Arizona holds Long Beach State to three runs but falls short again
Arizona baseball’s pitching fared better, but it still lost its fourth game in a row on Tuesday night at home.
Although Arizona (6-6) lost to Long Beach State 3-2, some improvements helped keep the score close despite the offense still being off.
“It was a little bit cleaner, and that’s kind of what I’m shooting for: clean baseball,” head coach Andy Lopez said.
The inability to score runs when they are needed is the main issue for Arizona, according to Lopez.
Freshman Bobby Dalbec pitches during Arizona's 3-2 loss against Long Beach State at Hi Corbett Field on Tuesday. Dalbec gave up the Dirtbag's game winning run in the ninth inning.
“What we’re trying to convey to our guys right now is that you can’t slug it out at Hi Corbett [Field],” Lopez said. “I don’t think we’ve come to the grip with that yet.”
Arizona recorded eight hits on the night. Junior Trent Gilbert and freshman Bobby Dalbec led Arizona with two hits each. Lopez said that the issue is that the ball keeps getting hit in the air when hits are needed, which doesn’t allow runners in scoring positions to score.
“Our offense got better in the sense that I feel like we’re getting more hits, but at the same time we still have the same problem with not cashing the runs when they are needed,” Gilbert said. “We’re doing a pretty good job with everything else.”
Both Lopez and Gilbert said some players might be trying too hard to get their hits.
“I think maybe we just need to relax a little bit more,” Gilbert said, “maybe not think about the runs that need to be cashed, but just treat every at-bat like any other.”
Arizona remained scoreless until the bottom of the sixth inning, when junior catcher Riley Moore got a rally started with a triple to right center. Sophomore Zach Gibbons grounded out but was able to allow Moore to score.
The offense seemed to get its momentum at that point in the game, but the pop-ups and groundouts continued after another run was scored by the Dirtbags to tie the game 2-2. Long Beach State (5-6) took the 3-2 lead in the top of the ninth inning.
Defensively Arizona had four pitching changes, while seven were made in Sunday’s game.
Redshirt sophomore Cody Hamlin was the starting pitcher against Long Beach State and pitched three innings, giving up two hits and one run.
“I feel like I definitely could have done a lot better. I shouldn’t have walked the first guy,” Hamlin said. “The little mistakes here and there will definitely cost you.”
Senior James Farris, junior Tyler Parmenter, redshirt sophomore Xavier Borde and freshman Bobby Dalbec (0-1) also pitched in the game. Dalbec took the loss after moving from first base to the mound and allowing a run on three hits over 1.2 innings.
“Our pitching did very well,” Gilbert said. “They definitely gave us a chance to win.”
Arizona will return Wednesday afternoon to try to split the series. The starting pitcher will be junior Tyler Crawford (1-1). The last time Crawford was on the mound was March 1, when he pitched 3.1 innings, giving up three hits and three runs.
“If our offense improves a little bit, I’m confident that Tyler will get the job done,” Hamlin said.
The first pitch will be at noon, and the game will be streamed live on pac-12.com.
—Follow Rose Aly Valenzuela @RoseAlyVal