The 16th-ranked Arizona baseball team will take on Texas Tech in a two-game, midweek series beginning on Tuesday, March 5, at Hi Corbett Field.
March 4, 2013
|2013 Arizona Baseball
March 5-6, 2013 | Tucson, Ariz. | Hi Corbett Field
Texas Tech (7-5) @ No. 16 Arizona (10-3)
Tuesday, March 5 • 6 p.m. (MST) • Hi Corbett Field
LHP Jonny Drozd (1-0, 3.68) vs. LHP Tyler Crawford (1-1, 1.04)
Live Video | GameTracker
Wednesday, March 6 • 1 p.m. (MST) • Hi Corbett Field
TBA vs. TBA
Live Video | GameTracker
|Some Series Themes
|A pair of Southwestern schools with limited history on the diamond ... First meeting on either school's home field since 1974, and the first meetings since the Red Raiders won two games at the Pepsi/Johnny Quick Classic in Fresno, Calif., in 1993 ... The Wildcats enter the midweek tilts with a bitter taste in their mouths following a Sunday setback to San Francisco that prevented a third-straight weekend sweep ... The Red Raiders head west fresh off consecutive shutout victories to overcome a one-run, extra-inning loss to La Salle in Lubbock, Texas, last Friday ... The clubs have outscored their opponents by a combined 80 runs on the season, so who gets the upper hand? ... As always, midweek pitching to test the depth of each staff. Arizona will send lefty Tyler Crawford out for his third midweek start of the season on Tuesday, opposing Texas Tech's Jonny Drozd, a southpaw that was victorious in his midweek start against Florida International last Tuesday. Neither club has announced a starter for Wednesday ... On paper, UA's appears to have a slight edge offensivelky, with a .299 average and .416 on-base percentage bettering TTU's .269 and .378 marks, respectively ... Pitching favors the Red Raiders slightly thanks to a 3.27 ERA to the Wildcats' 3.65 mark, but UA has limited opposing hitters to a .228 clip while Red Raider foes hit .278.
||Game Notes (PDF)
|2013 Season Stats
|2013 Media Guide
|College Baseball Rankings
|Texas Tech vs. Arizona Statistical Comparison
||Arizona Statistical Leaders
|7-5 (0-0 Big 12)
||10-3 (0-0 Pac-12)
||Brandon Dixon (.465)
||Brandon Dixon (20)
||Brandon Dixon (19)
||Trent Gilbert (18)
||Kevin Newman (3)
||Brandon Dixon (.561)
||Brandon Dixon (.674)
||Brandon Dixon (9)
||Mathew Troupe (0.00)
||James Farris (23.1)
||James Farris (21)
|Arizona Baseball Game Notes:
- Andy Lopez won his 1,100 game last Saturday.
- Brandon Dixon has reached base in all 13 games this season.
- Dixon leads the Pac-12 in both batting (.465) and on base percentage (.561).
- Trent Gilbert has a team-high eight-game hitting streak.
- Tyler Crawford is slated to make his fifth career start on Tuesday.
- Lefty Cody Moffett earned his first career win and had a 1.93 ERA in 9.1 innings pitched last week.
- UA has attempted a stolen base in every game this season.
- Riley Moore is batting .336 over his last 33 games.
- Mathew Troupe is tied for the conference lead with four saves.
- The Wildcats have won 20 of their last 23 weekend series.
- UA and Texas Tech have not met since 1993.
- UA will play a school from Texas for the fourth-straight year.
- UA has played at least one game against a Big 12 foe in each of the last four seasons (3-4 record).
- UA hits .299 overall, but improves to .382 with runners in scoring position.
Arizona Head Coach Andy Lopez: The Wildcats are coached by Andy Lopez, who is now in his 12th season with a 413-249-1 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.
Lopez Wins No. 1,100: With a 5-2 victory over San Francisco on March 2, 2013, Andy Lopez became the 38th head coach in NCAA history to reach the 1,100-win benchmark. The three-time national coach of the year now boasts a career record of 1,100-669-7 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 (413-249-1 from 2002-13).
