The Wildcats take an overall 14-game winning streak with them into their first road games of the season at Long Beach State on Tuesday and Wednesday.
Feb. 18, 2013
|2013 Arizona Baseball|
Feb. 19-20, 2013 | Long Beach, Calif. | Blair Field
No. 10 Arizona (3-0) @ Long Beach State (1-2)
Tuesday, Feb. 19 6 p.m. (PST) Blair Field
RHP Nick Cunningham (0-0, 0.00) vs. LHP Nick Sabo (0-0, 0.00)
Live Audio | GameTracker
Wednesday, Feb. 20 3:30 p.m. (PST) Blair Field
LHP Tyler Crawford (0-0, 0.00) vs. TBA
Live Audio | GameTracker
|Some Series Themes||Quick Links|
| A pair of teams coming of contrasting Opening Weekends ... The Wildcats opened at home against a vastly overmatched opponent, while the Dirtbags hit the road and faced top competition at Vanderbilt ... UA, which plays at cavernous Hi Corbett Field, likely will not be fazed by a visit to Blair Field, a park notorious for taking the long ball away from power-hitting clubs ... A year ago, the teams combined for only 30 home runs in 120 games, with the Cats accounting for 23 of those ... Mid-week tilts sure to test the depth of each club's pitching early in the season and perhaps provide opportunities for younger arms to emerge ... A premium will be put on strike-throwing to keep runners off base via free passes ... Arizona continues to break in several new faces into its lineup, and this will be the first road trip for shortstop Kevin Newman, outfielder Scott Kingery and first basemen Ryan Koziol/Sam Parris ... The visit to The Beach is the only non-conference road trip of the year for the Wildcats ... An 18-game homestand awaits Arizona beginning Friday. ||Game Notes (PDF)|
|2013 Season Stats|
|2012 Media Guide|
|College Baseball Rankings|
|Long Beach State vs. Arizona Statistical Comparison||Arizona Statistical Leaders|
|Long Beach State||Stat ||Arizona ||Stat ||Player |
|1-2 (0-0 Big West)||Record ||3-0 (0-0 Pac-12)||Avg. ||Tyler Parmenter (.600)|
|.283||Avg. ||.363||Hits ||Johnny Field (6)|
|19||Runs ||43||Runs ||Parmenter/Dixon (7)|
|30||Hits ||33||RBI ||Field/Koziol/Gilbert (6)|
|6||2B ||4||2B ||Four with 1|
|0||HR ||0||OB% ||Riley Moore (.733)|
|3-4||SB-ATT ||9-13||SLG% ||Tyler Parmenter (1.000)|
|.384||OB% ||.519||SB ||Brandon Dixon (4)|
|.377||SLG% ||.538||ERA ||Konner Wade (0.00)|
|7.88||ERA ||3.33||IP ||James Farris (8.0)|
|16|| K's ||28||K's ||Wade/Farris (8)|
|Arizona Baseball Game Notes: |
- Arizona has won 14-straight games, its longest winning streak since 2010.
- UA has an extra base hit in 50-consecutive contests.
- Projected starters Nick Cunningham and Tyler Crawford have combined for three career starts (all mid-week games).
- UA has won 18 of its last 25 games away from home.
- UA reached base 37 times via walks and hit by pitches last weekend, producing a staggering .519 on-base percentage.
- UA outscored Coppin State 43-10 in the opening series.
- 10 Wildcats collected multiple hits on opening weekend.
- Brandon Dixon had a career-best three stolen bases on Sunday.
- Tyler Parmenter and Riley Moore each drew six walks last weekend.
- UA hit .429 with runners in scoring position last weekend.
- UA's leadoff men reached base 50-percent of the time (12 of the 24 innings UA hit).
- Wildcat pitchers had a 4:1 strikeout to walk ratio (28 SO, 7 BB) vs. CSU.
- UA's defense turned four double plays and committed just two errors against the Eagles.
