BASEBALL

Arizona baseball notebook: Little rest for the national champs

2012-06-28T00:00:00Z Arizona baseball notebook: Little rest for the national champsRyan Finley Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
June 28, 2012 12:00 am  • 

The Wildcats' Summer Plans

• C Jordan Berger - Alaska Baseball League

• LHP Augey Bill - Northwoods League

• C Anthony de Jesus - Texas Collegiate League

• 1B Brandon Dixon - Texas Collegiate League

• RHP James Farris - Cape Cod League

• OF Johnny Field - USA Collegiate National Team

• 2B Trent Gilbert - Cape Cod League

• RHP Tyler Hale - Texas Collegiate League

• RHP Lucas Long - Northwoods League

• RHP Stephen Manthei - California Collegiate League

• SS Tyler Parmenter - Jayhawk League

• RHP Mathew Troupe - Cape Cod League

• RHP Konner Wade - Cape Cod League

Others

• LHP Vincent Littleman and LHP Xavier Borde - Ron Wolforth Pitching Camp in Montgomery, Texas

Johnny Field and his Arizona Wildcats teammates arrived in Tucson at noon on Tuesday, where the 2012 NCAA national champions were greeted by 5,000-plus fans at McKale Center.

By 8 p.m., Field was back at Tucson International Airport bound for his hometown of Las Vegas. A visitor asked the UA left fielder how long he'd be there.

"One day," he said.

The College World Series champions will scatter, if they haven't already, for a handful of different summer leagues and opportunities throughout the country.

Field will play for USA Baseball's Collegiate National Team, the sport's highest honor.

Pitchers Konner Wade, James Farris and Mat Troupe and CWS finals hero Trent Gilbert will play in the Cape Cod League, while others will play in the Texas and Northwoods leagues.

The Wildcats' five junior standouts - outfielders Joey Rickard and Robert Refsnyder, shortstop Alex Mejia, third baseman Seth Mejias-Brean and pitcher Kurt Heyer - could all sign professional contracts as soon as this week. The juniors were all selected in the first 10 rounds of this month's amateur draft.

Brown will wear blue

A good week is about to get even better for Bobby Brown.

The Wildcats all-conference designated hitter will sign a free-agent contract with the Kansas City Royals organization sometime in the next few days.

Brown, a fifth-year senior, was not selected in this year's draft but helped his free-agent stock with a strong showing in the postseason. In 10 playoff games, the 6-foot-4-inch Brown hit .366 with one home run and 12 RBIs.

Return overwhelming

Tuesday's return to McKale Center was overwhelming for coach Andy Lopez, who said he remembered "about 25" fans greeting his Pepperdine team at the airport following their 1992 national championship win.

"Half of them were my relatives," he said.

Still, Lopez's latest championship compares to his last one in a few key ways.

"We weren't a national seed, which our guys took to heart. We kind of milked that a little bit," he said. "If they don't think we're good enough to be a national seed, let's win this thing."

Inside pitch

• Arizona's national championship means another $5,000 bonus for Lopez, who will finish the postseason with $20,000 in reward pay.

The Wildcats' longtime coach earned $5,000 for winning the Pac-12, $10,000 for making the College World Series and an extra $5,000 for winning it all. Lopez's contract, which runs through 2015, pays him $128,750 annually. With bonuses for on-field performance and academic success, Lopez can make up to $170,000 annually.

• Former UA coach Frank Sancet will be inducted into the College Baseball Hall of Fame this weekend.

Sancet went 832-238-8, and retired in 1972 as the UA's second-winningest baseball coach.

• Lopez, athletic director Greg Byrne and a handful of UA players will throw out first pitches at tonight's Tucson Padres game, and anyone wearing UA gear will receive discounted general admission tickets.

Padres general manager Mike Feder said the club is "proud to play a small part in bringing the great Wildcat family to Kino Stadium to get the appropriate recognition."

On StarNet: Replay the video from the championship rally at live.azstarnet.com and see photos from it at azstarnet.com/gallery

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

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