Arizona (11-4) hosts Columbia (0-4) for a three-game non-conference series this weekend (March 8-10) at Hi Corbett Field.
March 7, 2013
|2013 Arizona Baseball|
March 8-10, 2013 | Tucson, Ariz. | Hi Corbett Field
Columbia (0-4) @ No. 16 Arizona (11-4)
Friday, March 8 6 p.m. (MST) Hi Corbett Field
LHP David Speer (0-1, 3.86) vs. RHP Konner Wade (2-0, 4.29)
Live Video | GameTracker
Saturday, March 9 6 p.m. (MST) Hi Corbett Field
RHP Tim Giel (0-1, 4.50) vs. RHP James Farris (3-0, 2.70)
Live Video | GameTracker
Sunday, March 10 Noon (MST) Hi Corbett Field
LHP Joey Gandolfo (0-1, 9.00) vs. LHP Cody Moffett (1-0, 1.59)
Live Video | GameTracker
|Some Series Themes||Quick Links|
|Arizona has played baseball since 1904, yet has never met Columbia on the diamond ... A frenzied start to the season has seen the Wildcats play 15 games over three weeks, while the Lions are just four games into their young season that began a week ago ... Not much to compare on paper between the programs with no history and contrast in early season scheduled ... Columbia is sure to enjoy a respite from the cold winter storm in the Northeast, but the Old Pueblo is forecast to deal with its version of a winter storm ... Fingers are crossed Mother Nature doesn't affect the schedule ... The Wildcats try to shake a midweek loss to Texas Tech on Wednesday and avoid consecutive defeats for the first time this year ... The Lions try to put a mark in the win column after going 0-for-4 at Lamar ... Spring Break commences on the UA campus this weekend ... The final non-conference weekend for UA before Pac-12 play begins in earnest next Friday against Oregon State ... The 18-game home stand continues for the Wildcats Can the Cats win a weekend series for 21st time in the last 24 chances?||Game Notes (PDF)|
|2013 Season Stats|
|2013 Media Guide|
|College Baseball Rankings|
|Columbia vs. Arizona Statistical Comparison||Arizona Statistical Leaders|
|Columbia||Stat ||Arizona ||Stat ||Player |
|0-4 (0-0 Ivy League)||Record ||11-4 (0-0 Pac-12)||Avg. ||Brandon Dixon (.442)|
|.214||Avg. ||.303||Hits ||Brandon Dixon (23)|
|11||Runs ||118||Runs ||Brandon Dixon (20)|
|27||Hits ||144||RBI ||Trent Gilbert (20)|
|6||2B ||19||2B ||Johnny Field (4)|
|0||3B||13||HR ||Dixon/Field (1)|
|2||HR ||2||OB% ||Brandon Dixon (.530)|
|2-2||SB-ATT ||37-45||SLG% ||Brandon Dixon (.635)|
|.299||OB% ||.412||SB ||Brandon Dixon (11)|
|.310||SLG% ||.410||ERA ||Mathew Troupe (0.00)|
|7.31||ERA ||3.63||IP ||James Farris (23.1)|
|15|| K's ||112||K's ||James Farris (21)|
|Arizona Baseball Game Notes: |
- Arizona has won 21 of its last 24 weekend series, including 10 sweeps.
- UA has a 53-16 (.768) over those last 24 weekends.
- Brandon Dixon leads the Pac-12 with a .442 batting average and a .530 on base percentage.
- Dixon has reached base safely in all 15 games this season.
- Riley Moore has a team-high nine-game hitting streak
- Zach Gibbons has a six-game hitting streak since taking over as the club's leadoff hitter.
- Cody Moffett (1-0, 1.59) earns his first career weekend start on Sunday.
- UA hitters have drawn 100 free passes (74 BB, 26 HPB).
- A total of 13 Wildcats have scored a run and 12 have an RBI this season.
- Kevin Newman is hitting .353 (12-for-34) in his last 10 games.
- Arizona, a .364 hitting team with runners in scoring position, was only 6-for-24 (.250) and left 16 runners on base in two games vs. Texas Tech.
- Of UA's four losses, three have come in games it failed to record an extra base hit.
- James Farris is five strikeouts from 100 for his career.
UA-Texas Tech Recap: Arizona split its midweek series against Texas Tech with a 6-2 victory on Tuesday and a 5-2 setback on Wednesday ... The Wildcats received strong starting pitching performances each day, with Tyler Crawford working eight innings to earn a win in the opener and freshman Tyger Talley pitching six innings with one run allowed in his starting debut ... The Wildcats hit the ball well (.328) for the series, but struggled to produce many runs because a 6-for-24 (.250) average with runners in scoring position stranded 16 runners in the series ... The opportunistic deficiencies came back to bite the Wildcats on Wednesday, as UA led 1-0 after six innings, but finished the game 3-for-13 RISP and left 12 on base. That allowed the Red Raiders to capitalize on a five-run seventh inning after Talley, who had a no-hitter through five innings, was pulled from the game ... Junior Johnny Field broke out of a mini slump with four hits and two runs scored in the series, while freshman leadoff hitter Zach Gibbons matched him with four hits and two runs ... Brandon Dixon collected three hits and reached base in each game to extend his season-long reached base streak to 15 games.
