Wildcats face USC after week of rest

By Craig Degel

Arizona Daily Wildcat

The Arizona baseball team will have a week off to complete finals, but the tests will not stop when classes do.

Fifth-ranked Southern Cal will be in town May 13-15 to play what will be the final Pacific 10 Conference Southern Division series for both teams. All three games will begin at 7 p.m. and will be broadcast on KNST-AM 790.

The pitching match-ups have yet to be announced but there is no question that whoever does take the mound for the Wildcats will have his work cut out for him.

The Trojans feature National Player of the Year candidate Geoff Jenkins, who is hitting .389 with a Six-Pac leading 17 home runs and 50 RBI. And if the chosen UA pitcher does get past Jenkins, then he will have to face Gabe Alvarez who is hitting .335 with nine home runs.

The Trojan pitching staff is bolstered by the presence of arguably the best starter-closer combination in college baseball.

Sophomore left-hander Randy Flores a Freshman All-American in 1994 is 9-2 with a 2.72 ERA and four complete games. Reliever Jason Garner is 5-1 with a 2.20 ERA and a division-leading 12 saves.

The Wildcats took one of three games from the Trojans when they last met on March 24-26. The 8-6 UA victory was win No. 832 for Arizona head coach Jerry Kindall, making Kindall the all-time winningest coach in Arizona history.

NOTE It was a freshman sweep in the balloting for conference Pitcher and Player of the Week.

Arizona freshman shortstop Jake Thrower was voted Player of the Week and Stanford freshman Kyle Peterson, who defeated Arizona 7-1 last Friday, was named Pitcher of the Week.

Thrower's bat was on fire last week, as he went 13-for-18 (.772) in his last four games as

the Wildcats defeated Grand Canyon University and took one of three games from Stanford. He hit .615 against the much-ballyhooed Cardinal pitching staff and increased his overall batting average by 52 points to .338.

He also added four runs scored and four RBI to compliment his 5-for-5 performance in Arizona's 8-6 comeback win Saturday the Wildcats' only victory over Stanford this season.

It was Thrower's first Player of the Week honor and the second for a UA player this season. Diego Rico won the honor for the week of Feb 14.

Peterson (9-1, 2.79 ERA) continued on his way to Freshman All-America and Pac-10 honors by throwing his sixth complete game of the year. He allowed Arizona just one earned run and struck out four. Against the rest of the Six-Pac, Peterson is 7-0 with a 2.20 ERA. Opponents are hitting just .229 against him. This was Peterson's third player of the week honor this season.

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