Opening Weekend Recap: Arizona swept three games from Coppin State, winning convincingly by scores of 16-0 and 14-1 on Friday and Saturday, respectively. The Wildcats found themselves tied 9-9 in the fourth on Sunday, but the bullpen locked things down from there and UA prevailed with 13-9 win and a sweep ... All totaled, UA outscored CSU 43-10 on the weekend ... The Wildcats drew 5,145 fans to their opener on Friday night and totaled 10,794 over the three games, an average of 3,598 for each contest ... Arizona batted .363 in the series with four doubles and six triples, but thanks to 24 walks and 13 more hit batsmen, the Wildcats reached base at a blistering .519 clip ... Konner Wade carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning on Friday night and combined with Nick Cunningham for a one-hit shutout ... James Farris tossed eight innings with just two hits and a run allowed on Saturday, and he retired 15-consecutive batters to end his outing before freshman Tyger Talley pitched a scoreless ninth frame ... Relievers Augey Bill (3.1), Tyler Crawford (0.2) and Mathew Troupe (1.1) combined for 5.1 shutout innings with just two base runners allowed to hold off the Eagles in the finale ... UA's defense, which featured freshmen starters at first base, shortstop and left field, committed just two errors and turned four double plays on the weekend ... Wildcat base runners stole nine bags in 13 attempts, led by junior third baseman Brandon Dixon's 4-for-4 weekend.
UA-LBSU Series History: Arizona leads the all-time series 21-20 after taking of three from the Dirtbags at Blair Field Feb. 25-27, 2011 ... In 2010, LBSU swept a pair of mid-week games from the Wildcats in Tucson ... Previously, the teams had last met in 2004 at the Long Beach Super Regional where the Wildcats won two of three games to advance to the College World Series in dramatic fashion ... The first meeting between the schools was the season-opening series in 1961, when the Wildcats swept three games in Tucson.
Two Memorable Series: With Arizona and LBSU meeting for the third time in four seasons, it is a good chance to consider some of the history between the two schools. 2004 Long Beach Super Regional: Arizona won the super regional against Long Beach by the narrowest of margins. UA trailed LBSU for 8 1/3 innings in Game 1 before scoring four in the ninth to steal the win, took a third of inning lead with two outs in the fifth inning in Game 2 before succumbing to a three-run sixth, and held a 3-2 advantage in Game 3 with two outs in the bottom of the seventh before LBSU tied the game with one out in the top of the ninth. Nick Hundley's one-out sac-fly ended the game two innings later in the bottom of the 11th ... 1989 West Regional: In 1989, the highly talented Arizona baseball team hosted the West Regional in Tucson. A scrappy little team from Long Beach State came to town and walked away with a trip to Omaha after upsetting a Wildcat team that boasted future major leaguers Scott Erickson, Trevor Hoffman and JT Snow. Arizona went 3-2 in the regional, but the two losses were to LBSU by scores of 10-6 and 10-3, eliminating the Wildcats from the postseason.
Arizona Head Coach Andy Lopez: The Wildcats are coached by Andy Lopez, who is now in his 12th season with a 406-246-1 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 1,093-664-7 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 and he is just one of 50 individuals to reach 1,000 career victories.
Mid-Week Starters: Arizona is scheduled to pitch senior RHP Nick Cunningham on Tuesday and sophomore lefty Tyler Crawford on Wednesday. Each has one appearance this season, with neither allowing a run. Cunningham pitched 2.2 hitless innings last Friday, while Crawford retired each batter he faced in a setup situation on Sunday. Together, they have just three career starts. Here's a look:
Cunningham started one game his freshman season - a non-conference mid-week game at Arizona State (May 4, 2010). In that contest, Cunningham did well in his first career extended outing. The righty limited a high-powered Sun Devil offense to just two runs on two hits in 3.1 innings, but the Wildcats mustered just one run of their own and Cunningham was charged with the loss. The following year, Cunningham turned in his longest career outing with 5.1 innings in relief in the first championship game against Texas A&M at the College Station Regional. Cunningham, who picked up the win, took over for injured Tyler Hale in the third inning and turned in his best career performance, shutting out the Aggies and allowing only two hits 5.1 innings.
Crawford started a pair of mid-week games for the Wildcats in his freshman season - at Utah Valley (April 4, 2012) and at Arizona State (April 17, 2012). In those games, Crawford was solid despite an 0-1 record. He limited opposing hitters to a .268 batting average and allowed six runs - five earned - on 11 hits in 10.1 innings. He pitched into the fifth inning in both outings, including 5.2 in his first start at Utah Valley (longest career outing).
