Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Cats Close Home Slate Against Trojans
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: May 23, 2013
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May 23, 2013

2013 Arizona Baseball
May 24-26, 2013  |  Tucson, Ariz. |  Hi Corbett Field
USC (20-33, 10-17 Pac-12) at Arizona (31-21, 12-15 Pac-12)

Fri, May 24  •  6 p.m.  •  Tucson, Ariz.   Radio: 1290 AM
LHP Bob Wheatley (3-4, 2.64) vs. RHP Konner Wade (5-6, 4.44)

Live Video Audio Stream

Sat., May 25  •  6 p.m.  •  Tucson, Ariz.  •  Radio: 1290 AM
TBA vs. RHP James Farris (4-5, 4.20)

Live Video Audio Stream

Sun., May 26  •  12 p.m.  •  Tucson, Ariz.  •  Radio/TV: 1290 AM/Pac-12
TBA vs. LHP Tyler Crawford (6-2, 4.18)

Live Video Audio Stream
Some Series Themes Quick Links
As the regular season draws to a close, Arizona returns home in hopes of extending its season and earning a fourth-consecutive trip to an NCAA Regional ... The Wildcats did their part a week ago, taking two-of-three from rival Arizona State to keep postseason aspirations the focus heading into the final games ... Now awaits a USC squad with little else to play for besides pride and closing out a disappointing season on a high note ... An interesting individual battle is sure to ensue for the Pac-12 batting crown. UA's Brandon Dixon (.370) holds a narrow lead over USC's Adam Landecker (.365) entering this weekend, with a handful of others (including UA's Johnny Field, .351) still in the mix ... Landecker leads a Trojans' lineup that hits rather well ... Both sides rank in the bottom third of the league for earned runs average and runs allowed, so some high-scoring affairs could be in the works ... USC's staff has struggled to throw strikes at times and ranks second-to-last in walks, while the Wildcats have drawn the second-most walks ... Overall, UA's staff has done a steady job limiting free passes, but when it has struggled, strike-throwing has been a concern ... The Wildcats close a 38-game home schedule, which has seen them post a 25-10 record to date ... UA will honor six seniors prior to Saturday night's game. Game Notes (PDF)
2013 Season Stats
2013 Media Guide
Pac-12 Standings
Pac-12 Stats
NCAA Stats
College Baseball Rankings
USC vs. Arizona Statistical Comparison Arizona Statistical Leaders
USC Stat Arizona Stat Player
20-33 (10-17 Pac-12) Record 31-21 (12-15 Pac-12) Avg. Brandon Dixon (.370)
.282 Avg. .300 Hits Brandon Dixon (74)
222 Runs 339 Runs Brandon Dixon (54)
502 Hits 512 RBI Brandon Dixon (50)
92 2B 65 2B Dixon/Gilbert (12)
7 3B 31 HR Brandon Dixon (6)
18 HR 13 OB% Brandon Dixon (.443)
34-59 SB-ATT 93-124 SLG% Brandon Dixon (.570)
.347 OB% .397 SB Brandon Dixon (30)
.371 SLG% .397 ERA Augey Bill (1.98)
4.59 ERA 4.52 IP Konner Wade (95.1)
304  K's 352 K's  James Farris (72)
Arizona Baseball Game Notes:

Leading Off...
- Arizona has won at least 30 games for the seventh-straight season - the longest stretch for the program since a 29-year span from 1954-82.
- The Wildcats have won 30 games in 11 of Andy Lopez's 12 seasons.
- Brandon Dixon leads the Pac-12 in batting (.370), runs scored (54), RBI (50) and stolen bases (30).
- Dixon is one of four players in UA history to steal 30 bases, scored 40 runs and drive in 40 runs in the same season.
- James Farris (72) and Konner Wade (63) rank No. 5 and No. 9, respectively, among Pac-12 pitchers for strikeouts.
- Joseph Maggi leads all Pac-12 players with a .479 on-base percentage in conference games.
- Maggi is batting .377 with 21 runs scored and 15 RBI over his last 27 games.
- Riley Moore has reached base in 24 straight games.
- Brandon Dixon (.420) and Johnny Field (.404) lead an Arizona lineup that hits .323 at home this season.
- Trent Gilbert leads the club with a .420 batting average with runners in scoring position.
- Sunday starter Tyler Crawford earned a win (Sunday) and a save (Friday) at Arizona State last weekend.
- Arizona is 10-6 in one-run games this season.
- Arizona is averaging 2,691 fans per game - slightly better than the 2,628 clip from last season.

