After getting swept by both Oregon schools to start off the Pac-12 season, it looks like the Arizona Wildcats (21-11, 6-6) are beginning to find their groove with back-to-back sweeps of Utah and California. The six game winning streak puts Arizona four games back and tied for fifth place with ASU in the very strong Pac-12 Conference. Ahead of the Wildcats are Standford (5-4), UCLA (7-5), Oregon (9-3) and Oregon State (7-2). Out of these teams (including ASU), all but Stanford are currently ranked in the Top 25. After sweeping Cal, Arizona should also find itself in the rankings this week.
Arizona outscored California 21-9 and their offense–like last year–continues to be one of the best if not the best in the Pac-12. The Wildcats rank anywhere from first to third in all major offensive categories and lead the conference in on base percentage, runs, runs batted in, steals and walks. Arizona also strikes out less than any team in the Pac.
Individually, Brandon Dixon leads the conference with a .408 batting average, 49 hits and 30 RBIs. Johnny Field is the third most productive hitter in the conference at .372, 48 hits and 23 RBIs. Trent Gilbert also finds himself near the top of many offensive categories, including the conference’s RBI leader (38).
The MVP of the California series goes to closer Mathew Troupe, who is second in the Pac-12 in saves (8). Up only 6-4 in the second game of the series, Troupe allowed only one hit and struck out three batters, including the final batter in a situation where the tying run was on second base. In the final game of the series, Troupe allowed two runs and two hits, but was able to cause a groundout on the final play in which the tying run was on third base. Troupe currently leads Arizona in strikeouts per innings pitched.