Cats, Cougs Open Three-Game Set

April 16, 2010

Washington St. (19-11, 3-3 Pac-10) at No. 21 Arizona (23-9, 4-5 Pac-10)
Tucson, Ariz. | Jerry Kindall Field at Frank Sancet Stadium

Series Schedule/Probable Starting Pitchers

Friday, April 16 | 6 p.m. | Live Stats | Radio: KCUB AM-1290
RHP Chad Arnold (3-1, 3.33 ERA) vs. RHP Kurt Heyer (4-0, 2.16)

Saturday, April 17 | 6 p.m. | Live Stats | KCUB AM-1290
LHP David Stilley (1-0, 3.48 ERA) RHP Kyle Simon (5-2, 2.93)

Sunday, April 18 | Noon | Live Stats | KCUB AM-1290
TBA vs. LHP Bryce Bandilla (3-3, 4.60 ERA)

Some Series Themes: The Cats and Cougars meet up in a key mid-season conference series that could determine leveraging in the conference standings and for the postseason … UA, which is 20-5 at home this season, returns home from a stretch of seven straight road games in which is went 3-4, but most recently won three of four games in the Pacific Northwest … Meanwhile, WSU, which is 5-7 on the road, is riding high after taking two-of-three games from No. 1 Arizona State last week in Pullman and from mid-week victories over Seattle and Gonzaga … The schools have traded sweeps the last two seasons, with the home team prevailing in each … Neither club lives with the long ball as the Cats have 24 and the Cougars have 17, but both will drive balls in the gaps as they have combined for 142 doubles … Arizona hits .351 and has a team ERA of 3.90, while WSU hits .304 and has a team ERA of 4.33 … Errors have been an issue at times for both clubs, as the Cats have committed 13 in nine leagues games while the Cougs have committed 12 in six conference tilts … Don’t go to sleep on base runners as both clubs like to steal bases and have combined for 109 steals in 145 attempts.

UA-WSU Series History: The Cats and Cougs have met 41 times in the series dating back to 1975 … The Wildcats lead the series 25-16 … The schools have traded sweeps over the last two seasons, with UA taking three games in Tucson in 2008 and WSU returning the favor in Pullman last year … Interestingly, the first meeting between the two teams was in Riverside, Calif., in 1975.

Pacific NW Recap: Arizona picked up its first three road wins of the season last weekend as it took two-of-three games from Washington and one from Gonzaga to wrap up a stretch of seven-straight road games … Against the Pacific Northwest schools, UA hit .300 as a team and blasted seven home runs, including two each by Steve Selsky, Rafael Valenzuela and Robert Refsnyder … The Cats received three tremendous pitching performances headlined by Kyle Simon’s complete game, three-hitter in which he guided UA to a 9-1 victory on Sunday to clinch the series against the Huskies … Kurt Heyer improved to 5-0 on the season as he shut down the Huskies in a 7-2 UA victory last Friday night … Joe Allison and Augey Bill, who picked up his first win, combined for seven innings and limited the Bulldogs to two runs as UA held on to win 5-4 on Monday … Nearly half of UA’s base hits (19 of 42) went for extra bases, including 10 doubles, seven homers and two triples … Valenzuela was the hot bat in the lineup all weekend as he went 8-for-16 with a double, a triple, two homers, six runs scored and four RBI … Bobby Rinard (5-for-11) and Bobby Brown (4-for-9) were key in their various roles as they combined for five starts on the weekend … Jett Bandy and Selsky each roped three doubles and scored four runs.

Cats in the Rankings: Arizona is ranked in four of the five major collegiate polls this week. The Wildcats have moved up to No. 21 in the USA Today/ESPN coaches poll, which is the set of rankings used in the UA releases. After a week out of the poll, UA is ranked No. 24 this week in Baseball America. The Cats check in No. 22 in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association Top 30 poll and No. 19 in the poll.

RPI Facts: Arizona is ranked No. 22 in the RPI ratings released on Tuesday by the NCAA … In non-conference action, Arizona has played No. 12 Cal State Fullerton (2-1), No. 24 New Mexico (2-0), No. 38 Long Beach State (0-2) and No. 60 Wichita State (2-0) … UA is currently 4-4 against RPI Top 25 teams … Of UA’s 20 opponents this season, 13 of them rank in the Top 70 of the RPI … Of UA’s 55 games scheduled this season, 38 (69 percent) have been played against or will be against teams in the current Top 70 with just 17 falling outside the Top 70 … Five Pac-10 teams rank in the Top 25 of the RPI, while eight rank in the Top 50. All Pac-10 teams rank in the Top 70 … The Pac-10 is the only conference to have all of its schools in the Top 70, although the SEC has 11 of its 12 in the Top 70 … The ACC has nine schools in the Top 70 and the Big 12 has eight.