Arizona Head Coach Andy Lopez: The Wildcats are coached by Andy Lopez, who is now in his 12th season with a 414-250-1 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 1,101-668-7 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 1,101-668-7 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 (414-250-1 from 2002-13).
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.
Keeping the Talent In State: The Wildcats can boast a pretty impressive pitching staff just including its pitchers from the state of Arizona. This weekend, all three starters attended high school in the Phoenix area. Saturday Starter James Farris and new Sunday starter Cody Moffett both hail from Highland High School in Gilbert, Ariz., though they are two years apart. Meanwhile Friday night pitcher Konner Wade, who is 16-3 in his three-year career, attended Chaparral High School in Scottsdale, Ariz., as did freshman Tyger Talley, who made his first career start on Tuesday. Then you add Tyler Crawford, a lefty, who graduated from Sunrise Mountain High School in Glendale, Ariz., and you have a formidable five-man rotation. Together, the `Zona-Five have an 8-1 record and a 2.61 ERA with 65 strikeouts in 82.2 combined innings this season.
`K'onner Wade: Friday starter Konner Wade has picked up where he left off in 2013, picking up a pair of wins over his first three starts. The 6-foot-3, 190-pound right-hander is 2-0 with a 4.29 ERA on the young season, while he has held opponents to a .235 batting average to go with 16 strikeouts against three walks. The Scottsdale, Ariz., native ranks tied for seventh in the Pac-12 with 21.0 innings pitched this season, having worked into the seventh inning in all three starts. In his three years with the Wildcats, Wade boasts a 16-3 record, a 3.78 ERA and 149 strikeouts against 59 walks in 219.0 innings pitched. He is on the preseason watch list for the Golden Spikes Award, presented annually to the top amateur player.
Steady Farris: Saturday starter James Farris has opened his junior campaign with an impressive 3-0 record and a 2.70 earned run average. The 6-foot-2, 215-pounder, Farris leads the club and ranks tied for third in the Pac-12 with 21 strikeouts, while he has limited opponents to a lowly .190 clip to rank seventh in the league. With 23.1 innings pitched, the right-hander tops all conference hurlers entering this weekend's action, and has done so by issuing only four walks (1.54 per 9 IP). Named the Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week following a one-run, eight-inning effort against Coppin State (Feb. 16) in his first start of the year, Farris has pitched into the eighth inning in all three starts this season. As a sophomore, Farris posted a 7-3 record, a 3.97 ERA and 73 strikeouts in 106.2 innings pitched, paced by three complete games. For his career, Farris owns a 10-3 record, a 3.98 ERA, 95 strikeouts only 27 walks in 131.0 innings.
Marvelous Moffett: Freshman Cody Moffett, who will make his first weekend start on Sunday, had appeared in just two games with 2.0 innings pitched before he was tabbed as the Wednesday starter against Utah Valley last week (Feb. 27). 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 (March 3) 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 held opponents to a .135 average over 11.1 innings.
Run Producers: Arizona enters this weekend's series with 37 more runs scored than the next-closest Pac-12 team (Oregon State, 81). The Wildcats have seen their 118 runs scored spread across 13 players, while 12 have at least three runs batted in. The key run scorers have been Brandon Dixon (20), Johnny Field (19), Riley Moore (14) and Trent Gilbert, who rank No. 1, No. 2, t-No. 3 and t-No. 8 individually in the Pac-12, respectively. In terms of RBI, Gilbert (20), Dixon (17), Ryan Koziol (13), Kevin Newman (13) and Johnny Field (12) rank No. 1, No. 2, t-No. 5, t-No. 5 and No. 8, respectively. Of UA's 118 runs scored, 108 have been driven in.
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 .442 (23-for-52) through 15 games this season. The average not only is tops on the club, but also ranks best among all Pac-12 players, with only three others currently above .400. Dixon also leads the league in on-base percentage (.530), runs scored (20), base hits (23) and stolen bases (11). With three doubles, a pair of triples and a homer to his credit already this year, Dixon is slugging .635, ranks No. 5 in the conference. The Murrieta, Calif., native has already surpassed his 2012 season total of 14 RBI with 17 this year, and his 10 stolen bases in 11 attempts has surpassed his career-high of eight a season ago.
Johnny Baseball: Center fielder Johnny Field is the reigning Pac-12 batting champion a preseason honoree of the Golden Spikes Award watch list. He has solidified his role as UA's No. 3 hitter in the lineup, a spot he has been penciled into for all 15 games. The 5-foot-10, 195-pounder is batting .310 with four doubles, a triple and a homer. He has a dozen runs batted in and ranks second in the Pac-12 with 19 runs scored. An All-Pac-12 player as a sophomore, Field is a .337 career hitter. He has 165 hits, 126 runs scored and 88 RBI in his 132-game Wildcat career.
