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College World Series: Arizona plays today; updates at 4, 5 & 6 p - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

College World Series: Arizona plays today; updates at 4, 5 & 6 p.m.

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The Arizona Wildcat baseball team will begin another post-season run (and potential trip to College World Series) on Friday at the NCAA Regionals in Lubbock, Texas.  To see interviews with U of A players & story as-aired-on-NBC, please click on icon above.

Here's more from Arizona Athletics:

The only team in the Pac-12 Conference to make back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances, the Arizona Wildcats are set to open postseason play Friday in the Lubbock Regional, hosted by Texas Tech.
 
The Wildcats will open play against Sam Houston State on Friday at 4 p.m., MST.
 
Below is a full preview:
 
Leading Off...
• Junior first baseman JJ Matijevic, a Golden Spikes Award semifinalist, enters the postseason with 29 doubles; one shy of the single-season school record set by Dave Stegman in 1976. He's tied for the national lead this year.
JJ Matijevic and Jared Oliva have combined for 54 doubles this season, which is the most ever by a set of Arizona teammates.
• Junior right fielder Cal Stevenson is batting .404 over his last 15 games and has a 14-game on base streak.
• Arizona is 28-4 when scoring six or more runs.
• Sophomore right-hander Cody Deason is 3-1 with a 2.15 ERA in six starts since joining the rotation. He's given up seven ER in 29 1/3 innings, walking five and striking out 20.
• Alfonso Rivas is 10th in the country in on base percentage at .490.
  •Arizona enters the postseason with 126 doubles, which is more than the Wildcats have had in five of their last seven seasons.
 
Some Regional Themes: The Arizona Wildcats are set for their 39th appearance in the NCAA Tournament and second straight under coach Jay Johnson…Like last year, Arizona opens its postseason with a matchup with Sam Houston State in a 2-3 matchup in a regional…Last year, the two programs hooked up in Lafayette, Louisiana…Arizona won the first game 7-2 and then eliminated Sam Houston State with a 6-5 win…Sam Houston State is likely to start Heath Donica in the opening game against the Wildcats after he dominated the regular season with a 9-1 record…The Wildcats scored four runs on eight hits in 4 1/3 innings last year off Donica…JJ Matijevic, the team's current first baseman hit back-to-back home runs off Donica with Ryan Aguilar…Current Cats Jared Oliva and Louis Boyd combined to go 4 for 8 in the opener against Sam Houston…In the second game, Arizona jumped out to a 6-2 lead, and then held on for a 6-5 win…Alfonso Rivas earned the save, recording the final two outs to keep Arizona's season alive…Rivas was 2 for 4 with two RBI…Arizona's trip to Lubbock marks the third time in the last six postseason appearances that the Wildcats have begun the postseason in Texas…Arizona was in the Fort Worth Regional in 2010 and the College Station Regional in 2011…Arizona has never played Texas Tech in the postseason and has never played No. 4 seed Delaware in any matchup…All four teams in the regional have a team batting average above .300, with Delaware leading the way with a .313 clip…Texas Tech defeated Arizona 13-1 earlier this season at Dan Law Field in a midweek matchup…Arizona and Texas Tech were both in Omaha together last year for the College World Series…This is the first time the Wildcats have opened the postseason in back-to-back years with the same opponent.
 
Surging Stevenson: No player on the Arizona roster finished his regular season hotter than junior right fielder Cal Stevenson. The Fremont, California native batted .404 over the final 15 games of the regular season, seeing his season average rise from .278 to .313. During the 15-game stretch, Stevenson went 19 for 47 with 16 runs scored, 10 RBI and 17 walks. Stevenson, who led the Pac-12 in runs scored (60) and walks (46) in the regular season, has six multi-hit games over his last 15 games and has reached base at least twice in 10 of those games. Stevenson currently has a seven-game hitting streak and a 14-game on-base streak. Stevenson began his career at the University of Nevada with Coach Jay Johnson, before transferring to Chabot College for a year. He then rejoined his coach in Tucson for the 2017 season.
 
Louie Bats: In Arizona's run through the postseason a year ago, shortstop Louis Boyd found an added power source and had seven doubles in 15 postseason games after having just five two-base hits in his first 50 games. This year, Boyd hasn't found the doubles stroke yet, but he finished the regular season on a hot streak. Boyd is 8 for 19 over his last five games, recording multi-hit games in four of those contests. The senior shortstop from North Vancouver, British Columbia had four multi-hit games in his first 36 games of the season. Over his last five, he's recorded two hits four times and has scored a run in four of the five games. Boyd has also committed just one error over his last nine games.
 
