May 17, 2012
|2012 Arizona Baseball
May 18-20, 2012 | Los Angeles, Calif. | Dedeaux Field
No. 14 Arizona (34-15, 16-8 Pac-12) @ USC Trojans (22-25, 7-17 Pac-12)
Friday, May 18 • 6 p.m. (PDT) • Dedeaux Field • UA Radio: 1290 AM
Saturday, May 19 • 2 p.m. (PDT) • Dedeaux Field • UA Radio: 1290 AM
Sunday, May 20 • 1 p.m. (PDT) • Dedeaux Field • UA Radio: 1290 AM
|Some Series Themes||Quick Links|
|Two clubs riding contrasting waves of momentum ... The Wildcats have won four straight and nine of their last 12, while the Trojans have lost eight straight ... A matchup of the league's top hitting club against a pitching-laden Trojan team with a 3.30 ERA ... Can UA's hurlers continue a recent stretch of success on the bump? ... UA seeks its first series win in Los Angeles against one of the two Pac-12 schools since a sweep at USC in 2006 ... The bottom two teams in the Pac-12 in the home run category, though the Cats have hit one in each of their last six games ... The Wildcats try to keep themselves at pace with league-leading Oregon, which takes a break from the rigorous conference schedule ... A homecoming of sorts for a gaggle of Wildcats who call Southern California home UA's final regular season road games.||Baseball America Rankings
|Game Notes (PDF)|
|Season Statistics (PDF)|
|2012 Media Guide|
|USC vs. Arizona Statistical Comparison||Arizona Statistical Leaders|
|22-25 (7-17 Pac-12)||Record||33-15 (16-8 Pac-12)||Avg.||Johnny Field (.374)|
|.274||Avg.||.328||Hits||Alex Mejia (74)|
|208||Runs||353||Runs||Johnny Field (53)|
|430||Hits||562||RBI||Robert Refsnyder (52)|
|66||2B||104||2B||Seth Mejias-Brean (17)|
|6||3B||25||HR||Robert Refsnyder (6)|
|18||HR||18||OB%||Johnny Field (.487)|
|37-58||SB-ATT||66-99||SLG%||Robert Refsnyder (.582)|
|.359||OB%||.395||SB||Robert Refsnyder (12)|
|.346||SLG%||.449||ERA||Kurt Heyer (2.28)|
|3.30||ERA||4.00||IP||Kurt Heyer (102.2)|
|309||K's||354||K's||Kurt Heyer (85)|
|Arizona Baseball Game Notes:|
Arizona Head Coach Andy Lopez: The Wildcats are coached by Andy Lopez, who is now in his 11th season with a 389-244-1 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 1,076-662-7 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.
UA-ASU Recap: The Wildcats scored three first-inning runs and Mathew Troupe tossed five shutout innings in his first collegiate start in Wednesday's 10-2 victory over Arizona State in Tempe ... Troupe, who surrendered four runs in relief in a loss to the Sun Devils in April, redeemed himself and retired the first 11 batters of the game in order and gave up just two hits while striking out a career-best six in the game ... Bobby Brown led the offensive charge with his fourth homer of the season as part of a three-RBI night ... Seven Wildcats scored a run in the game, including Johnny Field who was walked twice and hit by a pitch, but saw a 12-game hitting streak come to an end ... Tyler Crawford pitched the final four innings and gave up two ninth inning runs, but other struck out three and did not walk a batter in another highly effective long relief appearance ... Despite jumping out to a 10-0 lead, the Wildcats missed some opportunities, evidenced by a 4-for-17 night at the plate with runners in scoring position. Troupe and Crawford limited ASU to a 1-for-5 effort with RISP.
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 .
2011 USC Series Recap: Arizona won its second Pac-10 series of the year and earned its first conference sweep April 29-May 1 against the Trojans. The Wildcats earned a hard-fought 4-3 victory in 11 innings in Friday's opener, before rolling to a 20-4 win on Saturday. The club completed the sweep on Sunday after rallying from a 5-0 deficit to win 8-5 and climb back to the .500 mark in Pac-10 play with a 9-9 record. Here are some series notes/stats: The Wildcats outscored the Trojans 32-12 while compiling a .380 team batting average an tallying 14 extra base hits ... Arizona batters drew 15 walks in the three games and struck out just 15 times ... The club hit .370 (14-for-46) with runners in scoring position and picked up 11 two-out RBI to the Trojans' one two-out RBI ... Arizona's bullpen pitched 12.0 scoreless innings, with Matt Chaffee and Vincent Littleman picking up wins in the first two games and Chaffee picking up a save on Sunday ... Arizona's 20 runs scored on Saturday were at the time the most runs scored in a single game since May 13, 2006, against Washington State.
