Arizona Baseball

Arizona celebrates 20th anniversary of last conference title by winning another championship

Arizona's Johnny Field came through with the game-winning RBI against arch-rival ASU on Sunday to enable the Wildcats to earn a share of the Pac-12 title (KOLD/KMSB-TV screen shot -- click on photo to get video link of ASU-UA highlights)

In 1992, when Arizona last won a conference title — the Pac-10 Southern Division or Six-Pac as it was called — Wildcats outfielder Johnny Field was born that same year. Sunday’s hero for Arizona against arch-rival ASU was barely three months hold when the UA hosted its last NCAA regional that same year.

Former Arizona second baseman Chris Gump, the top batter for the Cats in 1992, now resides in Chandler (Gump family photo)

Field’s game-winning RBI in the bottom of the ninth with two outs Sunday gave the Wildcats an 8-7 victory over the Sun Devils and earned them a share of the Pac-12 title with UCLA. Arizona (38-17 overall, 20-10 Pac-12) will host a regional at Hi Corbett Field starting Friday. The Wildcats will play Missouri (32-26) at 8 p.m. following a game between Louisville and New Mexico State.

Eleven members of Arizona’s current roster, including Field, were born in 1992. That also happens to be the last year that UA coach Andy Lopez won a national title as a head coach at Pepperdine, which won the regional at Sancet Field that season. Arizona lost consecutive games to Washington and Hawaii at that regional.

Menno Wickey, the uncle of freshman left-handed pitcher Tyler Crawford, played for that 1992 team that finished 34-23. I covered the team for the Arizona Daily Star. That two-year run in 1992 and then in 1993 (when the UA belted an untouchable school record of 115 home runs) was one of the best experiences I’ve been around involving a team.

Some of the standouts on the 1992 team included pitcher Tod Brown (74 games pitched in his career), second baseman Chris Gump (team-leading .376 batting average), shortstop Jason Bates (an all-conference selection), first baseman Billy Owens (13 home runs), outfielder Robbie Moen (50 RBIs) and outfielder John Tejcek (14 stolen bases), and pitchers Mike Schiefelbein (eight wins and 104 strikeouts) and Tim Schweitzer (3.20 ERA).

Other 1992 facts:

>> Relief pitcher Carlos Rico still holds the UA season saves record with 10 that season.

>> Starting pitcher Rob Ippolito limited opponents to 7.01 hits per nine innings, a school record to this day.

>> Jerry Kindall earned his last conference coach of the year honor, his third overall.

>> Frankie Acosta, a catcher on the team, is now the director of the Arizona Letterwinners Association at the school.

Here are the final conference standings for 2012:

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