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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Playing the Field

Mike+Christy+%2F+Arizona+Daily+Wildcat%0A%0AThe+Arizona+Wildcats+baseball+team+hosted+the+Rice+University+Owls+on+Wednesday%2C+March+2%2C+2011%2C+at+Frank+Sancet+Field+in+Tucson%2C+Ariz.+The+visiting+Owls+rode+an+8-run+fifth+inning+to+win+11-7.
Mike Christy
Mike Christy / Arizona Daily Wildcat The Arizona Wildcats baseball team hosted the Rice University Owls on Wednesday, March 2, 2011, at Frank Sancet Field in Tucson, Ariz. The visiting Owls rode an 8-run fifth inning to win 11-7.

When Johnny Field stepped onto the Arizona campus in August, neither he nor head baseball coach Andy Lopez knew how much he would contribute as a true freshman.

Now 21 games into the season, both have their answer — Field’s invaluable.

Field has appeared in 18 games, is fourth on the team with a .358 batting average and leads the team with a slugging percentage of .612.

“”It’s not too much of an adjustment (to college),”” Field said. “”Where I played was pretty competitive. We traveled around and played top teams. It’s not too big of a difference. The game’s a little quicker but that’s about it.””

If junior Steve Selsky hadn’t been suffering from a broken bone in his hand during the preseason, Field wouldn’t have gotten a chance to be an everyday player. But Selsky returned on March 15, and Field is now relegated to a role as Arizona’s fourth outfielder.

Still, the Las Vegas native will be a key part of Arizona’s season.

Lopez said that having someone like Field will make it easier to give some players off days throughout the season, which only helps with successfully completing the grind of a Pacific 10 Conference season.

“”(Field) is making a pretty comfortable spot for himself right now,”” Lopez said. “”He’s a good player, a real good player.””

Field, who was also a standout wrestler at Bishop Gorman High School, came to Arizona as an infielder, but Lopez said that he would only be playing in the outfield for the foreseeable future.

Even though that transition might be difficult for some, Field has made it almost seamlessly, and is usually good for at least one highlight defensive play per game.

Field has also shown a mindset that focuses only on the team, and not individual accomplishments.

“”As long as I can help the team out,”” Field said, “”I’m happy.””

Frenzel on fire

Coming into the 2011 season, first base was the only position that Arizona needed to replace after losing Rafael Valenzuela to graduation. But a casual observer wouldn’t have noticed up to this point in the season, with everyday first baseman Cole Frenzel starting the season on a tear — reaching base in all 21 of Arizona’s games so far.

Frenzel is second to only Joey Rickard in batting average and on-base percentage, hitting .413 and reaching base at a .510 clip.

The 6-foot-1, 215-pounder has also proven to be a threat on the base path, converting on all five of his stolen base attempts in 2011.

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