The 10th-ranked Arizona baseball team welcomes a familiar foe -- Utah Valley -- to Hi Corbett Field for a pair of games Tuesday (6 p.m.) and Wednesday (1 p.m.).
Feb. 25, 2013
|2013 Arizona Baseball
Feb. 26-27, 2013 | Tucson, Ariz. | Hi Corbett Field
Utah Valley (3-4) @ No. 10 Arizona (7-1)
Tuesday, Feb. 26 • 6 p.m. (MST) • Hi Corbett Field
RHP Andrew Freter (0-0, 7.50) vs. LHP Tyler Crawford (1-0, 0.00)
Live Video | GameTracker
Wednesday, Feb. 27 • 1 p.m. (MST) • Hi Corbett Field
LHP Ty Hansen (0-0, 3.86) vs. LHP Cody Moffett (0-0, 0.00)
Live Video | GameTracker
|Some Series Themes
|Two programs quite familiar with one another, with 16 all-time meetings since 2005 and eight matchups over the last three seasons … The Wolverines notched a 5-4 victory in Orem, Utah, last April for their only win in series history and their first-ever home victory over a nationally-ranked opponent … Of the 16 all-time meetings, 15 have been in Tucson … Arizona continues an 18-game homestand while UVU enters the second half of a 12-game stretch away from home to open the season … On paper, the Wolverines have a different makeup than the club that won 47 games a year ago. Led by Goose Kallunki (18 HR), UVU had 213 extra base hits and a slugging percentage of .523. This year, the Goose-less Wolverines have just seven extra base hits – all doubles – with a .275 slugging percentage … Not that power is necessary at Hi Corbett Field, though, a park that has seen just one ball leave the yard this season … As always, mid-week pitching depth to be tested on each side … The Wildcats are slated to throw Tyler Crawford, who suffered the tough-luck loss at UVU in 2012, on Tuesday, and Cody Moffett, who will make his first career start, on Wednesday … Arizona hopes forecasting warming weather will help its bats heat up as it sits at .300 for the season … The final two games on the month of February.
||Game Notes (PDF)
|2013 Season Stats
|2013 Media Guide
|College Baseball Rankings
- Head coach Andy Lopez is three wins shy of No. 1,100 for his career.
- Arizona has won 12-straight games at Hi Corbett Field.
- Dating back to May 11, 2012, UA has won 25 of its last 28 overall games played.
- UA has won 19 of its last 22 weekend series, with 10 sweeps (51-15 record).
- Trent Gilbert batted 7-for-12 (.583) with five runs and four RBI in last weekend’s series against San Jose State.
- Of UA’s 21 two-out RBI this season, 14 came in the SJSU series, including all eight in the 8-7 victory on Friday night.
- The Wildcats are hitting .300 for the season, but are .392 with runners in scoring position.
- UA has outscored opponents 33-7 during innings 1-3 and 26-4 during innings 7-9, but just 23-20 during innings 4-6.
- UA’s bullpen has a 2.53 ERA in 21.1 innings pitched.
- UA hitters have struck out only 38 times this season. They have drawn 50 walks and been hit by a pitch 18 additional times.
- Johnny Field’s 3-run home run last Friday was the team’s first of the season, and the only hit in 508 total at-bats to leave the park at Hi Corbett this season.
Some Series Themes: Two programs quite familiar with one another, with 16 all-time meetings since 2005 and eight matchups over the last three seasons … The Wolverines notched a 5-4 victory in Orem, Utah, last April for their only win in series history and their first-ever home victory over a nationally-ranked opponent … Of the 16 all-time meetings, 15 have been in Tucson … Arizona continues an 18-game homestand while UVU enters the second half of a 12-game stretch away from home to open the season … On paper, the Wolverines have a different makeup than the club that won 47 games a year ago. Led by Goose Kallunki (18 HR), UVU had 213 extra base hits and a slugging percentage of .523. This year, the Goose-less Wolverines have just seven extra base hits – all doubles – with a .275 slugging percentage … Not that power is necessary at Hi Corbett Field, though, a park that has seen just one ball leave the yard this season … As always, mid-week pitching depth to be tested on each side … The Wildcats are slated to throw Tyler Crawford, who suffered the tough-luck loss at UVU in 2012, on Tuesday, and Cody Moffett, who will make his first career start, on Wednesday … Arizona hopes forecasting warming weather will help its bats heat up as it sits at .300 for the season … The final two games on the month of February.
