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'Thursday Night Baseball' preview: Utah at No. 7 Arizona

Apr 20, 2017
Utah Athletics / Arizona Athletics

Who: Utah Utes at No. 7 Arizona Wildcats

When: Thursday, April 20 at 6 p.m. PT/ 7 p.m. MT 

On the Call: Daron Sutton and J.T. Snow on Pac-12 Network, Pac-12 Arizona and Pac-12 Mountain

Where: Hi Corbett Field in Tucson, Arizona. 

The Utes will head to Hi Corbett Field to take on a top-10 ranked Arizona team that's won 10 of their last 12 games following a sweep at Oregon State. This series will be an offensive showdown: Utah as a team is batting .286, but Arizona ranks first in the conference, and third in the NCAA, with a .332 average. 

In the visitor's dugout: Utah (5-10 Pac-12, 14-17 overall)

Utah is coming off a series sweep against Cal and looking to keep its momentum going as they try and climb the Pac-12 standings. They'll have a few offensive threats at the plate to rely on...

Dallas Carroll, INF, Senior:

Carroll leads the Utes in every major category, boasting a .389 average with 30 RBIs and four homers. He's also got some speed on the basepaths, too:

DaShawn Keirsey Jr., OF, Sophomore:

Keirsey's got speed and one of Utah's more solid bats. He picks up where Carroll leaves off, racking up a .336 average, 28 runs, 21 RBIs and four triples. He's a run saver in the outfield, too:

Jayson Rose, RHP, Junior:

Rose will get the start Thursday coming off an eight-inning, four-hit outing against Cal in which he allowed one unearned run and whiffed three. He struck out eight Oregon State Beavers in the outing before, allowing just two earned runs to the top-ranked team in country through seven innings of work. He has a 4.04 ERA on the season, so the 'Cats – one of the best offenses in the NCAA – will have a wall to climb.

In the home dugout: Arizona Wildcats (9-6 Pac-12, 26-9 overall)

The Wildcats' overall record is keeping them in second above UCLA in the Pac-12 standings. Looking for some separation, they'll to take advantage of a streaky Utes squad. Arizona is 9-1 at Hi Corbett this season, so the home field advantage in Tucson is real. They also lead the Pac-12 in almost every offensive category. Their nine-run per game average ranks second nationally. Here's who you should watch for at the plate:

JJ Matijevic, INF, Junior:

Matijevic's .418 average ranks seventh in the nation. He went 6-for-12 in their series against Oregon with three RBIs. He leads the team in RBIs (42), home runs (6) and slugging percentage (.685).

Jared Oliva, OF, Junior: Oliva is hitting .357 on the season. He went 4-for-12 with a two-run double in three games against Oregon and 6-for-14 against WSU.

Alfonso Rivas, OF, Sophomore:

Rivas' .415 average ranks ninth nationally. He's on a hot streak too, coming off a 5-for-5 game in Arizona's last outing against Oregon. He went 8-for-13 on the series.