It’s Good to Be Back: The Wildcats are glad to be back at home this weekend to host the Cougars after a season-long seven straight road games in which UA went 3-4. Arizona posted a 20-5 record over its season-long homestand of 25-consecutive home games to open the season, which included a 15-game winning streak. The Wildcats are hitting .372 and reaching base at a .451 clip in home games this season and have a team ERA of 3.96.

Bandy On Bench Award Watch List: Arizona sophomore catcher Jett Bandy is one of nine players added to the official watch list for the 2010 Coleman Company-Johnny Bench Award delivered by Papa John’s Pizza, The Greater Wichita Area Sports Commission announced this week. The 6-foot-4 Bandy, who has started all 32 of UA’s games, including 26 behind the plate, leads the Wildcats and ranks second in the Pacific-10 Conference with a .438 batting average. He has collected 58 hits and scored 38 runs, marks that rank second-best among league players. Bandy’s on-base percentage (.516) and slugging percentage (.672) rank third and fourth in the conference, respectively. He is one of three Wildcats with 30 RBI. In 79 career games, Bandy has a .360 batting average with 105 base hits. He has belted 39 doubles in his one and a half seasons and roped nine homers. He has more career walks (29) than strikeouts (27), and already ranks in UA’s top-5 for career hit by pitches with 23.

Miscellaneous Diamond Notes: Arizona continues to be one of the nation’s top offensive teams, boasting averages of 8.4 runs and 12.6 hits per game … UA’s pitchers have held opponents to 4.8 runs and 9.2 hits per game … Steve Selsky (18 games) and Jett Bandy (10) have double-digit streaks for consecutive games with a base hit … UA has six players who have strung together 10+ games consecutively with a hit … UA has three players with five home runs or more – Steve Selsky (6), Jett Bandy (5) and Joey Rickard (5) – which matches the total number of players with 5+ homers from a season ago … The Cats have played 19 games under the three-hour mark out of 32 games this season … The Cats have 88 two-out RBI this season, which is 34 more than their opponents have. In fact, UA hits .319 as a team with two outs compared to opponents .247 clip … Alex Mejia (SS), Joey Rickard (CF) and Steve Selsky (RF) are the only three players to start all 32 games at the same position. Jett Bandy has started all 32 games, but has 26 starts at catcher, two at first base and four as designated hitter.

Approaching 1,000 Wins: Arizona head coach Andy Lopez is quickly approaching one of the greatest coaching milestones: 1,000 Division I career victories. To date, Lopez has 992 career victories, and is one of four coaches within reach of the milestone this season. Already this year, Ohio State’s Bob Todd and LSU’s Paul Mainieri, Sam Houston State’s Mark Johnson, and South Carolina’s Ray Tanner have reached 1,000 Division I coaching victories. Next in line could be Rutgers’ Fred Hill (998). Currently, 44 coaches have reached the milestone. Lopez’s career Division I coaching record is 992-611-7 (.619).

300 Wins: Arizona coach Andy Lopez already has reached one coaching milestone this season: 300 wins as the skipper of the Wildcats. UA’s 11-7 victory over New Mexico on March 24 marked win No. 300 in Lopez’s nine seasons in Tucson. At Arizona, Lopez holds a record of 305-193-1 (.612).

In the NCAA: Arizona ranks highly as a team in the NCAA in several statistical categories. Here’s where the Wildcats ranked at the start of this week:

Category                      Stat                         NCAA Rank
Batting Ave.                 .353                        7
Runs/game                  8.5                          34
Hits                               394                         22
Triples                         16                           9
Stolen Bases               65                           22
Sacrifice Bunts           27                           33
ERA                               3.96                        31
Double Plays              36                           15
Winning %                  .710                        26

Selsky Powering Up: Sophomore right fielder Steve Selsky has racked up 17 extra base hits in his last 22 games after hitting just two extra base hits in the first 10 games of the season. Not that Selsky was struggling at the plate to begin the season as he was actually hitting an even .400 through 10 contests. Interestingly, Selsky’s batting average has risen with increased power numbers in the last 22 games. Selsky is now hitting .434 for the season and has collected 10 doubles, three triples and six homers in the last 22 games.

