Wildcats Wrap Regular Season With Dixie State
TUCSON, Ariz. — The No. 6 Arizona Wildcats (38-14, 21-9 Pac-12) put a cap on their regular season with a three-game series against the Dixie State Trailblazers (23-30, 21-15 WAC) this week at Hi Corbett Field.
First pitch for all three games on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday is set for 6:00 p.m. MST. The entire series will be broadcast live on Wildcats Radio 1290 AM with Brody Dryden on the call and available to view online via Arizona Live Stream.
Arizona secured at least a share of the 2021 Pac-12 Championship and the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament with last weekend's results. The Wildcats would secure an outright Championship with one Oregon loss in their road series at California this week.
For more, a complete weekend preview is below.
|Date||Time (MST) / Result||Arizona Pitcher||Dixie State Pitcher|
|Thursday, May 27||6:00 PM||TBA||RHP Dillon Holliday (5-2, 4.53)|
|Friday, May 28||6:00 PM||RHP Chase Silseth (7-1, 5.01)||RHP Jimmy Borzone (3-5, 6.68)|
|Saturday, May 29||6:00 PM||LHP Garrett Irvin (5-1, 3.51)||RHP Brett Porthan (2-0, 6.00)|
- The Wildcats and Trailblazers have never met prior to this weekend. This is the first season of Division I play for Dixie State.
- Arizona secured at least a share of the Pac-12 Championship and the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament with last weekend's results. The Wildcats thrilling 6-5 comeback victory over Oregon State on Saturday, coupled with Stanford's extra-innings victory over Oregon, clinched the co-championship for Arizona.
- The Wildcats can still win an outright Pac-12 Championship with one loss from Oregon in their series at California this weekend.
- Arizona has scored at least one run in 161 straight games. They have not suffered a shutout loss since falling 1-0 at Washington on March 17, 2017. Their 161-game scoring streak is the longest active scoring streak in the Pac-12.
- With a 2-1 weekend in Corvallis, the Wildcats wrapped up conference play with a record of 21-9. It marks just the third time in program history that Arizona has won 20+ conference games. 21 conference wins is second most in school history (23, 1989).
- True freshmen Daniel Susac (12) and Jacob Berry (14) have combined for 26 home runs this year. They are the first pair of Arizona freshmen to both hit double-digit home runs in program history.
SOME SERIES THEMES: The Arizona Wildcats finish their regular season schedule with a three-game home series against the Dixie State Trailblazers this week...All three contests will be broadcast live on Wildcats Radio 1290 AM with Brody Dryden on the call and available to view online via Arizona Live Stream...This week will mark the first meeting between the Wildcats and the Trailblazers...Dixie State is currently competing in their first season at the Division I level...Arizona secured at least a share of the Pac-12 Championship and the league's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament with last weekend's results...The Wildcats thrilling 6-5 comeback victory over Oregon State on Saturday, coupled with Stanford's extra-innings victory over Oregon, clinched the co-championship for Arizona...The Wildcats can still win an outright Pac-12 Championship with one loss from Oregon in their series at California this weekend...With a 2-1 weekend in Corvallis, the Wildcats wrapped up conference play with a record of 21-9... It marks just the third time in program history that Arizona has won 20+ conference games...21 conference wins is second most in school history (23, 1989)...Since the final stretch of the 2019 season, which ended on a 10-game win streak, Arizona has rolled to the tune of an impressive 58-19 (.753) record with 17 series victories...The Wildcats enter the weekend ranked in all five major national polls as a unanimous Top 10 program...Arizona is currently ranked No. 6 by D1Baseball and Collegiate Baseball, No. 7 by the NCBWA and the USA Today Coaches Poll, and No. 8 by Baseball America...The Wildcats are also currently No. 6 in the RPI against the 14th-toughest schedule in the country...Arizona's offense continues it's years-long trend of dominating the Pac-12 — the Wildcats currently lead the conference in runs, hits, doubles, triples, RBI, walks, batting average, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, total bases, and extra-base hits while placing third on the circuit in home runs...Their dominance extends beyond the Pac-12; Arizona is currently fifth in the nation in scoring with an average of 8.8 runs per game while their 459 runs lead all of Division I...Freshman designated hitter Jacob Berry was named to the semifinalist list for the 2021 Dick Howser Trophy, which is awarded annually to the nation's top college baseball player...Dixie State is led by ninth-year head coach Chris Pfatenhauer, who has led the Trailblazers to an overall record of 277-158-1 during his time in St. George...Pfatenhauer is assisted by a pair of former Wildcats; assistant coach Bobby Rinard played in 70 games for Arizona from 2010-11, including two appearances in the 2010 Fort Worth NCAA Regional, and pitching coach Zach Wilkins, who previously spent two years (2018-19) as a graduate assistant at Arizona.
