The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

82° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Baseball readying for conference play

Mike Christy / Arizona Daily Wildcat

The Arizona Wildcats baseball team hosted the Rice University Owls on Wednesday, March 2, 2011, at Frank Sancet Field in Tucson, Ariz. The visiting Owls rode an 8-run fifth inning to win 11-7.
Mike Christy
Mike Christy / Arizona Daily Wildcat The Arizona Wildcats baseball team hosted the Rice University Owls on Wednesday, March 2, 2011, at Frank Sancet Field in Tucson, Ariz. The visiting Owls rode an 8-run fifth inning to win 11-7.

Getting his team early road experience was crucial for Arizona baseball head coach Andy Lopez’s plan at the start of the season, and with conference play looming, road maturity will be essential to the team’s success. The No. 11 Wildcats head to Tempe to take on the No. 9 Sun Devils on Friday to start Pacific 10 Conference play. On March 11, the Wildcats (14-5) routed the Northern Colorado Bears in a three-game sweep, before heading out Kansas to face the Wichita State Shockers in a mid-week series.

The welcome wasn’t warm, as the Shockers capitalized on a weak Arizona bullpen on Tuesday, scratching away a 5-1 Wildcat lead and coming out on top with a 6-5 win in 11 innings.

On Wednesday, neither the Wildcat pitching staff nor the offense could get anything going, and they were saddled with their first series loss of the season falling 8-3.

What’s been working

The offense:

Other then Wednesday’s performance where they Wildcats only managed to play three runs, their offensive game has been evident throughout the entire season.

With pre-season All-American Steve Selsky returning to action after recovering from a hand injury, it was the Arizona offense that annihilated the University of San Francisco Dons, 14-0 on Saturday.

Selsky went 3-for-5 with four RBI and also managed his first home run of the season against USF.

The starting pitching:

Kurt Heyer secured his third win on Saturday hurling 11 strikeouts, which matched his season high, over 7.0 innings on the mound.

The other weekend starters, Kyle Simon and Tyler Hale, have both been solid throughout the beginning of the season as well.

What hasn’t

The bullpen:

The young Arizona pitching staff has had a tough time over the first 19 games.

A poor relief effort was the reason the Wildcats lost their 5-1 lead on Tuesday, but there is cause to be optimistic.

Both Nick Cunningham and Bryce Bandilla came in to secure the shutout in Saturday’s contest and Lopez is still trying to figure out what’s working for his team.

It is certain, however, that come Friday the coaching staff will have its team in prime position to run through its conference schedule.

More to Discover
Activate Search