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Arizona Baseball Set For Opening Day
The reigning national champion Arizona baseball team will open the 2013 season against Coppin State in a three-game series at Hi Corbett Field Feb. 15-17.
For the first time in 26 seasons, the Arizona baseball team will open a year as the reigning national champion. And for their efforts, the Wildcats will have a bull's-eye on them all season long.
First to set their sights on the Wildcats will be Coppin State, a club that went 1-53 a year ago, including 0-27 on the road. The Eagles will approach the series with nothing to lose. Meanwhile, Arizona will have plenty of questions to answer early in the season, notably on offense as five regulars must be replaced from a squad that led the nation in hits last season.
The Wildcats will break in a new leadoff hitter, a pair of new infielders, and Johnny Field will assume full-time duties in center field for the first time in his career. Freshmen Kevin Newman (SS), Cody Ramer (INF/OF), Scott Kingery (INF) and Ryan Koziol (1B), along with JC transfer Sam Parris (1B) will vie for spots in the lineup at open positions at first base, shortstop and the corner outfield positions, as well as designated hitter.
The Cats hope a presumed strength – pitching – will hold strong on opening weekend. Veteran weekend starters Konner Wade and James Farris will move from the Saturday-Sunday rotation spots to the Friday-Saturday roles, respectively.
Opening weekend will kick off with a special national championship recognition and postgame fireworks show on Feb. 15.
Up Next: Arizona will take its lone non-conference road trip of the season to Long Beach State for a two-game mid-week series. The Wildcats will take on the Dirtbags beginning Feb. 19, at 6:30 p.m. PST at Blair Field.
The teams will conclude the brief series on Feb. 20 at 3:30 p.m. PST. Thereafter, Arizona will return home for the next 18 games, beginning with a three-game set against San Jose State Feb. 22-24 at Hi Corbett Field.
Arizona baseball, by the numbers:
- Arizona led the nation with 756 hits and ranked No. 4 with a .329 team batting average last season.
- The Wildcats have collected an extra base hit in 47-straight games.
- Arizona will play 23 games in a span of 31 days to open the season, with 21 of those contests being play at Hi Corbett Field.
- The Wildcats have won 18-straight season-opening weekend series. UA is 45-10 on the first weekend during this span.
- Arizona carries an 11-game winning streak into the 2013 season, its longest since winning 15 in a row in March of 2010.
- The Wildcats have finished the season with a .300 or better batting average for 10-consecutive seasons. The .329 clip a season ago was the best for a UA club since the 2000 club hit .331.
- Arizona was 47-0 when leading or tied after 8 innings in 2012.
- Wildcat pitchers have allowed fewer than 200 strikeouts in a season three times since 1969, with two of the years being 2011 (180) and 2012 (168).
- Arizona went 30-10 in its first full season at Hi Corbett.