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Wildcat Roundup: Baseball on postseason track

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Stan Liu / Arizona Athletics
Arizona pitcher Nathan Bannister (35) pitches the ball during Arizona’s 4-1 victory over Stanford on Friday, April 15.

Arizona baseball cracks national rankings; Bannister earns conference honors

It’s looking more and more likely that Arizona baseball will reach the postseason in head coach Jay Johnson’s first year leading the program.

Following a three-game sweep over California, Arizona now leads the Pac-12 Conference win column with a 10-8 league record and sits a half-game back of conference leaders Washington and Utah.

The rest of the country is beginning to take notice.

The Wildcats entered the latest national rankings, according to D1Baseball.com and Collegiate Baseball, which both have Arizona in the top 25.

Arizona is one of just two Pac-12 teams in the latest D1Baseball poll, along with No. 10 Oregon State.

Johnson’s team also leads the conference in RPI at No. 30 nationally.

A big part of the Wildcats’ success has been the stellar pitching of senior Nathan Bannister, who tossed a three-hit shutout against Cal this Friday.

Bannister was named the Pac-12 Conference Pitcher of the Week on Monday for the second time in three weeks. He has a 6-1 record on the season with a 2.57 ERA.

Bannister will likely make his next start Thursday night, when the Wildcats begin their three-game series at USC. Opening pitch is slated for 7 p.m., and the game will be televised on Pac-12 Networks.

Women’s golf headed to NCAA Regional

Arizona women’s golf was selected to the NCAA Tournament on Monday and will compete at the Byran, Texas, regional next week. Texas A&M is hosting the regional, which will take place at the Traditions Club.

The Wildcats, who placed fourth at the Pac-12 Championships last week, are the No. 3 seed in the regional behind top-seed UCLA and No. 2 seed Georgia.

In total, 18 teams will compete at the regional.

“We predicted Texas A&M I have been there before and we have a couple players that have played there before, so we are excited to head to Bryan, Texas,” Arizona women’s golf coach Laura Ianello said in a statement to Arizona Athletics. “We played there in the National Championship in 2011. It’s a gorgeous golf course, a championship style course, and I know the ladies will do really well.”

Lindsey Weaver, Krystal Quihuis, Gigi Stoll, Jessica Vasilic and Haley Moore will compete for the Wildcats, according to a release from Arizona Athletics.

Steve Kerr named NBA Coach of the Year

Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr was named the NBA’s Coach of the Year on Tuesday after guiding the Warriors to a record-setting season.

Kerr, who missed the first 43 games of the regular season to due back surgery complications, earned 64 first-place votes, well more than Terry Stotts of the Portland Trail Blazers.

The ex-Wildcat will be honored with a trophy before the Warriors take on the Houston Rockets on Wednesday night, according to an article on ESPN.com.

Luke Walton received one second-place vote and two third-place votes, having served as the Warriors interim head coach during Kerr’s early-season absence.


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