For Openers: After opening the 2013 season with a 16-0 win and eventual series sweep of Coppin State, the Wildcats have won 19-straight opening weekend series dating back to 1995 and have gone 48-10 on the first weekend of the year during this span ... Dating back 1994, Arizona is 18-2 on Opening Day with the lone losses coming to BYU in 2003 and at Georgia in 2008 ... Under 12th-year head coach Andy Lopez, UA is 31-5 all-time on opening weekend and has won 10-of-12 season-opening games.
Home Away From Home: Don't expect Arizona's hitters to be deterred by the way Blair Field plays and takes away the long ball. The Wildcats did not hit a home run on Opening Weekend at Hi Corbett Field, and last year hit only 23 for the season (in 65 games). In 40 home games in 2012, UA hit just eight home runs. Despite the lack of homers, UA still slugged .475 at home, racking up 87 doubles and 30 triples. It is a club used to hitting the ball low and hard and taking the extra base when available. Should be a fun matchup of two ballcubs built similarly on the offensive side.
On the Road: Arizona hopes to continue playing well on the road, something it did all of last season. In 2012, the Wildcats were 13-7 in true road games and 18-7 in all non-home games. Arizona won all four of its Pac-12 weekend road series a season ago, including at Oregon State, at Washington, at California and at USC.
Buckle Up: With the season now in full swing, the Wildcats are in the midst of playing 23 games in a span of 31 days. Of those, 21 contests will be at Hi Corbett Field, with this week's mid-week trip to Long Beach State the only scheduled road games. The Wildcats, who opened the 2011 season with 25-straight home games and the 2012 slate with 23-of-25 at home, play 38 of their 55 regular season games at Hi Corbett Field in 2013.
On the Line: Arizona will put a 14-game overall winning streak on the line this week at Long Beach State. The Wildcats won their final regular season game last year before reeling of 10 victories in a row during the postseason run to a national title. Added with three wins from an Opening Weekend sweep of Coppin State and Arizona has won its streak to 14 - tied for the eighth-longest in program history and the longest since winning 15 in a row in March of 2010. Prior to 2010, the longest streaks were 16 games by the 1998 and 2007 clubs, respectively.
Field Back For An Encore: Junior Johnny Field, the reigning Pac-12 batting champion and a 2013 preseason All-American, batted 6-for-13 with six runs and six RBI on Opening Weekend. Field was twice named the Pac-12 Player of the Week in 2012, when he played in all 65 games during season, starting 61 in left field and the other four in center field. Including postseason games, Field led all Pac-12 players in average (.370), on base percentage (.476), runs scored (72) and walks (43). He finished tied for first with seven triples and ranked second with 95 hits, and led UA club with 10 outfield assists. Additionally, he batted a team-best .419 with 44 runs, 29 RBI and 22 extra base hits over the final 37 games. Field hit safely in 27 of final 29 games, including a .326 average with 13 runs scored, 13 RBI and six extra base hits in 10 postseason games. He enters 2013 as a Louisville Slugger Preseason All-American (2nd team) and a Baseball America Preseason All-American (3rd team).
A New Field: Junior Johnny Field has shifted over from left field to center field this season, where he started in each game over the weekend. The Las Vegas, Nev., native started 61 of the team's 65 games a season ago in left field, but did start four games in center in the month of April filling in four three-year starter Joey Rickard, who was nursing a knee injury. Rickard, a ninth-round draft selection by the Tampa Bay Rays last June, started 177 games in center since the start of 2010. His successor, Field, will also likely fill a new role in the Wildcats' batting order. Last season, Field batted in the No. 2 hole 39 times, the cleanup spot on 22 occasions and leadoff four times. However, he had never hit in the No. 3 hole before last Friday, a spot he batted from in each of the opening three games.