More on Steve: Steve Selsky has asserted himself as one of the top offensive players in the Pac-10 through the first half of the 2010 season. Selsky leads all conference players with 59 hits on the season and his .438 average is No. 2 in the league. The right fielder’s on-base percentage of .500 is No. 4 in the conference, while his .684 slugging percentage is No. 4 in the Pac, too. He is tied for third in triples and is third in home runs among all league players. Selsky, who drove in only 21 runs last season, is No. 5 with 32 RBI and No. 1 in runs scored with 41.

The Long Ball: Arizona isn’t known as a big home run hitting team in 2010. In fact, through 32 games, the Wildcats have just 24 home runs. However, UA has started to drive more balls out of the park recently, particularly in the trip the Pacific Northwest over the weekend. The Cats had a pair of multi-homer games (they have three on the season) against Washington in Seattle, including a three home run day last Sunday. Another homer at Gonzaga on Monday pushed the UA’s tally to 16 round-trippers in the team’s last 15, much improvement over the open stretch of the season when the Cats tallied just eight dingers in 17 games. For the season, UA has a record of 16-4 when it hits at least one home run and is 7-5 in games without one.

Scoring Early And Often: One thing that the Wildcats have been extremely consistent at doing over the course of the season is scoring runs in bunches early in games. While the Wildcats have out-scored opponents 270-154 on the season, they have dominated opponents by a margin of 150-66 through the first four innings of games. The early leads have been welcomed by the pitching staff and often led to victories. In fact, Arizona is 20-2 this season when it leads after the sixth inning, much because the early leads in games have led to a 203-94 margin after six innings of play. Indeed, the Cats like to score early and often in games.

Make Them Earn It: One thing that Arizona showed solid improvement in last week in Washington was the way it handled the ball defensively. The Cats, who committed eight errors in three games at Cal (April 1-3), did not have an error charged in Seattle against the Huskies, matching UA’s longest stretch of the season for consecutive games without an error (3). In the series at Berkeley, UA’s eight errors contributed to 10 unearned runs scoring in the series. Adding in the three games against Oregon (March 26-28), the Cats had allowed 13 unearned to score, which matched the total allowed through the first 22 games of the season – all non-conference tilts.

‘K’urt Heyer: Entering this week’s action, freshman Kurt Heyer is sixth amongst all Pac-10 pitchers with 54 strikeouts. Of his 54 strikeouts, 24 have been looking, which checks in tops in the league. Heyer’s arm has accounted for 54 of UA’s 239 strikeouts as a team (22.6 percent) despite throwing just 17.2 percent of UA’s innings as a team. On the year, Heyer has a 5-0 record in eight starts with an ERA of 2.16. He has allowed just 10 walks on the season and his 1.8 walks per nine innings ratio is the best mark of all Pac-10 pitchers.

Heyer Standards: Arizona freshman pitcher Kurt Heyer set the bar pretty high for himself in his collegiate debut. He was named Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week and one of “Louisville Slugger’s” National Player’s of the week as announced by Collegiate Baseball for his effort against Utah Valley. Additionally, named Heyer as its West Region Pitcher of the Week. In just six innings of work, the 6-foot-2 right hander struck out 13 batters, tying for second-most ever in a single game by a UA freshman pitcher. A native of Huntington Beach, Calif., Heyer struck out 13 of the 22 batters he faced, allowing just one run on three hits and only one walk. Heyer’s performance paced the Wildcat pitching staff to 17 strikeouts, the most for a UA staff in a single game since the Wichita Regional opening game against Oral Roberts in 2007. Heyer’s 13 strikeouts were the most for a UA pitcher in over two seasons, dating back to Preston Guilmet’s masterful 15-strikeout performance against Stanford in 2007.

Simon Says: Arizona sophomore right-hander Kyle Simon has steadied himself after an up-and-down start to the season and turned in the best performance of his career at Washington on April 11. In the game against the Huskies, Simon tossed a complete game as he allowed just one run on three hits. Earlier this year, Simon won his first decision of the year on Feb 21 against Utah Valley in an eight-inning effort in which he allowed just one run and struck out seven. He then struggled in his next two starts and saw his ERA peak at 5.06 following a second-straight loss on March 6 against Cal State Fullerton. Since, Simon has been brilliant, picking up four wins in five starts, including last week in Seattle, to improve his record to 5-2 and lower his ERA to 2.93. In his last 42.1 innings pitched, Simon has allowed just 14 runs – nine earned (a 1.91 ERA) – and has 18 strikeouts against 10 walks.

