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Arizona baseball: Wildcats pick up big 11-5 win over BYU

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This is a big midweek win

Jared Oliva hit a home run in Arizona's 11-5 win over BYU on Monday
Jared Oliva hit a home run in Arizona's 11-5 win over BYU on Monday
Jason Bartel

The Arizona Wildcats lost three games in three days against the Utah Utes before Monday's game against the BYU Cougars.

BYU had lost three games all year before Monday.

The Cougars now have four.

Riding the back of Bobby Dalbec and a couple of long balls, Arizona (18-11, 3-6 Pac-12) was able to come away with an 11-5 victory in Provo against the ranked BYU (23-4) team, keeping this road trip from being a total loss.

Dalbec, who had pitched Friday and was suffering from the flu this week, threw 135 pitches on Monday, giving up eight hits and three walks over 7 2/3 innings.

Kevin Ginkel would take over in the eighth and record the final four outs of the game after Arizona's bullpen had struggled against the Utes all weekend.

Arizona's situational hitting on Monday was phenomenal. As a team, the Wildcats were 8-of-14 in two-out situations, and 11-of-19 in advancement opportunities. The baserunning was huge.

The scoring started in the second inning. Cesar Salazar led the inning off with a single, advanced to second on a wild pitch, and advanced to third on a groundout. Kyle Lewis would drive him in with a single to left to give Arizona the early lead.

Salazar would get an RBI of his own in the next inning, driving in Cody Ramer.

Dalbec struggled in the bottom of the third. Keaton Kringlen led the inning off with his first of what would be two home runs on the day. Three-straight hits after that topped off with a Brennan Lund double gave the Cougars a 3-2 lead.

Baserunning allowed Arizona to retake the lead in the next at bat though. After tying the game on a bases loaded wild pitch, Ramer laid down a squeeze bunt to the third base side, scoring not one, but two Wildcats on the play.

Three more Arizona runs scored in the sixth, but in much different fashion. Jared Oliva got a hold of one, launching a three-run home run well over the fence in center.

Ryan Aguilar joined the home run party in the 8th, accounting for Arizona's 11th and final run of the day.

All of these run scoring plays listed above minus the squeeze play came with two outs in the inning.

This was a big Monday game. Nearly 3,000 fans showed up at BYU to watch this one, and with the Cougars so high up in the RPI, this will be a big win for Arizona, since it was a true road game.

***

This game was broadcast on BYUtv, and it made me long for what Pac-12 Network could be, but certainly isn't. BYU put on a very Major League production, complete with actual research of the opposing team, something that Pac-12 analysts can not claim to have done to this point.

It was eye-opening to see a college baseball broadcast have pre-produced segments, live in-game interviews with not just the coaches, but other BYU athletes and notables that happened to be at the game, and also decent graphics and stats associated with specific players.

Let's go Pac-12. You have a long way to go, and you have yet to show that you are committed to making your product a decent one. I've now seen proof that college baseball games on the West Coast can be decent television shows.

***

Arizona returns to conference play on Friday when Washington State visits Tucson. Friday night's game is scheduled to start at 6 PM.