May 15, 2012
|2012 Arizona Baseball
May 16, 2012 | Tempe, Ariz. | Packard Stadium
No. 14 Arizona (33-15, 16-8 Pac-12) @ No. 18 Arizona State (32-17, 14-10 Pac-12)
Wednesday, May 16 • 6:30 p.m. (MST) • Packard Stadium • UA Radio: 1290 AM
|Some Series Themes||Quick Links|
|Top-20 rivals clash in the second of two non-conference tilts in Tempe before the regular season concludes with the three-game conference series in Tucson next week … The hit-happy Wildcat nine spars with one of the conference’s top pitching staffs … Two clubs coming off impressive road sweeps … The Wildcats have won nine of their last 12, while the Sun Devils have won six straight and eight of nine … UA tries to build on a 10-6 road résumé, while ASU strives to protect its home diamond where it has won 20 of 25 this season … The Sun Devils are 12-1 against Pac-12 schools at Packard, including last month’s contest with UA … The Cats are hungry to snap an unsavory five-game skid against their in-state rivals … A Wildcat freshman gets a shot at redemption on the mound … Another shot to potentially see two Maggi’s in the lineup … A State Farm Territorial Cup Series game, meaningless in the overall challenge which UA has already won, but perhaps pivotal in determining the baseball point … UA’s final regular season non-conference game.||Baseball America Rankings
|Game Notes (PDF)|
|Season Statistics (PDF)|
|2012 Media Guide|
|Arizona State vs. Arizona Statistical Comparison||Arizona Statistical Leaders|
|32-17 (14-10 Pac-12)||Record||33-15 (16-8 Pac-12)||Avg.||Johnny Field (.378)|
|.289||Avg.||.329||Hits||Alex Mejia (74)|
|297||Runs||343||Runs||Johnny Field (51)|
|483||Hits||552||RBI||Robert Refsnyder (50)|
|93||2B||102||2B||Seth Mejias-Brean (16)|
|19||3B||25||HR||Robert Refsnyder (6)|
|38||HR||17||OB%||Johnny Field (.484)|
|52-72||SB-ATT||64-97||SLG%||Robert Refsnyder (.581)|
|.371||OB%||.394||SB||Robert Refsnyder (12)|
|.436||SLG%||.450||ERA||Kurt Heyer (2.28)|
|3.03||ERA||4.04||IP||Kurt Heyer (102.2)|
|321||K's||345||K's||Kurt Heyer (85)|
|Arizona Baseball Game Notes:|
- The Wildcats’ .329 batting average ranks No. 4 in the nation.
- UA’s 7.1 runs per game ranks No. 10 in the nation.
- The Cats’ 35 sacrifice flies are second-most in nation.
- Kurt Heyer was named Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week for the fifth time in his career, while Johnny Field earned his first career Player of the Week honor.
- Field is hitting .540 (27-for-50) with 13 extra base hits during his current 12-game hitting streak (hitting .482 over last 20 games).
- Heyer has thrown five complete games in 2012 and eight in his career.
- UA pitchers have thrown 10 complete games in 2012, the most since the 1992 staff racked up 12 CG’s.
- UA has thrown 17 complete games the last two seasons. The program had a total of 17 from 2000-2010.
- Bobby Brown is hitting an even .400 over last 25 games.
- Arizona has six home runs in the last five games and has hit 15 of its 17 home runs on the season over the last 25 games.
- The Wildcats have hit 11 homers in 17 road games this season.
- UA has won 30 games in six straight seasons, and in 10 of Andy Lopez’s 11 seasons.
- UA is 31-3 when out-hitting opponents and is 0-11 when being out-hit (2-1 when tied).
- Seven UA regulars are hitting .300 or better (min. 95 at bats).
Arizona Head Coach Andy Lopez: The Wildcats are coached by Andy Lopez, who is now in his 11th season with a 388-244-1 record at the school. He has guided the Wildcats to postseason competition in seven of the last nine years, including two straight NCAA regionals and highlighted by a 2004 College World Series appearance. The Wildcats have won at least 30 games in six straight years and in 10 of Lopez’s 11 seasons at the school. Overall, Lopez has more than 1,000 career victories, one national championship and four College World Series appearances. Lopez owns a career record of 1,075-662-7 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 to College World Series appearances. His total victories are 13th-most among active coaches and he is just one of just 45 individuals to reach 1,000 career victories.
