Arizona baseball loses series opener to ASU on throwing error
Arizona baseball lost to rival ASU 2-1 Friday night at Hi Corbett Field on a throwing error and hit into four double plays.
With the bases loaded in the top of the seventh, freshman utility player Bobby Dalbec entered to pitch for Arizona (17-24, 6-13 Pac-12) with the Wildcats nursing a 1-0 lead. ASU’s designated hitter R.J. Ybarra lined out but the Sun Devils (22-16, 11-8) tied it up.
ASU quickly took a 2-1 lead on the next batter after a throwing error by Dalbec. He intended to appeal that the runner on third left early but threw it into the dugout instead. Freshman third baseman Willie Calhoun asked Dalbec to appeal.
“It wasn’t his fault though,” Dalbec said. “It happens all the time.”
Head coach Andy Lopez said he could not explain what happened with the throwing error. He described it as a freshman mistake.
“I can honestly say I’ve never been on the short end of a game in that situation,” Lopez said.
Besides the throwing error, Lopez and sophomore shortstop Kevin Newman said the pitching staff did well.
“The pitchers got out of some jams and kept us in the whole game,” Newman said. “They’ve been doing a really good job. [The offense] needs to get in some more runs.”
The game started off slow with no teams scoring until the fourth inning. Arizona scored the first run of the game after Dalbec grounded out to second and drove in Newman.
Defensively Arizona went through three pitchers during the night. Senior James Farris pitched 4.1 innings and allowed five hits and no runs with two strikeouts. Sophomore Cody Moffett was called to the mound in the top of the fifth pitched for two innings allowing one hit.
Arizona had the opportunity to tie the game or take the lead in the bottom of the eighth but with the bases loaded, junior outfielder Tyler Krause hit into a double play for the second time during the game.
Sophomore third baseman Cody Ramer tried to get a rally started in the bottom of the ninth by recording a lead off single but Dalbec struck out looking and junior Riley Moore hit into a double play.
“We obviously had opportunities with bases loaded situations,” Lopez said. “Situational at bats beat us bad tonight.”
The Wildcats left seven runners on base.
Arizona will try to even the series on Saturday at Hi Corbett Field. First pitch is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. and it will be broadcast on the Pac-12 Networks.
—Follow Rose Aly Valenzuela @RoseAlyVal