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Opening Day Three Weeks Away
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 01/27/2012
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Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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Jan. 27, 2012

TUCSON, Ariz. - Opening day is just three weeks away for the nationally-ranked Arizona Baseball team, which begins the 2012 season against North Dakota State under the lights at Hi Corbett Field at 6 p.m. on Feb. 17.

Arizona begins its 2012 slate with the three-game set against the visiting Bison, coached by UA alum Tod Brown. The Wildcats open the year with a stretch of 25 games in 39 days, in which 23 contests will be played in Tucson at Hi Corbett Field.

Earlier this week, the Wildcats were tabbed as the No. 5 team in the nation in Baseball America's Preseason Poll. UA has also garnered a No. 20 preseason ranking by Collegiate Baseball Newspaper and the USA Today/ESPN Coaches' poll. On Friday, the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association (NCBWA) slotted the Wildcats at No. 18 in the preseason poll.

Arizona players and coaches began preseason workouts at Hi Corbett Field last week, and preparations will ramp up next week as official practices commence on Feb. 1. Refurbishments to the team clubhouse, coaches' offices and other team facilities continue at Hi Corbett Field.

The Wildcats return five starting position players and two starting pitchers from the weekend rotation. A total of 18 returnees and 17 newcomers complete the 35-man roster.

Head coach Andy Lopez is entering his 11th season at the school. Lopez, who has 1,042 all-time coaching victories, has a record of 355-229-1 with the Wildcats. He has guided the school to seven postseason appearances in the last nine years, including the 2004 College World Series.

Season ticket sales have soared to a 300-percent increase from a year ago as Arizona is set to host 35 games at Hi Corbett Field. Individual game tickets will go on sale beginning Monday, Jan. 30. Tickets can be purchased through the McKale Ticket Office in person, by calling 520-621-2287 or online at www.arizonawildcats.com.

Arizona Baseball in the Polls

Baseball America No. 5
NCBWA No. 18
Collegiate Baseball No. 20
USA Today/ESPN Coaches' Poll      No. 20
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