Gibby Getting' It Done: Freshman outfielder Zach Gibbons moved into the leadoff spot of the batting order six games ago and he's put together a nice six-game hitting streak. The Scottsdale, Ariz., native is batting .409 (9-for-22) with a double and a triple, plus six runs scored, which ties for second-most on the club in the six games. The 5-foot-11, 174-pounder has done an excellent job putting the ball in play and getting on base, evidenced by his four walks and .481 on-base average against only two strikeouts in the stretch. Gibbons, who has started in left field, right field and at designated hitter, is hitting .400 (12-for-30) with eight runs and three RBI in 12 games played this season. He is 3-for-3 in stolen base tries.
Eye of the Tyger: Freshman right-hander Tyger Talley made the most of his first career start in Tuesday's midweek loss to Texas Tech. The 6-foot-2, 219-pound right-hander allowed just one run in six-plus innings of the no-decision effort. The Scottsdale, Ariz., native struck out three, walked two and allowed just two hits on the afternoon. The performance likely earns him another midweek start against Butler next week, and pushes him up the chart as one of the top right-handed relievers to set up closer Mathew Troupe. On the year, Talley has tallied a 1.74 ERA and eight strikeouts in 10.1 innings pitched.
Crawford Bounces Back: Tyler Crawford has proven himself to be a reliable spot starter and long reliever in his two seasons with the Wildcats. That's why his short outing in a 3-1 loss to Utah Valley (Feb. 26) was a bit surprising. The lefty bounced back, though, in his start this past Tuesday against Texas Tech. Crawford earned the victory in his longest career outing (8.0), which included a career-best five strikeouts and no walks allowed. For the season, Crawford is 2-1 in three starts, and has a 1.62 ERA and 12 strikeouts in 16.2 innings over four total appearances.
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 .321 and committing just one error over 15 starts. Coaches wanted Newman in the lineup for his defensive skills and he hasn't disappointed, leading all Pac-12 players with 45 assists and helping UA turn 12 doubles plays over 15 games - all starts. But Newman has also provided some offensive punch, too. The 6-foot-1, 175-pounder has scored 11 runs and is tied for third on the team with 13 runs batted in. He is 5-for-5 in stolen base tries and is reaching base at a .391 clip with just two strikeouts.
Tough to Strikeout: Arizona hitters have proven to be tough to strikeout early in the season, collecting the third-fewest strikeouts (65) of any conference team (Stanford - 62, Utah - 63). But the Wildcats have played three more games than the Cardinal and five more than the Utes, leaving UA as the club with the fewest strikeouts per game (4.33). 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.
Throw Strikes: Arizona pitchers have done a solid job in the early part of the season avoiding free passes, but it's also an area the group wants to clean up this weekend and going forward. For the season, UA pitchers have 112 strikeouts and 42 walks allowed - a 2.7:1 ratio that averages out to 2.8 walks per game. Over the last five games, that figure has crept up to 3.2 with 16 walks. Add in six hit batsmen, and opponents are getting 4.4 free passes per game in the last five contests.
Gettin' On Base: Arizona's .412 on-base percentage narrowly trails UCLA (.413) for the best mark in the conference. The Wildcats have a Pac-12-leading 144 base hits, but they've also a league-high 74 walks and been hit by a pitch the second-most times (26). That adds up to exactly 100 free passes earned by UA hitters this season. Brandon Dixon, the Pac-12 leader with a .530 on-base percentage, has drawn five walks and been hit seven times. But no Wildcat has reached more on free passes than Riley Moore, who has been hit once and drawn 12 walks, which is tied for the most of any Pac-12 player.
Cats on the Move: The Wildcats like to put the pressure on opposing defenses, evidenced by 37 stolen bases in 45 attempts through 15 games. The 37 swipes are more than double the next-closest Pac-12 Conference team (UCLA has 18). Brandon Dixon leads the club with 10 steals (in 11 attempts), a new career-high for the junior and tied for the most by any conference player to date. Freshmen Scott Kingery (5-for-6), Kevin Newman (5-for-5), Zach Gibbons (3-for-3) and Cody Ramer (3-for-3) have combined for 16 steals in 17 attempts on the young season. A total of 10 players have stolen a base for Arizona.
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 .315with two doubles, a triple, 14 runs scored and eight RBI. Moore is tied for the Pac-12 lead with 12 walks drawn over 15 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 15 games this year to the final 20 from last year, Moore is hitting .333 (42-126) with 30 runs scored over his last 35 games played.
Troupe Time: Sophomore closer Mathew Troupe is off to a dominating start in 2013 and already has four saves to his credit. In seven appearances, Troupe has racked up 15 strikeouts against four walks and four hits in 8.2 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).
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 310-30-1 (.912) in the last 341 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 9-1 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 15 games, the 2013 club is hitting a shade over .300 (current: .303).
Up Next: Arizona continues its frenetic early season schedule with five more games next week to wrap up an 18-game home stand. The Wildcats host Butler for a pair of midweek games (March 12-13), before opening Pac-12 Conference play against No. 4 Oregon State with a three-game series at Hi Corbett Field (March 15-17).