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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Arizona hosts Washington Huskies at home

Arizona+baseball+infielder+Kevin+Newman+scoops+up+the+ball+during+Arizonas+17-6+win+over+ASU+at+Hi+Corbett+Field+on+April+28.+Newman+and+the+Wildcats+will+host+Washington+over+the+weekend.
Alex McIntyre

Arizona baseball infielder Kevin Newman scoops up the ball during Arizona’s 17-6 win over ASU at Hi Corbett Field on April 28. Newman and the Wildcats will host Washington over the weekend.

Arizona baseball will host Washington in a crucial three-game series, coming off a much needed series win over Washington State. The Wildcats are 27-18 overall, 11-13 in Pac-12 Conference play and could desperately use a series sweep to keep their postseason hopes alive. Washington enters the series at 24-21 overall and 9-15 in conference play.

Arizona outscored Washington State 19-10 over three games and finished the series with a bang, scoring two runs in the top half of the 11th inning of the final game to pick up the series victory.

The Huskies may not have that kind of confidence boost fresh in their minds, but they did play their last home game in front of the largest crowd at Husky Park in program history, as 2,360 fans showed up to watch Washington fall 4-1 to Oregon State.

Coming into this weekend’s series, Arizona and Washington sit at sixth and ninth in the conference standings, respectively. While the two schools are close in the standings, their season stats show they specialize in different areas: Arizona in hitting and Washington in pitching.

Arizona leads the conference in team batting average at .305, runs at 306, team slugging percentage at .439, triples at 20 and is tied for first in hits with 476. The Wildcats are also second in the conference in total at-bats, RBIs, walks drawn and stolen bases.

Second baseman Scott Kingery and infielder/pitcher Bobby Dalbec lead the way for the Wildcats offensively.

Kingery is first on the team in batting average at .416 and runs at 49, and second on the team in both RBIs (35) and slugging percentage (.619). Dalbec leads the team in home runs (14), RBIs (46), slugging percentage (.642) and stolen bases (17).

On the flip side, Washington is third in the conference in team ERA, second in complete games and saves, and third in shutouts and innings pitched.

The Huskies have had seven pitchers start a game this season, with Tyler Davis leading the way at 12 starts.

Davis has allowed 34 runs, 23 walks and struck out 78 batters in his team leading 92 innings pitched. He also holds an ERA of 2.93 and a 6-5 record for the Huskies.

Not far behind Davis is Noah Bremer at 5-2 overall with a 2.10 ERA and 31 strikeouts in 64.1 innings of work.

Essentially, something is going to have to give this weekend. Either the Wildcats’ bats will come out strong, or the Huskies’ arms will cut down those bats.

This is the first and only series of the season between these two teams and is a chance for each to assert itself before postseason play. For Arizona coach Andy Lopez, it’s the last time his team will have a Pac-12 series this season in the friendly confines of Hi Corbett Field.

Despite losing seven straight games at home in April, Arizona is 18-11 at Hi Corbett Field this season and will look to make its last stand there.

First pitch of game one of the series is slotted for 7:30 p.m. on Friday, with game two set for Saturday at 7 p.m. and game three scheduled for Sunday at 6 p.m. All three games will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks.

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Follow Roberto Payne on Twitter.

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