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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

Arizona baseball heads to the Bay Area to face No. 4 Stanford

The Wildcats have a tall task ahead of them


Amelia McAnear

Arizona shortstop Nik McClaughry slides into second in a game against West Virginia on Feb. 26 at Hi Corbett Field. The Wildcats went on to win the game 15-5. 

Nathaniel Levin

The Arizona baseball team, who sits at 26-20 (9-15 in Pac-12 play), will travel to the San Francisco Bay Area to face off against No. 4 Stanford University, who sits at 32-13 (18-6 in Pac-12 play). The first game of the three-game series starts on Friday, May 12, at 5:35 p.m.

Arizona travels to Stanford winning three of their last four games, while Stanford enters this weekend’s matchup winning eight of their last nine games. So far this season, road games have not been a favorite for the Wildcats, as they hold a record of 2-12 on the road. On the other hand, the Wildcats have been fantastic at home, boasting a home record of 21-7

“Our guys are very comfortable in our ballpark,” Arizona head coach Chip Hale said following Friday night’s win. “We just need to do a better job on the road.” 

The Wildcats and the Cardinal are two of the best offenses in the Pac-12. Specifically, Arizona leads the conference and ranks ninth nationally with a team batting average of .319, while Stanford ranks second in the conference with a team batting average of .307

The Stanford offense includes several guys who are capable of producing and making an impact on the team. For instance, the Cardinal offense has six players with nine or more homers, 33 or more RBIs and a batting average over .270: Alberto Rios (13 HR, 51 RBI, .386), Carter Graham (11 HR, 51 RBI, .295), Braden Montgomery (11 HR, 40 RBI, .319), Tommy Troy (10 HR, 33 RBI, .380), Malcolm Moore (9 HR, 38 RBI, .287) and Drew Bowser (9 HR, 34 RBI, .271). 

Three Cardinal players have an OPS greater than 1.000, slugging over .585 and an on-base percentage higher than .460: Rios (1.195 OPS, .705 SLG, .490 OBP), Troy (1.133 OPS, .669 SLG, .464 OBP) and Montgomery (1.059 OPS, .589 SLG, .470 OBP). 

On the other side of the field, Stanford has some great pitchers. Their rotation is highlighted by their three starters: Quinn Mathews (6-3, 2.76 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 107 SO), Matt Scott (5-3, 4.66 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 50 SO) and Joey Dixon (4-0, 5.21 ERA, 1.44 WHIP, 68 SO). Mathews has been devastating for hitters all season, ranking second nationally with 107 strikeouts

The Cardinal bullpen has struggled this season but includes some key players: Brandt Pancer (1-0, 4.09 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, 33 SO), Ryan Bruno (2-0, 4.81 ERA, 1.52 WHIP, 41 SO), and Drew Dowd (7-2, 5.02 ERA, 1.49 WHIP, 57 SO). If the Wildcats can test the untrustworthy Stanford pen, then they definitely have a chance to pull off the upset over the N0. 4 team in the nation. However, the Wildcats will need to overcome the road struggles that have plagued them all season. If the Wildcats can stay focused and composed, then their offense can certainly lead them to victory on the road over Stanford.

Follow Nathaniel Levin on Twitter

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