Back For Moore: A Baseball America Freshman All-American last season, Riley Moore kicked off his sophomore campaign in impressive style. Moore went 5-for-9 with six runs scored and four RBI, while drawing six walks for an on-base percentage of .733. As a freshman, Moore played in 64 games and made 62 starts behind the plate, catching 561 of the 586 (96 percent) innings pitched by Wildcat hurlers in 2012. The Santa Barbara, Calif., native hit.301 with 10 doubles, two triples and a home run to go with 40 runs scored and 38 runs batted in on the season. A switch-hitter much of the season, Moore spent the final six weeks of season hitting solely from his more natural left side to help team win 18 of its final 20 games. He had the fourth-highest batting average on the team (.347) and scored 16 runs during that stretch. Then in 10 postseason games, Moore had the second-highest batting average on the club (.389), including a career-high four hits on June 3 against Louisville in the Tucson Regional Championship game at Hi Corbett Field. He continued his torrid hitting at the College World Series, batting .412 (7-for-17), which was second-best among Wildcat hitters and fifth-highest among all players to earn a spot on the CWS All-Tournament team. Moore is a 2013 Louisville Slugger Preseason All-American (3rd team).
The Newman at Short: Freshman Kevin Newman settled nicely into his role as the starting shortstop last weekend against Coppin State. In three starts, the Poway, Calif., native had eight defensive assists, three putouts, no errors and helped the club turn three ground ball double plays. That is exactly what Wildcat coaches are asking of the youngster as he settles into one of the most important positions one the field. His offense (3-for-13, .231) will come around in time, but the main focus is his ability to play well defensively. He is the third-straight Wildcat shortstop to take over at the position as a true freshman. Alex Mejia (2010-12), the 2012 Pac-12 Player and Defensive Player of the Year, assumed the role for all but one game in his Wildcats career. Previously, Bryce Ortega started at shortstop as a true freshman in 2008 and 2009 before being bumped to second base by Mejia in 2010. Each earned their roles as freshmen due to their defensive skills.
First Base Platoon: Freshman Ryan Koziol and junior college transfer Sam Parris continue to battle for a potential every day job at first base. Right now, expect it to be a platoon system with the left-hand hitting Koziol getting the nod against right-handed pitchers and the right-hand hitting Parris starting against lefties. On Opening Weekend, both had solid debuts. Koziol went 3-for-6 with a run scored and six RBI, while Parris was 2-for-4 with a run and a pair of RBI. Added up, the duo hit 4-for-10 (.400) with four runs and eight runs batted in.
Hot at the Hot Corner: Third baseman Brandon Dixon turned in an all-around strong effort for the Wildcats over Opening Weekend. The junior went 3-for-7 at the plate (.429), including a double and a triple, and reached base six other times via walks (four) and hit by pitches (twice) to produce a .543 on-base percentage. Dixon accounted for 11 of UA's 43 runs scored in the series as he scored seven times and totaled four runs batted in. He was a perfect 4-for-4 in stolen base attempts, including a single-game career best three swipes in the series finale on Sunday. Dixon also added a sacrifice fly and a sacrifice bunt in the series, and he played flawless defense in the field. At the hot corner, Dixon had six assists and two putouts while not committing an error.
Troupe Time: Sophomore closer Mathew Troupe opened the season in style, striking out all four batters he faced to earn a save on Sunday against Coppin State. As a freshman, Troupe assumed the closer duties much of the season, finishing with a 6-1 record, a 3.47 earned run average and a team-leading six saves. With 44 strikeouts and only 19 walks in 36.1 innings, Troupe led the club with 10.9 strikeouts per nine innings pitched. He saved some of his best pitching for late in the season, as he allowed just one earned run over final 13.2 innings pitched (0.66 ERA), including no earned runs allowed in 4.2 innings pitched over three postseason appearances. Troupe earned two victories at the College World Series, include the season finale when he threw 1.1 innings with no runs allowed and two strikeouts to earn the win in 4-1 victory over South Carolina in second game of championship series to clinch national title (June 25).
Free Passes: One thing was clear on Opening Weekend: Arizona hitters showed some patience. The Wildcats drew 24 walks and were hit by a pitch 13 times to total 37 free passes. That tally is actually more than the number of hits (33) the Wildcats wrapped out over the three games. All together, UA hitters reached base at a blistering .519 clip. Sophomores Tyler Parmenter and Riley Moore led the charge with on-base percentages of .714 and .733, respectively. Parmenter went 3-for-5 at the plate (.600), but drew six walks, was hit by a pitch once and added two sacrifice flies. Moore batted 5-for-9 (.556) and drew six walks.
