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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Arizona baseball takes on Utes in key weekend series

Carmen Valenica

Arizona pitcher Randy Labaut (17) throws the ball during the baseball game against Oregon at Hi Corbett Field on April 13.

Arizona baseball will host the Utah Utes in a three-game series this weekend after coming off a series win over the Oregon Ducks. The Wildcats are 26-9 overall, 9-6 in the Pac-12 Conference and have a strong record of 19-1 at home. Utah comes into the series with a 14-17 overall and 5-10 in the conference.

Arizona made an offensive comeback after dropping the first game of the series against Oregon, taking the next two games. The ‘Cats finished the series outscoring the Ducks 18-4 to pick up the series victory at home.

Coming into this weekend’s series, the Wildcats continue to hold a place in the top ten, ranked No. 6 according to Baseball America. The Utes remain unranked in the NCAA standings after taking their last series win against California.

Arizona leads the NCAA with a scoring an average of 9.0 runs and stand at No. 2 with a batting average of .322 and 2.71 doubles per game.

Junior first baseman JJ Matijevic and sophomore outfielder Alfonso Rivas lead the Pac-12 conference offensively.

Matijevic is currently ranked No. 6 in the NCAA and first on the team in batting with an average of .418 with 61 hits along with 42 RBIs and a slugging percentage of .685. Rivas comes close behind being ranked No. 7 in the NCAA with a batting average of .415 and 38 RBIs.

Despite Arizona’s strong bullpen with the return of JC Cloney, the Utes stand at No. 6 in the conference with a 3.95 ERA with Arizona following close behind at No. 7 with an ERA of 4.09. Utah junior pitcher Jayson Rose leads the Utes and is seventh in the Pac-12 with 49 strikeouts. Rose is 4-2 on the year with a 4.04 ERA.

The Wildcats will need to continue to stay strong with their bats if they want to keep a strong record at Hi-Corbett Field.

The first pitch of game one of the series will be at 6 p.m. Thursday, April 20, followed by game two set for Friday at 7 p.m. and game three is scheduled for Saturday at 6 p.m.. The three game series will be broadcast on Pac-12 Networks.

Follow Syrena Tracy on Twitter.

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