Arizona (8-2) plays host to San Francisco (4-5) in a three-game series this weekend beginning on Friday at 6 p.m. (MST) at Hi Corbett Field.
Feb. 28, 2013
|2013 Arizona Baseball
March 1-3, 2013 | Tucson, Ariz. | Hi Corbett Field
San Francisco (4-5) @ No. 10 Arizona (8-2)
Friday, March 1 • 6 p.m. (MST) • Hi Corbett Field
RHP Abe Bobb (0-2, 10.80) vs. RHP Konner Wade (1-0, 3.86)
Live Video | GameTracker
Saturday, March 2 • 2 p.m. (MST) • Hi Corbett Field
RHP Alex Balog (1-0, 0.64) vs. RHP James Farris (2-0, 2.93)
Live Video | GameTracker
Sunday, March 3 • Noon (MST) • Hi Corbett Field
LHP Christian Cecilio (0-0, 11.57) vs. RHP Stephen Manthei (1-0, 5.11)
Live Video | GameTracker
|Some Series Themes
|The calendar turns on the young baseball season with warmer weather in sight ... A pair of programs with only a brief history meeting on the diamond that includes a three-game sweep for Arizona two seasons ago at Kindall Field/Sancet Stadium ... Statistically, an intriguing matchup of solid pitching staffs. The Dons boast a 3.53 ERA, just slightly aboves the Cats' 3.34 mark ... USF's pitching staff has issued just 25 walks in 79.0 innings, similar to UA's 26 walks in 89.0 innings ... ... Arizona sticks with its same weekend pitching rotation, while USF counters with a veteran Friday-Saturday combo in righties Abe Bobb and Alex Balog ... One striking difference is UA's ability to get on base boosted by 63 walks drawn and 20 hit by pitches for a .431 on-base percentage ... The Wildcats have also been more aggressive on the bases, stealing 24 bags in 29 attempts, while the Dons have five swipes in 10 tries ... Fielding has been a steady area for each club with just 19 combined errors in as many games ... A couple of .400-plus hitters enter the series, including USF's Zachary Turner, who is hitting a blistering .441 with a homer and nine RBI, while UA's Brandon Dixon sits nicely at a .406 clip with 14 runs scored and 14 RBI, plus a .533 on-base percentage ... An 18-game homestand continues for the Wildcats, who went 8-2 to match their same first 10-game win-loss record as they had a season ago.
||Game Notes (PDF)
|2013 Season Stats
|2013 Media Guide
|College Baseball Rankings
|San Francisco vs. Arizona Statistical Comparison
||Arizona Statistical Leaders
|4-5 (0-0 WCC)
||8-2 (0-0 Pac-12)
||Brandon Dixon (.406)
||Trent Gilbert (15)
||Johnny Field (16)
||Brandon Dixon (14)
||Five with 2
||Brandon Dixon (.533)
||Brandon Dixon (.688)
||Brandon Dixon (6)
||James Farris (15.1)
||James Farris (15)
|Arizona Baseball Game Notes:
- Head coach Andy Lopez is three wins shy of No. 1,100 for his career.
- UA has won 19 of its last 22 weekend series, with 10 sweeps (51-15 record).
- Brandon Dixon has reached base in all 10 games this season and leads all Pac-12 players with 14 RBI entering the weekend.
- UA has drawn 26 more walks through its first 10 games in 2013 compared to the first 10 of 2012.
- In 41.2 innings pitched thus far, UA's weekend starters (Wade, Farris and Manthei) have issued a combined six walks (1.29 BB/9 IP).
- Trent Gilbert is batting .524 (11-for-21) with three triples, six runs scored and six RBI over the last five games.
- Wildcat hitters have struck out just 4.2 times per game over the first 10 games.
- UA has scored 42 more runs than the next-closest team in the Pac-12 entering this weekend's action.
- UA's 10 triples on the season lead the conference and are six more than the next-closest club.
- UA's bullpen has allowed only eight earned runs in 31.2 innings pitched this season (2.27 ERA).
- A .300 hitting team for the season, the Cats are hitting .402 with runners in scoring position.
