Chip Hale’s first season in charge saw Arizona finish in fifth place in the Pac-12. It will begin his second projected to finish one spot better.
The Wildcats were picked fourth by the league’s coaches, behind defending champion Stanford as well as UCLA and Oregon State. Nine of 11 coaches ranked the Cardinal first, with UCLA also getting two first-place votes.
Arizona also landed four players on the Pac-12’s preseason team, one fewer than it hand on the postseason squad from last season.
The quartet of Wildcats is led by junior outfielder Chase Davis, a preseason All-American by multiple outlets who was a Pac-12 honorable mention in 2022. Also on the 2023 preseason team from the UA are right-handed pitchers Trevor Long and TJ Nichols and shortstop Nik McClaughry.
Arizona has its annual Meet the Team intrasquad scrimmage at 12 p.m. MT Saturday at Hi Corbett Field, with the 2023 opener set for Feb. 17 in Scottsdale. The Wildcats will take on No. 2 Tennessee as part of the MLB Desert Invitational, a 4-day tournament in which they’ll also play Fresno State, Michigan State and UC Davis.
The UA’s home opener is set for Feb. 24 against West Virginia.