The Arizona Wildcats’ baseball team failed to make the 64-team NCAA tournament field largely because of their losing 14-16 record in the Pac-12, according to the NCAA baseball tournament chair Ray Tanner.
It is the first time in Jay Johnson’s three years as Arizona’s coach that the Wildcats have failed to make the postseason. The Wildcats finish the season 34-22 overall.
“We can’t stress enough how important it was for a team to not have a sub-.500 record in conference play,” Tanner said on ESPNU. “We considered that a good indication of how a team played in the regular season.”
Only one team qualified for the field without a winning conference record: Texas A&M finished 13-17 in the SEC. Tanner, the former coach at South Carolina who lost to Arizona in the 2012 title series, reasoned the Aggies made the field because of their strength of schedule, ranked No. 18 nationally.
The streak is nine years now in which a team with a losing record in the Pac-12 has failed to make the NCAA tournament.
The Wildcats lost 12 games by one run, including eight games in the Pac-12. A killer was a three-game sweep at Cal and losing two of three at Utah. Both those teams were in the bottom half of the Pac-12.
Batting average — Alfonso Rivas (.352)
Hits — Rivas (77)
Home runs — 3B Nick Quintana (14)
RBIs — Quintana (55)
Doubles — SS Cameron Cannon (21)
Triples — CF Cal Stevenson (6)
Starting pitcher ERA — RHP Cody Deason (2.87)
Relief pitcher ERA — LHP Ryan Gowens (1.93)
Strikeouts — Deason (84)
Saves — RHP Tylor Megill (6)
•Nonconference RPI of 11 (20-6 nonconference record)
•Won final 15 nonconference games
•Series win over Oregon State (7 in RPI)
•Series sweep of UCLA (25 in RPI)
•Six Pac-12 Conference series wins
•Won 11 of final 16 games
•10-1 in midweek contests
— Arizona Baseball (@ArizonaBaseball) May 27, 2018