Arizona Baseball's critical final weekend - Tucson News Now

Arizona Baseball's critical final weekend

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TUCSON, AZ (Arizona Athletics) -

Arizona enters this season-ending series against the USC Trojans with their post-season fate hanging in the balance.

The general consensus is the Wildcats must win at least two-of-three this weekend or even sweep to assure themselves a berth in the NCAA Tournament and a chance to defend their National Championship.

UA has been to the post-season in each of the last three seasons.

Last week's winning of the series against Arizona State ensured that Arizona would win at least 30 games for the seventh-straight season – the longest stretch for the program since a 29-year span from 1954-82. UA has now won 30 games or more in 11 of Andy Lopez's 12 seasons.

Brandon Dixon leads the Pac-12 in batting (.370), runs scored (54), RBI (50) and stolen bases (30). Dixon is one of four players in UA history to steal 30 bases, scored 40 runs and drive in 40 runs in the same season.

Dixon (.420) and Johnny Field (.404) lead an Arizona lineup that hits .323 at home this season.

James Farris (72) and Konner Wade (63) rank No. 5 and No. 9, respectively, among Pac-12 pitchers for strikeouts.

Joseph Maggi leads all Pac-12 players with a .479 on-base percentage in conference games and is batting .377 with 21 runs scored and 15 RBI over his last 27 games.

Arizona is averaging 2,691 fans per game – slightly better than the 2,628 clip from last season.

Date                      Time (MST)        Location (Ballpark)                                          Probable Starters                                                                                           

Fri., May 24         6 p.m.                   Tucson, Ariz. (Hi Corbett Field)                   LHP Bob Wheatley (3-4, 2.64) vs. RHP Konner Wade (5-6, 4.44)

Sat., May 25       6 p.m.                   Tucson, Ariz. (Hi Corbett Field)                   TBA vs. RHP James Farris (4-5, 4.20)

Sun., May 26      12 p.m.                 Tucson, Ariz. (Hi Corbett Field)                   TBA vs. LHP Tyler Crawford (6-2, 4.18)

Radio/TV: All three games will be broadcast on 1290 AM with Brian Jeffries providing the live play-by-play descriptions. Sunday's game will be televised live on the Pac-12 Networks with Matt McConnell and Mike Rooney calling the action.

All-Time Series: USC leads, 104-113-1    Last Meetings: UA won 2-of-3 at USC (May 18-20, 2012)

Copyright 2013 Arizona Athletics. All rights reserved.

David Kelly contributed to this story.

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