New coach, same mission: get back to Omaha. And the first step will involve beating the team it did to get there a year ago.
The Arizona Wildcats are in the NCAA Baseball Tournament for the second year in a row, hoping to repeat the run they went on in 2021 to make the College World Series. That was under Jay Johnson, who left for LSU shortly after the UA was eliminated from the CWS, and now the squad is under the guidance of school all-time hits leader Chip Hale.
Hale and his team are headed to the Coral Gables Regional, hosted by No. 6 national seed Miami (39-18). Arizona (37-23) is the No. 2 seed and will open the tourney against No. 3 Ole Miss (32-22), with Canisius (29-23) getting the fourth seed in that regional.
The Arizona/Ole Miss game is set for a 4 p.m. PT start on Friday, with ESPNU scheduled to air there contest.
The Wildcats beat Ole Miss in a best-of-3 Super Regional in Tucson last June to earn their 18th trip to the CWS.
If the UA were to advance out of Coral Gables it would face the winner of the Hattiesburg Regional hosted by No. 11 Southern Miss. Included in that regional is LSU.
This will be Arizona’s 41st NCAA appearance, moving past ASU and Cal State Fullerton for sixth-most in tournament history. The last time the Wildcats had back-to-back tourney trips was 2016-17 when they reached the CWS championship series in 2016 and then went 1-2 in the Lubbock Regional in 2017.
Five Pac-12 teams made the field, with Stanford and Oregon State hosting and earning the No. 2 and 3 national seeds, respectively. Oregon is in the Louisville Regional and UCLA is in the Auburn Regional.