Save What? Despite having the third-most wins of any Pac-10 team, Arizona has the fewest saves of any team – two. There are several plausible explanations for that. First, UA has lacked a go-to pitcher that has performed well in the role as a closer. Bryce Bandilla got the first crack, then Nick Cunningham and Tyler Hale. While all have been solid overall, no one has claimed the job permanently, and recently Cory Bernard has had a few ninth-inning appearances despite no save situations. Three weeks ago, UA’s 15-game winning streak was snapped after Nick Cunningham allowed four runs in the ninth and Oregon won 9-8. A second reason for the lack of saves is the fact that Arizona has 17 wins with margins of victory greater than four runs, including five games with double-digit margins. Lastly, when Arizona has failed to close out games on the mound, it has had the luxury to do so at the plate more times than not at home. Playing 25 of 32 games at home, Arizona is 6-3 in games decided by one run or less, with three-walk off wins and two decided by UA’s last at-bat of the game in the eighth inning.

Joltin’ Joey: Freshman centerfielder Joey Rickard has kicked off his collegiate career in impressive fashion. Through 32 games – all starts – Rickard is hitting .338 with five doubles, two triples and is second on the team with five home runs, including a grand slam against Sacramento State on March 20. The Las Vegas native’s 35 RBI not only lead the Wildcats, but ranks second for all Pac-10 players. He also ranks sixth in the league in hits (46) and sixth in total bases (70). He was named Pac-10 Player of the Week on March 15 following a sensational five-game stretch. In the field, he’s patrolled the spacious Kindall Field outfield like a veteran, serving as a key component in the middle of UA’s defense.

Steady Senior: On the youngest team in the Pac-10, Rafael Valenzuela offers a dose of veteran leadership. The senior first baseman is hitting .323 on the season and is one of the team’s top run-producers. Valenzuela, who has played every position in his career except catcher, pitcher and centerfield, has scored 38 runs and collected 27 RBI. He is one of the club’s top extra-base threats with nine doubles, four triples and three home runs on the season, for a solid .528 slugging percentage. He is also a swift 8-for-9 in stolen base attempts. Valenzuela turned in one of his best weekends in the Pacific Northwest April 9-12, as he helped lead UA to two wins over Washington and one over Gonzaga. In the four games, Valenzuela was 8-for-16 at the plate with two homers, a double and a triple. He scored six runs and collected four RBI.

Seth Steps Up: One of UA’s top performers during the first half of the season is freshman third baseman Seth Mejias-Brean. The first-year Wildcat is hitting .402 since March 5, which has improved his season batting average from .176 on March 6 all the way to its current .364. Mejias-Brean has also been UA’s third-best run-producer during the stretch, collecting 23 RBI over the last 25 games while scoring 17 runs. Included was his first career home run on March 14 against Northern Colorado, a solo shot to center field. The week prior, Mejias-Brean began to break out of his early-season slump as he delivered a clutch game-winning single in the 11th inning of opener of the Cal State Fullerton series on March 5. Two days later, Mejias-Brean drove in three runs in the 10-1 series clincher. For his performance, Mejias-Brean was named to the Primetime Performer Weekly Honor Roll by

Pac-10 POWs: A pair of freshmen – Joey Rickard and Kurt Heyer – have been named Pac-10 Player/Pitcher of the Week this season, along with sophomores Jett Bandy and Steve Selsky … Selsky was named Pac-10 Player of the Week on March 29 after hitting 10-for-20 on the week and accounting for 17 total runs to go with two home runs … Bandy was named Pac-10 Player of the Week on March 22 after hitting .600 over a five-game stretch in which the Wildcats improved their winning streak to 11 games … Rickard helped lead the Wildcats to a pair of sweeps last week over Saint Joseph’s (March 10) and Northern Colorado (March 12-24). The 6-foot-1 native of Las Vegas hit .579 for the week, scored six runs and collected nine RBI in five games. Additionally, Rickard reached base five times with a walk and was twice hit by a pitch, yielding a .692 on base percentage, to go with five stolen bases … Heyer, in just six innings of work, struck out 13 batters against Long Beach State on Feb. 25, tying for second-most ever in a single game by a UA freshman pitcher. A native of Huntington Beach, Calif., Heyer struck out 13 of the 22 batters he faced, allowing just one run on three hits and only one walk.