UA-USF Series Recap: Arizona won the first two games of the series (6-4 and 5-2) before dropping the finale, 9-2 ... On Friday, Arizona relied on key two-out hitting throughout the game. The Wildcats were 6-for-11 as a club and scored five of their six runs with two outs. Brandon Dixon, who was 4-for-4, led the charge with a pair of two-out hits, while Trent Gilbert knocked in a pair of runs with two outs. Konner Wade tossed seven innings and gave up four runs to improve to 2-0, while Mathew Troupe picked up his fourth save in 1.1 innings of relief ... On Saturday, the Wildcats scored four first-inning runs and rode the arm of James Farris, who pitched 8.0 innings and limited the Dons to two runs on six hits. Nick Cunningham pitched a scoreless ninth to earn his first save since March 5, 2011, against Utah Valley ... On Sunday, it was the Dons who jumped out early, 2-0, to knock starter Stephen Manthei from the game before he recorded an out in the first inning. Lefty Cody Moffett inherited a bases loaded jam, but retired all three batters he faced to limit the damage. Moffett, who earned a win in his first career start on Wednesday earlier in the week, pitched four scoreless innings with just one base runner allowed to keep the Wildcats within striking distance. But, UA's bats couldn't get the job done, scoring just two runs while USF pulled away with a run in the sixth, two in the seventh and four in the ninth. A total of nine UA pitchers were used in the game.
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 53-16 (.768) in regular season games played during three-game weekend series. They have won 20-of-23 such series, including 10 sweeps. Arizona has won six straight series, with the last series loss coming in the first week of last May when Oregon won two-of-three in Tucson.
Tuesday's Starter: Left-hander Tyler Crawford has been announced as Arizona's starter for Tuesday's game against Texas Tech. The 6-foot-1, 180-pounder has started two previous midweek games this season and has a 1-1 record and a 1.04 ERA in 8.2 innings pitched over three total appearances. He struggled with his command a bit last week against Utah Valley and lasted just 2.1 innings after allowing three runs - only one earned - on four hits. Despite suffering the loss, Crawford has a pretty solid résumé as a midweek starter. In four career starts, Crawford has a 2.95 ERA in 18.1 innings, with seven walks, 10 strikeouts and 19 hits allowed. See page 7 of this release for Crawford's 2013 game logs and page 11 of the 2013 Arizona Baseball Media Guide for his 2012 game logs.
Brand(on)ing Iron: Junior Brandon Dixon has made his mark early in the season, emerging as arguably the Pac-12's hottest hitter. The 6-foot-1, 213-pounder is hitting a blistering .465 (20-for-43) through 13 games this season. The average not only is tops on the club, but also ranks best among all Pac-12 players, with only two others currently above .400. Dixon also leads the league in on-base percentage (.561) and runs scored (19), and is tied in base hits (20) and stolen bases (9). With two doubles, a pair of triples and a homer to his credit already this year, Dixon is slugging .674, tied for third-highest in the conference. The Murrieta, Calif., native has already matched his 2012 season total with 14 RBI, and his nine stolen bases in 10 attempts has surpassed his career-high of eight a season ago.
Marvelous Moffett: Freshman Cody Moffett had appeared in just two games with 2.0 innings pitched before he was tabbed as the Wednesday starter against Utah Valley last week. The freshmen lefty answered the bell and delivered 5.1 innings in which he allowed just three runs - two earned - on four hits and a walk to earn a victory in his first career start. He was then called upon again on Sunday to take over in a no-out, bases-loaded jam in the first inning in place of starter Stephen Manthei. Down a run, Moffett retired all three batters he faced, allowing only one more run to score on a groundout. He went on to pitch four scoreless innings as he allowed only one San Francisco batter to reach base. For the week, Moffett was 1-0 with a 1.93 ERA over 9.1 innings pitched. The Gilbert, Ariz., native struck out five and walked only two. For the season, Moffett has a 1.59 ERA, eight strikeouts, three walks and has help opponents to a .135 average over 11.1 innings.
