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Arizona baseball: Three Up, Three Down: Utah Valley Series

Two extra-inning games gave some of the new pitchers a feel of what college baseball really is

Bobby Dalbec takes a hack vs. Utah Valley
Bobby Dalbec takes a hack vs. Utah Valley
Jason Bartel

The Arizona Wildcats split a two-game series with the Utah Valley Wolverines this week. Arizona took the first game thanks to a Tyler Krause walk-off double in the 14th inning, but lost Saturday in the 10th after Bobby Dalbec hit a game-tying home run in the 9th.

Here's the best and worst from the midweek meetings:

Three Up:

1. Cody Moffett

After Mathew Troupe struggled as the starting pitcher on Tuesday, Moffett came in and did more than stop the bleeding. He brought Arizona back into the game. He entered down 6-0, and when he left the game, it was 6-5.

Moffett went 4 1/3 innings, struck out six Utah Valley batters, and allowed just two hits and no walks. For the season now, he has pitched 7 2/3 innings, and only given up five hits. Have to think he's next in line for a weekend starting spot if someone falters big time this weekend.

2. Xavier Borde

Borde saw action in both games, combining for a total of two innings pitched. He didn't allow any runs or any hits, walked one, and struck out four. He's starting to prove he can be the go-to option from the left side in a short relief situation.

3. Bobby Dalbec

The freshman is starting to show why there was so much hype surrounding him coming into this season. Although he went hitless in the first two games of the year, he's getting things turned around at the plate, getting at least one hit in each of the last three games. Wednesday's hit was a big one, a home run to left to send the game to extra innings.

In addition to his offensive prowess, Dalbec has been named the closer heading into this weekend's series against Alcorn State. Tuesday night, he found himself on the mound in the 10th, 11th, and 12th innings, before being lifted with two outs in the 12th after walking his last two batters faced.

"It was fun," Dalbec said. "It was fun getting out there on the mound, but my arm's not liking it too much today." The freshman has not thrown that many pitches in any practice, and would only throw one inning at a time during fall practices.

"I got a little bit tired, I'm not really used to throwing that many pitches."

Dalbec is the real deal, and he is going to be a huge asset moving forward.

Three Down:

1. Mathew Troupe

Troupe is looking to get into the weekend rotation, but he's not off to a good start. Tuesday, he went 1 2/3 innings, gave up 8 hits, walked a guy, and allowed six runs. It's just not there for him, and I would not be surprised to see him head back to the closer role in the not-so-distant future.

2. Joseph Maggi

Maggi also struggled on Tuesday, going 0-for-5 with a walk. That brought him down to a batting average of .133 for the young season, which earned him a day off on Wednesday. Kenny Meimerstorf was the third outfielder on Wednesday, and went 1-for-4. Two of those non-hits were absolutely crushed though.

3. Trent Gilbert

Gilly went a combined 2-for-11 against Utah Valley. Wednesday, he was the DH, and Cody Ramer looked very sound defensively at second. Gilbert does not have a lot of range, so all of the sudden there's a little bit of competition there possibly.

The Wildcats are 3-2 on the year, and have a lot of growing to do, and need to do it quickly. Alcorn State comes to Tucson this weekend, with games starting at 6, 6 and noon Friday-Sunday.