Since Then: Including the three wins over USC a year ago, the Wildcats have a 49-20 record over their last 69 games. The club has racked up a 25-11 mark in Pac-10/12 games, and is 15-3 in overall three-game weekend series with eight sweeps. It has been done with a balance of good hitting and some strong pitching. The Wildcats have hit .325 and scored an average of 7.2 runs per game during that 69-game stretch. On the mound, UA hurlers have combined for a 3.55 ERA and held opponents to 4.2 runs per game.
Road Warriors: Arizona has won four straight road games and boasts an 11-6 record away from Hi Corbett Field this season. For the most part, the recipe for success has been good pitching and defense. The Wildcat staff has a slightly better ERA on the road (3.87) than it does at home (4.06), and UA's fielding percentage is significantly higher on the road (.977) than it is at home (.959). Arizona hits .296 in road games compared to .346 at home, but the Wildcats have also hit 12 of their 18 total homers and still scores 6.4 runs per game away from home.
The Last Four: The Wildcats have won four straight road games due in large part to outstanding pitching. In last weekend's sweep of California and Wednesday win over Arizona State, Wildcats pitchers have amassed a 1.75 ERA in the last 36.0 innings pitched. Kurt Heyer and Konner Wade pitched complete games last weekend, Tyler Crawford has turned in a pair of 4.0 inning relief outings and Mathew Troupe earned a win in 5.0 shutout innings in his fist collegiate start in Tempe. All added up, opponents are hitting just .169 and have scored eight total runs in the last four games against UA pitchers. Offensively, the Cats have hit just .271, but have been able to drive in some key two-out runs, holding a 6-1 edge in that category over the opposition. UA pitchers meanwhile have thrived in some tough spots, holding opposing hitters to 3-for-22 with runners in scoring position in the last four games.
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.
Pac-12 Roadies: The Wildcats are 9-3 in Pac-12 road games this season, with the three remaining against the Trojans. The nine victories are already the most conference road wins for the program since the 2005 squad went 10-2. That was also the last season in which the school had a plus .500 record in conference road games. To date, the Wildcats are hitting .302 as a team, fielding at a .975 clip, have a 3.14 ERA and a .228 opposing batting average in 12 conference road games. Arizona has outscored its conference foes 25-12 in two-out RBI on the road. Certainly some items to keep an eye on again this weekend.
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.
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 652 starts in 661 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 855 base hits and 495 runs scored, hitting .330 (855-2588) as a group.
Long Balls: Arizona may rank 10th in the conference with only 18 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 six 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 18 home runs hit this year, 12 have come in just 17 total road games. The Wildcats are 13-3 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 nine homers have been of the solo variety, as have 13 of their 18 total.
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 36 games (15-13 record when trailing) and in 33 of 49 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. The Wildcats have gotten ahead and stayed ahead in each of their last three contests.
Alive With Five: Five runs seems to be a pretty good breaking point for success for the Wildcats. In 2012, Arizona is 27-5 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 22-1. When opponents score five runs or more, UA has struggled at to a 12-14 clip.
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 147, narrowly behind Arizona State (152) and Stanford (148). The Wildcats' rank in the category is interesting, because the club has just 18 homers on the year, which places them second-to-last. But UA leads all teams in doubles (104) and triples (25), boosting the slugging percentage to a league-best .449. 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 53 extra base hits over the course of the last 13 games. From the long-ball standpoint, the Wildcats have hit 16 of their 18 home runs over the course of the last 26 games.
Leading the Pac: Arizona's hitting leads the Pac-12 in batting average (.328), slugging (.449), runs scored (353), hits (562), RBI (322), doubles (104), triples (25) and sacrifice flies (35). The club ranks tied for first in on base percentage (.395) and is second in stolen bases (66), while it has struck out the second-fewest times (231). Pitching-wise, the Wildcats lead the conference with 354 strikeouts and have issued the third-fewest walks (135).
Hitting 101: Arizona leads the Pac-12 and ranked No. 4 nationally with a .329 team batting average entering the week ... The Wildcats have seven regulars (min. 95 at bats) batting above .300 ... Five players rank in the top-10 of the conference for individual batting ... UA has collected 10+ hits in a game 36 times this season, including in 18 of the last 24 contests ... The Wildcats are 32-3 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.
Go, Johnny, Go! Johnny Field has been on a torrid hitting pace since early April despite a 12-game hitting streak that was snapped on Wednesday. The streak 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 .471 (40-for-85) to raise his batting average to .374, the No. 2 mark in the Pac-12. During that 21-game span, Field has scored 25 runs, driven in 15, and stolen three bases in four attempts. Field has a .563 on base percentage and a .729 slugging percentage, thanks to 10 doubles, three triples and two homers. For good measure, he has walked 13 times and struck out just eight times. In his 12-game hitting streak, Field hit a robust .540 (27-for-50) with 15 runs scored and 15 RBI. Included were eight doubles, three triples and his first two home runs of the season, producing a staggering .940 slugging percentage. He was 0-for-2 at Arizona State on Wednesday, but walked twice, was hit by a pitch and scored two runs. His .487 on base percentage leads all Pac-12 players and he is tied for the most runs scored (53).
