The 10th-ranked Arizona baseball team (4-1) begins an 18-game homestand this weekend with a three-game series against San Jose State (2-2).
Feb. 22, 2013
|2013 Arizona Baseball
Feb. 22-24, 2013 | Tucson, Ariz. | Hi Corbett Field
San Jose State (2-2) @ No. 10 Arizona (4-1)
Friday, Feb. 22 • 6 p.m. (MST) • Hi Corbett Field
LHP Johnny Malero (1-1, 8.31) vs. RHP Konner Wade (1-0, 0.00)
Live Video | GameTracker
Saturday, Feb. 23 • 4 p.m. (MST) • Hi Corbett Field
LHP David Wayne Russo (1-0, 0.00) vs. RHP James Farris (1-0, 1.12)
|Live Video | GameTracker
Sunday, Feb. 24 • Noon (MST) • Hi Corbett Field
RHP D.J. Slaton (0-1, 1.80) vs. RHP Stephen Manthei (0-0, 7.71)
Live Video | GameTracker
|Some Series Themes
|The first meeting since 1977 and just the fourth all-time for the two programs ... Arizona is fresh off a two-game split at Long Beach State during the mid-week, while San Jose State is eager to shake off 22-4 loss to UC Davis on Wednesday ... The Cats have been paced by strong pitching early in the season and will pencil in the same weekend rotation as they did in the opening series ... Wildcat hurlers are averaging nearly a strikeout per inning, while the Spartan hitters have struck out just 19 times on the season ... San Jose State's staff has given up the same number of runs - 50 - as UA has scored in five contests to date ... Will the Spartans be able to tame a Wildcat lineup that has hit just .301 on the young season? ... The host Wildcats like to run and have a dozen stolen bases, while the Spartans have just one in five tries ... Can Arizona sure up its defense that helped allow the few runs it gave up on the road in Long Beach? ... An 18-game homestand awaits Arizona, which affords plenty of time for the younger Cats to continue familiarizing themselves with the college game ... A busy stretch of 23 games in 31 days continues for the defending national champions.
||Game Notes (PDF)
|2013 Season Stats
|2013 Media Guide
|College Baseball Rankings
|San Jose State vs. Arizona Statistical Comparison
||Arizona Statistical Leaders
|San Jose State
|2-2 (0-0 WAC)
||4-1 (0-0 Pac-12)
||Brandon Dixon (.467)
||Ryan Koziol (8)
||Brandon Dixon (.591)
||Ryan Koziol (.700)
||Brandon Dixon (5)
||Konner Wade (0.00)
||James Farris (8.0)
|Arizona Baseball Game Notes:
- Arizona has won nine-straight games at Hi Corbett Field.
- In those nine games, UA has outscored opponents 112-37 and is hitting .396 (128-for-323) as a team.
- UA and SJSU have never played in Tucson before 2013.
- The Wildcats drew 10,794 fans to their three home games last weekend.
- Head Coach Andy Lopez is six wins away from No. 1,100 in his career.
- RHP James Farris was named the Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week on Monday (career-high eight strikeouts vs. Coppin State).
- UA has outscored opponents 50-16 to open the season.
- Opponents have not scored a run after the fourth inning this year.
- Konner Wade and James Farris combined to allow one run on three hits with 16 strikeouts in 14.1 innings last week (0.63 ERA).
- Brandon Dixon is hitting a team-best .467 (7-for-15) and is the only Wildcat to hit safely in each game this year.
- Joseph Maggi, despite a .250 average, has reached base in all five games.
- Closer Mathew Troupe has a pair of saves and six strikeouts over 3.0 innings.
Arizona Head Coach Andy Lopez: The Wildcats are coached by Andy Lopez, who is now in his 12th season with a 407-247-1 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 1,094-665-7 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.
UA-LBSU Series Recap: Arizona split its first two road games of the year, falling to Long Beach State, 5-4, in the opener and downing the Dirtbags, 3-1, in the finale of the mid-week series ... Tuesday's game was suspended due to heavy rain in bottom of the eighth, but the Dirtbags hung on the next day when the game resumed from the point of interruption. UA took an early 1-0 lead, but LBSU broke open a 1-1 tie with a four-run fourth inning highlighted by Josh Guerra's two-run homer. The Wildcats fought back with two runs in the fifth and another in the sixth, but couldn't get any closer ... UA again jumped out to 1-0 lead in the first on Wednesday afternoon, and benefitted from freshman contributions to pull away from a 1-1 tie in the second when Kevin Newman doubled and scored on Ryan Koziol's double in the second. Then in the fourth, Newman reached on two-out single, stole second, advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on Koziol's single to right. Starter Tyler Crawford matched a career-long outing with 5.2 innings and one unearned run allowed, while relievers Stephen Manthei and Mathew Troupe worked out of jams in the sixth, seventh and eighth innings to contribute to LBSU's 13 runners left on base tally in the game ... The UA bullpen combined to pitch 7.1 scoreless innings with eight strikeouts over the two tilts.
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.
Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week: Junior James Farris was named the Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week for the first time in his career. The right-hander opened his junior campaign with a strong outing last Saturday in a 14-1 victory over Coppin State at Hi Corbett Field. In eight innings, Farris allowed just two hits and one run to go with a career-high eight strikeouts. He did not issue a walk and he retired the final 15 batters he faced in the game. The victory improved Farris to 8-3 with a 4.05 ERA in his career.
Run Production: The Wildcats have outscored their opponents a cumulative 50-16 over the first five games of the season. A total of 12 different players have scored runs for Arizona, while 10 have driven in a run. Brandon Dixon and Tyler Parmenter lead the way with seven runs scored apiece, while Ryan Koziol has been the top RBI man to date with eight. Meanwhile, Johnny Field has accounted for the most overall runs, scoring seven times and driving in seven additional runs.
Fast Starts: Arizona has shown a propensity to score early and often during the five games of the season. Of the Wildcats' 50 runs scored, 31 have come over the first four innings of games. The club boasts a cumulative 20-6 lead after three innings and a 31-16 margin after four innings. It's a trend that has continued from the end of the 2012 national championship season. At the College World Series, Arizona outscored opponents 20-2 over the first four innings of games, including an 8-0 edge in the first inning. In all 10 postseason games, the Cats outscored foes 43-11 over innings 1-4. During the final 20 games of the season (18-2 record), UA jumped on opponents for a 76-27 edge over the first four innings of games.
Lights Out: Arizona's bullpen has been impressive in the first five games of the season. In 17.0 innings, eight relievers have allowed just nine hits and eight walks, while combining for 19 strikeouts. Take away a disastrous 0.2 innings that was compounded by an inside-the-park grand slam against Coppin State on Feb. 17, and the UA bullpen otherwise has not allowed a run scored in 16.1 innings. Through five games, opponents have yet to score a run against the Wildcats after the fifth inning.
"K"onner Wade: Junior right-hander Konner Wade takes over the Friday night starting spot after a strong season as the Saturday guy behind Kurt Heyer. Last season, Wade finished the season with an 11-3 record and six complete games to go with a 3.96 earned run average, 105 strikeouts and 37 walks in 136.1 innings pitched. The Scottsdale, Ariz., native finished the season on a spectacular postseason run, notching a perfect 4-0 record to go with a 1.29 earned run average while striking out 14 and walking just three in 35.0 innings over four starts in NCAA play. He tossed three complete games in those four starts, including two at the College World Series to earn recognition on the CWS All-Tournament team. A 2013 Louisville Slugger Preseason All-American (2nd Team), Wade boasts a 15-3 career record in 39 games pitched, including 28 starts. He has a 3.61 earned run average, 141 strikeouts, 57 walks and has limited opponents to a .236 average in his 204.1 total innings.
Steady Farris: As a sophomore, James Farris quietly put together a steady season as the team's Sunday starter. The Gilbert, Ariz., native started in 17 games, posting a 7-3 record with a 3.97 earned run average. He struck out 73 and walked just 20 in 106.2 innings pitched, registering the second-lowest walks per nine innings mark (1.69) on the club. In 2013, Farris has moved into the No. 2 and pitches on Saturdays. The right-hander looks to build off two strong postseason starts, where he went 1-0 with a 1.62 earned run average and 11 strikeouts against three walks in 16.2 innings. In his first postseason start, Farris tossed a complete game against Louisville to capture the Tucson Regional championship. Two weeks later, Farris earned the start in the second championship game against South Carolina (June 25) where he went toe-to-toe with Michael Roth, pitching into the eighth inning with just one run allowed. He scattered two hits and two walks to go with four strikeouts in the 7.2-inning, no-decision effort before the Wildcats scored three times in the top of the ninth to win the national championship. After his first start in 2013, Farris was named the Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week for his career-high eight-strikeout, two-hit performance over Coppin State last Saturday.
1-2 Punch: Arizona's Friday-Saturday pitching duo of Konner Wade and James Farris figures to be a formidable one. Both pitched extremely well in the postseason, including in the College World Series where each pitched into at the least the eighth inning in each of three total starts. The tandem opened the 2013 season in style with solid outings against Coppin State. Wade tossed 6.1 innings and allowed just run one in a shutout victory, while Farris struck out a career-high eight and surrendered just two hits in eight full innings of work. Combined, they gave up three hits, one run, one walk and struck out 16 in 14.1 innings on Opening Weekend.
Hot at the Hot Corner: Third baseman Brandon Dixon is off to a blistering start in his junior campaign. The Murrieta, Calif., native his hitting a team-best .467 (7-for-15) through five games, and has scored seven runs and added five RBI. With a double and a triple among his seven knocks, Dixon is slugging .667 - the second-high on the club. Thanks to a pair of walks and a team-high four hit-by-pitches, Dixon is also reaching base at a .591 clip. Once on the bases, he's been a pest for opposing teams, stealing a team-best five bases in as many attempts.
