James Farris went the distance for the Wildcats, allowing 12 hits and striking out seven as Arizona moved on to the NCAA super regionals against St. John's.


OMAHA, Neb. — The Arizona Wildcats have picked a pitcher for tonight’s College World Series Finals: James Farris.

Coach Andy Lopez decided to start the right-handed sophomore after considering his options overnight. Ace Kurt Heyer will start Tuesday’s game, should South Carolina force a winner-take-all game at TD Ameritrade Park.

Farris is the more rested of the two pitchers, and has also received the support of his teammates. Juniors Robert Refsnyder and Alex Mejia both told Lopez following Sunday’s 5-1 over the Gamecocks that the sophomore deserved a chance to start.

Though he profiles as the UA’s No. 3 starter, Farris hasn’t pitched since the Wildcats' June 3 NCAA regional win over Louisville, a game in which he threw a complete game with seven strikeouts. Farris has been limited to bullpen sessions since the team arrived in Omaha two weeks ago; off the field, he won the team's long-drive contest at an Omaha-area golf club. 

In 16 starts this season, Farris — a product of Gilbert’s Highland High School — is 7-3 with a 4.18 ERA.

South Carolina will counter with ace Michael Roth. The left-hander is 9-1 with 2.49 ERA, but will be pitching on short rest: He last threw in Thursday’s elimination-game win over Kent State.

The sports editor of the Arizona Daily Star.