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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Baseball wins Pac-12 title, set to host NCAA regional

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For the first time in 20 seasons, the Arizona baseball team is the Pac-12 conference champion and was gifted an elusive home series to start NCAA play beginning June 1. This is also the first time in 20 years an NCAA regional will be played in Tucson.

The four-team weekend series will begin Friday and Arizona is the No. 1 seed in the regional, with New Mexico State, Louisville and Missouri joining the Wildcats in Tucson.

The last time Arizona hosted a regional was in 1992. This was also the last time head coach Andy Lopez won an NCAA title, with Pepperdine University.

Arizona learned its postseason fate in the fourth inning of Sunday’s regular season finale against rival Arizona State. At the time, the Wildcats had a 4-0 lead and were on their way to their first series victory over ASU since 2008. The Sun Devils rallied, and were able to come back from a 7-1 lead to tie the game in the ninth inning.

Sophomore Johnny Field — who also won the Pac-12 batting title — stepped into the batter’s box and on a 1-1 pitch, drove the ball into the outfield, ending the game 8-7 with a walk-off single. The win, coupled with UCLA’s win over USC means that Arizona and UCLA finish the regular season tied for first place.

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