After suffering a series sweep last weekend in Oregon, Arizona baseball returns home hungry for redemption. This weekend, when Arizona hosts Stanford in its last home conference series this semester, the Wildcats will be on a mission to end the season on a positive note.
Despite the fact that Arizona (18-28, 7-17 Pac-12 Conference) has lost eight of its last nine contests and has been mathematically eliminated from the NCAA tournament, the players are doing all they can to stay positive and finish the season with a winning streak.
“I see us showing up and playing good baseball,” sophomore left fielder Zach Gibbons said. “This weekend is going to be a good matchup. We saw a lot of good pitching last weekend, and I know Stanford has some strong pitchers as well, so we’re going to need to make the necessary adjustments and come out strong offensively.”
– Friday – 6 p.m.
ARIZ: James Farris, RHP, Sr. (4-6, 4.02) STAN: TBA*
– Saturday – 6 p.m.
ARIZ: Cody Hamlin, RHP, RSo. (5-3, 3.22) STAN: TBA*
– Sunday – noon
ARIZ: Tyger Talley, RHP, So. (1-2, 3.75) STAN: TBA*
*Possible Starters: (Stanford hasn’t officially announced probable starters yet)
Friday: Cal Quantrill, RHP, Fr. (3-5, 3.67)
Saturday: John Hochstatter, LHP, Jr. (7-1, 1.59)
Sunday: Brett Hanewich, RHP, Fr. (1-4, 3.88)
Going into Tuesday’s contest against Santa Clara, Stanford (21-20, 9-12) had won 10 of its last 14 games and saw its record rise over .500 for the first time this season.
The Cardinal will provide a challenge for the Wildcats even in the confines of Hi Corbett Field, where Arizona has posted a 15-17 record this season. Stanford currently stands at No. 29 in RPI. Arizona, on the other hand, ranks No. 184.
Stanford leads the all-time series 103-70 and has also won six of its last seven road games, including a two-to-one series victory over UCLA last weekend and a 6-3 triumph over No. 13 Washington earlier last month when the Huskies were the No. 1 team in the league.
Nevertheless, Arizona remains hopeful that it can act as a spoiler for the Cardinal and get in the way of its postseason run.
Head coach Andy Lopez has told his team to go out and play as hard as it can despite the team’s postseason situation. At this point, Lopez said he told the squad to go out and play for their families and friends, play for their university, play for themselves and most importantly have fun and try to get the job done.
“I wouldn’t say we’re looking toward next year and rebuilding quite yet,” Gibbons said. “I know a lot of players are just trying to finish this season strong.”
Coming up next
After its series against Stanford, Arizona will travel to the Bay Area on the weekend of May 16 to face California (19-24, 7-14), and will then return home to close out the season with a series against Abilene Christian (16-28, 5-13 Southland) on May 23-25.
“We can’t really sleep on those teams,” Gibbons said. “I know we’ve played a couple teams who we thought we were going to go out and beat, and they ended up beating us. We’re just going to approach it like we would if we were playing Oregon or Oregon State and go out and try to perform to the best of our abilities.”
—Follow Evan Rosenfeld @EvanRosenfeld17