Postseason Plans: Arizona enters the final weekend of the regular season likely needing at least a series victory to keep alive its postseason aspirations. The 16 NCAA Regional sites will be announced at WWW.NCAA.COM/CWS and on the BottomLine of the ESPN Networks on Sunday, May 26, at 6 p.m. (MST). The 2013 NCAA Division I Baseball Championship Selection Show with regional pairings, will be revealed in a live, one-hour telecast on ESPNU at 9 a.m. (MST), Monday, May 27. The NCAA Regionals begin on Friday, May 31, and continue through Monday, June 3.

Arizona Head Coach Andy Lopez: The Wildcats are coached by Andy Lopez, who is now in his 12th season with a 434-267-1 record at the school. A three-time national coach of the year, including in 2012, 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 1,121-685-7 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.

2012 UA-USC Recap: Arizona won two of three games at USC (May 18-20), winning the opener 11-1, dropping the second game 8-4, and claiming the rubber match 6-1. Kurt Heyer threw eight strong innings and improved to 10-2 on the season, securing his 25th career victory on Friday night. On Saturday, Konner Wade carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning, but the Trojans scored six runs on seven hits in the frame to even the series. On Sunday, James Farris hurled 6.1 innings to earn his sixth victory of the season. Arizona's bullpen combined for 6.1 scoreless innings over the three games, with lefties Tyler Crawford and Augey Bill and righties Tyler Hale and Mathew Troupe all getting at least one inning of work. Offensively, the Wildcats hit .290 in the series with three triples. Bobby Brown led with for runs batted in, while Joey Rickard scored a team-high six runs. The Cats were 4-for-7 in stolen base tries, walked 16 times and struck out just 17 times. Defensively, Arizona did not commit an error.

UA-ASU Recap: Arizona won two-of-three games last weekend at Packard Stadium in what continued a string of thrilling games between the rivals ... The visiting Wildcats raced out to a 9-0 lead in the third inning of Game 1 and scored all 10 of their runs against ASU starter Trevor Williams. But the Sun Devils kept the Wildcats off the board of the final three frames and chipped away at the deficit, before scoring three runs in the eighth to make the score 10-7. With the bases-loaded and two down, Nathaniel Causey represented the go-ahead run and he drilled a ball to centerfield where Johnny Field make a diving catch on the warning track to preserve the 10-7 lead, which proved to be the final score. In the ninth, the Sun Devils put two on with no outs when Sunday starter Tyler Crawford was called on to earn his first save of the season, which he did by retiring all three batters he faced ... Game 2 saw James Farris and Ryan Kellogg go head-to-head in a seven-inning pitchers' duel. The Wildcats found themselves down 3-1 in the eighth, but they scored twice to tie the game before surrendering three runs in the bottom half of the frame in a 6-3 loss ... A seesaw finale put Arizona ahead earlier, before they had to overcome 4-2 and 6-5 deficits. Locked in a 6-6 tie in the eighth, Brandon Dixon's two-out single to drove in Joe Maggi, who earlier in the game had a three-run double, to put the Wildcats on top. The Sun Devils loaded the bases in the eighth, but reliever Augey Bill coaxed an inning-ending groundout to send the game to the ninth. ASU again loaded the bases in the ninth with one out, but Causey bounced into a 1-2-3 game-ending double play. Crawford, after throwing an inning on Friday and warming up in the bullpen on Saturday, went 7.1 innings on the mound to earn his sixth win ... The Wildcats won the conference series 2-1 and the seasons series 3-2 for the second straight year.

