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Arizona baseball: Everything goes Wildcats' way on Saturday

Will we see a Tucson Regional next weekend? Saturday's results certainly helped

Jason Bartel

After Friday's games, it felt like the Arizona Wildcats' hopes of hosting a Regional this year were all but done.

But Saturday may have changed things a lot, as just about everything went in Arizona's favor.

Positives

  • Arizona beat Hawaii 6-1. Winning games is always the most important thing. I felt like Arizona had to go at least 4-1 this week to have any chance. They are now 4-0 this week. The Wildcats certainly did their part against these lesser foes.
  • Utah beat Washington 12-8. The win ensures that the Utes, who were picked last in the preseason poll, will have at least a share of the Pac-12 regular season title. Utah is definitely not locked into the postseason yet, thanks to their West Coast-ruining 6-16 non-conference record. The Utes are responsible for the lack of western teams near the top in the RPI this year, but still need a win to make their run in the Pac-12 mean anything. If Washington wins Sunday, the Huskies earn the conference's auto-bid, which would likely keep Utah out of the postseason despite winning a share of the conference championship. What a weird year. Game three of their series starts at 11 AM PT.
  • USC beat ASU 6-2. While Tempe is probably still more likely than Tucson as a potential Regional site with a 2-seed host, this does put a decent amount of separation between the Wildcats and Sun Devils in the RPI. Is roughly 15 spots in the RPI going to be enough to get Tucson favored over Tempe? The final game of this series starts at 2 PM PT.
  • St. Mary's beat Gonzaga 13-4 to win the WCC. This win is good for a couple of reasons. After Friday's games, Gonzaga actually jumped Arizona in the RPI. That is no longer the case. It's also good because St. Mary's head coach Eric Valenzuela is one of Jay Johnson's best friends after the two spent time together on the San Diego Toreros coaching staff. Pretty cool to see him make it to the postseason.

Negatives

  • Cal State Fullerton beat Long Beach State 2-1. I don't actually see Fullerton as a threat to host over Arizona, but I felt like I needed to put something in this section.

Just another reminder that the Regional sites will be announced on Sunday at roughly 5:30 PM PT on the NCAA College Baseball twitter feed. Arizona's series finale at Hawaii starts at 4:05 PM PT, so they may hear about a Tucson Regional in the middle innings of their last game of the season, which seems like it could be pretty cool.