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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Arizona baseball 2024 season preview

Arizonas+starting+pitcher+throws+a+fastball+to+start+the+game+against+Hermosillo+at+Kino+Veterans+Memorial+Stadium+on+Oct.+5.+Arizona+held+Hermosillo+to+just+one+run+the+whole+night.%0A
Mason Kumet
Arizona’s starting pitcher throws a fastball to start the game against Hermosillo at Kino Veterans Memorial Stadium on Oct. 5. Arizona held Hermosillo to just one run the whole night.

With spring approaching, Arizona Wildcat baseball fans can start to get excited for the upcoming season. The University of Arizona baseball team’s first game is a home opener at Hi Corbett Field against the No. 23 ranked Northeastern University on Friday, Feb. 16. This is one of 26 games that will be played at Hi Corbett Field.

The following week the Wildcats will host Utah Tech University on Tuesday, Feb. 20 before traveling to Southern California for a three-game road series against San Diego State University Feb. 23-25.

The Wildcats then travel to Texas for the Frisco College Baseball Classic where they will face Dallas Baptist University, the University of Alabama and Indiana University. This will be a very competitive event considering all three opponents made last year’s NCAA Tournament.

Conference games start with a three-game road series against the USC Trojans March 8-10. Following the conclusion of the regular season will be the third annual Pac-12 Baseball Tournament. This tournament is hosted at Scottsdale Stadium May 21–25. There are high hopes for the Wildcats this year, as they have made the NCAA Tournament three years in a row and are looking to win it all this year.

This will be Chip Hale’s third season as head coach for the Wildcats. Hale had an impressive start to his coaching career at Arizona, finishing with a winning record each year. Last year, the Wildcats finished runner-up in the Pac-12 Tournament before reaching the NCAA Tournament for the 42nd time in program history.

The Wildcats will be without some of their key players from last year’s team. Chase Davis, who led the team with a batting average of .362, was drafted 21st overall by the St. Louis Cardinals in the 2023 MLB draft. Mac Bingham, who was second on the team in batting average (.360), transferred to Louisiana State University this offseason. Third on the team in batting average was Kiko Romero, who batted .345. Romero was drafted in the seventh round of the 2023 MLB draft by the New York Yankees.

Senior outfielder Emilio Corona is expected to be the Wildcats’ best offensive player. Corona had an impressive .336 batting average last year. Pitcher Bradon Zastrow is another returning senior who is expected to have a big role for the Wildcats. In 2023, Zastrow led all Wildcat starting pitchers who pitched a minimum of three games in starts, wins and ERA. In addition to these key returning players, Hale recruited 14 high-level players from the high school and college ranks. Easton Breyfogle, an outfielder from Edina, Minnesota, is one of the 14 new players coming to Arizona. Breyfogle was a highly recruited player and was the No. 3 ranked prospect in Minnesota by Perfect Game.


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