Home Sweet Home: The Wildcats are an impressive 25-10 at home this season, including 7-5 in Pac-12 games. In those 35 total games, Arizona boasts a .323 batting average, a .435 slugging percentage and a .422 on-base percentage while outscoring opponents by a cumulative 257-162 margin. The Wildcats have hit 43 doubles, 29 triples and nine home runs at spacious Hi Corbett Field. Veterans Brandon Dixon (.420), Johnny Field (.404) and Trent Gilbert (.368) have been UA's top hitters in the ballpark, with freshmen Zach Gibbons (.349) and Kevin Newman (.333) also enjoying the friendly confines. Pitching-wise, the Wildcat hurlers have a 4.02 ERA and have limited opponents to a .260 batting average.

Home at Hi Corbett: At large part of Arizona's success at Hi Corbett Field the past two seasons can be attributed to the outstanding fan support. The Wildcats drew 105,131 fans (2,628) to 40 home games in the opening season at the ballpark in 2012. This year, the program is again closing in on the 100,000-mark having seen 94,197 patrons pass through the gates over 35 games in 2013. Arizona's average of 2,691 per game this season is slightly better than the clip a year ago, and it checks in No. 22 nationally (No. 2 in Pac-12) entering the final weekend.

The Youthful Cats: A season ago, 53 percent (306-of-585 games) of Arizona's position starts were made by junior or seniors. After 52 games this season, only 26 percent (120-of-468) starts have been made by upperclassmen. In fact, the Wildcats' starting lineups this season have seen as many as six freshmen penciled into positions. Kevin Newman has started all 52 games at shortstop, while Zach Gibbons (46), Scott Kingery (28), Ryan Koziol (27), Cody Ramer (15), David Real (10) and Jackson Willeford (6), push the total to 184 starts by freshmen in 2013. On the mound, lefty Cody Moffett and righty Tyger Talley have combined for 36 appearances and six starts.

Fast Starts: Arizona has scored first in 31 of its 52 games to date. In those contests, the Wildcats are 24-7 compared just 7-14 in the 21 games when opponents strike first. The club has scored in the first inning in 19 games to date with a 16-3 record. At Hi Corbett Field, the Wildcats are especially opportunistic early in games when they have outscored foes 102-50 in the first three innings. Over 35 home dates, Arizona is 18-3 when scoring first and 12-1 when scoring in the opening inning.

Race for the Batting Crown: Entering the final three games of the season, Arizona's Brandon Dixon leads the Pac-12 with a .370 batting average. Nipping at his heels for the crown is USC's Adam Landecker (.365) followed by Arizona State's Michael Benjamin (.356), the reigning batting champ, UA's Johnny Field (.351), and California's Andrew Knapp (.350). The league batting champion is awarded based on the highest average at the conclusion of the regular season, meaning potential postseason games for players do not count.

30 Wins: For the seventh-consecutive season, Arizona has won at least 30 ballgames. The current run of 30-win seasons is the longest for the program since doing so in 29-consecutive years from 1954-82 under coaches Frank Sancet and Jerry Kindall. Head coach Andy Lopez has guided the Wildcats to 30 or more wins in 11 of his 12 seasons at the school.

Time to Get Timely: Arizona has struggled down the stretch to deliver some key hits in games, something it will need to turn around this weekend. Over the last 10 games, Arizona is batting 21-for-100 (.210) with runners in scoring position, while its opponents are hitting 49-for-131 (.374) in those situations. The two-out hit has alluded the Wildcats, who have been outscored 31-14 in two-out RBI over those games. On the season, Arizona enjoys a .317 average with runners in scoring position and a 121-87 edge in two-out RBI.

Second-Half Maggi: Very few players in the Pac-12 Conference have turned in a better second of the season than sophomore outfielder/first baseman Joseph Maggi. Stuck in a prolonged slump to open the season that had him hitting .186 on March 23, the sophomore has since hit a team-best .377 (29-for-77) with 21 runs scored and 15 RBI out of the No. 9 slot in the order over the last 27 games. The hot streak has raised his season average all the way to its current .293 clip. Most impressive about Maggi has been his ability to get on base. His .429 on-base percentage is good enough for No. 5 overall in the Pac-12 Conference, but has been astoundingly good during his stretch of play over the last 27 games. In those contests, Maggi has drawn 12 walks and been hit by a pitch eight times to boost the on-base clip to an even .500. He has 10 multi-hit games and has reached base in 22 of the 27 contests.