State Farm Territorial Cup Series: Wednesday’s game is the second of five meetings that will help determine the winner of the baseball point between the schools in the State Farm Territorial Cup Series. Two years ago the insurance corporation sponsored the Territorial Cup Series, which counts all head-to-head sporting events between the schools (or, league-championships competition finishes in some sports). The rivalry competition series should not be confused with the actual Territorial Cup, which is the nation's oldest rivalry trophy recognized by the NCAA and is presented each fall to the winner of the football game. The University of Arizona won the 2009-10 and 2010-11 State Farm Territorial Cup Series by overall scores of 10.5 to 7.5 and 11.5 to 6.5, respectively. The Wildcats have also secured a victory in 2011-12 with a current 10.5-6.5 margin. Only the baseball point remains up for grabs.
Watch It Live: A live web stream of Tuesday night's game will be available at www.foxsportsarizona.com. The video stream is free of charge.
April 17 in Tempe: Arizona saw a five-run lead evaporate and rival Arizona State surged ahead with an explosive seven-run seventh inning to win a non-conference game 12-8 ... The Cats out-hit the Devils 13-12, but UA's bullpen faltered in the middle and late innings ... Starter Tyler Crawford (4.2 IP, 4 R, 3 ER, 4 SO) turned over a 7-2 lead with two down in the fifth, but the bullpen surrendered the two inherited runners and another run in the sixth ... After UA tacked on a run in the top of the seventh for an 8-5 lead, ASU rallied with seven runs to overtake the Cats in the bottom of the frame ... Closer Mathew Troupe entered in the decisive seventh and was unable to keep the tying run from scoring before surrendering the four runs that provided the winning margin ... Troupe suffered his first collegiate loss after a stellar 2-0, six-saves start to his career ... Seth Mejias-Brean hit his first home run in 498 official at-bats dating back to his freshman season - a three-run round-tripper in UA's six-run fifth inning to take a 7-2 lead.
UA-Cal Recap: Arizona swept three games from California in Berkeley for the first time since 1997 … 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 victory on Friday … 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 .
POW Part I: Kurt Heyer was named the Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week for the second time this season and the fifth time in his career following a three-game sweep at California last weekend. Heyer was brilliant in last Friday's 3-1 series-opening victory over California, turning in his fifth complete game of the season and the eighth of his three-year career. The Huntington Beach, Calif., native scattered five hits and allowed no earned runs over nine innings, as he limited the Golden Bears to just two at-bats (0-for-2) with a runner in scoring position. The 6-foot-2, 211-pound hurler ranks second in the conference with 85 strikeouts. Last Friday's win improved his season record to 9-2 and lowered his ERA to 2.28, sixth-best in the Pac-12.
POW Part II: Johnny Field was named the Pac-12 Player of the Week for the first time in his career after helping the Wildcats to a series sweep at California last weekend. Field continued a torrid 12-game hitting streak as he picked up a hit in each game of the series and scored four of the team's 14 runs over the weekend. The Las Vegas, Nev., native collected seven hits, four runs, his second home run of the season, two doubles and an RBI to accompany a pair of drawn walks, two outfield assists and a .643 on-base percentage for the weekend. Field ranks highly in several statistical categories in the Pac-12. He ranks second in batting (.378), 11th in slugging (.541), first in on base percentage (.484), second in runs scored (51), third in hits (70) and has drawn a league-best 32 walks.
Pick Your Streak: Johnny Field has been on a torrid hitting pace since early April, including a current 12-game streak. It can be viewed in two spurts. The first began on April 4 at Utah Valley, where Field entered the game with a season-low .294 batting average. Since, he has hit an astounding .482 (40-for-83) to raise his batting average to .378, the No. 2 mark in the Pac-12. During that 20-game span, Field has scored 23 runs, driven in 15, and stolen three bases in four attempts. Field has a .561 on base percentage and a .747 slugging percentage, thanks to 10 doubles, three triples and two homers. For good measure, he has walked 11 times and struck out just eight times. Taking a closer look, Field also has an impressive 12-game hitting streak in which he is hitting a robust .540 (27-for-50) with 15 runs scored and 15 RBI. Included are eight doubles, three triples and his first two home runs of the season, producing a staggering .940 slugging percentage.
