Arizona slows down Golden Flashes and wins rubber match
Sunday afternoon was pleasant for Arizona baseball as it won the first series of the season for the 20th consecutive time.
Arizona (2-1) was able to bounce back from a loss on Saturday to defeat Kent State 7-1 on Sunday.
Sophomore Cody Hamlin (1-0) made his Wildcat debut and went seven innings, allowing one run on four hits with three strikeouts on a total of 74 pitches. He transferred from Western Nevada College.
“He’s new to the program, and he’s obviously made a very strong impression,” head coach Andy Lopez said. “We probably were a little too quick in terms of getting him out [before the eighth inning].”
Hamlin’s first two strikeouts of the season came during the first inning.
Sophomore Cody Hamlin throws during his debut at Hi Corbett Field on Sunday against Kent State. Hamlin allowed 1 run on 4 hits with 3 strikeouts.
“I felt that my first start went well,” Hamlin said. “I pounded the zone and got a lot of strikes, and I let the defense do their work and just went from there. I need to keep doing what I did today and hopefully keep starting.”
Hamlin’s only issue was getting ahead of hitters, but he held the Golden Flashes well enough to win the game.
Arizona looked completely different on defense on Sunday after losing 14-5 on Saturday, but it didn’t make a lot of changes.
The field starters did not change, except for the catcher. Instead of junior Riley Moore, who caught on Friday and Saturday, junior Jordan Berger was the backstop.
“[Riley] is not doing a very good job defensively,” Lopez said. “The shortstop position, the centerfield position and the catching position are positions where we really need a solid defensive performance.”
Lopez said he was satisfied with Berger’s defensive work, and offensively, Berger recorded a hit and had two runs batted in.
Lopez said that Berger will stay in the starting catching position for the upcoming game on Tuesday.
Offensively, Arizona was looking aggressive with its base-running and finished with a total of 13 hits for the game.
Concluding his first three-game college series, freshman Bobby Dalbec led Arizona with three hits on Sunday.
Dalbec didn’t record hits on Friday and Saturday, but he said he remained patient and kept doing what he said he thought he needed to do.
“I was hitting the ball hard on Friday and Saturday, but I was hitting it right at people,” Dalbec said. “I didn’t really want to change my approach. I just wanted to stick with it.”
Dalbec played shortstop before starting his college career and was on the starting lineup as the first baseman during this weekend’s series.
“It’s a lot harder than everyone thinks,” Dalbec said. “It’s a lot of footwork stuff that I have to get used to, so I’m still getting used to it but I’ll be good with the next couple days.”
The Wildcats opened the season with a 13-1 victory over Kent State.
Arizona will practice today and host Utah Valley on Tuesday and Wednesday.
—Follow Rose Aly Valenzuela @RoseAlyVal