Playing Beyond His Years: Arizona freshman shortstop Kevin Newman has played like anything but a freshman this season. A starter in all 52 games, Newman leads the Wildcats with 22 multi-hit games on the year which has helped produce a .332 batting average that ranks No. 12 in the Pac-12. The first-year shortstop, who took over for the departed Pac-12 Player of the Year (Alex Mejia, 2012) has scored 35 runs and driven in 33 more runs. Equally as impressive, Newman has batted .329 in 17 road games this season and is one of only two UA players hitting above .300 away from home. Additionally, Newman, who has struck out only 13 times in 205 official at-bats, ranks as the toughest player to strike out in the Pac-12. Defensively, he has committed only six errors in 242 chances (.975 fielding percentage). Newman was one of only two freshmen on the Brooks Wallace Shortstop of the Year Award Watch List released in April.

Johnny Baseball: The reigning batting champ, junior Johnny Field enters this weekend with the fourth-highest batting average in the conference (.351). Field also checks in No. 5 for slugging (.538) and No. 6 for on-base percentage (.427), and ranks in the top five for runs scored (53, second) and hits (73, third). He's spent the last 27 games batting in the leadoff spot after holding down the No. 3 spot in the order for the first 25 games. In his 169-game career (163 starts), Field owns a .344 batting average with 220 total hits, 160 runs scored and 114 RBI. He is also 31-for-47 in stolen bases tries in three seasons.

Dixon On Watch List: Junior third baseman Brandon Dixon has been named a semifinalist for the 2013 Dick Howser Trophy, presented annual to the top collegiate player. Dixon leads all Pac-12 players with a .370 batting average and also ranks at the top in runs scored (54), runs batted in (50) and stolen bases (30), plus ranks second in both slugging percentage (.570) and on-base percentage (.443). In 52 games played - all starts - Dixon has collected the second-most hits (74) in the conference. For his career, Dixon has a .312 batting average with 114 hits, 85 runs, 65 RBI and 38 stolen bases in 127 games played (91 starts).

Dixon In Select Company: With his 30 stolen bases, Brandon Dixon is already tied for No. 9 in Arizona single-season history. What is more impressive, however, is that Dixon has become only the fourth player in school history to steal at least 30 bases, score 40 runs and drive in 40 runs in the same season. The first to do so was Dave Stegman in 1975 when he swiped 36 bags, scored 90 runs and collected 53 RBI. Five years later, in1980, John Moses stole 37 bases, scored 74 runs and tallied 46 RBI. Prior to Dixon, the last Wildcat to accomplish the 30-40-40 feat was Mike Senne in 1986 after he racked up 32 steals, 80 runs scored and 80 RBI. Over 52 games this season, Dixon has scored 54 runs and added 50 RBI.

Gilly Delivers: Sophomore second baseman Trent Gilbert has emerged as one of the league's top run-producers. A starter in all 52 games, Gilbert is batting .340, which ranks tied for 6th in the Pac-12. His 70 base hits are fifth-most in the conference, and he is third in runs batted in (46) and tied for sixth in runs scored (41). The Torrance, Calif., native is batting .420 (34-for-81) with runners in scoring position this season. In his career, Gilbert has played in 116 games (all starts) and is batting .304. He has 134 hits, 75 runs scored and 88 RBI in those games.

Getting Moore: Catcher Riley Moore has safely reached base in 24-consecutive games that he has played. Included is a sizzling 18-game stretch of play where he ranks second on the team with a .333 batting average, has score 11 runs and batted in 16 runs. Along with 19 base hits, he's drawn 11 walks and been hit by a pitch three times to produce a .465 on-base percentage over the last 18 contests. The hot streak has raised his batting average from .248 entering the Washington State series on April 13 all the way to the current .280 mark. Moore is second among all Pac-12 players with 33 walks and his .424 on-base percentage is No. 7 in the league.