Cats on the Move: The Wildcats like to put the pressure on opposing defenses, evidenced by 33 stolen bases in 40 attempts through 13 games. The 33 swipes are more than double the next-closest Pac-12 Conference team (UCLA has 16). Brandon Dixon leads the club with nine steals (in 10 attempts), a new career-high for the junior and tied for the most by any conference player to date. Freshmen Scott Kingery (5-for-5), Kevin Newman (4-for-4), Zach Gibbons (3-for-3) and Cody Ramer (2-for-2) have combined for 14 steals in as many attempts on the young season. A total of 10 players have stolen a base for Arizona.
Trent's Torrid Bat: Not to be outdone by teammate Brandon Dixon, second baseman Trent Gilbert is on a scorching eight-game hitting streak. After a fugacious slump (4-for-19) over the first five games of the season, Gilbert has since hit at an eye-catching .467 (14-for-30) clip with five multi-hit games included. The Torrance, Calif., native a double and four triples in the last eight games, and with a walk and one hit by pitch has a nifty .529 on-base percentage. On the season, Gilbert has a Pac-12-leading five triples, which has surpassed his total of two from a year ago. The sophomore's hitting streak has raised his season batting average to .367, while 18 RBI not only lead the club but also lead the conference.
No Field Day: Junior Johnny Field, a preseason Golden Spikes Award candidate and a preseason All-American, had a forgettable weekend at the plate against San Francisco. The reigning Pac-12 batting champ managed just one hit in 10 at-bats (.100) against the Dons, which lowered his season average down to .286. Don't expect the Las Vegas, Nev., to be under .300 for long, however. In his 130-game career, Field is a .335 hitter topped by his .370 average from a sensational sophomore season. Arizona's starting centerfielder, Field has 161 hits, 124 runs scored and 87 RBI in his career. He's drawn more walks (67) than strikeouts (55), while reaching base at a .428 clip in two-plus seasons.
Switch-Hitter No Moore: A Baseball America Freshman All-American last season, catcher Riley Moore is off to a steady start in his sophomore campaign. The Santa Barbara, Calif., native is batting .319 with two doubles, a triple, 13 runs scored and seven RBI. Moore is tied for the Pac-12 lead with 11 walks drawn over 13 games, raising his on-base average to .441. In 2012, Moore finished the season with a .301 batting average, but saw his numbers improve to .347 over the last 20 games. Those final 20 contests coincided with the decision for Moore, previously a switch-hitter, to focus solely on his more natural left-handed swing, which he has continued to do on a permanent basis as a sophomore. Adding the first 13 games this year to the final 20 from last year, Moore is hitting .336 (40-119) with 29 runs scored over his last 33 games played.
Hello, Newman: Perhaps no freshman in the Pac-12 has made a more immediate impact on his club than Arizona shortstop Kevin Newman. A product of Poway High School in Poway, Calif., Newman was penciled in as the Wildcats' starting shortstop on Opening Day and he hasn't disappointed, hitting .304 and committing just one error over 13 starts. Coaches wanted Newman in the lineup for his defensive skills and he hasn't disappointed, leading all Pac-12 players with 41 assists and helping UA turn nine doubles plays over 13 games - all starts. But Newman has also provided some offensive punch, too. The 6-foot-1, 175-pounder has scored 10 runs and is tied for third on the team with 13 runs batted in. He is 4-for-4 in stolen base tries and is reaching base at a .375 clip with just two strikeouts.
Tough to Strikeout: Arizona hitters have proven to be tough to strikeout early in the season, collecting the second-fewest strikeouts (56) of any conference team (Stanford - 53). But the Wildcats have played two fewer games than the Cardinal, leaving UA as the club with the fewest strikeouts per game (4.31). In 2012, Arizona struck out the second-fewest times per game of any conference team (4.89). Interestingly, that number has been going down each of the last four seasons. In 2009, UA struck out 7.05 times per game, and then dropped to 5.81 in 2010 and 4.9 in 2011. If the current 2013 clip held up, it would continue the trend of reducing strikeouts.