What Can Brown Do For You? Fifth-year senior and soon-to-be graduate Bobby Brown had just 40 starts and 164 at bats entering the year, but he has seemingly saved his best for last. The team’s starting designated hitter, Brown has become one of the conference’s hottest left-handed bats over the last two months. Over the course of the last 25 games, Brown is batting an even .400 (40-for-100) with 21 runs scored and 28 RBI. He has hit seven doubles, four triples and the first three home runs of his career. For good measure he’s 4-for-4 in stolen base tries, too. On the season, Brown is hitting .348 with career-highs in runs scored (30) and RBI (39). His .565 slugging percentage is second on the club and ranks No. 7 in the Pac-12, while his .348 batting average is 10th-best in the conference. His six triples are tied for most in the conference. Brown graduated from the school this month with a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and minors in Sociology and Anthropology.
Heyer on Watch Lists: Junior right-hander Kurt Heyer has put together his best season to date at Arizona with a 9-2 record, a 2.28 ERA, 85 strikeouts and just 15 walks in 102.2 innings pitched. He has thrown five complete games in 13 starts, leads the conference in innings pitched and ranks second in strikeouts. It has placed him on the National Pitcher of the Year Watch List as announced by the College Baseball Hall of Fame. Additionally, he remained on the 60-man Golden Spikes Award Midseason Watch List, after initially appearing on the 30-player Preseason Watch List.
Mejia Leads The Way: Arizona is blessed with some veterans who provide leadership on and off the field, but perhaps none more so than junior shortstop Alex Mejia. An excellent defensive player, Mejia is turning in his best offensive season at the plate. The Sylmar, Calif., native ranks No. 4 in the Pac-12 with a .370 batting average and leads all players with 74 total base hits. Mejia has scored 43 runs (No. 8 in Pac-12) and added a career-best 41 RBI (tied No. 8), while hitting nine doubles, four triples and three home runs. In his career, Mejia boasts a .341 batting average, 115 runs scored, 217 hits and 119 RBI. Interestingly, Mejia has been even more efficient in conference games in his career, hitting .361 (104-288) with 45 runs and 42 RBI in 78 career league contests. An All-Pac-10 player a year ago, Mejia was named a second team preseason All-American by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association and is on the midseason watch list for the Brooks Wallace Award, presented to the nation’s top shortstop.
Rob Rev’d Up: Junior right fielder Robert Refsnyder continues to be one of the top run-producers in the Pac-12. Arizona’s home run leader with six dingers, Refsnyder ranks highly in several offensive categories among Pac-12 players, including batting average (.366, No. 5), slugging (.581, No. 6) and on-base percentage (.444, No. 7). He also checks in highly for runs scored (47, No. 4), hits (70, t-No. 3), and RBI (50, t-No. 2). He has 25 extra base hits on the season to lead Arizona, including 15 doubles (t-No. 5 Pac-12) and four triples (t-No. 5). Refsnyder is the team’s top hitter with runners in scoring position (.450), and has shown tremendous plate discipline evidenced by 19 walks (and 10 HBP) against only 17 strikeouts. He also leads the club with 12 stolen bases (No. 5 Pac-12) in 16 attempts. In his career, Refsnyder is a .432 hitter who has amassed 222 hits, 136 runs scored and 145 RBI. He has hit 37 doubles, 13 triples and 14 home runs (64 extra base hits).
Seth Steps Up: Junior third baseman Seth Mejias-Brean has turned in a stellar junior season, building off a strong finish to his sophomore campaign. Mejias-Brean has started all 48 games this year and has developed into one of the Pac-12’s top run-producers. In fact, his 46 RBI are not only a career-best, but are tied for fourth-most among Pac-12 players. He is hitting .359 on the season (No. 7 in Pac-12), and has scored 44 runs (t-No. 6 Pac-12). Mejias-Brean’s 16 doubles rank second in the league, and he has added three triples and his first homer since the 2010 season. Since April 30 of last year and continuing through this week, Mejias-Brean is hitting a robust .375 (94-251) with 44 runs scored and 58 RBI over the course of 64 games. In his career, Mejias-Brean is a .327 hitter with 193 hits, 107 runs and 105 RBI.
