Wildcats eager to face Arizona State

By Craig Degel

Arizona Daily Wildcat

The Arizona baseball team has been in every type of situation possible this season.

Well, almost.

The team has come back from deficits, lost leads and broken scoring records en route to its current 12-10-1 record.

"I like the fact that we're hanging in there," UA head coach Jerry Kindall said.

But the one situation the team has yet to take part in can be summed up in two words: Arizona State.

The Sun Devils will be in Tucson today for the first of a three-game series beginning at 2:30 p.m. at Sancet Field. The two teams will then travel back up to Tempe for a 7 p.m. game tomorrow, and the series finale at 1 p.m. Sunday.

UA senior catcher Chris Cooper is entering his third series against ASU, but this time he is going in with renewed enthusiasm.

"They're very beatable for us," Cooper said. "Last year we went in and said, 'Well, let's try not to lose it.' This year we know we can beat them."

The ASU Sun Devils and UA Wildcats faced each other seven times last year. Once at a tournament in Minneapolis, and six times in Pacific 10 Conference South play. ASU took five of those seven games.

This game will also mark the first time ASU has played the Wildcats with Pat Murphy at the helm. Murphy took over the program after the death of Arizona State coach Jim Brock.

Last season the Sun Devils were 39-16 and made an appearance in the College World Series, losing to eventual champion Oklahoma.

Currently, the Sun Devils are 16-4 and ranked No. 13 in the nation by Collegiate Baseball. Their trip to Tucson today will be their first road game of the season.

Kindall is hoping that his team has learned from their adventurous non-league schedule.

"If they'll remember and learn from it, then we'll be an improving team," Kindall said.

Pat McMillin (0-0 1.89 ERA) will get the start for the UA today. ASU will send either Billy Neal or Jason Bond to the mound.

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