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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Arizona baseball hosts Harvard for first time in school history

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When the Arizona baseball players receive their schedule at the beginning of the season, head coach Andy Lopez writes down the date and the time and nothing else.

No mention of the opponent because, for Lopez, it doesn’t matter.

“(I teach this every) day that they come out,” he said. “Really, our opponent is a secondary issue, whether it’s Harvard or Auburn or Stanford or ASU, it’s how Arizona plays the game, and we missed that the last couple of weeks.”

The No. 7 Wildcats (5-2) will have a chance to clinch their first series sweep of the season against the Harvard Crimson in a three game matchup this weekend.

Tonight’s contest will mark the first time in the 107-year history of Arizona baseball that it will take on Harvard.

The Wildcats have already had time to adjust with seven games in the books so far, but tonight’s game is the first of the regular season for Harvard.

While the Crimson are not supposed to be contenders in the Ivy League this season, Arizona junior right fielder Robert Refsnyder knows that his opposition certainly has the ability to pull an upset.

Refsnyder, who’s hit safely in all seven games and is leading the Wildcat starters with a .448 average, also said the series sweep will come eventually, it’s just going to take the right mindset.

“We just need to be mentally tough,” he said. “I’m sure it will help to get used to the three-game schedule, but it should be simple enough, we’re on the field for nine innings and we should give our all.”

This past offseason, Refsnyder got a chance to play some summer ball with a few of the guys from Harvard.

“We definitely won’t be the smartest guys on the field, I’m sure,” Refsnyder joked. “They execute the game well and I’m sure they’re conscious of every inning.”

Bullpen, bullpen, who’s got the bullpen

Friday and Saturday starters Kurt Heyer and Konner Wade have been lights out to start the 2012 campaign, but the guys waiting behind them, not so much.

So far, Lopez has been calling on his juniors, like Nick Cunningham and Stephen Manthei, to step up but nothing’s been doing it.

Cunningham is the owner of a horrendous ERA of 18.00 through 2.1 innings pitched and Manthei is not much better, with an ERA of 12.00 through three innings.

“I still want to see those juniors perform, and they should, they have a better resume,” Lopez said. “They’ve been in postseason games; they’ve pitched in postseason games, as opposed to some of the freshmen. They’re also at the end of their careers here and I want them to throw well on a consistent basis, and I haven’t seen that yet.”

As of now, it’s actually some of the freshmen that are showing a presence on the mound, like Lucas Long and Mathew Troupe, who’ve been dealing well for Lopez so far.

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