Javier Morales took first place in the 2010 Arizona Press Club’s Metro Sports Reporting category. For a different look at University of Arizona sports, check out Javier’s unique Web site: WILDABOUTAZCATS.net Please view a poll related to this blog — James Farris or Kurt Heyer as the starter in Game 2? — at WILDABOUTAZCATS.net
The last time Arizona sophomore right-hander James Farris pitched was 22 days ago against Louisville.
That’s all the more reason why Farris should start in Game 2 of the College World Series championship round Monday against South Carolina in Omaha, Neb.
Think of it this way: Would you rather have Farris shake off the rust in a game in which Arizona must win — in the deciding Game 3 in the best-of-three series for the NCAA title — or one like Game 2 in which the Wildcats can play another day in case they lose?
Arizona coach Andy Lopez told reporters Sunday night, after the Wildcats took a 1-0 lead in the best-of-three series with a 5-1 win, that he would sleep on the decision whether to start Farris or ace right-hander Kurt Heyer against the Gamecocks in Game 2.
Lopez has pushed all the right buttons in the Wildcats’ 17-2 record over the last six weeks, so it is difficult to argue if he decides to go with Heyer on Monday despite the junior having only four days of rest since last Thursday’s victory over Florida State. The general idea about pitching Heyer in Game 2 is that Arizona should go after South Carolina’s jugular and try to close the series in two games.
Preventing South Carolina from gaining hope and momentum is a sound argument — especially because of the two-time defending champion Gamecocks’ resilience — but the counter-argument to that is Arizona holds the momentum after Game 1 and is in the best position to explore all options.