UA-Utah Valley Series Recap: The Wildcats split a pair of midweek games against Utah Valley ... The Wolverines pulled the upset on Tuesday with a narrow 3-1 victory in which Arizona stranded 10 runners, including leaving two on base in the sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth innings, respectively. UVU's Andrew Freter earned the win thanks to 5.1 innings with only an unearned run allowed on three hits. Tyler Crawford took the loss for the Wildcats after being charged with three runs allowed - but just one earned - in 2.1 innings on four hits. Nick Cunningham was strong in relief, pitching a career-long 5.2 innings with five strikeouts and no runs to keep the Wildcats within striking distance, but UVU relievers Jeff Barto and Brian Whatcott shut out UA over the last 3.2 innings ... Arizona bounced back with a convincing 14-5 victory on Wednesday, matching their run total with 14 base hits, including seven for extra bases. Brandon Dixon led the charge with a 3-for-3 day, including a home run, three runs scored and three RBI. Trent Gilbert added a pair of triples and Sam Parris drove in two runs and had two doubles. Freshman Cody Moffett was solid in his first career start, earning the win for a 5.1 inning, four-hit effort that allowed just three runs - two earned.
Arizona Head Coach Andy Lopez: The Wildcats are coached by Andy Lopez, who is now in his 12th season with a 411-248-1 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 1,098-666-7 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 8-2 start to the season has put head coach Andy Lopez only twowins shy of reaching 1,100 for his 31-year career. The three-time national coach of the year boasts a career record of 1,098-668-7 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 (411-248-1 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 1,097 victories.
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.
Free Gilly: Trent Gilbert is on a five-game hitting streak, but that doesn't explain just how hot the sophomore second baseman has been during that stretch. In three games against San Jose State and two against Utah Valley, Gilbert leads all UA hitters with a .524 average (11-for-21), including three triples. The Torrance, Calif., native has scored six runs and driven in six runs during that stretch, while also stealing a base, drawing a walk and being hit by a pitch. It's a stark turnaround from a sluggish start to the season when he had just four hits and a lowly .211 batting average over the first five games. Now thanks to the hot hitting streak, Gilbert has raised his average to a lofty .375 clip to go with 11 runs scored and 13 RBI on the year.
Big Hit Dixon: Junior third baseman Brandon Dixon leads all Arizona regular starters with a .406 batting average and is second on the club with 13 base hits. The Murrieta, Calif., native has reached base in all 10 games, leads all Pac-12 players with 14 RBI entering this weekend, and ranks third in the league with a .688 slugging percentage thanks to two doubles, a pair of triples and a home run. Dixon's biggest hit came in the bottom of the ninth inning of UA's improbable come-from-behind victory over San Jose State last 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 centerfield Johnny Field has plenty of accolades already in his career: a 2012 Pac-12 batting crown, First Team All-Conference, Second Team All-Academic, Preseason All-American and he is on the Golden Spikes Award Watch List. However, none of the attention is distracting Field from doing what he does best: produce runs. The Las Vegas, Nev., native enters this weekend with a .333 batting average, 11 RBI and leads all Pac-12 players with 16 runs scored. With a pair of doubles, a triple and a home run, Field boasts a .513 slugging percentage and has reached base at a .426 clip. Field has stolen three bases in four tries, and made several nice diving plays defensively to rob opponents of base hits.
Run Production: Arizona has the Pac-12's RBI leader in Brandon Dixon (14), but Trent Gilbert (13), Ryan Koziol (12) and Johnny Field (11) are not far behind. The balanced run production filters down through the lineup as a dozen Wildcats have two or more RBI on the season, and 11 already have a multi-RBI game to their credit. Dixon, who had just one multi-RBI game as a sophomore, already has five such games in 2013 to match Koziol for the current team-lead in the category. Gilbert has three multi-RBI games, while Sam Parris, Kevin Newman, Field, Riley Moore and Joseph Maggi each have two.
`K'onner Wade: Arizona's Friday night pitcher this year is Konner Wade, who turned in a brilliant sophomore season that included a pair of complete game victories at the College World Series last June. Now a junior, the right-hander looks to build on an already impressive career record. A Golden Spikes Award Watch List honoree, Wade boasts a 15-3 mark in two-plus seasons with a 3.74 ERA. He has racked up 146 strikeouts against 58 walks in 212.0 innings pitched. In 2013, Wade is 1-0 with a 3.86 ERA and 13 strikeouts against two walks. Opponents are hitting just .192 against him.
Steady Farris: Saturday starter James Farris is off to a solid start to his junior season. The right-hander is 2-0 in his first two starts with a 2.93 ERA. The Gilbert, Ariz., native has a team-leading 15 strikeouts against just one walk allowed, while limiting opponents to 10 total hits and a .182 batting average. In his first year as a starter, Farris went 7-3 in 2012 with a 3.97 ERA. In his career, Farris is now 9-3 with a 4.10 ERA, 89 strikeouts and just 24 walks in 120.0 innings pitched.
