter with one run allowed last year at California (May 12, 2012). Wade also made a three-inning relief appearance against Golden Bears in the second game of a double-header on April 10, 2011. In that game, Wade gave up three runs on three hits. In his career, Wade is 1-0 with a 3.00 ERA, nine strikeouts and four walks in 12.0 innings pitched against California.
Top Cat: Third baseman Brandon Dixon is turning in a breakout junior campaign. After playing first base and struggling to hit .245 as a sophomore, Dixon made the switch to the hot corner this year and consequently his bat has heated up. Through 29 games, Dixon ranks No. 2 in the Pac-12 for both batting average (.413) and slugging percentage (.651), while checking in at No. 3 in on-base percentage (.492). Additionally, Dixon leads the conference in runs scored (38), hits (45) and stolen bases (22), while his 27 RBI rank third-most in the league. He's also been hit by nine pitches, tied with California's Mike Reuvekamp for the top mark in the conference. For good measure, Dixon gets it done in the classroom, too. He was an honorable mention selection on the Pac-12 All-Academic team last spring.
Dixon in Perspective: Just 29 games into the season, junior Brandon Dixon has already surpassed many of the career totals he held entering this year. Over the first 75 games (39 starts) to his career in 2011 and 2012, Dixon had 40 hits in 165 at-bats, 31 runs, 15 RBI and eight stolen bases. In 2013, Dixon has 45 hits in 109 at-bats, 38 runs, 27 RBI and 22 stolen bases. Dixon also has four triples and four home runs this season, after hitting no triples and only one homer as a freshman or a sophomore.
Gritty Gilly: Sophomore second baseman Trent Gilbert was named the Pac-12 Player of the Week (March 25-31) for the first time in his career. In a three-game sweep against Utah, Gilbert was 5-for-13 (.385) at the plate with a pair of doubles. He accounted for nine of Arizona's 21 runs scored in the three games thanks to three runs scored and six RBI. Five of those RBI came in a career-best performance in Game 2 of the series. On the season, Gilbert ranks as the Pac-12's top-run producer with 35 RBI. He's batting .348 with five doubles and a conference-leading five triples, which also ranks No. 2 nationally. Gilbert reaches base at a .419 clip and has stolen four bases (in six attempts).
Johnny Baseball: The reigning Pac-12 batting champion, junior Johnny Field continues to do what he does best: hit the baseball. Through 29 games, Field is batting .362 with seven doubles, three triples and three home runs for a .552 slugging percentage and a .423 on-base percentage. All three percentages rank in the top 10 of the individual conference statistics. Meanwhile, he's scored 29 runs, tied for second-most, and driven in 22, just outside the top 10. Field's 42 base hits are third-most in the league, while his nine stolen bases are tied for No. 9. In his 146-game career (140 starts), Field is a .345 hitter with 136 runs scored and 98 RBI. He has hit 40 doubles, 15 triples and nine home runs, while stealing 24 bases.
Leadoff Man: Needing to spark the offense, Andy Lopez juggled his batting order four games ago, moving Johnny Field from the No. 3 spot into the leadoff position. It's a move that has suited Field quite well. The Las Vegas, Nev., native has gone 8-for-18 (.444) and reached base at a .500 clip over those four games. Most importantly, the Wildcats are 3-1 in those games.
Zach on the Attack: Freshman Zach Gibbons is playing beyond his years. A starter in the last 23-straight games, Gibbons is second on the team and fifth in the Pac-12 with a .373 batting average. Gibbons has shown both patience and a willingness to hit the ball the other way. He's reaching base at a .475 clip thanks to 16 walks, which is tied for fifth-most in the conference. Once on base, Gibbons is 6-for-7 in stolen bases and has come around to score 18 runs. Gibbons has started four games at designated hitter and four games in right field, but expect him to start in left field this weekend where he has 15 total starts this season.
Hello, Newman: Perhaps no Pac-12 freshman position player has made a more significant impact to his team than Arizona's Kevin Newman. Tasked with filling the shoes of 2012 Pac-12 Player of the Year Alex Mejia, Newman has done a marvelous job both at the plate and in the field. The Wildcats' starting shortstop in all 29 games, Newman is batting .327 with 20 runs scored, 19 RBI and six stolen bases halfway into his rookie season. Perhaps most impressive has been his glove work. Newman has 72 assists and has committed only three errors on the season to go with a .975 fielding percentage.
Wade's World: Arizona's No. 1 starting pitcher this year is junior Konner Wade. The right-hander has been solid all season, evidence by a 2-2 record and a 3.99 ERA, but he's also hoping to tighten things up as conference play ramps up. In seven starts, Wade has racked up 32 strikeouts against 11 walks and has limited opposing hitters to a .268 clip in his 47.1 innings pitched. Wade's strikeout total ranks tied for No. 9 in the conference, while he's pitched the fifth-most innings entering this weekend. In his career, Wade boasts a 16-5 record and a 3.78 with 165 strikeouts against 67 walks in 245.1 innings pitched. Last season against California, Wade pitched a complete game three-hitter as he allowed just one run to go with seven strikeouts at Evans Diamond on May 12, 2012.