Road Sweep: Arizona’s three-game sweep in Berkeley last weekend was its first weekend road sweep since taking three games at Oregon to conclude the 2009 season. Before that, the most recent weekend road sweep came in the final regular season series in 2006 when the Wildcats took all three games from USC at Dedeaux Field. Last weekend’s sweep was Arizona’s first in Berkeley since 1997.
Winning Weekends: Dating back to the final month of the 2011 regular season, Arizona has a 15-3 record in its last 18 three-game weekend series (11-2 this year). That stretch includes eight sweeps, notably last weekend’s three-game sweep at California. In that span, the Wildcats are 5-1 in road series, including a 4-0 record thus far in 2012. The only losses have been at Stanford in 2011, and at home against UCLA and Oregon in 2012.
Fearsome Foursome: Juniors Alex Mejia, Seth Mejias-Brean, Robert Refsnyder and Joey Rickard have combined to make 648 starts in 657 total games played. They have missed a combined seven games in their careers. It’s been a very consistent a productive group that has helped guide the Wildcats to consecutive NCAA Regional appearances. Together they have accumulated 852 base hits and 491 runs scored, hitting .331 (852-2572) as a group.
Long Balls: Arizona may rank 10th in the conference with only 17 home runs, but the Cats have found their power stroke in recent games. The club has hit a home run in each of the last five games, including a pair last Saturday at California when Robert Refsnyder hit his team-leading sixth of the year and Joey Rickard hit his first of the season. Refsnyder is the team’s active career home run leader with 14, while Rickard is one behind at 13. The Wildcats have found the long ball much easier to come by away from cavernous Hi Corbett Field. Of the 17 home runs hit this year, 11 have come in just 16 total road games. The Wildcats are 12-3 in games they hit a home run, including a 9-1 mark in Pac-12 games and a 7-0 clip in conference road games. Interestingly, UA’s last eight homers have been of the solo variety, as have 12 of their 17 total.
Tough With Two: A key hidden stat is often scoring runs (or preventing runs) with two outs in an inning. Consider two weeks ago when Oregon won two-of-three games in Tucson, including a 3-1 victory in the decisive Sunday rubber match. The Ducks scored 10 of their 15 runs that weekend with two outs in an inning. The Wildcats, meanwhile, mustered just three of their 14 runs with two outs. Fast-forward to the UA-Cal series last week, and UA limited the Golden Bears to just one two-out a run out of the six total runs scored in the series. Offensively, Arizona scored a pair of two-out runs in a 3-1 victory on Friday and two more in a 4-2 win on Saturday. On the season, the Wildcats have outscored foes 98-85 in two-out RBI, including 32-27 in road games.
30 Wins: Arizona has reached the 30-win plateau for the sixth straight season and for the 10th time in Andy Lopez’s 11 seasons at the school. The last Wildcat club to miss the 30-win mark was 2006 team, which finished 27-28 and is one of just two Lopez-coached squads to miss postseason play in the last nine years. A year ago, the Wildcats finished 39-21, their best record since going 42-19 in 2008.
Falling Behind: Arizona has developed a habit of falling behind early in games, something that has proven costly at times while other times simply serving as a wakeup call. Arizona has trailed at some point in 28 of its last 35 games (15-13 record when trailing) and in 33 of 48 on the season (18-15). A season ago, the Cats trailed during 38 of their 60 games played. They posted a 17-21 mark in those games.
Alive With Five: Five runs seems to be a pretty good breaking point for success for the Wildcats. In 2012, Arizona is 26-5 when it scores five or more runs in a game, while it has struggled to a 7-10 mark when it fails to score at least five runs. Conversely, the same holds true for opponents. When the Wildcats have held opponents under five runs, they are 21-1. When opponents score five runs or more, UA has struggled at to a 12-14 clip.
