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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Looking ahead

Annie Marum / Arizona Daily Wildcat

Baseball vs. South Dakota St- 2.18
Annie Marum
Annie Marum / Arizona Daily Wildcat Baseball vs. South Dakota St- 2.18

The next four weeks will decide the postseason fate of the Arizona baseball team.

The Wildcats, sitting at 27-16 overall and 9-9 in Pacific 10 Conference play, will host Alcorn State this weekend before continuing Pac-10 play next week by traveling to Washington State and Stanford, then returning home to host Washington.

Arizona started off the season ranked No. 19 in the Baseball America Preseason Poll, but the Wildcats were dropped from the rankings after a series loss to UCLA in April, in the middle of a stretch in which Arizona dropped four of its first five Pac-10 series.

Arizona won four of five series openers during that streak behind ace Kurt Heyer (6-3, 2.56 ERA), but bullpen struggles on Saturdays and sporadic starting pitching from Tyler Hale (3-4, 5.26 ERA) on Sundays prevented the Wildcats from capturing a series victory.

The rest of the schedule appears favorable for Arizona. After sweeping Southern California last weekend, the Wildcats won’t play a team in the top half of the conference standings, and the two Washington schools have a combined conference record of 9-24.

Although Arizona’s bullpen struggled at the start of conference play, it has become a strength in the past two weeks — getting all three wins against Southern California.

On the opposite end of the spectrum, the Arizona offense leads the conference in nearly every statistical category. The Wildcats lay claim to a .325 batting average, a .456 slugging percentage, a .387 on-base percentage, 486 hits, 272 RBIs, 19 triples and 683 total bases — all leading the conference.

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