By Matt Tresaugue
Arizona Daily Wildcat
If you chart the Arizona baseball team's season, the valleys are deep and numerous. It's only fitting, then, that the Wildcats bottomed out in Strawberry Canyon.
The Wildcats capped their spring-break trip to the Bay Area by dropping three games to Cal. In the series, the Bears scored 30 runs while Arizona committed nine errors and did not have a starting pitcher survive past the fifth inning.
"It was the lowest point this season," said Coach Jerry Kindall, choosing the Cal series from many other unworthy candidates. "We just didn't do anything well."
Six weeks have passed since that series, in which time Arizona (9-35, 5-19 in the Six-Pac) has won four games. Meanwhile, Cal (21-32, 9-15) has lost nine of its last 11 and 16 of 21, causing some Wildcats to say they are capable of redemption against the Bears, who visit Sancet Field this weekend.
Kindall, however, is not so quick with the optimism.
"We need to color this with reality. Cal
stomped us up there, so we can't afford to whistle through the cemetery," said Kindall, who is particularly wary of Cal's 3-4 hitters, Jonathan Petke and Andy Tarpley.
The duo combined for 14 hits, nine runs, six RBI and two home runs in the previous meeting. Remove Petke (.305, three homers, 25 RBI) and Tarpley (.320, 7, 30) from the Cal lineup and the team batting average drops 11 points to a league-worst .257.
PITCHING MATCHUPS ─ Left-hander Steve Arffa (1-6, 4.86 ERA) opposes Cal right-hander Keith Evans (3-7, 4.35) tonight at 7 in the series opener. Left-hander Ben White (2-7, 8.39) opposes Cal right-hander Drew Fischer (1-2, 6.62). And right-hander Ryan Frace (1-5, 5.40) opposes Cal left-hander Matt Toomey (3-3, 6.27) on Sunday.
NOTES ─ The Wildcats bashed five homers over the three-game series at Stanford's windy Sunken Diamond last weekend, increasing the team's total to 13 for the season. The Wildcats hit a school-record 115 homers last season, including All-American George Arias' school-record 23, All-American Jason Thompson's 20, Todd Landry's 17 and All-American Willie Morales' 13.
"I don't want this team to be misled, we're not a home-run-hitting team," Kindall said.
¨Infielder John Powers will be sidelined for two more weeks with a stress fracture in his back.
"He's itching to get out there," Kindall said. "If he had his way, he would be playing this weekend."
¨With Rob Frisbee and Anthony Marnell nagged by injuries, Kindall is unsure about the catching position this weekend.
Both Frisbee (sore knee and wrist) and Marnell (sore back) left practice early Wednesday to receive treatment . Freshman Tom King (.222, 0, 6) might see extended action. Read Next Article