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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Arizona baseball’s dominating rotation making noise in the Pac-12

Colin Prenger
Colin Prenger / Arizona Daily Wildcat

Winning in the Pac-12 Conference — one of the toughest conferences in the nation — is no easy feat. But for the No. 4 Arizona baseball team, the consistency of its weekend starting pitchers proves why it’s at the top of the conference table.

The Arizona rotation of Kurt Heyer, Konner Wade and James Farris anchors the team every single weekend and is one of the most lethal pitching trios in the nation.

With a combined ERA of 3.32, the reason these starters are so dominant is their ability to feed off of each other.

“We give each other a report on each outing,” Heyer said. “Farris said a while ago that it’s a challenge between us, who can do the best over a weekend. We kind of have that nice little competitive nature between us.”

Heyer boasts a team-leading 2.10 ERA, and as the Friday starter, he wants to set the bar high for his teammates.

“I’ll always try my best to set the tone,” Heyer said. “If they do better than me, I’ll tip my hat to them, but it’s always a big deal for me to give them a good view of what they’re facing the next two days.”

Arizona head coach Andy Lopez said that his starters have really come into their element.

“If you balance it out, we pitch well enough to win two out of three, so I’m pretty happy about that,” Lopez said. “If you told me we were going to win two out of three from here on out, I would sign that contract.”

Heyer’s noticed that the staff is beginning to establish its identity.

“Right now we have a really concrete rotation,” Heyer said. “Hopefully we can keep it going, keep throwing strikes, and give our guys a win.”

Lopez unconcerned with standings

The Wildcats now sit alone in the No. 1 spot of the Pac-12 standings, but Lopez didn’t find out until Monday morning.

“I was in a staff meeting at 10, saying we don’t do this well, we don’t do that well, and one of my guys said, ‘Coach, we’re in first place in the Pac-12,’ and I was like, ‘You’re kidding me,” Lopez said.

At the beginning of the season, the schedule that the team gets doesn’t have any of the opposing team names listed. Every single game is equally important, according to the UA coaching staff.

The Wildcats deserve their position at the top of the table, but regardless of the standings, Lopez remains focused elsewhere.

“I really try to pay attention to what we’re doing on a day in and day out basis,” Lopez said. “How’re we doing, how’re we pitching.”

Lopez said he hasn’t been concerned with standings for a long time.

“I did that a lot when I was younger and I did too much damage to my own psyche,” he said. “I just pay attention to what we’re doing today.”

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