Information from Arizona’s media relations department contributed to this report.
So far so good for Jay Johnson — two years as Arizona’s head baseball coach equates to two years of qualifying for the NCAA tournament.
The Wildcats were selected Monday to the Lubbock (Texas) Regional, hosted by Texas Tech, and will be joined by the Red Raiders, Sam Houston State and Delaware.
The selection marks Arizona’s 39th NCAA Tournament appearance and third in the last six years. The Wildcats are the only Pac-12 team to be selected for back-to-back tournament appearances in the last two years.
Arizona (37-19 overall) is seeded No. 2 and will play Sam Houston State in the opening round, scheduled for 4 p.m. (Tucson time) Friday in Lubbock. The Wildcats open with Sam Houston State for the second straight year. Last year, Arizona beat Sam Houston State twice in the Lafayette (La.) Regional.
All games in the Lubbock regional will be available on ESPN3. ESPNU will also provide Bases Loaded coverage, which drops in on various games.
Last year, in Johnson’s first season, Arizona advanced to the College World Series for the 18th time in program history and finished as the national runner-up to Coastal Carolina.
The Wildcats finished with a 16-14 mark in Pac-12 play after losing the last two games at California at Hi Corbett Field last weekend. They have won 75 games under Johnson.
JJ Matijevic leads the Wildcats with a .389 batting average and 10 home runs and 64 RBI. He also has 29 doubles, one shy of the single-season school record set by Dave Stegman in 1976.
Sophomore Alfonso Rivas is batting .374 with 12 doubles, six home runs and 61 RBI. Cameron Ming led the pitching staff with a 7-2 record and a 2.70 ERA in 70 innings.
The Cats scored 440 runs in 56 regular season games with 126 doubles, 34 home runs and 383 RBI. Matijevic led the Pac-12 in batting average, slugging percentage, hits and doubles. Cal Stevenson led the league in runs with 60 and Rivas led the league in on base percentage at .490.
Last season, in Arizona’s first postseason bid since 2012, the Cats won the Lafayette Regional and the Starkville (Miss.) Super Regional before advancing to the College World Series. Arizona beat Oklahoma State twice to advance to the College World Series Finals against Coastal Carolina.
How hard is winning in college baseball these days? Top 2 seeds missed tourney last year & UA only Pac-12 team w/ consecutive appearances.
Lubbock baby!!! 🐻🔽
Bear Down!! https://t.co/INz42irSss
@DALLASBRADEN209 As well it should be. You're a pitcher. You want pitchers to do well.
If Rio & the Wildcats make it out of Lubbock, I'll shave my head on my next Monday night Baseball broadcast……………. https://t.co/KEwb7o4iUo