UA-SJSU Series Recap: Arizona swept three games from the Spartans by scores of 8-7, 15-4 and 9-4, but San Jose State had chances to win both the opener and the finale … Trailing by two runs and down to their last strike three times in the ninth, the Wildcats loaded the bases before Brandon Dixon ripped a walk-off, three-run triple to right-centerfield to hand UA a thrilling 8-7, come-from-behind victory … On Sunday, SJSU’s D.J. Slaton carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning, before losing control of the game. Riley Moore’s single broke the hitless streak and the Wildcats scored five times in the seventh and four more in the eighth to win 9-4 … For the series, UA hit .297 and scored 32 runs on 30 hits, while SJSU hit .255 and scored 15 runs on 26 hits … Johnny Field’s three-run homer on Friday was the club’s first of the season … Dixon followed up his Friday night heorics with a three-run, three-RBI day on Saturday … Trent Gilbert snapped out of an early season slump with a 7-for-12 (.583) weekend at the plate that included five runs scored … Wildcats hurlers issued just six walks over the three games and racked up 21 strikeouts … Stephen Manthei tossed a career-high 7.2 innings without a walk and earned his first career win as a starting pitcher on Sunday.
Arizona Head Coach Andy Lopez: The Wildcats are coached by Andy Lopez, who is now in his 12th season with a 410-247-1 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 1,097-665-7 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.
Lopez Chasing No. 1,100: Arizona’s 7-1 start to the season has put head coach Andy Lopez only three wins shy of reaching 1,100 for his 31-year career. The three-time national coach of the year boasts a career record of 1,097-665-7 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 (410-247-1 from 2002-13). Lopez is trying to become just the 38th coach in NCAA history to reach the 1,100-win benchmark. Minnesota’s John Anderson, who was been at the school since 1982, is currently at 1,096 victories.
The First 10: Arizona head coach Andy Lopez evaluates his team in 10-game increments throughout the season. The pair of midweek games against Utah Valley will mark the ninth and 10th games, respectively, of the new season. The Wildcats have shown steady improvement in games 1-8 to date, but there is plenty to gain and/or lose in the next two before the first true grade of the young club is completed. So far, hitting, pitching and fielding have all been solid, yet inconsistent at times. The challenge Lopez has presented his players: what is your identity? The 31-year coaching veteran wants an aggressive, hard-nosed club that attacks the game. The arduous five-games-per-week schedule the Wildcats face in a week like this puts that to the test each and every time out.
Pesky Middle Innings: Arizona has outscored its opponents 82-31 over the first eight games of the season. The Wildcats have done so because they have both jumped on teams (33-7 during innings 1-3) and closed games out (26-4 during innings 7-9). However, Arizona has taken its foot off the gas pedal in the middle innings, narrowly outscoring foes 23-20 during innings 4-6. A chief desideratum of head coach Andy Lopez is that both his hitters and pitchers will approach the game with the same focus and intensity for all nine innings on a consistent basis.
Winning Weekends: The success of any college baseball team is predicated on winning weekend three-game series, which explains Arizona’s recent success. Since May of 2011, the Wildcats are 51-15 (.773) in regular season games played during three-game weekend series. They have won 19-of-22 such series, including 10 sweeps. Arizona has won five straight series, with the last series loss coming in the first week of last May when Oregon won two-of-three in Tucson.
Last At-Bat Wins: Since March of 2012, Arizona has 11 last at-bat victories, including last Friday night against San Jose State. In that game, the Wildcats trailed the Spartans, 7-5, with two outs and no runners on base in the bottom of the ninth. Down to his last strike, Scott Kingery sharply bounced a ball that the third baseman was unable to control and the Wildcats had a runner on first. Then Riley Moore drew a walk as did Johnny Field, who worked the count full before reaching base. That brought up Brandon Dixon, who fell behind 1-2 in the count. But the next pitch, a slider, was ripped into the right-centerfield gap and the bases cleared on the three-run, walk-off triple. It marked the seventh last at-bat victory for the Wildcats at Hi Corbett Field over the last two seasons. Here’s a look at the 10 last at-bat wins from 2012:
- 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)
A Rare Win: Trailing after eight innings of play is an ominous position for a baseball team to be in. Winning such games is hard, but how hard? Well for Arizona in 2012, the Wildcats were just 1-17 in such games, with their one win coming on March 30 in the Friday night game against Stanford. That evening, UA rallied with four runs in the ninth to win by a familiar score: 8-7. Going back even further, Arizona has a record of 12-304 since the start of 1998 when trailing after eight innings of play. In that span, the Wildcats have 533 total victories, but just the dozen when entering the ninth down a run or more.