Johnny Baseball: Junior outfielder Johnny Field, the reigning Pac-12 batting champion, is off to a bit of a slow start at the plate - by his standards - with a .318 batting average. But as the team's No. 3 hitter, Field is doing exactly what he has been asked to do: produce runs. The Las Vegas, Nev., native has seven runs scored and seven RBI through five games. He's tied for the team lead with a .571 (4-for-7) average with runners in scoring position, and he has left just one runner on base over five games.
A New Field: Junior Johnny Field has shifted over from left field to center field this season, where he started each of the first five games. An All-Pac-12 outfielder and an All-Academic selection, Field 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, has filled 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 five games in 2013.
Back For Moore: A Baseball America Freshman All-American last season, Riley Moore kicked off his sophomore campaign in impressive style. On Opening Weekend, 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).
Hello Newman: Freshman Kevin Newman has settled nicely into his role as the starting shortstop. In four starts, the Poway, Calif., native has a team-leading 13 assists, three putouts, no errors and helped the club turn five 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 (5-for-19, .263) 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.
Sluggish Starts: Sophomores Trent Gilbert and Joseph Maggi are itching to break out of mini-slumps to open the 2013 season. Gilbert, a second baseman, is 4-for-19 (.211) on the young season, but has driven in seven runs because all four of his hits have come with runners in scoring position (4-for-8, .500). Maggi, who has started all five games in right field, also has just four hits to date and is batting .250 (4-for-16). A season ago, Gilbert hit .272 for the season but was a much-improved .303 over 10 postseason games. Maggi, meanwhile, was the top-hitting freshman during the national championship season, posting a .326 average.
Feeling Kozi: Freshman first baseman Ryan Koziol ranks as the team-leader in runs batted in with eight through five games. It's noteworthy because he has split time with Sam Parris at first base, with the left-hand hitting Koziol earning three starts and right-hand hitting Parris starting the other two. Koziol delivered a pair of key hits in Wednesday's 3-1 victory at Long Beach State. In the second inning, his RBI double to right field drove in Kevin Newman to give the Wildcats a 2-1 edge. In the fourth, Koziol again knocked in Newman, this time on a two-out single to right field. The 6-foot-3 native of Orland Park, Ill., ranks second on the club with a .400 batting average (4-for-10) and has reached base at a .500 clip.
TP at DH: Sophomore Tyler Parmenter has started at designated hitter in four of the team's five games. The right-hand hitting Parmenter is 2-for-6 (.333) at the plate, but he's also drawn six walks and been hit by a pitch for a .556 on-base percentage. The Yuma, Ariz., native is tied for the team-lead with seven runs scored and has three RBI to his credit. A season ago, Parmenter was 2-for-5 in his limited opportunities, so he now sits at a pretty .364 (4-for-11) for his career average.
A King(ery) at the Top: Freshman Scott Kingery has been penciled in the lead off spot in each of the Wildcats' five games to date. The Phoenix, Ariz., native is 6-for-20 (.300) on the season with five runs scored and four RBI. He's drawn a walk and been hit by a pitch three times, boosting his on-base average to .385. He'll want to limit his strikeouts (currently six), because he has the speed to put pressure on the defense when the ball is in play. So far on the bases, he is 1-for-1 in stolen base attempts, but expect him to get more aggressive as the opportunities present themselves in the coming weeks.
Troupe Time: Sophomore closer Mathew Troupe is off to a dominating start in 2013 and already has two saves to his credit. In two appearances, Troupe has racked up six strikeouts against one walk and one hit in 3.0 innings. 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).
Freshmen Arms: Arizona has used just two freshmen pitchers to date, but both Tyger Talley and Cody Moffett have made the most of their opportunities. Talley, a right-hander from Scottsdale, Ariz., has not allowed a run in 3.2 innings over two outings. He has four strikeouts against three walks, and has allowed just one hit (.091 opp/avg). Moffett, meanwhile, has thrown just two pitchers (yes, two) but as one strikeout. The lefty from Gilbert, Ariz., inherited a 2-1 count when he took over on Wednesday following the suspension of play on Tuesday night. Both of Moffett's pitches were strikes, and he registered his first career strikeout.
Streaks Snapped: Arizona saw a couple streaks come to an end in Tuesday/Wednesday's 5-4 loss at Long Beach State. The defeat ended a run of 14-straight victories dating back to last season when the Wildcats won their final regular season game and then each of their 10 postseason contests. Also broken was a string of 50-consecutive games with an extra base hit, a run that dated back to March 16, 2011, against Washington State, which was the only game all season UA failed to tally an extra base hit.
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 306-29-1 (.912) in the last 336 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. The Wildcats are 4-0 in such games in 2013.
.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 five games, the 2013 club is hitting .301.
Up Next: Arizona hosts five games at Hi Corbett Field next week, including a two-game midweek series against Utah Valley (Feb. 26-27) and a three-game set against San Francisco next week (March 1-3).The Utah Valley series begins on Tuesday evening at 6 p.m. and concludes on Wednesday afternoon with a 1 p.m. contest.