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Arizona baseball: Last year's CWS 'rock stars' move on

Year after winning title, Cats have scattered, but some will be back
2013-06-16T00:00:00Z Arizona baseball: Last year's CWS 'rock stars' move onDaniel Berk Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
June 16, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Last week, Kurt Heyer, Alex Mejia and Robert Refsnyder met for lunch at a Tampa, Fla., restaurant before playing in a minor-league baseball game.

Three heroes from the Arizona Wildcats' 2012 College World Series championship team sitting around a table, catching up and talking baseball, life and everything in between.

Not once were they asked for autographs, to pose for pictures or anything.

It was a far cry from the scene a year ago.

"We felt like rock stars at the College World Series," Heyer said this week. "Every time we walked around, people recognized us and wanted pictures and autographs.

"We were the main attraction."

This year's CWS opened Saturday without last year's "main attraction." Several members of the 2012 Wildcats have moved onto their professional careers, while others still roam Tucson with their championship rings secured in a safe spot.

"The whole season we had that one goal to make it to Omaha," Heyer said. "When we got there, the hard work was already done. The pressure was gone."

The Star looks back at 10 of the biggest contributors from last year's title team and where they are now.

Bobby Brown

Where he is now: Brown, the team's senior DH, went undrafted in 2012. He signed a free-agent contract with the Kansas City Royals and played in 22 games last summer. He has not appeared in a game this season.

2012 stats: 55 games, .348 batting average, five home runs, 59 RBIs.

CWS highlight: Leading 8-1 over Florida State and looking to advance to the CWS championship series, Brown launched a two-run home run in the bottom of the fourth for the UA's final runs of the game. It came two batters after Refsnyder hit a homer of his own.

James Farris

Where he is now: The right-handed pitcher is still in Tucson for now. Farris just completed his junior season and was picked in the 15th round by the Houston Astros. He has until July 12 to sign with Houston. If not, he will return to the UA for his senior season.

2012 stats: 7-3, 3.97 ERA, 106 2/3 IP, 73 Ks

CWS highlight: Farris started the clinching game and was brilliant, tossing 7 2/3 innings, giving up just two hits and one run in a no-decision.

Johnny Field

Where he is now: Field was drafted in the fifth round of the Major League Baseball draft this month by the Tampa Bay Rays. He signed with the team and received a reported bonus of $250,000.

2012 stats: .370 batting average, 18 doubles, 44 RBIs, 72 runs.

CWS highlight: In the team's first game in Omaha, the left fielder doubled home Joey Rickard in the top of the 12th inning for the eventual winning run.

Trent Gilbert

Where he is now: Gilbert is preparing for his junior season with the UA by playing with the Bourne Braves in the Cape Cod League.

2012 stats: .272 batting average, 34 runs, 42 RBIs.

CWS highlight: Leading 2-1 in the ninth in the clinching game against South Carolina, Gilbert had a two-run single to extend the UA's lead to 4-1 and ice the championship.

Kurt Heyer

Where he is now: The 2012 Friday night starter is rising through the ranks of the St. Louis Cardinals minor-league system. The sixth-round pick is currently with the High-A Palm Beach Cardinals. He received a promotion after eight starts in A-ball.

2012 stats: 13-2, 2.24 ERA, seven complete games, 153 IP, 113 K's

CWS highlight: Heyer's final win as a Wildcat came in the team's 10-3 victory over Florida State in the third game in Omaha. He pitched 7 1/3 innings and gave up two runs.

Alex Mejia

Where he is now: With Heyer. Mejia was also drafted by the Cardinals and was recently promoted to Palm Beach with his former UA teammate.

2012 stats: .357 batting average, 12 doubles, 54 RBIs, 54 runs

CWS highlight: Mejia, the team's smooth-fielding shortstop, was 2 for 5 with an RBI and a stolen base in the team's 10-3 win over Florida State.

Seth Mejias-Brean

Where he is now: Drafted in the eighth round by the Cincinnati Reds, Mejias-Brean is with the Class A Dayton Dragons and is hitting .274 in 62 games.

2012 stats: .355 batting average, 22 doubles, 61 RBIs, 57 runs.

CWS highlight: The Cienega High School graduate broke a scoreless tie against UCLA in the fourth inning with a two-run single, and the Wildcats went on to win 4-0 in their second game in Omaha.

Robert Refsnyder

Where he is now: A fifth-round pick of the New York Yankees, Refsnyder is with the Tampa Yankees, the organization's High-A affiliate and is batting .299 in 50 games there.

2012 stats: .364 batting average, 66 RBIs, 19 doubles, eight home runs.

CWS highlight: There are plenty to chose from for the outfielder, but No. 1 has to be catching the final out of the clinching game against South Carolina in right field.

Joey Rickard

Where he is now: Selected in the ninth round by the Tampa Bay Rays, Rickard is with the Class A Bowling Green Hot Rods and is hitting .235 in 60 games.

2012 stats: .320 batting average, 60 runs, 17 doubles, 18 stolen bases.

CWS highlight: The team's leadoff hitter and center fielder brought home the UA's first run of the CWS when he singled in catcher Riley Moore in the third inning of the opener against Florida State.

Konner Wade

Where he is now: Wade was a seventh-round pick of the Colorado Rockies earlier this month and received a reported signing bonus of $198,500.

2012 stats: 11-3, 3.96 ERA, six complete games, 105 strikeouts

CWS highlight: Wade tossed a shutout in Arizona's 4-0 win over UCLA and became the first pitcher to do that in the CWS since 1980. He gave up five hits and struck out four, while not walking any.

Honorable mention: Moore (62 starts, .301 batting average as the starting catcher); Mat Troupe (6-1, six saves in 36 1/3 IP).

The road to the title

A look at the 2012 Arizona Wildcats' College World Series run to a national championship:

• Game 1: 4-3 win over Florida State in 12 innings

• Game 2: 4-0 win over UCLA

• Game 3: 10-3 win over Florida State

• Game 4: 5-1 win over South Carolina

• Game 5: 4-1 win over South Carolina

Contact reporter Daniel Berk at dberk@azstarnet.com or 573-4330. On Twitter @DSBerk.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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