Chip Hale was not able to see the end of Arizona’s walkoff victory over Grand Canyon in person, and the same will apply for the Wildcats’ first two games this weekend against Oregon.
Hale must serve a 2-game suspension as a result of his ejection during Tuesday’s 10-9, 10-inning victory, which begins with Friday’s series opener against the Ducks at Hi Corbett Field. He’ll also miss Saturday’s matchup and is scheduled to return to the team for Sunday afternoon’s finale.
Pitching coach Dave Lawn will serve as interim coach the next two games.
The 2-game suspension is part of an NCAA rule (2-26) that calls for such punishment if someone gets ejected and “may continue to argue or to continue to excessively express themselves with prolonged actions or offensive language after an ejection.”
Hale was tossed after arguing over a checked swing strike called against Chase Davis that ended the bottom of the seventh. He was ejected by home plate umpire Angel Campos, whom Hale confronted afterward, and then headed over to exchange words with third base ump Jeff Henrichs, who confirmed the third strike.
“I just appreciate what he did,” Davis said. :He’s awesome. He’s my guy. I love him and he loves me and we ride for each other, and he would do that for everyone else on the team.”
Shortstop Nik McClaughry had to get between Hale and Henrichs before the head coach eventually left the field.
“I think he did a great job,” UA center fielder Mac Bingham said of McClaughry. :Someone’s gonna have to hire him, because he held Coach back. I don’t know if it was gonna be needed, but it looked good.”