Clean Takeoff: Sophomore catcher/first baseman Jett Bandy has been one of UA’s top offensive performers in the team’s first 32 games. Bandy, who tied for the team lead with 21 doubles a year ago, leads the club in average (.438) and in on-base percentage (.533), while his .672 slugging percentage trails only Steve Selsky. He also is second in runs (38) and hits (56), and is second in home runs (5) and third in RBI (30).  Just as impressive, in 128 official at-bats, Bandy has struck out only eight times on the season. For his career, Bandy has struck out just 27 times in 292 at-bats, or less than once every 10 at-bats. Pretty good figures for a power bat in the lineup. Bandy was named Pac-10 Player of the Week for the first time in his career on March 22.

Carry Over: Jett Bandy’s hot start to 2010 can be traced back to the second half of the 2009 season when he was one of UA’s steadiest offensive weapons. Including the final 22 games he played as a freshman, Bandy is hitting a robust .403 (85-for-211) with 40-percent of his hits going for extra bases (26 2B, 8 HR). In the 54-game span, Bandy has collected 46 RBI and scored 48 runs. As a freshman, Bandy earned freshman All-American recognition by Collegiate Baseball and set a UA record for freshmen by being hit by a pitch 14 times. He was plunked three times against Cal State Fullerton March 5-7, and is now 5th all-time at Arizona in career HBP after being hit nine times this season for a career total of 23.

Refsnyder Rollin’: Freshman Robert Refsnyder is one of four regular freshman starters for the Wildcats and he as quietly put together a sensational first half of the season. Refsnyder, who can play various positions including left field, third base and second base, is third among UA regulars with a .400 batting average to go with 25 runs scored and 28 RBI. His batting average currently ranks No. 7 in the Pac-10, while his .467 on base percentage is No. 10 in the league. His 48 hits are third-most on the club and fourth-most in the conference. Refsnyder has also stolen five bases in six attempts on the season and has been hit by a pitch eight times, which is tied for second-most on the squad.

Top 25 Wins: Taking two-of-three games from No. 18 Cal State Fullerton March 5-7 was significant to the Wildcats for a handful of reasons. But, perhaps the most significant reason was that they picked up a pair of wins over a  Top 25 team. In 2009, Arizona was just 1-14 against Top 25 teams, including 1-9 against such teams in Tucson. Starting off 2-1 at home against ranked foes should give the Wildcats a confidence boost when they face some of the remaining ranked teams on the schedule later this season. The Wildcats also swept Wichita State in two games (March 16-17), which was ranked No. 25 in the Collegiate Baseball poll.

UA’s 15-Game Winning Streak: Arizona mounted a 15-game winning streak from March 7 – March 27, the sixth-longest winning streak in program history and the seventh-longest home winning streak. Included in the streak were wins over Cal State Fullerton (1), Saint Joseph’s (2), Northern Colorado (3), Wichita State (2), Sacramento State (3), New Mexico (2) and Oregon (2).

Turning Two: The Wildcats have turned a league-best 38 double plays (34 on ground balls) on the season with Bryce Ortega and Alex Mejia factoring into 27 and 28, respectively. The total double plays ranks No. 15 in the entire nation and has been a pitcher’s best friend throughout the season. The two usual suspects in turning two have also been UA’s busiest defenders. Mejia leads the Pac-10 in total assists (113), followed closely by Ortega, who is second (100). That’s some good early season work for the middle of UA’s infield.

2,500-Win Club: Arizona’s 8-1 season-opening victory over Utah Valley was the 2,500th win as a program dating back to its first season in 1904. Only six other schools have reached the milestone, including Fordham (4,024 wins in 149 seasons), Texas (3,157 in 113 seasons), Southern California (2,652 in 115 seasons), Michigan (2,633 in 136 seasons), Stanford (2,596 in 116 seasons) and Arizona State (2,601 in 98 seasons). All-time, Arizona is 2,521-1,334-22.

Young Cats: With only two seniors and 17 freshmen, Arizona is the youngest team in the Pac-10 conference this season. In fact, the Wildcats have 23 underclassmen on their roster, which doesn’t include three junior college transfers to the program. A look around the rosters at other league schools finds that UCLA and California have 15 freshmen apiece. While the Conference is thin on seniors at most every school, only Oregon State has as few seniors as the Wildcats do.