The Saturday Man: Junior James Farris has pitched solidly as the club's No. 2 starter this season. In seven starts, Farris is 3-3 with a 4.08 ERA, while he has limited foes to a .225 batting average. In 46.1 innings pitched, Farris has a team-leading 37 strikeouts against 15 walks. His strikeout tally is good enough for the No. 5 spot in the Pac-12 individual statistics. In his career, Farris has made 26 total appearances, including 24 starts. The Gilbert, Ariz., native owns a 10-6 all-time record with a 4.21 ERA. He has 111 strikeouts against 38 walks in 154.0 innings pitched.
Phoenix Five: Nearly two-thirds of the innings pitched by the Wildcats have been turned in by players from the Phoenix metropolitan area. In fact, Konner Wade (Scottsdale, Ariz.), James Farris Gilbert, Ariz.), Tyler Crawford (Glendale, Ariz.), Cody Moffett (Gilbert, Ariz.) and Tyger Talley (Scottsdale, Ariz.) have combined for 25 of Arizona's 29 starts on the mound this season. Wade and Farris, both juniors, anchor the starting rotation in the Friday and Saturday spots, respectively. Moffett, a freshman, and Crawford, a sophomore, have been steady mid-week starters and have competed for the Sunday job. Meanwhile, Talley, a freshman, has dabbled as a starter in midweeks but has, for now, solidified as a top right-handed arm in the bullpen. Collectively, the quintet has a 12-8 record with a 3.38 earned run average over 170.1 innings pitched.
Maggi Madness: Perhaps Joseph Maggi was inspired by the NCAA basketball tournament or, for some reason, a trip to Eugene, Ore., last month. The sophomore outfielder, who hit .326 last year, opened this season 11-for-59 (.186) through the first 24 games. Something clicked five games ago against Oregon and now Maggi carries one of the team's hottest bats into the series against California. In his last five games, Maggi leads the team with a .538 (7-for-13) batting average to go with four runs scored and four RBI. He's drawn four walks and been hit by a pitch twice in that span, giving him another team-high for on-base percentage (.684) over those games. In the stretch, he has three multi-hit games after posting just two such games in the previous 24 contests. The Phoenix, Ariz., native has seen his batting average rise from .186 to its current .250 clip over those five games.
20 Steals: Junior Brandon Dixon is 22-for-24 in stolen base attempts this season, leading the Pac-12 Conference and ranking No. 5 nationally in the category entering the week. Dixon reached 20 steals in just 26 games, a pretty impressive feat. Over the last five seasons, only one Wildcat (Bryce Ortega, 25 steals in 2011) has stolen 20 bags in a season. Another seven swipes would push Dixon into the school's single-season top-10, where Colin Porter (29 steals in 1997) holds the No. 10 spot. The school single-season record is 45, set by Tommy Hinzo in 1986. For his career, Dixon is now 30-for-36 (.833) stealing bases, a success rate that would rank in the top-10 in the school records should it hold up.
Save the Day: Paced by closer Mathew Troupe's six saves, which are second-most in the Pac-12, Arizona is already nearing its saves total from last season. In 2012, the Wildcats had only 10 saves in 48 victories, with Troupe accounting for six of them. This year, Arizona already has eight saves, with Nick Cunningham registering the two that Troupe did not earn. Last weekend against Utah, Troupe picked up a pair of saves in one-run ballgames, while Cunningham earned a three-inning save in a 15-4 victory.
Troupe Time: Sophomore closer Mathew Troupe is off to a strong this season. In 15 total appearances, Troupe is 2-0 with a 0.90 ERA and has converted all six of his save opportunities. Troupe also ranks third on the team with 31 strikeouts in just 20.0 innings pitched, and has limited opponents to a .130 batting average with only seven walks allowed. In his two seasons as a Wildcat, Troupe is 8-1 with 12 saves and a 2.56 ERA. He has 75 strikeouts and just 26 walks in 56.1 career innings.
Troupe Moving Up: Sophomore Mathew Troupe is quickly moving up Arizona's career chart for saves. In two seasons, the right-hander already has 12 saves, which ranks No. 7 in school history. Troupe is one behind Joe Estes (1983-96) and Carlos Rico (1991-92), who share the No. 5 spot, and two saves from matching Ryan Moskau's 14 saves (1997-98), which ranks No. 4. The top-three in the program records book is a pretty distinguished list of active professional players. Daniel Schlereth, who has three years of Major League service, totaled 15 saves for the Wildcats from 2006-08. Mark Melancon, now a Pittsburgh Pirate in his fourth year of Major League action, collected 18 saves from 2004-06. The school career record is held by Jason Stoffel, who tallied 29 saves from 2007-09. Stoffel is currently in the Houston Astros organization and led the Texas League (Double-A) with 27 saves for the Corpus Christi Hooks last year.