STREAKONOMICS: Outfielder Donta' Williams leads the team with an active eight-game hit streak. Over the course of his streak, Williams is hitting .500 (15x30) with four multi-hit performances, 12 runs, four doubles, one home run, four RBI, eight walks, a .605 on-base percentage, and a .733 slugging percentage. No other player currently has an active hit streak of five or more games. Williams has reached base safely in 38 consecutive games, the longest on-base streak of his career and tied for the 6th-longest streak of the StatCrew era. During his streak, dating back to March 13 versus Air Force, Williams has posted a .536 on-base percentage to go alongside a .368 (49x133) batting average, 50 runs, 32 RBI, 18 extra-base hits, 35 walks, and 14 HBP. Catcher Daniel Susac (22 games) and infielder Nik McClaughry (12 games) also currently sport extended on-base streaks.
PAC-12 CHAMPIONS: With their series victory over Oregon State, coupled with Stanford's series win over Oregon, the Arizona Wildcats last weekend secured at least a share of the 2021 Pac-12 Championship. Arizona finished the conference slate with a record of 21-9 and a win percentage of .700 — if Oregon completes a road series sweep at California this weekend they would match Arizona's .700 win percentage and earn a co-championship. However, one Oregon loss this weekend would give the Wildcats their first outright Pac-10/12 Championship since 1992. By virtue of their 2-1 series win against the Ducks earlier this season, the Wildcats have already clinched the Pac-12's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. An outright championship for Arizona would be the program's first since division play ended in 1999. With at least a share of the conference title in hand, the Wildcats have now won 10 league titles in program history, five of which have been Pac-10/12 Championships. Arizona's 21 conference wins this season are the second-most in program history, behind only the 1989 squad's 23 Pac-10 victories.
RECORD WRECKER: Freshman catcher Daniel Susac spent the Wildcats 30 Pac-12 contests dominating the circuit, and in turn has thoroughly rewritten many of the Wildcats freshman conference records. During Pac-12 play, Susac hit .363 (45x124) with 28 runs, 12 doubles, one triple, eight home runs, 34 RBI, a .669 slugging percentage, and a .397 on-base percentage. In those 30 games, Susac picked up multiple hits in 12 of them and drove in multiple RBI seven times. He also reached base safely in each of the Wildcats final 18 conference contests. When it was all said and done, Susac broke or tied eight Arizona freshman conference records, leaving his mark on the program for years to come. Fellow freshman Jacob Berry tied with Susac in hits and home runs during conference play to also break and tie those records, respectively.
Arizona Freshman Conf. Records Broken/Tied by Susac
|Hits||45||Broken||Damon Mashore, 43 (1989)|
|Doubles||12||Broken||Damon Mashore, 10 (1989)|
|Home Runs||8||Tied||Shelley Duncan, 8 (1999)|
|RBI||34||Tied||Austin Wells, 34 (2019)|
|Extra-base hits||21||Broken||Mashore/Wells, 17 (1989/2019)|
|Total bases||83||Broken||Damon Mashore, 72 (1989)|
|Slugging%||.669||Broken||Austin Wells, .597 (2019)|
THE BIG FOUR-OH: With two more wins this weekend, Arizona would surpass 40 regular season wins for the first time since going 40-18 in 1989 and for just the 13th time in program history. In those 12 previous 40+ win regular seasons, twice the Wildcats went on to win the College World Series (1976, 1986). Andy Lopez posted one 40+ win season (2007), Frank Sancet notched four (1956, 1961, 1962, 1970), and Jerry Kindall accomplished the feat seven times (1974, 1975, 1976, 1978, 1985, 1986, 1989).
