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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Seen and Heard: Arizona baseball still working out the kinks at Hi Corbett Field

Amy Webb
Amy Webb / Arizona Daily Wildcat UA Baseball vs. NDSU in the opening weekend of the season and on Hi-Corbet Field.

Despite the success of the 2011 Arizona Baseball team, there was one thing continually plaguing the program throughout all of last season — the empty seats at Sancet Stadium.

Some Friday nights last season, the silver color of the bleachers was more prominent than cardinal and navy, while Sunday afternoons were even worse.

The highest home attendance set for a single game last year was 2,238, when ASU came to Tucson — and even then there seemed to be more maroon and yellow in the stands.

If opening weekend was an attendance barometer, then the issue looks like a thing of the past.

The Wildcats packed in almost 2,000 fans on Sunday alone, so if this can continue, Arizona baseball will actually have solid fan support this season.

While opening weekend was a success for the Wildcats, it was clear that Hi Corbett Field was still getting used to its new residents.

Let’s take a look at some of the odds and ends that made up Arizona’s memorable opening weekend.

Beer, beer and more beer

If there’s one thing that will draw a crowd it’s beer. At times it even seemed there were almost more fans waiting in line for a cold one then there were in the bleachers.

The system was a little complicated however. Patrons had to wait in line to get a wristband and then wait in another line to actually get their beer.

Still, the low prices must have made the wait worth it.

The lines got more efficient as the weekend went on, partly due to a smaller crowd, but also, according the athletic department, the stadium management had each concession stand more well-trained and well-staffed for the rest of the weekend.

Mic check

The PA system needed a little tending to after it blew out three times before Friday’s opener had even started.

It cut out twice during the opening lineups and once during the national anthem.

Luckily, the crowd picked up on cue and finished off the anthem.

Mejia a switch hitter?

For the first time in his two-year career at Arizona, preseason All-American shortstop Alex Mejia walked up to the plate swinging left-handed.

Mejia had been battling a lingering wrist sprain and said it was more comfortable to swing lefty.

Originally, Arizona head coach Andy Lopez had told Mejia that they would just use him to bunt, but Mejia decided around 3:30 Friday afternoon that he would hit left-handed instead.

On his second at bat, the righty-turned-lefty hit a rope up the middle to center field for a base hit.

Lopez just sat back and smirked.

“Anybody that doesn’t know him, you just need to take the time to get to know Alex Mejia,” Lopez said. “He’s a pretty special young man.”

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