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Thursday, March 14, 2013

Q&A: Arizona's Andy Lopez

Kendall Rogers        

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Many head coaches say the year after winning a national title is the most challenging, as it can be tough to keep players from becoming complacent.


Complacency isn't yet an issue at Arizona, but coach Andy Lopez has some concerns about his club as they get ready for Pac-12 play this weekend at home against red-hot Oregon State.


The Wildcats won the national title last season, and with that, lost several key players to the MLB draft, including shortstop Alex Mejia, third baseman Seth Mejias-Brean, ace right-handed pitcher Kurt Heyer and talented outfielders Robert Refsnyder and Joey Rickard.


To say the Wildcats had some tough holes to fill this spring would be an understatement. But even with those vacancies and a host of injuries so far this spring, the Wildcats still have an impressive 15-5 record entering league play.


While third baseman Brandon Dixon and freshman Zach Gibbons continue to lead the offense with batting averages of .466 and .440, respectively, starting pitchers Konner Wade and James Farris are taking care of business in their respective roles with earned-run averages of 3.41 and 3.64, respectively.


As the Wildcats prepare for the Beavers, head coach Andy Lopez chatted about his club, some surprising performers, other topics, and most importantly, what it will take for his team to get back to the College World Series.





Fresh off a national title last season, what's the biggest difference you've noticed from last year's team as compared to this year's club?




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