Double the Fun: The Wildcats have hit at least one double in 29 of the 32 games this season. A year ago, UA hit a double in 52 of 55 games, including the first 30 of the season. Adding in the final two games of 2008, the Wildcats have doubled in 83 of their last 89 games (93 percent). Interestingly, after hitting 133 doubles a season ago (2.42 per game), UA had just 17 through the first 10 games of 2010 (1.7 per game). However, the Wildcats belted 13 doubles in the double-header against Saint Joseph’s on March 11, improving the season total to 30. The Cats added seven in three games against Northern Colorado and seven more against Wichita State, and their current total of 69 on the season averages out to 2.16 per game. Jett Bandy, who tied for the team lead with 21 a season ago, again leads the club with 15 to date.

.300 Club: Through 28 games, the Wildcats are hitting .358 as a team, in line with recent UA clubs that have finished the season over .300. In fact, Arizona’s last seven teams have hit .300 or better for the season. The best figures were turned in by the 2003 and 2005 clubs, which each hit .328 respectively. Last year’s ’09 team was next in line with a .314 average. The 2004 College World Series team hit .305 as did the 2006 team. The Wildcat clubs of 2007 (.306) and 2008 (.301) also were above .300.

Unselfish Play: Arizona’s 5-4 victory in 13 innings over UNLV on March 3 included a record-tying performance by the Wildcats. UA executed five different sacrifice bunt plays to move runners up, tying the school single-game record previously establish at California on April 1, 2006. Interestingly, that game also lasted 13 innings. The last of this year’s five sacrifice hits proved to be the game winner as Alex Mejia successfully put a bunt down with a runner a second and an errant throw to first allowed the winning run to come in to score from second. On the season, UA has 13 sacrifice bunts in 12 games.

MLB Players: Arizona has a rich tradition in baseball and the excellence has continued well into the Andy Lopez era, evidenced by the number of former Wildcats who play in the major leagues. In 2009, 10 different Wildcats – eight coached by Lopez – played at the highest level of baseball. Here’s the list: Brian Anderson (CWS, BOS), Trevor Crowe (CLE), Shelley Duncan (NYY), Trevor Hoffman (MIL), Nick Hundley (SD), Mark Melancon (NYY), John Meloan (OAK), Brad Mills (TOR), Ryan Perry (DET) and Daniel Schlereth (AZ).

Home Sweet Home: The Arizona Wildcats are in the midst of a 26-game homestand to open the season at Jerry Kindall Field. That’s right, the Cats don’t hit the road until their Pac-10 opener at California on April 1 – and that’s no April Fools’ joke. It’s the longest stretch of home games in over 30 years for Arizona, which has stretches of 11 (2002) and 16 games (1998) to open seasons in recent years. The 1979 club opened its season with 24-straight games, but even that pales in comparison to the school’s longest streak. In 1967, the Wildcats hosted 39 home games before ever going on the road. As it relates to this year’s group, the Wildcats hope to continue success at home. Since the current Jerry Kindall Field at Frank Sancet Stadium opened in 1967, the Wildcats have emerged victorious in 1,068 games overall, having won nearly 70 percent of the games played. UA has posted 39 home winning seasons since 1967 with an average of 25 wins per year at the field. In 1974 the Wildcats were nearly perfect in Tucson, posting a 37-1 home record, and they went 28-4 at home in 2007 to record the best home winning percentage (.875) since 1976.

New Coaches: Head Coach Andy Lopez has introduced two new coaches to the program. Shaun Cole, who served as the baseball operations director last season, as assumed an assistant coaching position this season and he will work with the pitching staff. Brett Scyphers, a former player under Lopez in the 2005-06 seasons before becoming a three-year team manager, has been named the volunteer assistant coach. The duo brings a youthful combination of playing experience and baseball knowledge that hits home with players. Both officially joined the program prior to the start of the fall practice season.

Hitting in the Pac-10: Here’s a look where Arizona ranks statistically in the Pac-10 in offensive categories (all games) entering this weekend:

Category                      Stat                         Pac-10 Rank
Batting Avg.                 .351                        1
Slugging %                   .501                        2
On Base %                   .426                        2
Runs Scored                270                         2
Hits                               404                         1
RBI                                245                         2
Doubles                       69                           5
Triples                         16                           2
HR                                 24                           4
Walks                          118                         6
Strikeouts                    153                         10 (fewest)
HPB                               42                           4
Stolen Bases               69                           2

On Deck: Arizona will travel up the road to Tempe to take on rival and No. 1-ranked Arizona State in a non-conference game on Tuesday, April 20. The Wildcats will then host No. 2 UCLA in a three-game conference series at Kindall Field/Sancet Stadium April 23-24.


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