The Big Unit: Senior left-hander Augey Bill has emerged as one of the club's most reliable setup guys to bridge to closer Mathew Troupe. The 6-foot-9 lefty has posted a 3-0 record and a 1.04 earned run average over 17.1 innings in 13 total appearances from the bullpen. Bill has held opposing hitters to a .207 batting average, while allowing just five walks to go with nine strikeouts. Already Bill has surpassed his season totals from last season, when he appeared in five games and tossed 6.2 innings with seven strikeouts. The Danville, Calif., doesn't possess the rocket speed fastball of the more famous Big Unit (Randy Johnson), but Bill has a different claim to fame: an aspiring rocket scientist. As an aerospace engineering major, Bill has a keen interest in space travel. In 2012, Bill was a Pac-12 All-Academic honorable mention selection.
Whatever It Takes: Freshman Kevin Newman earned his starting shortstop position for his solid defensive skills. However, he's proving he can do it all on offense, too. With a .327 batting average, Newman ranks fifth on the team in batting while proving to be a tough out for opposing pitchers. With only seven strikeouts in 110 at-bats, Newman is striking out just once every 15.7 at-bats, a number that ranks him as the second-toughest player to strike out in the Pac-12. He's moved runners, too, as his six sacrifices rank in the top-10 of the conference. For good measure, he is 6-for-7 in stolen base tries.
Good Eyes: If statistics are any indication, Arizona's hitters have shown tremendous plate discipline in the first half of 2013. Arizona has drawn the most walks (130) of any conference team while striking out the second-fewest (142) times of any time. When you combined the 42 times Wildcat players have been hit by a pitch, Arizona has reached base on 172 free passes - or 30 more times than it has struck out. Not too shabby.
Triple The Fun: Arizona is tied with Virginia for the national lead with 22 triples entering this weekend's action. The spacious dimensions of Hi Corbett Field are certainly conducive to the three-bagger, and Wildcat hitters have taken advantage. Trent Gilbert leads the Pac-12 and ranks No. 2 nationally with five triples, while Brandon Dixon is tied for No. 2 in the conference and tied for No. 9 nationally with four triples. A total of nine players have a triple this season. By comparison, only two Wildcats - Dixon and Johnny Field - have a home run, and the club has just seven total home runs.
Close Calls: Whether they have won or lost, the Wildcats have played some close games early in the Pac-12 season. In fact, five of Arizona's nine conference tilts to date have been decided by one run or less. The Wildcats are 2-3 in such ballgames, with the two victories coming last weekend against Utah. Including non-conference games, the Wildcats are an even 4-4 overall in one-run decisions this season. In 2012, Arizona was 9-4 on the season in one-run games, including 6-3 in Pac-12 games.
Hit Parade: In 2012, Arizona led the nation with 756 base hits (11.6 per game). While the offensive numbers are down slightly in this season, the Wildcats are again leading the Pac-12 and rank No. 29 nationally with 288 base hits in 29 games (9.9 per game). The club's .308 batting average is one of only two over .300 in the Pac-12 Conference to date and ranks No. 18 nationally. Brandon Dixon leads all conference players with 45 hits, while Johnny Field (42) and Trent Gilbert (39) each rank in the top-five. Gilbert is tied with California's Andrew Knapp for No. 4 in the league. For the season, Arizona is 14-2 when in games when it collects more hits than the opponent.
Don't Blink: Arizona boasts a .408 on-base percentage, a mark that leads the Pac-12 and ranks No. 16 in the nation. However, the Wildcats aren't satisfied just getting on base; they like to steal bases, too. With 63 stolen bases in 81 attempts, Arizona leads the Pac-12 in both categories. The 63 swipes also rank No. 11 nationally. Individually, Brandon Dixon's 22 stolen bases are the most for any player in the conference and check in No. 5 nationally. With nine stolen bases, Johnny Field ranks No. 5 among Pac-12 players.
Re-Building a Powerhouse: When Arizona hired Andy Lopez in the summer of 2001, the program had appeared in an NCAA Regional just once in the previous eight seasons. Further, the Wildcats had not been to Omaha since their last national title in 1986. Now in his 12th season, Lopez has restored Arizona as one of college baseball's elite programs. Over the last 10 seasons, Lopez has guided the Wildcats to a pair of College World Series appearances, eight NCAA Regionals and three NCAA Super Regionals. The 2012 national title was the school's fourth all-time (1976, 1980 and 1986) and the second for Lopez, who won his first championship at Pepperdine in 1992.
