It was long. It was high-scoring. And it was close the entire way. But Arizona held on in the ninth for a 10-9 win over ASU, evening the season series at one game apiece.
The Wildcats had that 10-9 lead heading into the bottom of the ninth, and freshman phenom Bobby Dalbec came on to close it out. But RJ Ybarra started the inning off with a double off the top of the left-center wall, and then moved to third on a balk before Dalbec had even thrown a pitch to Jake Peevyhouse.
The freshman responded to the pressure, striking out Peevyhouse, then forcing a line out to Joseph Maggi with the infield in for the second out of the inning.
Dalton Dinatale was the Sun Devils' last hope, but he flared out to right to end the game, sealing Bobby Dalbec's place as the most clutch player on this Arizona team.
Evan Hebert earned the win for the Wildcats (1-0), pitching two hitless innings in the 7th and 8th to even give Dalbec a shot at closing this one out. Hebert was dominant, allowing just one baserunner after inheriting a 9-8 deficit.
Arizona took the lead for the final time in the eighth on a fielding error by Colby Woodmansee with the bases loaded. Thanks buddy!
Every starter with the exception of Jordan Berger had a hit on the night. Scott Kingery was once again the offensive star, as he hit his first-career HR in the 5th inning. Kingery finished the night 3-for-4, with three runs scored, two RBI, a walk, and two stolen bases.
Get Kingery that throne he so deserves for this season.
Outside of Dalbec and Hebert, Tyler Crawford was the only pitcher that was effective. But a lot of that may have had to do with Lopez' strategy for changing pitchers. Almost every pitching change came with two outs in the inning, which made the game drag out. The contest lasted over four hours.
Maybe Arizona is hitting their stride, or maybe it's just one of those fluke outbursts against the rival Devils. This weekend at Hi Corbett is interesting as the defending National Champion UCLA Bruins come to Tucson. That's right, the last two Nat'l Champs play each other all weekend.
It was long. It was stressful. But in the end, Bobby Dalbec made it worth it, and has given everyone hope for the next couple of seasons as well as the present.