Tucson CitizenTucson Citizen

NCAA regional game blog: Arizona completes third consecutive rout

To say Arizona dominated its NCAA regional hardly does justice to the word dominate.

The Wildcats finished off its three-game rollick through the regional with a 16-3 victory over Louisville at Hi Corbett Field, advancing to play St. John’s in a best-of-three Super Regional next weekend.

Arizona, presumably, will be the host for that series, given that UA is the higher seed. St. John’s upset North Carolina, the tournament’s overall No. 6 seed, in the Chapel Hill regional. The Cats were seeded 13th in the tourney. The official announcement of Super Regional sites, times, days and TV coverage will come Monday night.

The Arizona-St. John’s Super Regional will start either Friday or Saturday.

This will be Arizona’s third appearance in the Super Regional since this postseason round was added in 1999. The Cats beat host Long Beach State in three games in 2004 and lost at Miami in three games in 2008.

Arizona defeated its three regional opponents — Missouri and Louisville twice — by a combined score of 47-10. The Cats had 58 hits in the three games, batting .472.

Sophomore James Farris went the distance Sunday night for Arizona, allowing 12 hits while striking out seven and walking one. The Cats needed only one inning of relief in the regional.

* * *

Oh, yeah … almost forgot to update … that was three more runs for Arizona in the eighth, fueled by a two-run single by Johnny Field, who has seven RBIs tonight.

* * *

Arizona scores four more runs in the seventh. Riley Moore and Johnny Field each pick up their third hits of the game in the inning. There can’t be anybody hotter in the country than the Wildcats, who beat Missouri 15-4 on Friday, Louisville 16-4 on Saturday and are leading Louisville 13-1 at the seventh-inning stretch.

* * *

Attendance: 3,485.

Total for Arizona’s three games: 12,578.

* * *

I’m beginning to fill out my all-regional ballot. If it’s wrong to pick just Arizona players, it’s not wrong by much.

* * *

Arizona puts two more runs on the scoreboard in the sixth inning on a triple by Joey Rickard, whose deep fly goes off the tip of the glove of a racing centerfielder Adam Engel. Rickard scores on a double by Johnny Field for an 8-0 lead.

Mercy rule?

* * *

Johnny Field led off the top of the fifth with a bunt attempt down the third-base line. Pitcher Jeff Thompson fielded the bunt and made an errant toss to first — his second throwing error of the game. Field went to second on the play and advanced to third on a sac bunt by Alex Mejia (Thompson actually made a good throw on that defensive play).

Seth Mejias-Brean delivered the RBI with a two-out single.

Arizona leads 5-0 going into bottom of the fifth.

* * *

Stanford and Oregon from the Pac-12 have punched their tickets to the Super Regional. Stanford will take on Florida State; if you are looking really far in advance, keep in mind that the Stanford-Florida State winner would play the winner of St. John’s-Arizona/Louisville in the first round of the College World Series.

* * *

Arizona’s defense — which has been overlooked this weekend amid the wave of hits and excellent pitching — helps James Farris get out of a jam in the bottom of the third inning.

Louisville’s Zak Wasserman, who led off with a double, tried to tag up and go to third on a fly ball of medium depth to centerfielder Joey Rickard, who had to drift to the right field side of the outfield to make the catch. He then delivered a perfect relay to shortstop Alex Mejia, who fired to third baseman Seth Mejias-Brean, who applied the tag just in time.

That was huge because the Cardinals followed with two more singles, and Farris needed a break to get out of the inning. He fielded a high-hopping comebacker and lofted a throw to first, where replays showed Adam Engel was safe. He was called out.

* * *

Arizona breaks through in the third inning when Johnny Field — the Pac-12 batting leader — launches a grand slam to left field. It’s only his third home run of the season.

Riley Moore started the inning with a walk, and Trent Gilbert also reached base on a sac bunt when pitcher Jeff Thompson’s throw pulled the first baseman off the bag. Another walk, this one to Joey Rickard, loaded the bases for Field.

* * *

James Farris is dealing early in the game, setting down the first six Louisville batters. He strikes out two, both looking, in the second inning.

* * *

Arizona starter James Farris has filled the No. 3 role all season. He enters with a 6-3 mark and a 4.4 ERA. He was 4-2 in Pac-12 play. He pitches a tidy first inning, needing 10 pitches to set down Louisville in order.

* * *

Arizona had something cooking in the top of the first inning, with a pair of walks — to leadoff hitter Joey Rickard and No. 3 hitter Alex Mejia. Cleanup hitter Robert Refsnyder couldn’t do anything with the RBI chance, grounding into a double play to shortstop.

* * *

Louisville’s starting pitcher is jumbo-sized sophomore Jeff Thompson, who is listed at 6-6, 245. He has a 9-3 record with a 3.91 ERA in 14 starts this season. He last appeared in a game on May 18, when he lasted only two innings vs. Pittsburgh, allowing six hits and three runs.

* * *

Another late night of baseball at Hi Corbett, with Arizona playing for the NCAA regional championship and (almost certainly) a hosting gig for next week’s Super Regional.

Nothing is official until the NCAA announces on Monday night the days, times, locations of the eight Super Regionals, but it would be a major shock if the bid doesn’t go to Arizona after St. John’s ousted regional host North Carolina.

First, Arizona has to get there.

The Cats are the visiting team tonight and will be using their typical lineup:

1. CF Joey Rickard
2. LF Johnny Field
3. SS Alex Mejia
4. RF Robert Refsnyder
5. 3B Seth Mejias-Brean
6. DH Bobby Brown
7. 1B Joseph Maggi
8. C Riley Moore
9. 2B Trent Gilbert

Search site | Terms of service