Give Him the Ball: In late April, sophomore right-handed pitcher Cody Deason was shifted from the bullpen to a full-time role in the starting rotation. The Ojai, California native has flourished since the change. In six starts, Deason is 3-1 with a 2.15 ERA in 29 1/3 innings. He's allowed seven earned runs, struck out 20 and walked just five. Arizona is 4-2 in those six starts and 7-2 total in Deason's nine starts this season. Over his last three starts, Deason has picked it up even more. Over 17 1/3 innings, he's given up just two earned runs. He's struck out 11 to just two walks. The righty threw just 60 pitches in his most recent start Sunday, going five innings, allowing four hits, one earned run. He struck out three and didn't walk any.
 
How do you do Haug?: Junior Ryan Haug has started eight straight games for the Wildcats, after starting just nine in the team's first 48 games of the season. Haug has split his time between left field and catcher, with the Wildcats going 6-2 in his eight starts. Haug has been hit by a pitch at least once in four straight games and six of his last seven. Haug has been hit by a pitch nine times in 59 at-bats this season. He's reached base at least once in each of his last eight starts.
 
KLew has a Clue: Louis Boyd isn't the only senior middle infielder entering the postseason on a high note. In his last seven starts, senior second baseman Kyle Lewis is 10 for 27 with five RBI and seven runs scored. In the starts previous, Lewis was just 3 for 20. He's driven in at least one run in three of his last four games and is currently riding a five-game hitting streak.
 
The Place to Be: Arizona leads all Pac-12 and West Coast schools with an average attendance of 3,351. Overall, Arizona is 16th in the country in average attendance. The next closest Pac-12 team is Oregon State at 3,081. Last season, Arizona led all West Coast schools and Pac-12 teams with an average attendance of 3,043.
 
Attendance Leaders in the Pac-12:
1. Arizona: 3,351
2. Oregon State: 3,081
3. Arizona State: 2,542
 
Pac-12's Best: Arizona enters the postseason leading the conference in every major offensive category, minus home runs and triples. The Cats lead the league in batting average, slugging percentage, on-base percentage, runs scored, hits, RBI, doubles, total bases and walks.
 
Pac-12 leaders in Batting Average:
1. Arizona .308
2. Oregon State .289
3. California .287
 
Pac-12 leaders in Slugging Percentage:
1. Arizona .442
2. California .419
3. Stanford .405
 
Pac-12 leaders in On-Base Percentage:
1. Arizona .404
2. Oregon State .382
3. Utah .375
 
Pac-12 leaders in runs scored
1. Arizona 440
2. Utah 311
3. Oregon State 308
 
Pac-12 leaders in RBI
1. Arizona 383
2. Oregon State 282
3. Utah 280
 
Pac-12 leaders in doubles
1. Arizona 126
2. Stanford 114
2. Washington State 105
 
Pac-12 leaders in walks:
1. Arizona 266
2. Oregon State 253
3. Oregon 218
 
Matijevic the Masher: JJ Matijevic has blossomed into one of the top hitters in the country this season as a junior. Matijevic, who earlier this month was ranked as the 63rd best draft prospect in the country by Baseball America, enters the weekend  with a .389 batting average. Matijevic already has 27 multi-hit games this season, including five four-hit games and six three-hit games. He also has 13 multi-RBI games. Matijevic has 29 doubles this year, which is the second-best season mark in school history. For his career, Matijevic has 59 doubles, which is the sixth-most all time in school history. With two more, he'll tie Terry Francona, Todd Trafton and Jett Bandy for third all-time. Only once this season has Matijevic gone hitless in back-to-back games and he hasn't gone longer than four games this season without posting a multi-hit game. On Wednesday, Matijevic was named a semifinalist for the Golden Spikes Award, given annualy to the top amateur player in the country. He was one of 25 players nationally selected and one of five players from the Pac-12 Conference.
 
National Leaders in Doubles: 
1. JJ Matijevic, Arizona, 29
1. Brent Rooker, Mississippi State, 29
3. Jared Oliva, Arizona, 25
3. Brett Minnick, Northern Colorado, 25
3. Greg Lambert, Southern Illinois, 25
 
Pac-12 Leaders in Batting Average: 
1. JJ Matijevic, Arizona, .389
2. Nick Madrigal, Oregon State, .377
3. Alfonso Rivas, Arizona, .374
 
Pac-12 Leaders in Hits: 
1. JJ Matijevic, Arizona, 88
2. Nick Madrigal, Oregon State, 77
3. Andrew Vaughn, 76
4. Jared Oliva, Arizona, 75
4. Kyle Kasser, Oregon, 75
 
Pac-12 Leaders in Total Bases 
1. JJ Matijevic, Arizona, 147
2. Andrew Vaughn, Cal, 121
3. Gage Canning, Arizona State, 120
4. Jared Oliva, Arizona, 118
 
Pac-12 Leaders in Slugging Percentage: 
1. JJ Matijevic, Arizona, .650
2. Dallas Carroll, Utah, .591
3. Andrew Vaughn, Cal, .555
 
Pac-12 Leaders in RBI: 
1. JJ Matijevic, Arizona, 64
2. Alfonso Rivas, Arizona, 61
3. Jared Oliva, Arizona, 53
 

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