The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

74° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

“UA, OSU set for pitching battle”

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.
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.

After dropping two of three games against No. 5 ASU to open Pacific 10 Conference play, the No. 18 Arizona baseball team is eager to get back into the conference schedule.

The Wildcats get that chance this weekend when they host No. 23 Oregon State for a three-game series in Arizona’s first home stand of Pac-10 play.

“”Now we’re at home, and we need to make up some ground,”” head coach Andy Lopez said. “”We have to play well.””

Friday night’s pitching matchup pits two of America’s top starting pitchers — Arizona’s Kurt Heyer and OSU’s Sam Gaviglio — against one another.

Heyer has a 1.33 ERA while Gaviglio touts a .39 ERA.

“”(Gaviglio) is outstanding, he has almost Bugs Bunny-like numbers,”” Lopez said. “”Our pitching matchups are good, so we just have to play good defense and hopefully get a couple clutch hits.””

As tough as the pitching will be this weekend, Arizona’s offensive players appear ready for the challenge.

“”We’re feeling pretty confident,”” Robert Refsnyder said. “”We have to get the bats going. (Gaviglio) has been real remarkable with what he’s done.””

Starting pitching won’t be the only display of hurlers this weekend. Though Arizona’s projected closer Bryce Bandilla hasn’t been effective, his struggles have opened the door for junior left-hander Matt Chaffee at the back of the bullpen.

“”It’s good that I’m getting to go out there almost every day,”” Chaffee said. “”I’m just trying to get a better feel for all of my pitches and working to get better every day.””

Chaffee has been one of Arizona’s most reliable arms, going 3-1 out of the bullpen with a WHIP of 1.3, with a team-high 16 appearances.

Fast facts

– Opponents are hitting a measly .229 against Heyer so far in 2011. As dominant as the sophomore has been, Gaviglio has given up just 20 hits this year, with only one going for extra bases — good for a .128 batting average against.

– Since 1998, the Arizona-Oregon State series is nearly even. Arizona holds a slight edge, 20-19.

– Arizona centerfielder Joey Rickard leads the nation in hits with 48 and is second in batting average, hitting at a .475 clip.

– As a team, Arizona is fifth nationally in batting average, hitting .337. Temple University leads America with an average of .368.

If you go

What: Arizona vs. Oregon State

Where: Frank Sancet Stadium

When: Friday, 6 p.m., Saturday, 1 p.m., Sunday, noon.

More to Discover
Activate Search