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Arizona baseball recap: Stanford avoids being swept with late rally against Wildcats

Just not enough bullpen help for Arizona to close out the series

Bobby Dalbec worked 7 2/3 innings for the third-straight time in a loss to Stanford
Bobby Dalbec worked 7 2/3 innings for the third-straight time in a loss to Stanford
Jason Bartel

The story of the weekend for the Arizona Wildcats was the starting pitching, and it showed up for the third-straight day on Sunday.

But it was not enough, as the Stanford Cardinal scored five runs over the final two innings to salvage a win, taking the game by a score of 6-5.

"They really deserved to win when you look up," Arizona head coach Jay Johnson said after the game. "Ten hits, one error to two errors. Baseball usually finds a winner, and that's what happened."

After having his start pushed back a day, Bobby Dalbec took the mound for Arizona, and blew Stanford away with a pitch velocity they hadn't seen all weekend.

After entering the 8th facing a 5-1 deficit, Stanford scored three runs in the 8th off of Dalbec to make it 5-4. This brought Kevin Ginkel in the game, and forced Dalbec out after 7 2/3 innings of work for the third-straight time.

Ginkel walked the first batter he faced, but induced a grounder to short to end the inning and keep it a one-run game.

After a single and a ground ball up the middle in the 9th, Jay Johnson went to Cody Moffett with two left-handers coming up for Stanford.

Moffett blew one by Mikey Diekroger for a strikeout, bringing the Cats within one out of a sweep. But Quinn Brodey came up to the plate, and mashed one to right-center.

"Diekroger was .201 against lefties, and Brodey was .221, so we felt better about that," Johnson explained of the decision to bring Moffett in the game.

Both Zach Gibbons and Jared Oliva were unable to track it down, and the ball bounced away from both of them, allowing Brodey to scamper around the bases and take the first lead of the weekend for Stanford.

"I was positioned pretty far back, not in no-doubles but almost no-doubles to the hitter," Gibbons explained. "He just stung it and it kept carrying. I thought I took a good route, and I took my head off the ball and I thought I was on it. It just kept going."

"It was a little bit over my glove," he continued. "I feel like I just missed it."

"Normally the wind's blowing in, and the ball doesn't carry like that out to right," Gibbons said about how many times he's faced a fly ball like that at Hi Corbett. "So I was kind of surprised."

"It kicked right instead of right back to me, so it sucks, but it is what it is."

Gibbons would pick up a two-out single in the ninth, but a Dalbec fly out ended the game.

Unlike the first two games, Arizona got the scoring started early. Two walks and an infield single in the first loaded the bases with just one out. A passed ball, which happened a little too often to the Cardinal this weekend, allowed the Wildcats to score their first run of the game.

Two more runs came across the plate in the second. Cody Ramer doubled home Kyle Lewis, moved to third on a passed ball, then scored on a wild pitch.

Stanford answered back in the fourth, getting a one-out, RBI double from Austin Barr. But Dalbec worked out of the rest of the inning with a couple of flyouts to the infield.

The Wildcats picked up a pair of insurance runs in the sixth and seventh innings. Ryan Aguilar singled, stole second, and then beat a throw to third on a fielder's choice to put runners on the corners for Lewis. The ol' Arizona squeeze play showed up again, and the Cats went up 4-1 at the time.

Justin Behnke reached base to start the seventh thanks to an error by the Cardinal third baseman. Gibbons hit a one-out single to left to get two guys on.

After Dalbec flew out to right, moving Behnke to third, Aguilar came up and got a rare two-out hit, driving in Behnke and making the score 5-1. The two teams were a combined 5-of-22 with two outs on the day.

Unfortunately for the Wildcats, that would be the final run they would score against the Cardinal.

Arizona is back in action again on Wednesday night as they host New Mexico State for a single non-conference game. First pitch is scheduled for 6 PM PT.