Among the Best: Arizona baseball boasts one of the most storied legacies in college baseball history. The Wildcats have made 16 all-time appearances at the College World Series, tied for the seventh-most trips for any school. Arizona's four national championships (1976, 1980, 1986 and 2012) are tied for the fourth-most all-time. And in 107 seasons on the diamond, Arizona baseball teams have won 2,639 games, which ranks eighth-most in NCAA history.
A Rich Coaching History: Over the last century, Arizona has gone more than 90 seasons with just five head coaches guiding one of the winningest programs in NCAA history. Starting in 1922, J.F. "Pop" McKale coached the Wildcats for 28-consecutive seasons through 1949. Frank Sancet then took the reins in 1950 and led the Wildcats to national runner-up finishes three times in Omaha during his 23 seasons. In 1973, Jerry Kindall took over and was the skipper for the Wildcats' first three national championships in 1976, 1980 and 1986. Kindall coached Arizona for 24 seasons, before turning the program over to assistant Jerry Stitt in 1997. After five seasons, Andy Lopez was hired and has coached the Wildcats to a national championship and two College World Series appearances in his 12 seasons. That's 92 years with five total head coaches.
Developing Players: Arizona head coach Andy Lopez has an excellent track record for developing players. Since 1987, a total of 89 players Lopez has coached have been drafted in the MLB First-Year Player Draft. Of those 89, a total of 52 were not drafted out of high school. In his career, Lopez has coached eight players that were selected in the first round, including two in 2008. Lopez has coached 38 players to All-American lists, 27 to all-region teams and 76 to all-conference honors. At Arizona, he has coached a pair of Pac-10/12 Players of the Year (Trevor Crowe, 2005; Alex Mejia, 2012) and one Pitcher of the Year (Preston Guilmet, 2007).
Leading the Pac: Arizona joined the Pac-10/12 Conference in 1978. Since that time, Arizona has won three national championships, including in 1980, 1986 and 2012. That is more titles than any other school in the conference during that span. Oregon State (2006 and 2007), USC (1978 and 1998) and Stanford (1987 and 1988) each have won twice. Arizona State won its last title in 1981, giving the Wildcats a pair of championships since their rival's most recent one.
.300 Club: Arizona led the Pac-12 and ranked No. 4 in the nation in 2012 with a .329 team batting average, their highest-single season mark in the Andy Lopez tenure, and the highest for the school since 2000 (.331). Under Lopez, the Wildcats have now hit .300 or better in a season for 10-consecutive years. Only his first club, in 2002 (.289), failed to reach the .300 mark. Otherwise his teams have posted averages of .320 (2011), .321 (2010), .314 (2009), .301 (2008), .306 (2007), .305 (2006), .328 (2005), .305 (2004) and .329 (2003) over the last 10 seasons. After 29 games, the 2013 club is hitting .308.
Last At-Bat Wins: Since March of 2012, Arizona has 12 last at-bat victories, including on Feb. 22 this season against San Jose State and most recently on March 8 against Columbia. Here's a look at those dozen ballgames:
- March 7, 2012 vs. UC Davis (UA scores three runs in Bot. 8, wins 6-4)
- March 11, 2012 vs. E. Michigan (UA scores run in Bot. 9, wins 9-8 in walk-off fashion)
- March 24, 2012 @ Oregon St. (UA scores two runs in Top 9, wins 5-4)
- March 30, 2012 vs. Stanford (UA scores four runs in Bot 9, wins 8-7 in walk-off fashion)
- April 13, 2012 vs. UCLA (UA scores one run in Bot. 8, wins 4-3)
- May 25, 2012 vs. Arizona St. (UA scores run in Bot. 9, wins 1-0 in walk-off fashion)
- May 27, 2012 vs. Arizona St. (UA scores run in Bot. 9, wins 8-7 in walk-off fashion)
- June 8, 2012 vs. St. John's (UA scores twice in Bot 10, wins 7-6 in walk-off fashion)
- June 15, 2012 vs. Florida St. (UA scores once in Top 12, wins 4-3)
- June 25, 2012 vs. South Carolina (UA scores three runs in Top 9, wins national title 4-1)
- Feb. 22, 2013 vs. San Jose St. (UA scores three runs in Bot. 9, wins 8-7 in walk-off fashion).
- March 8, 2013 vs. Columbia (UA scores run in Bot. 9, wins 4-3 in walk-off fashion).
Up Next: Arizona will play six of its next seven games on the road, beginning with a three-game set at Washington State next weekend (April 12-14). The three-game series will begin on Friday at 6 p.m. (MST) Bailey-Brayton Field in Pullman, Wash. All three games will be broadcast live on 1290-AM in Tucson.