Freshmen Contributors: Arizona has rebuilt its lineup this season with contributions from six freshmen. Shortstop Kevin Newman and outfielder Scott Kingery have led the way, with each earning a start in all 10 games this season. Newman is batting .257 with 10 runs scored and nine RBI, while Kingery has a .244 average, 11 runs scored and six RBI. First baseman Ryan Koziol has seven starts to his credit and is hitting .261 with 12 RBI on the season. Zach Gibbons, who has started in left field, right field and at designated hitter has come on nicely in recent games and has produced a .364 average (4-for-11) with four runs scored. Jackson Willeford, who was sidelined for the first eight games, has one start and has played in each of the last two games at designated hitter. Cody Ramer has one start at designate hitter and has played in four games.
Moffett Makes A Statement: Freshman Cody Moffett had a solid first career start on Wednesday, earning a win following his 5.1 inning effort in which he allowed just three runs - two earned - on four hits against Utah Valley. The Gilbert, Ariz., native has a 2.45 ERA over 7.1 innings on the season while he has limited opponents to a .200 batting average. With four strikeouts and just two walks, Moffett has shown he can attack the strike zone. Should he continue, he'll become a valuable left-handed arm for the Wildcats as a spot starter in the midweeks and certainly as a long reliever once the schedule lightens up to three games a week for conference play.
In the Nick of Time: Senior pitcher Nick Cunningham is making the most of his final season as a Wildcat. After a couple disappointed seasons, the right-hander has a 2.92 ERA, 11 strikeouts and just three walks in 12.1 innings pitched this season. He turned in one of the best performances of his career on Tuesday night against Utah Valley. Cunningham inherited a 3-0 deficit out of the bullpen, but went on to shut out the Wolverines over the next 5.2 innings, which marked his longest career outing. He scattered three hits the game and matched his career-high with five strikeouts. The Indianapolis, Ind., native became Arizona's closer as a freshman in 2010 before he struggled in his relief roles in 2011 and 2012. Now he is poised to be one of the club's top right-handed arms in the bullpen and will continue to compete for spot starts in the midweek.
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 28 assists, nine putouts, just one error and helped the club turn eight 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 .257 with 10 runs scored and nine RBI. In a five-game stretch against Long Beach State and San Jose State, 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.
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 had a record of 12-304 since the start of 1998 when trailing after eight innings of play. In that span, the Wildcats had 533 total victories, but just the dozen when entering the ninth down a run or more.
Lights Out: After seeing its starting pitchers combine for 16 complete games in 2012, Arizona has gone to its bullpen to toss at least one full inning in all 10 games to date in 2013. The early results have been positive, with UA's pen combining for a 2.27 earned run average and 34 strikeouts in 31.2 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 one earned run in the other 31.0 innings pitched this season (0.87 ERA). Collectively, opponents are hitting just .191 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 four appearances.
Troupe Time: Sophomore closer Mathew Troupe is off to a dominating start in 2013 and already has three saves to his credit. In five appearances, Troupe has racked up 11 strikeouts against three walks and three hits in 6.1 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).
Miscellaneous Diamond Notes: Arizona has already drawn more than 20,000 fans to its game this season, averaging 2,656 for eight home dates ... Only three of UA's 10 games this season have been completed in under three hours, with the shortest being 2:30 last Sunday against San Jose State ... The Cats have out-hit their opposition in six of 10 games so far, posting an undefeated 6-0 mark in those contests ... UA hitters have drawn six or more walks in a game in seven of the 10 tilts and are averaging 6.3 HBP's per game ... In the inning-by-inning composite scoring this year, UA has double-digit runs in all but the sixth and ninth innings. With 16 runs scored, the third inning has been most productive for the Cats, followed closely by the fourth and eighth frames (15 runs) ... Brandon Dixon owns UA's longest hit streak of the year at seven games, while Trent Gilbert (current) and Scott Kingery are the only two to post five-game streaks ... Dixon has reached base in 10-straight games, while Joseph Maggi and Kingery have current eight-game streaks ... UA hitters are striking out just 4.2 times per game this season ... A .300 hitting club overall, Arizona bats .402 with runners in scoring position and has out-scored foes 25-14 in two-out RBI ...
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 four appearances this season, Bill has a 2-0 record and a 0.00 earned run average. He has five strikeouts and three walks allowed, while opponents struggle to a .160 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 6-0 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 10 games, the 2013 club is hitting .300.
Up Next: Arizona continues its 18-game homestand with five more games next week. The Wildcats welcome Texas Tech for a pair of midweek games (March 5 at 6 p.m. and March 6 at 1 p.m.), before hosting Columbia for three games next weekend (March 8-10).