Getting On Base: No team in the Pac-12 has done a better job of getting on base this season than the Wildcats. Thanks to the most hits (123), most walks (70) and second-most hit batsmen (23), Arizona leads the conference with a .416 on-base percentage. Indeed, the Wildcats have collected 93 free passes from opposing pitchers, trumping their paltry total of 56 strikeouts. No Wildcat has done a better job of getting on base than junior Brandon Dixon, whose .561 on-base percentage leads all conference players entering this week's action.
Troupe Time: Sophomore closer Mathew Troupe is off to a dominating start in 2013 and already has four saves to his credit. In six appearances, Troupe has racked up 13 strikeouts against three walks and four hits in 7.2 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 at least one extra base hit in all but two games this year - both coming in Tuesday losses at Long Beach State and home vs. Utah Valley ... The Wildcats have attempted a stolen base in all 13 games this season and have one successful swip in 11 of the contests ... UA has nearly as many triples (13) as it does doubles (15) ... UA hitters have executed a successful sacrifice bunt in six straight games ... San Francisco hit two home runs in last Friday's game, becoming the first team (UA or opponent) to hit multiple home runs in same game since UA moved into Hi Corbett Field last year ... Brandon Dixon became the first Wildcat with a four-hit game this season following a 4-for-4 game on March 1 ... Sophomores Trent Gilbert and Riley Moore have each reached base in eight-consecutive games ... Gilbert's eight-game hitting streak is the longest for a Wildcat this season ... Gilbert also leads the club in multi-hit (6) and multi-RBI games (5) ... Johnny Field has hit No. 3 in the UA batting order in all 13 games - the only player to appear in the same lineup spot in each game ... A .299 hitting club overall, Arizona hits .382 with runners in scoring position and .611 (11-for-18) with the bases loaded ... The Wildcats have outscored their opposition, 30-18, in two-out RBI this year ... Arizona leadoff men reach base at a .385 clip.
Freshmen Leadoff Hitters: Scott Kingery and Zach Gibbons have combined to start all 13 games as Arizona's leadoff hitters. Kingery held the role for the first nine games, before Gibbons snagged the job for the last four games. Kingery has reached base at a .365 clip and scored 11 runs, but is hitting just .244 for the season. Gibbons has done well recently getting on base at a .483 clip to go with a .364 batting average and six runs scored. Together they are 7-for-7 in stolen bases.
First Base Platoon: Arizona has platooned its first base job early in the season, most often going with freshman Ryan Koziol against right-handed pitchers and junior college transfer Sam Parris against lefties. Koziol is a left-handed hitter that is batting .226 in nine starts and ranks tied for third on the team with 13 RBI. Parris is a right-handed hitter that hitting .364 (4-for-11) in four starts this season.
Undesignated Designated Hitter: Through 13 games, Arizona has yet to designate a full-time designated hitter. Tyler Parmenter, a right-handed hitter, has started in the position eight times and is hitting .222. Freshmen Jackson Willeford and Cody Ramer, both lefties, have two starts apiece but only Ramer has a hit this season. Zach Gibbons has made one start at DH to go with six starts in the outfield. In 2012, Arizona had only three players appear at the DH spot, with senior All-Pac-12 honoree Bobby Brown starting 50 of the 65 games played at the position.
Last At-Bat Wins: Since March of 2012, Arizona has 11 last at-bat victories, including on Feb. 22 this season 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.
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 309-29-1 (.912) in the last 339 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 8-0 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 13 games, the 2013 club is hitting a shade under .300 (current: .299).
Up Next: Arizona's 18-game homestand continues this weekend with three games against Columbia. The series begins on Friday, March 8, at 6 p.m. (MST) at Hi Corbett Field. Saturday's game is set for 6 p.m. as well, while the series finale is Sunday at noon.