Welcome to StarNet's chat about the University of Arizona Wildcats baseball team in the College World Series. You may submit your questions at any time, but they will not appear until sometime after noon on Friday when Ryan Finley can answer them.
Welcome to the chat - Ryan will be joining us in a few minutes. A reminder: When you submit a question, it doesn't appear on the public page immediately. If you don't see it immediately, there is no need to resubmit it. Ryan will answer as many questions as possible.
Greetings from soggy Omaha, everybody. We'll get this chat started in just a few minutes. Submit your questions and I'll get to them in the order they're received. Fire away!
It's been a freaky few days, weather-wise, here in Omaha. There was thunder and lightning — and, of course, rain — from about 7 p.m. last night until around noon (local time) today. Things are now drying out. Expect both games to start as scheduled provided we're not hit by more t-storms.
See the previous answer about the weather. As for the edge? Hard to tell. I think the Wildcats' style of play gives them a natural advantage at vast TD Ameritrade Stadium; I'm not sure who the weather favors.
Good question! The Wildcats have traveled well to the midwest, and seem to like the way their style of play fits with the stadium dimensions. That said, Florida State can REALLY hit. Kurt Heyer, who's not really a strikeout pitcher, is going to have to miss a few bats.
I like Florida for obvious reasons, and think both Arizona and UCLA are built for a longer run through the bracket. I think both will win tonight, with Florida State beating Stony Brook in the elimination game Sunday.
Basically, the size of the outfield, the way the stadium plays and the way the wind blows in from right field mimics Hi Corbett almost identically. Teams will need to hit doubles and steal bases to win there; fortunately, it's the way Arizona's been playing all season.
Not necessarily. It could also hurt Arizona's defense, which has been the key to its success in recent weeks.
Great questions so far; keep em coming.
Great questions: Yes, I watched the entire BP session from the field at TD Ameritrade (people here shorten it to TDAPO, which just seems clunky) and came away impressed with the Wildcats' approach. Very few players tried to park home runs, and most stuck to their routines. I didn't see Heyer throw yesterday — he was hitting fungo grounders to his teammates — but I'm sure he's loosened up since the team got here Tuesday. One thing to note: Both bullpens TDAPO are located behind the outfield fences.
Probably somewhere in the middle. I've never seen coach Andy Lopez this happy and loose, and that's a good thing. These things tend to trickle down from coach to players.
Arizona practiced Wednesday and Thursday without interruption; the rain didn't hit until about 5 hours after their workout ended. As far as I know, the Wildcats haven't had any "team-wide 'Dougie' at the Alamo Bowl" moments yet, but it's early.
Keep 'em coming. Good stuff so far.
I'll interrupt Ryan's chat to say: Return to StarNet this evening for a live fan chat starting at 5:30 p.m. MST. You can discuss the game while you watch it on ESPN2.
er, let's try this again. Couldn't pitch. Mark Appel was torched in the Super Regional opener, and Mooneyham — also a big-league prospect — didn't fare much better the next day. Stanford picked a bad time to slump.
Lots of cardinal and navy in Omaha, yes, but the Wildcats have to work hard to top Stony Brook and Kent State. They're the media/fan darlings here, and it's not close. It's important: The majority of fans who attend games at TD Ameritrade are Omaha locals, and they all typically root for the underdog. In that regard, the little guys have a HUGE homefield advantage here.
My reaction to them making the CWS: Excitement. College baseball needs smaller, cold-weather schools to succeed. They legitimize the sport.
Agree to a certain extent. Again, bad weather tends to hurt defense — and that's been Arizona's biggest strength all season. I think in a perfect world, both Arizona and FSU would prefer to play under clear skies.
Keep firing away, everybody. No question is too silly, even those about humidity and Omaha steaks.
Great analysis — and in this case, there's no shame in being compared to little leaguers. The Wildcats do the little things, and they do them the right way. Baseball-savvy fans will appreciate it, even if their slash-and-dash style lacks the appeal of a longball. People here have been impressed with Arizona's run, naturally, but the Wildcats fall somewhere in the middle in terms of perception. They're not expected to win the whole thing — two-time defending champion South Carolina and top-seeded Florida are — and they're not the big underdogs either. it'll be interesting to see which team the crowd sizes with, Arizona or FSU.
Yes and no. I think the schedule is certainly more fan-and-tv-friendly, which is what the CWS is all about. As for the days off, I like them: It allows teams' top pitchers to be rested (and, presumably, then get used) in elimination games.
That's exactly it — and why the ballpark should fit Arizona nicely.
I think the Pac-12 is getting plenty of love in the postseason. Woulda been nicer had Oregon and Stanford done better in the su
per regionals, though.
At least one or two. There's going to be a big learning curve next season with all the juniors gone.