Tuesday’s Starter: Sophomore left-hander Tyler Crawford is set to make his fourth career start on Tuesday, which will mark his first-ever start at home. Crawford’s first career start came on April 4, 2012, in Orem, Utah, against Tuesday’s opponents. In that game, Crawford tossed 5.2 innings and allowed just two runs on three hits despite suffering the loss. In his other starts, the southpaw pitched 4.2 innings at Arizona State (April 17, 2012) and then 5.2 innings last week at Long Beach State (Feb. 20). Against the Dirtbags, Crawford allowed just one run – unearned – on four hits with three strikeouts to pick up his first career victory as a starter. In his three career starts, Crawford boasts a 1-1 record and a 2.81 ERA in 16.0 innings pitched. He has given up 15 hits, seven runs (five earned), with six walks and seven strikeouts.
Wednesday’ Starter: Freshman left-hander Cody Moffett is tabbed to make his first career start – and only third collegiate appearance – on Wednesday against Utah Valley. In his brief Wildcat career, Moffett has pitched 2.0 scoreless innings with one hit, one walk and three strikeouts. The Gilbert, Ariz., native does have a quasi-starting experience under his belt, though. Last Wednesday at Long Beach State, Moffett “started” from the point of interruption after Tuesday’s night’s action was suspended due to rain. That meant Moffett inherited a 2-1 count and runners on first and second and two down in the bottom of the eighth when he was inserted into the game. But he got to warm up like a starter and promptly entered to throw two pitches – both strikes – and record his first career strikeout. Wednesday will be his first shot at extending innings in a Wildcat uniform.
Big Hit Dixon: Junior third baseman Brandon Dixon leads all Arizona regular starters with a .385 batting average and is second on the club with 10 base hits. But there’s one hit that stands out from the rest. Dixon’s biggest hit came in the bottom of the ninth inning of UA’s improbable come-from-behind victory over San Jose State on Friday night. The Wildcats trailed 7-5 entering the ninth had been down to their final out and final strike three times, before Dixon ripped a walk-off, three-run triple to right-centerfield for the game-winner. It was reminiscent of his game-winning two-run double in the championship game against South Carolina last June to give UA a 3-1 lead in the ninth.
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 .303 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 a team-high 12 runs scored and has added 10 RBI through eight games. Last Friday against San Jose State, Field blasted a three-run homer – his first of the season and the seventh of his career. Field boasts the second-highest average one the club with runners in scoring position (5-for-10), and he has left just one runner on base on the season. For his career, Field bats .338 with 119 runs scored, 86 RBI and 54 extra base hits.
Free Gilly: Trent Gilbert opened his sophomore season on a sluggish note as he batted .211 (4-for-19) over the first five games. Then the second baseman broke out of his mini-slump in a big way last weekend against San Jose State, leading the Wildcats offensively with a .583 average (7-for-12). Included was his first triple of the season, five runs scored and four runs batted in. He also drew a walk, was hit by a pitch and stole a base. As a freshman, Gilbert finished with a .272 average, but was a much-improved .303 over 10 postseason games.
Spreading the Wealth: Arizona has outscored opponents a combined 82-31 in the early stages of the season. The run production has come from a variety of contributors, with 12 players scoring a run and 12 players driving in a run over the first eight games. Johnny Field has a team-high 12 runs scored, while Brandon Dixon has 11 and Trent Gilbert and Riley Moore have 10 apiece. The top run producer has been freshman Ryan Koziol, who has a dozen RBI to date. Dixon and Gilbert have 11 RBI each, while Field has added 10 of his own. Collectively, the Wildcats hit .392 with runners in scoring position, 92 points better than their season batting average (.300). Gilbert has hit .667 (8-for-12) to lead the club in RISP situations.
