Baseball ends losing streak with win over No. 7 Beavers
While most Arizona fans were watching the men’s basketball team, 1,943 fans witnessed the Arizona baseball team end its eight-game losing streak.
Arizona (12-17, 2-6 Pac-12 Conference) defeated No. 7 Oregon State (20-6, 5-3) 11-2 at Hi Corbett Field.
“We played good baseball tonight,” head coach Andy Lopez said. “That’s something we need to do more often.”
The winner of the series will be determined on Sunday as the Wildcats host the Beavers at noon.
Arizona got off to a solid start when red shirt sophomore pitcher Cody Hamlin (4-2) struck out Oregon State’s Trever Morrison to make the first out of the game. Unlike Friday night’s first inning, Arizona got on board before the Beavers and led 2-0.
In the bottom of the third inning, junior second baseman Trent Gilbert got a rally started by tripling to right center, allowing sophomore shortstop Kevin Newman to score. Freshman first baseman Bobby Dalbec followed Gilbert’s momentum and singled to left field to have Gilbert score.
OSU sophomore pitcher Andrew Moore (2-2) allowed four runs before the third inning was over, giving Arizona the 6-0 lead.
Arizona’s offense forced OSU to go through seven pitchers for the night.
Gilbert, who also led the Wildcats in hits with Newman and sophomore outfielder Zach Gibbons, finished with three hits for the night and three runs batted in.
“Breaking the streak is definitely good,” Gilbert said. “I think it just proves what we thought as a club — that we have the talent to turn things around and especially to come out and do it against a quality club like that. Hopefully it’s the start of a winning streak.”
Arizona’s execution during the third inning was what the team had been hoping for during the past eight loses.
“We really haven’t done a very good job offensively of putting hits together,” Lopez said. “I thought we did a better job with that.”
Hamlin pitched 8.2 innings with eight strikeouts for the night, earning the win. Hamlin allowed 12 hits and two runs before Dalbec was called in to relieve him, to make the last out of the game.
“Tonight was definitely a good turnaround for the team, and for me too, to get the win,” Hamlin said.
Hamlin said the offense looked different and that it was easy to tell that it was executing and moving forward with the hits that had to get done. When he saw the atmosphere in the locker room after the game, Hamlin also said he thinks this victory is a turning point for the team.
—Follow Rose Aly Valenzuela @RoseAlyVal