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Arizona baseball: Three Up, Three Down: Washington State series

A big road series win for the Wildcats

Jason Bartel

The Arizona Wildcats could have just folded up the tents and gone home after being swept by Cal last weekend, but instead this team showed a little fight in them.

The offense unloaded all of its runs on Friday night, winning that game 14-5. WSU evened the series on Saturday with a 5-3 victory. The rubber match took 11 innings, but thanks to an error by the centerfielder, Arizona walked away with a 2-0 win and the series.

Here's a look at some of the best and worst from the big road series win.

Three Up:

1. Bobby Dalbec

In his previous starts, Dalbec had always run into trouble in the fifth inning, and that happened again on Sunday. But unlike the other times, the sophomore worked his way through it, and wound up throwing eight shutout innings, surrendering just five hits and a walk.

At the plate, Dalbec was 3-for-10 with a home run, four runs scored, an RBI, and four walks. He leads the Pac-12 in slugging (.642), RBI (46), and home runs (14).

2. Jared Oliva

Oliva was the only player to record a hit in each of the three games for the Wildcats. In total, he was 5-for-15, scored three runs, and drove in three runs.

3. Cody Hamlin

The numbers don't really show it (8 IP, 10 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 1 K), but the fact that he struggled in the first inning (again) and still managed to get through eight innings on just 97 pitches is really impressive to me. It obviously helps when your offense is pounding out 15 runs, but Hamlin's ability to recover from bad first innings has been crucial to his success. Now if he could just not have those bad first innings.

Three Down:

1. Cameron Ming

Ming's confidence seems to be way down the past few weeks, and it showed again on Friday as he gave up three hits and a run in the ninth inning.

2. Nathan Bannister

A rare, ineffective start from Bannister. Watching the live stream on Saturday, it seemed like his arm slot was a little off to start the game, and that resulted in a two-run first, which could have been worse. But after a mound visit from Andy Lopez, the arm slot seemed to correct itself. He did end up giving up 11 hits, walked four batters and allowed five earned runs in 6 2/3 innings.

3. Justin Behnke

The centefielder was 2-for-9 on the weekend with a few walks, but also struck out twice, and stranded six runners. He's been scuffling pretty good the last month or so. Seeing him pick it up over the final three weeks would be nice.

Arizona hosts Washington this weekend as they look for a second-straight series win before heading to L.A. to take on the conference-leading UCLA Bruins. The pitching seems to have worked itself out over the past three weeks. It's just a question if the offense can be consistent.