Berger's Bat: Sophomore catcher/designated hitter Jordan Berger has swung one of the team's hottest bats in recent weeks despite not being penciled in as an everyday starter. In the month of May, Berger has a team-leading .421 batting average (8-for-19) with two runs scored and two RBI over eight games and three starts. A left-handed hitter, Berger is batting .341 (14-for-41) on the season. When not in the starting lineup, Berger is arguably the team's top option of the bench to hit late in games. The native of Tarzana, Calif., is 3-for-12 (.250) as a pinch-hitter, accounting for three of the club's five total pinch-hit base hits this season (6-for-43, .140).

Wade's World: Right-hander Konner Wade, UA's Friday night starter for all but one weekend, will make his second straight Friday night start after briefly shuffling to the No. 2 spot at UCLA two weeks ago. In 14 starts this season, Wade is 5-6 with a 4.44 earned run average and 63 strikeouts in 95.1 innings pitched. He snapped a four-game losing streak to conference foes with a 10-7 victory over Arizona State last week when he received some much welcomed run support. In fact, in his previous three starts against conference foes, Arizona had scored a total of five runs. Moreover, in previous eight starts in league play to date, he received more than three runs of support just three times, and on three occasions UA mustered only one run (at Oregon, vs. Washington and at UCLA). He enters this weekend ranked No. 9 in the conference for strikeouts (63) and No. 7 for innings pitched (95.1). In his career, Wade boasts a 19-9 record, a 3.96 ERA and 196 strikeouts against 80 walks in 293.1 innings pitched.

Mr. Saturday Night: Right-hander James Farris will again pitch in his customary Saturday slot after a one-week stint as the Friday starter at UCLA two weeks ago. Farris is coming off a strong outing in a no-decision last week against Arizona State in which he gave up only three runs over 6.1 innings, including seven strikeouts against one walk. The junior is 4-5 with a 4.20 earned run average on the season and he has 72 strikeouts (No. 5 in Pac-12) and only 22 walks in 90.0 innings of work. In his career, Farris has appeared in 33 games and made 31 starts, boasting an 11-8 record and 4.23 ERA. He has 146 strikeouts against 45 walks in 197.2 career innings.

Crafty Crawford: Arizona's Sunday starter will be left-hander Tyler Crawford, who has done a steady job in the role over the last eight weekends. Crawford is 6-2 with a 4.18 ERA this season in 16 appearances, which includes 12 starts (four midweeks to go with eight Sunday starts). In his two-year career, Crawford has shown he is comfortable as a starter. The Glendale, Ariz., native boasts a 6-3 record and 3.87 ERA in 14 career starts. He has 42 strikeouts and 18 walks in 76.2 innings pitched in those starts.

Can-Do Crawford: Just about the only thing sophomore Tyler Crawford did not do last week at Arizona State was hit. Otherwise, the lefty saved Friday's game, warmed up on Saturday and made his scheduled Sunday start like it was just a normal weekend. With the Wildcats clinging to a 10-7 lead in the bottom of the ninth last Friday, closer Mathew Troupe walked the first two batters in the inning to bring up the tying run. Crawford, who wasn't even wearing his spikes at the start of the inning, was quickly warming up in the bullpen and came to retire all three batters he faced to earn his first save of the season. On Saturday, the southpaw was again warming up in the eighth inning in case Arizona took a late lead. But the Wildcats saw a 3-3 tie broken into a 6-3 deficit in the bottom of the eighth, and Crawford was shut down. The next day, Crawford took the mound and turned in 7.1 innings and tossed a career-high 112 pitches to earn his sixth win and capture a critical series victory for the Wildcats. In the start, Crawford allowed six runs - five earned - one nine hits and walk to go with five strikeouts. He did not allow a run over his final 2.1 innings pitched.

