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- Arizona Wins 4th National Title
- Article printed in July 13 edition of
OMAHA, Neb. —
Arizona captured its fourth College World
Series title with one of the most amazing displays of pitching in the
66-year history of the event.
The Wildcats finished with 16
complete games this season, including eight over their final 19 contests,
and became the first national champion in 56 years to have every starting
pitcher come close to throwing complete games at the CWS.
In five College World Series games,
the staff posted a 1.12 ERA, the fourth best in CWS history.
Behind 7.6 innings from James Farris
in the title game 4-1 win over South Carolina, Arizona became just the fifth
national champion in Division I baseball history – and first since 1957 – to
get at least 7 1/3 innings from its starters in all five games of the CWS.
The only other teams to accomplish
the feat were Oklahoma in 1951 (four games), Holy Cross in 1952 (seven),
Michigan in 1953 (five) and California in 1957 (five).
If you look at the starters for the
entire 2012 NCAA tournament (regional, super regional and CWS games combined
— 10 games), Arizona pitchers averaged 8.48 innings per start. That
statistic is staggering in this day and age of relief specialists.
Arizona’s trio of starters (Kurt
Heyer, Konner Wade and James Farris) combined for five complete games in the
2012 NCAA tournament while Heyer went 9 1/3 innings in another over those 10
Wildcat pitching only allowed 11
walks in five games, the lowest total by a championship team in the last 15
The magnificent job Arizona pitching
did against South Carolina can’t be emphasized enough as they held the
Gamecocks to only one run in two successive championship series games. Only
twice in the previous 67 games had South Carolina been held to one run.
Arizona tied a championship game record by allowing just three hits against
The Wildcats, which rolled through
the CWS with five straight wins and was only the third team in history never
to trail at any point, won 11 consecutive games to close the season and
captured 18 of its last 20.
Arizona went old school this season
when its bullpen was inconsistent. In an ideal world, most championship
teams go with a starter for six or seven innings followed with a setup man
and then a closer.
The thought process is to not allow
the starters to become ineffective at the end of the year with dead arms
because of thousands of pitches that had been thrown.
South Carolina has utilized this
concept perfectly during its last two national championship runs.
Wildcat Head Coach Andy Lopez,
Collegiate Baseball’s National Coach of The Year, came up with a
different plan that would shock the baseball world.
At a point early in the season, he
asked his top three starters, Heyer, Wade and Farris, to go out and attempt
to throw complete games.
All three Arizona starters threw over
100 innings, a rarity in college baseball for one team.
Heyer (13-2) threw 153 innings, Wade
(11-3) tossed 136 1/3 innings and Farris (7-3) logged 106 2/3 innings.
Of the 94 total innings Arizona’s
pitchers threw in 10 NCAA tournament games, the trio of starters accounted
for 85 innings.
In 48 innings during the College
World Series over five games, the trio pitched in 40 2/3 innings.
The complete, in-depth story of
Arizona winning the College World Series is in the July 13, 2012 edition of
- By LOU PAVLOVICH, JR.
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