Andy Lopez's Arizona baseball team will play its NCAA Regional round tournament in College Station, Texas, it was announced Monday.
As the No. 2 seed, the Wildcats are pitted against No. 3 seed Seton Hall on Friday, and in the double elimination, four-team tournament, both winner and loser will face either No. 1 seed and host Texas A&M or No. 4 seed Wright State.
Ryan Finley, the beat writer for the Arizona Daily Star, tweeted Monday that the tournament, all-in-all, could have ended up worse from the Wildcats perspective. In his news article, he wrote the following:
"However, many believe the short-series nature of the regionals could play to the UA's strengths. Ace Kurt Heyer and No. 2 starter Kyle Simon are a combined 18-6 this season. Reliever Bryce Bandilla and Tyler Hale combined to pitch five scoreless innings in Sunday's win; closer Matt Chaffee, the star of the bullpen this season, warmed up late in the game but was not needed."
The Wildcats finished up a 36-19 season on a hot streak, winning 12 of its last 15 games. They swept a lowly Washington Husky squad in the regular season's final series, but going into a regional that actually seems favorable, Arizona will still need to bring its A-game.
Though that doesn't mean the Wildcats don't have a good shot at winning. Even as a No. 1 seed, Texas A&M and its 42-18 record won 11 of its final 13 contests, surprised many in scrounging through a tough Big 12 Tournament. But like Arizona, the Aggies are turning the heat up when it counts.
Winning four games at the conference tournament, the Aggies posted a 9-8 victory against Kansas State in 11 innings before willing their way to a 10-9 win over Missouri. And that's if the Wildcats can get past Big East Conference Champion Seton Hall (33-23).