Hello Newman: Freshman Kevin Newman has settled nicely into his role as the starting shortstop. In eight starts, the Poway, Calif., native has a team-leading 21 assists, seven putouts, just one error and helped the club turn six 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 is coming around, too, as he is hitting .286 with nine runs scored and seven RBI. In five games last week, Newman hit .333 (5-for-15), scored eight runs, drove in five and reached base at a .476 clip thanks two three walks and two hit by pitches. It’s an impressive start to Newman’s career as he has been tasked with replacing Alex Mejia (2010-12), the 2012 Pac-12 Player and Defensive Player of the Year.
Hitless No Moore: Sophomore catcher Riley Moore struggled at the plate last week (3-for-19, .158), but he picked a perfect time to snap out of his funk. On Sunday, the Wildcats trailed San Jose State 3-0 entering the bottom of the seventh inning. To boot, Spartans’ righty D.J. Slaton was throwing a no-hitter, but Moore snapped that bid with a single through the right side to lead off what became a five-run inning. One frame later, Moore led off the eighth with a double in what became a four-run inning to push the Arizona lead to 9-4. Moore hopes those two key hits get his bat going again. For the season, Moore sits at .286 with 10 runs scored and 11 RBI.
Feeling Kozi: Freshman first baseman Ryan Koziol ranks as the team-leader in runs batted in with 12 through eight games. It’s noteworthy because he has split time with Sam Parris at first base, with the left-hand hitting Koziol earning six starts and right-hand hitting Parris starting the other two. Last week, 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 on a two-out single to right field. Over the weekend in three games against San Jose State, Koziol collected just two hits in 11 at-bats, but drew a pair of walks, scored four times and had four runs batted in. The 6-foot-3 native of Orland Park, Ill., is batting .500 (6-for-12) with runners in scoring position and has reached base at a .407 clip.
Fast Starts: Arizona has shown a propensity to score early and often, scoring first in seven of the eight games to date. Of the Wildcats’ 82 runs scored, 33 have come over the first three innings of games when the club boasts a cumulative 33-7 lead. It’s a trend that has continued from the end of the 2012 national championship season, when the first four innings were key. 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: After seeing its starting pitchers combined for 16 complete games in 2012, Arizona has gone to its bullpen to toss at least one full inning in all eight games to date in 2013. The early results have been positive, with UA’s pen combining for a 2.53 earned run average and 25 strikeouts in 21.1 innings pitched. Take away a disastrous 0.2 innings on Feb. 17 when Coppin State scored five runs, and UA’s bullpen has otherwise allowed just on earned run in the other 19.2 innings pitched this season (0.46 ERA). Collectively, opponents are hitting just .167 against Wildcat relievers. Closer Mathew Troupe (0.00 ERA) has three saves to his credit, while lefty Augey Bill is 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA in three appearances.
Troupe Time: Sophomore closer Mathew Troupe is off to a dominating start in 2013 and already has three saves to his credit. In three appearances, Troupe has racked up eight strikeouts against two walks and two hits in 4.1 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).
Wins From The Pen: Senior Augey Bill has scooped up a pair of pitching victories out of the bullpen in the early part of the season. A 6-foot-9 lefty, Bill picked up his first win on Feb. 17 when he pitched 3.1 innings of scoreless relief with three strikeouts and just one hit allowed in UA’s 13-9 victory. The southpaw then picked up a second victory last Friday night courtesy UA’s bottom-of-the-ninth rally to win 8-7. In three appearances this season, Bill has a 2-0 record and a 0.00 earned run average. He has a four strikeouts and two walks allowed, while opponents struggle to a .125 batting average against him.
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 307-29-1 (.912) in the last 337 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 5-0 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 eight games, the 2013 club is hitting .300.
Up Next: Arizona’s 18-game homestand continues this weekend with a three-game series against San Francisco (March 1-3). The series begins on Friday at 6 p.m. (MST), continues on Saturday at 2 p.m. and concludes on Sunday at noon. Next week, the Wildcats host Texas Tech for two games (March 5-6) and Columbia for three games (March 8-10).