After an early finish to last year where Arizona baseball finished 10-5 in a season that was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Wildcats are ready to do it all over again as the 2021 schedule was released on Friday, Jan. 29. It is a 56-game schedule that includes 34 home games at Hi Corbett Field.
The Wildcats open up with four-game home series against Ball State and Southeastern Louisiana, before they head to the Frisco College Baseball Classic where they will have two games against Oklahoma and one game against Dallas Baptist and Missouri. The Sooners are the first ranked team that Arizona will be going up against this season, at least by Baseball America who have them ranked No. 23 heading into this season. Oklahoma was not in D1 Baseball’s preseason top-25. The Wildcats found themselves No. 22 according to D1 Baseball and No. 15 according to Baseball America in their preseason top-25 rankings.
After the Frisco College Baseball Classic, Arizona will return home for another four-game series against Wichita State before entering conference play where they’ll head to Jackie Robinson Stadium for a three-game series against UCLA. The Bruins are the highest ranked Pac-12 team heading into the season, finding themselves as the No. 2 team in the country according to both Baseball America and D1 Baseball. Arizona will then stay in Los Angeles to play one game against Loyola Marymount, before heading back to Tucson to host a three-game series against Oregon.
Arizona plays rival Arizona State first in Tempe, Arizona for a three-game series at the beginning of April before the Sun Devils come to Tucson for one game just a few days later. The Wildcats then have conference series against Washington State, USC, Utah, Stanford, Washington and Oregon State in what will be pitching coach Nate Yeskie’s first games against his former team. The Wildcats were set to play the Beavers last year right before the season shut down. There are also a few individual games against Grand Canyon, New Mexico State and Santa Clara mixed into all of those conference series. Arizona will conclude the season with a three-game home series against Dixie State.
UCLA and Arizona are the only Pac-12 schools that find themselves in the top-25 for either of Baseball America or D1 Baseball’s preseason rankings. When looking at Collegiate Baseball's version of the 2021 preseason rankings, the Bruins once again lead the way as the No. 3 team in the country with Arizona sitting in at No. 10 in the country and Arizona State finding themselves just inside the top-15 in the country.
Follow Ari Koslow on Twitter