Troupe Moving Up: Sophomore Mathew Troupe is quickly moving up Arizona's career chart for saves. In two seasons, the right-hander already has 15 saves and is tied for third-most in school history with Daniel Schlereth (2006-08), who has three years of Major League service. 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. Interestingly, Trevor Hoffman, who ranks No. 2 in Major League Baseball history with 601 career saves, played shortstop as a Wildcat.

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 when not finishing games himself. The 6-foot-9 lefty has posted a 4-1 record and a 1.98 earned run average over 27.1 innings in 26 total appearances from the bullpen. Bill has held opposing hitters to a .220 batting average, while allowing just 12 walks to go with 12 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.

Save the Day: Paced by closer Mathew Troupe's nine saves, which are fifth-most in the Pac-12, Arizona has tied its single-season school record with 16 saves (set last in 2001 and previously in 1980 and 1979). In 2012, the Wildcats had only 10 saves in 48 victories, with Troupe accounting for six of them. This year, Arizona already has 16, with Augey Bill (2), Nick Cunningham (2), Cody Moffett (1), Tyger Talley (1) and Tyler Crawford (1) registering the seven saves that Troupe did not earn.

Close Calls: Of Arizona's 52 games played this season, 23 have been decided by two runs or less. In those games, the Cardinal and Navy is an impressive 15-8, including a mark of 10-6 in one-run contests. Over the last 23 games, the Wildcats are 8-2 in one-run contests. A year ago, the Wildcats were 9-4 on the season and 6-3 in conference games decided by one run.

Cardiac Cats: Arizona has developed a knack for nail-biting wins over the last two years. Since March of 2012, Arizona has 15 last at-bat victories, including five this season. Of the 15 thrillers, 11 have been at Hi Corbett Field, where large, supportive crowds have proven to be a key factor. Here's a look at each of the 15 games:

- 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)
- April 16, 2013 vs. Arizona State (UA scores two runs in Bot. 8, wins 10-9)
- April 20, 2013 @ Stanford (UA scores run in Top 9, wins 10-9)
- April 27, 2013 vs. Alabama State (UA scores run in Bot. 10, wins 4-3 in walk-off fashion)

Plate Discipline: Arizona hitters have drawn the second-most walks of any Pac-12 (228) and have struck out the fewest times (250). The Wildcats also have been hit by a pitch 67 times - good enough for third-most in the league. The result is a Pac-12-leading .397 on-base percentage that has produced the highest-scoring offense (339 runs) in the conference. Leading the way is Brandon Dixon who ranks No. 2 with a .443 on-base percentage, which includes 19 walks and 12 hit by pitches. Joseph Maggi checks in No. 5 in the league with a .429 on-base percentage thanks to 22 walks and 12 additional hit by pitches, while Johnny Field is No. 6 with a .427 on-base percentage that includes 25 walks and five hit by pitches. Riley Moore's .424 on-base clip ranks No. 7 in the league, while his 33 walks drawn are second-most for any Pac-12 player. Kevin Newman has a .397 on-base average and ranks as the toughest player to strikeout in the conference (once every 15.8 at bats).

Unselfish Approach: Arizona very much relies on its ability, if not willingness, to move runners. The Wildcats have 66 sacrifice bunts (third-most in Pac-12) on the season and they lead the conference with 29 sacrifice flies over 52 games. It's a total team effort with 15 players contributing at least one sacrifice bunt this season and 13 driving in a run with a sacrifice fly. UA's 13 players with a sac fly are more than the team season totals of Utah (12) and Washington (11).

.300 Club: One story line to keep an eye on is whether the Wildcats finish the 2013 season with a .300 or better average, something they have done for 10-consecutive seasons under Andy Lopez (only his first club, in 2002 (.289), failed to reach the .300 mark). In 2012, Arizona led the Pac-12 and ranked No. 4 nationally with a .329 team batting average, their highest-single season mark in the Lopez's tenure, and the highest for the school since 2000 (.331). 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 52 games, the 2013 club is hitting an even .300.

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.

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 2,652 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).

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 1,121-685-7 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 (434-267-1 from 2002-13).

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