Arizona 2012 Baseball World Series Capsule

Arizona Wildcats
Pac 12 (38-17, 20-10)

The Arizona Wildcats have had a bit of a new beginning for their program as they moved into the long-time spring training ballpark of several MLB clubs over the years, Hi Corbett Field. The Wildcats have been a very difficult out this season as they are among the Pac-12 elite and are one of the sixteen host spots for Regionals in 2012. Coach Andy Lopez has always put a pretty consistent product on the field and this year is no different. The question will be whether or not they can put it together and make a run to Omaha as they have not been back since 2004.

Big Wins: 3/14 at Rice (8-5), 3/24, 3/25 at Oregon State (5-4, 7-5), 3/30-4/1 vs Stanford (8-7, 4-2, 6-2), 4/13 vs UCLA (4-3), 5/5 vs. Oregon (12-6)
Bad Losses: 2/18 vs North Dakota State (2-8), 3/16 vs Washington State (0-6), 4/4 at Utah Valley (4-5), 4/6 at Utah (6-7), 5/19 at USC (4-8)
Coach: Andy Lopez (11 seasons at Arizona)

Why They Can Surprise:
This offense is very difficult to stop when it gets rolling. The Wildcats are hitting well over .300 as a team and they can score against just about anyone as opponents have an ERA of over six against the Wildcat offense. Also, winning five road series in league play proves that this team can produce anywhere, not just in hitter friendly Hi Corbett Field. A key player to watch is Johnny Field. He sets the tone with his plate discipline and has an almost 1.75 to 1 walk to strikeout ratio. This team won’t beat you playing long ball, but they get on base by making great contact and they run wild on the bases. Joey Rickard and Robert Refsnyder have stolen over 20 bases combined and Arizona has stolen about 70 bases as a team. Kirk Heyer is the workhorse on the mound and has gone the distance five times so far this season, saving the bullpen in weekend series.

Why They Can Disappoint:
A deep postseason run is going to depend on how the rest of the pitching staff holds up. After Heyer, it gets interesting as James Farris and Konner Wade, the other two primary starters, have been vulnerable throughout the season. The bullpen is a possible question mark as well as closer, Matthew Troupe, is only a freshman. It will be interesting to see how he reacts to the pressure packed post-season stage where games are usually a bit closer and lower scoring.  One mistake could put the Wildcats in a loser-out game earlier than one might expect.  

Key Field Players:
Johnny Field, Sophomore, IF/OF, .379 BA, 31 RBI, 10 SB
Robert Refsnyder, Junior, OF, .359 BA, 6 HR, 57 RBI, 12 SB
Seth Mejias-Brean, Junior, IF, .351 BA, 52 RBI
Alex Mejia, Junior, IF, .357 BA, 46 RBI
Joey Rickard, Junior, OF, .310 BA, 22 RBI

Key Pitchers:
Kurt Heyer, Junior, Starting Pitcher, 2.03 ERA, 11-2 W/L, 119.2 IP, 91 SO
Matthew Troupe, Freshman, Closer/Starter, 3.98 ERA, 3-1 W/L, 31.2 IP, 39 SO, 6 SV

By the Numbers:
Batting Average: .326 (4th in nation, 1st in conference)
Scoring Offense: 7.2 (8, 1)
Doubles per Game: 2.04 (28, 2)
Triples per Game: 0.54 (4, 1)
Home Runs per Game: 0.35 (199, 11)
Slugging Percentage: .444 (21, 2)
Stolen Bases per Game: 1.35 (61, 2)
Earned Run Average: 3.97 (99, 8)
Fielding Percentage: .966 (136, 10)
Double Plays per Game: 0.83 (101, 6)

Recent Postseason Appearances:

2011Regionaldefeated Wright State, defeated Texas A&M, lost to Seton Hall, defeated Seton Hall, eliminated by Texas A&M
2010Regionaldefeated Baylor, lost to TCU, eliminated by Baylor
2008Regionaldefeated Eastern Michigan, defeated Michigan, defeated Kentucky
2008Super Regionaleliminated by Miami (FL)
2007Regionaldefeated Oral Roberts, defeated New Orleans, lost to Wichita State, eliminated by Wichita State
2005Regionaldefeated Missouri, defeated Cal State Fullerton, lost to Cal State Fullerton, eliminated by Cal State Fullerton

*all team stats through 5/20

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