OREM — For the first time in the program's NCAA history, Utah Valley University baseball will host a ranked opponent when No. 4 Arizona comes to Brent Brown Ballpark on Wednesday. First pitch is set for 6 p.m. MT and can be heard live on 960 AM the Zone.
The Wolverines recently swept Southern Utah behind a big weekend at the plate that saw UVU (12-11) score 41 runs over three games on its way to a season sweep of the T-Birds. Austin Heaps batted .545 in the series and was named the Great West Offensive Player of the Week.
Meanwhile, the Pac-12 Wildcats (21-7) will be the highest-ranked opponent the Wolverine baseball program has faced in the Division I era and the seventh game this season against a Top-25 foe. No. 6 Arizona State, in 2007, was the highest-ranked opponent prior to Wednesday's game UVU had faced.
Arizona moved up four spots in Baseball America's poll after sweeping then-No. 2 Stanford in three games in Tucson, Ariz. over the weekend. The Wildcats boast one of the nation's top hitting teams as they bat .327 as a club.
Arizona defeated Utah Valley 12-6 on Feb. 21 in Tucson. In that game, the Wolverines led 5-1 in the fourth and held onto the lead until giving up six runs in the sixth. The Wildcats have won all 15 meetings between the schools and have been ranked in 10 of the games.
Following the big game against Arizona, UVU, a winner of five straight, will begin defense of its Great West Conference championship in a four-game series against North Dakota starting Thursday. Following Saturday's series finale, there will be an Easter egg hunt on the field. All kids who bring an Easter basket can get into the game for free.
North Dakota enters the conference-opening series at 2-16 after dropping four games to in-state rival North Dakota State last weekend. Despite dropping the series, the Fighting Sioux twice lost by only a single run and once by two runs.
UND and Utah Valley did not meet last season during the GWC regular season due to weather but did face off in the conference tournament in Grand Forks, North Dakota in a thrilling 3-2 Wolverine win.
Next week, the Wolverines will play a Tuesday midweek at Utah before traveling to Chicago State for a four-game Great West series.
Clint Burgi is the assistant athletic director for sports information at Utah Valley University. For more information on Wolverine athletics, visit http://www.WolverineGreen.com