Cool Crawford: Freshman left-hander Tyler Crawford has developed nicely over the course of the season, and his last two outings have been nothing short of phenomenal. On May 5 against Oregon, Crawford did not allow a base hit to the first 15 batters he faced, and threw 4.1 innings of scoreless relief as he earned his first collegiate pitching victory. Last Sunday at California, Crawford entered with a runner on first, no outs and a 6-4 lead in the bottom of the sixth. The lefty quickly worked out of the potential jam with a fly out and a groundball double play. He went on to allow just one hit in four total innings of relief with a strikeout and no walks to earn his first save. It has continued a strong stretch of play. In fact, his 2.33 ERA in 19.1 innings over five appearances is the best on the club since April 4 (min. 5 IP). In that span, opponents are hitting a lowly .203 and he has issued just five walks to go with six strikeouts.
Complete Games: Kurt Heyer’s three consecutive complete games last month were more than UA had as a team in four of the six seasons prior to the season (2010, 2009, 2008 and 2006) … Heyer’s five complete games in 2012 are more than UA combined for as a team in a three-year stretch from 2008-10 … Kurt Heyer (5), Konner Wade (3) and James Farris (2) have combined for 10complete games. The last time three UA pitchers had 2+ complete games in a season was in 1989 (Scott Erickson – 14, Lance Dickson – 4 and Jim Richardson – 3) … The Wildcats’ 10 complete games in 2012 are the most for the program since throwing 12 in 1990 … Combined with seven complete games a year ago, Arizona’s 17 CG’s the last two seasons are more than half of the 32 the school combined to throw in the first 11 years of the 21st century (2000-10).
Extra, Extra! Arizona ranks third in the Pac-12 for extra base hits, totaling 144, narrowly behind Arizona State (150) and Stanford (148). The Wildcats’ rank in the category is interesting, because the club has just 17 homers on the year, which places them second-to-last. But UA leads all teams in doubles (102) and triples (25), boosting the slugging percentage to a league-best .450. The Wildcats have collected an extra base hit in all but one game this season (6-0 loss to WSU on March 16). They’ve picked up the pace recently, accumulating 50 extra base hits over the course of the last 12 games. From the long-ball standpoint, the Wildcats have hit 15 of their 17 home runs over the course of the last 25 games.
Leading the Pac: Arizona’s hitting leads the Pac-12 in batting average (.329), slugging (.450), runs scored (343), hits (552), RBI (312), doubles (102), triples (25) and sacrifice flies (35). The club ranks second in on base percentage (.395) and stolen bases (64), while it has struck out the second-fewest times (226). Pitching-wise, the Wildcats rank second in the conference with 345 strikeouts and have issued the third-fewest walks (132).
Hitting 101: Arizona leads the Pac-12 and ranks No. 4 nationally with a .329 team batting average … The Wildcats have seven regulars (min. 95 at bats) batting above .300 … Four players rank in the top-seven (five in top-10) of the conference for individual batting … UA has collected 10+ hits in a game 35 times this season, including in 17 of the last 23 contests … The Wildcats are 31-3 when out-hitting opponents in games this season and 0-11 when opponents outhit the Wildcats (2-1 when hits are tied) … Nine players have at least 10 multi-hit games in 2012 … Five players have had an 11+ game hitting streak, including Seth Mejias-Brean’s team-high 21-game streak earlier this year.
May Days: The Pac-12 title race and postseason picture will sort itself out in the next two weeks, but it is interesting to note the different tracks recent UA clubs have taken in the month of May. The 2010 club, comprised of a young group of talented players like Kurt Heyer, Alex Mejia, Seth Mejias-Brean, Joey Rickard and Robert Refsnyder, limped into the postseason after going just 5-10 in May, including 4-7 in the Pac-10. The club hit .272 down the stretch with a 6.50 team earned run average. In 2011, Arizona turned things around at the right time for a hot finish. The Cats won 10 of their final 13 regular season games and went 7-3 in Pac-10 play in May. The team hit .316 and saw much-improved pitching with a 2.59 ERA. What does this May have in store? So far, it’s a 4-2 start with seven games left to play.
On Deck: Arizona jumps back into the Pac-12 race but stays on the road with a three-game set at USC this weekend. The series begins on Friday at 6 p.m. at Dedeaux Field, and continues on Saturday at 2 p.m. and concludes on Sunday at 1 p.m. The Wildcats wrap up the regular season against Arizona State the following weekend at Hi Corbett Field in Tucson (May 25-27).