The Arizona baseball season opens its doors to the 2013 season Friday night at Hi Corbett field against Coppin State University.
Even though Wildcats’ head coach Andy Lopez has made it clear that the team needs to move on from 2012 and doesn’t want to compare this year’s squad to last year’s NCAA champions, the comparisons are inevitable.
Unfortunately for Lopez he will have to deal with the comparisons for at least one game. Before Friday’s season opener the 2012 team will be honored with a speech and a banner that will be placed on the outfield wall.
Five former Wildcats from the 2012 team, Robert Refsnyder, Kurt Heyer, Joey Rickard, Seth Mejias-Brean, and Bobby Brown will throw out the honorary opening pitch. The five guys will also be underneath the stands on the third base side prior to the game signing autographs and taking photos.
With a new stadium, Arizona drew large crowds to its games last season, an average of 2,460, but now with the recent national championship Hi Corbett field, which has a capacity of 9,500, is expected to fill up even more in 2013.
In case you’ve never been, Hi Corbett field is the former spring training home of the Colorado Rockies (1993-2010) and Cleveland Indians (1945-1992). The stadium is located in between Reid Park and Randolph Municipal Golf Course. It sits roughly three miles southeast of the university just off Country Club Rd. Parking for the games are free and is directly next to or behind the stadium.
If you are a student of the University of Arizona and you have purchased any kind of Zona Zoo pass you can go to the games for free. The Zona Zoo section is down the first baseline in section F. Entrance for the Zona Zoo is behind home plate just left of the ticket office.
Food at Hi-Corbett is your typical sporting event food. However, one of the advantages of Hi Corbett is that it is located off campus. Therefore if you of the age and obtain a proper wristband you can buy beer at a fairly reasonable price.
First pitch for Friday’s game against Coppin State is scheduled for 6:00 PM. This is a three game series, with a mid afternoon game on Saturday and a 12:00 PM start on Sunday. Though it is subject to change, Friday’s weather should be decent. The Wildcats can expect partly cloudy skies during the day with a high of 72 degrees. That being said, we can expect a usual desert cold night so definitely bring a jacket.
In its inaugural season, Hi Corbett immediately became a tough place to play for visitors as Arizona fans packed the stadium. Lopez appreciated the home support the Wildcats got last season and hopes this season is no different.
“I think it’s great for the older guys on the team to come back and see the support,” Lopez said. “And I think it’s also great for the young guys to see how it feels to play in front of a big crowd and see how much support this community gives the program. But I definitely hope we have it again this year.”