Family affair

The Arizona Wildcats were still celebrating their College World Series championship Monday night when coach Andy Lopez poked his head into a crowd and bellowed.

"Lopez and Lopez," he said. "Get over here."

With that, Michael and David Lopez - both walk-ons on the UA baseball team - jogged over for a family photo.

Andy Lopez spent part of Sunday thinking about fathers and sons: His late father, Art, loved trips to Omaha and the College World Series more than anything. Lopez received a text message today, saying "this night will be all about your dad." Watching Michael, a junior pitcher, and David, a sophomore infielder, celebrate made the veteran coach proud.

Michael and David Lopez were both toddlers when their dad's Pepperdine team won it all in 1992. Monday, they were able to celebrate as players.

"They used to be hanging off my knees," Lopez said, his voice catching. "Look at them now."

He said it

"It means a lot to Tucson. We were a baseball town - spring training kind of got out of there. It's good to bring something back home to all our fans who supported us this year."

UA third baseman and Tucson native Seth Mejias-Brean, on winning a national championship for his hometown

Coming through in a pinch

Brandon Dixon's go-ahead hit in the ninth inning almost didn't happen.

As the Wildcats' first baseman walked to the plate with one out in the inning, coach Andy Lopez signaled for pinch-hitter Jordan Berger to bat. UA assistant Matt Siegel overruled him, and Dixon delivered with a double into the left-field corner.

"I'm glad I listened to my young assistant," Lopez said.

Even better were the corresponding moves Lopez would have made in the bottom half of the ninth. Robert Refsnyder would have moved to first base, and relief pitcher Vincent Littleman would have played right field.

"Hey," Lopez said, "he's a helluva outfielder."

The big numbers


Number of Arizona Wildcats to make the College World Series all-tournament team. They are: catcher Riley Moore, shortstop Alex Mejia, outfielders Joey Rickard and Robert Refsnyder, designated hitter Bobby Brown and pitcher Konner Wade.


Consecutive years as the College World Series' official scorekeeper for Lou Spry, who announced Monday that he's retiring at the end of the tournament.

He said it

"It's sunk in. Hopefully we don't go out and party so much that I forget."  

UA ace Kurt Heyer, on being a national champion

False alarm

"The Hilton Hotel Battle Royale" added a new chapter Monday, when both teams - and a few hundred Olympic hopeful swimmers - were ordered to the lobby around 3 p.m. because of a fire alarm.

There was no cause for concern, though both teams were inconvenienced so close to their scheduled ballpark departure times.

Regina Byrne, the wife of UA athletic director Greg Byrne, tweeted that she was in the "stairwell with half my makeup on and wet hair."

Finally, the blues

James Farris' first postseason appearance in three weeks was good news for fans of Arizona's blue jerseys. At Farris' direction, the team donned its navy tops Monday for the first time since he last pitched on June 3.

For laundry purposes, the Wildcats go through three different jerseys for each home or road series during the regular season. Kurt Heyer dons pinstripes for his home starts and gray tops when the team is on the road, and Konner Wade wears red regardless of where he's pitching. That leaves the blues to Farris.