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 26 games, Brown is batting an even .404 (42-for-104) with 23 runs scored and 31 RBI. He has hit seven doubles, four triples and the first four home runs of his career. For good measure he's 4-for-4 in stolen base tries, too. On the season, Brown is hitting .352 with career-highs in runs scored (32) and RBI (42). His .585 slugging percentage is tops on the club and ranks No. 5 in the Pac-12, while his .352 batting average is 10th-best in the conference. His six triples are second-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.
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. 6 in the Pac-12 with a .361 batting average and leads all players with 74 total base hits. Mejia has scored 44 runs (No. 8 in Pac-12) and added a career-best 41 RBI (tied No. 11), while hitting nine doubles, four triples and three home runs. In his career, Mejia boasts a .338 batting average, 116 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. 4), slugging (.582, No. 6) and on-base percentage (.447, No. 7). He also checks in highly for runs scored (48, No. 3), hits (71, t-No. 3), and RBI (52, t-No. 2). He has 26 extra base hits on the season to lead Arizona, including 16 doubles (t-No. 4 Pac-12) and four triples (t-No. 5). Refsnyder is the team's top hitter with runners in scoring position (.446), and has shown tremendous plate discipline evidenced by 21 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 .342 hitter who has amassed 223 hits, 137 runs scored and 147 RBI. He has hit 38 doubles, 13 triples and 14 home runs (65 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 49 games this year and has developed into one of the Pac-12's top run-producers. In fact, his 47 RBI are not only a career-best, but are fourth-most among Pac-12 players. He is hitting .357 on the season (No. 8 in Pac-12), and has scored 45 runs (t-No. 5 Pac-12). Mejias-Brean's 17 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 .373 (95-255) with 45 runs scored and 59 RBI over the course of 65 games. In his career, Mejias-Brean is a .327 hitter with 194 hits, 108 runs and 106 RBI.
Heyer Rings `Em Up: Kurt Heyer matched his career high set during his freshman season with 14 strikeouts against Harvard on March 2 and now has 85 on the season. In his career, Heyer has 328 strikeouts, which is believed to be the most in the nation for active pitchers (research courtesy Troy Prendergast at Troy University). Heyer's 328 strikeouts are 5th-most in program history and trails Jim Nichols' 333 (1983-85) for fourth. Heyer, from Huntington Beach, Calif., has made 49 starts in his career, which is also fifth-most in school history. Heyer boasts a 24-11 record and a 2.62 ERA with just 70 walks in 343.0 innings pitched in his career.
`K'onner Wade: Sophomore RHP Konner Wade has settled nicely into his role as the team's No. 2 starter. Wade has been effectively wild at times in 2012, evidenced by 32 walks and 18 hit batsmen in 93.0 innings of work. At the same time, he's struck out 84 batters (3rd in the Pac-12) and limited foes to a .235 batting average. The 84 strikeouts is second on the club, which is a bit surprising since he racked up just 28 strikeouts in 61.2 innings as a freshman. Wade, whose career high was seven punch-outs entering the season, shattered the previous mark with 13 in his season debut against North Dakota State on Feb. 18. He followed that up with another 10 strikeouts a week later against Auburn on Feb. 25 and 10 more versus Harvard on March 3. He spent last summer in the Cape Cod League, where he became a Cape Cod League All-Star mostly as a closer. He's remained a starter at Arizona, a role he has thrived in for the most part. In his career as a starter (9-1, 21 career starts), Wade has thrown 133.0 innings with a 3.32 ERA (49 ER). He was named Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week on April 2 following a complete-game three-hitter he pitched to clinch UA's series victory over Stanford on March 31. Wade suffered his first collegiate pitching loss against UCLA on April 14.
Cool Crawford: Freshman left-hander Tyler Crawford has developed nicely over the course of the season, and his last three outings have been nothing short of phenomenal. In relief against Oregon (May 5), California (May13) and Arizona State (May 16), Crawford has pitched four innings in each game and has collected his first collegiate win and two saves. It has continued a strong stretch of play for the lefty. In fact, he has a 2.70 ERA in 23.1 innings over six appearances since April 4. In that span, opponents are hitting a lowly .221 and he has issued just five walks to go with nine strikeouts.
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.
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 5-2 start with seven games left to play.
On Deck: Arizona returns home to close out the regular season next weekend against Arizona State (May 25-27). The three-game set begins on Friday at 6 p.m. at Hi Corbett Field. The 16 NCAA Regional sites will be announced on Sunday, May 27, with the 64-team championship field being announced on Monday, May 28. The Wildcats have formally submitted a bid to host a regional.