BABY BOMBERS: True freshmen Daniel Susac (12) and Jacob Berry (14) have combined to hit 26 home runs this year. They are the first pair of Arizona freshmen to both hit double digit home runs in a single season in program history. On top of that, Berry and Susac are the most prolific true freshman power duo in the nation this season. Just one other school in the country (Texas Tech) has two players classified as freshmen each with 11+ home runs, but both of their players are not first-year freshmen. Susac and Berry's eight home runs in Pac-12 play tie Shelley Duncan's conference freshman HR record set in 1999. Their extensive accomplishments have earned them extensive national recognition — Berry was tabbed to midseason watch lists for the Golden Spikes Award and Bobby Bragan Collegiate Slugger award and earned a semifinalist selection for the Dick Howser Trophy, while Susac was named a semifinalist for the Buster Posey Nationall Collegiate Catcher of the Year Award.
CAST AWAY: Arizona's bullpen has excelled at stranding inherited baserunners this year — as a group they have combined to inherit 175 baserunners and allowed only 60 of them (34.3%) to come around and score. Three relievers — senior right-hander Preston Price, freshman righty Dawson Netz, and freshman southpaw Riley Cooper — have been particularly adept at leaving baserunners longing. Price has inherited 22 baserunners and only allowed three (13.6%) of them to score. Price has inherited at least one baserunner in 10-of-12 appearances this year and has been saddled with multiple inherited runners in 7-of-12 outings. Twice this season — March 5 vs. Oklahoma and March 26 vs. Oregon — Price has inherited a bases-loaded situation and did not allow a single run to score. Cooper's 29 inherited runners lead the team and only seven (24.1%) of them have scored. Netz has picked up 21 inherited baserunners through his 22 appearances and allowed just six (28.6%) of them have scored.
MILESTONE MEN: Several Wildcats are quickly approaching or have recently reached significant career milestones:
- C, DANIEL SUSAC
- 20 doubles in 2021: One double shy of tying Arizona freshman record (Jett Bandy, 21, 2009)
- 33 extra-base hits in 2021: Tied for Arizona freshman record (Shelley Duncan, 33, 1999)
- DH, JACOB BERRY
- 75 hits in 2021: Eight hits shy of tying Arizona freshman record (Brad Boyer, 83, 2003)
- 62 RBI in 2021: Six RBI shy of tying Arizona freshman record (Shelley Duncan, 68, 1999)
- 33 extra-base hits in 2021: Tied for Arizona freshman record (Shelley Duncan, 33, 1999)
- .381 AVG: Currently on pace to break Arizona freshman record (Dave Page, .374, 1981)
- .716 SLG: Currently on pace to break Arizona freshman record (Shelley Duncan, .640, 1999)
- .471 OBP: Currently on pace to break Arizona freshman record (Austin Wells, .462, 2019)
- OF, DONTA' WILLIAMS
- 39 career hit by pitch: Tied for 4th most all-time in program history. Three HBP shy of tying Brad Glenn (2006-09) for 3rd all-time
- RHP, VINCE VANNELLE
- 11 career saves: 8th all-time on Arizona's career saves leaderboard. Two saves shy of moving into a tie for 6th all-time with Joe Estes (1983-86) and Carlos Rico (1991-92)
- Seven saves in 2021: Tied for 10th most in a single season in program history. One more save would move him into a tie for 7th all-time
- LHP, RILEY COOPER
- 15 appearances in 2021: Arizona freshman conference record (previously: 14 - Nick Cunningham, 2010; Gil Luna, 2018)