Free Passes Part II: Opening Weekend was a teaching point for Arizona's pitchers, too. Over the first two games, the Wildcats allowed just one run on three combined hits. One key was that the four pitchers from those games (Konner Wade, Nick Cunningham, James Farris and Tyger Talley) combined to issue just four walks and did not hit any batters in 18.0 innings of work. Then on Sunday, Stephen Manthei and Tyler Hale combined for three walks and hit batsmen in the first 3.2 innings, helping the Eagles score nine runs. From there, Augey Bill, Tyler Crawford and Mathew Troupe did not allow a free pass over the next 5.1 innings and the result was Coppin State did not score the rest of the game. In short, throwing strikes often portends success on the mound.
Throwing Strikes: The Wildcats hope to continue their ability to throw strikes and limit free passes. In 2012, UA hurlers issued only 2.58 walks per nine innings pitched, a figure that was second and the Pac-12 and ranked No. 14 nationally. The Wildcats also had an impressive 2.64 strikeout to walk ratio, a mark also ranked second in the conference and good enough for No. 21 nationally. There have been only three seasons since 1969 when UA pitchers issued fewer than 200 walks in a season, and two of those years have been in 2011 (180) and 2012 (168).
The Good With The Bad: Situational hitting is a focus of all good baseball clubs. In three season-opening games, the Wildcats were strong in one area and not so hot in another. Arizona hit .429 (18-for-42) with runners in scoring position against Coppin State, a mark sure to please coaches. However, the Wildcats batted only .120 (3-for-25) with two outs leaving 23 total runners on base. In fact, UA and CSU tied 5-5 in 2-out RBI for the series, an often telling statistic in close, competitive games. Down the stretch in 2012, the Wildcats outscored foes 47-12 over the final 20 games, including 29-7 in 10 postseason contests.
Closing the Deal: Arizona utilized a closer-by-committee setup in the second half of the 2012 season, with Mathew Troupe, Tyler Crawford and Stephen Manthei combining for 10 saves on the season. The trio did a steady job much of the season, but, along with some other relievers, drew some criticism as one of the weaknesses of the team. So chew on this: perhaps no statistic can be more telling of Arizona's ability to close out games than the fact the Wildcats were 47-0 when holding a lead or being tied after eight innings of play. Just as impressive, the Wildcats were 39-1 when leading after seven innings (46-5 tied or trailing after seven), and they posted a 46-6 record when leading or tied after six innings play. It's been a staple of Andy Lopez's teams over the years. In fact, the Wildcats are 305-29-1 (.912) in the last 335 games when they have a lead after the sixth inning. That covers the last 10 full seasons of Lopez's teams that have won at a 91-percent clip in such games.
Extra! Extra! Andy Lopez has called last year's offensive lineup "special", and for good reason. The Wildcats finished the season as the national leader in hits (756). Of those, 190 were extra base hits (132 doubles, 35 triples and 23 homers), which produced a .447 slugging percentage - good enough to lead the Pac-12 and rank No. 15 in the nation. Perhaps most impressive, however, is the fact Arizona rapped out an extra base hit in 64 of the 65 games last season, failing to do so only against Washington State on March 16. Otherwise, the Wildcats tallied an extra base hit in 47-consecutive games. Added with 10 total extra base hits and one in each game of the 2013 season-opening series, UA now has a 50-game streak with an extra base hit.
.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 three games, the 2013 club is hitting .363.
Tough to Strikeout: One thing the Wildcat hitters hope to continue in 2013 is be a tough team strike out. In 2012, Arizona struck out the second-fewest times per game of any conference team (4.89 per game). Interestingly, that number has been going down each of the last four seasons. In 2009, UA struck out 7.05 times per game, then dropped to 5.81 in 2010 and 4.9 in 2011. The toughest players to strikeout returning this season are Joseph Maggi (once every 10.29 at bats) and Johnny Field (once every 9.18 at bats). They combined for only 42 strikeouts in 401 at bats. So far in 2013, the Wildcats have struck out 12 times in 91 at-bats (once every 7.58 at bats).
Up Next:Arizona returns home to begin an 18-game homestand starting with three games against San Jose State. The series commences on Friday, Feb. 22, at 6 p.m. at Hi Corbett Field. Saturday's game is slated for 4 p.m. and Sunday's tilt is at noon.