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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Arizona baseball stays perfect with win over NDSU

Arizona+pitcher+Cody+Hamlin+delievers+a+pitch+during+Arizonas+7-2+win+against+North+Dakota+State+at+Hi+Corbett+Field+on+Tuesday.
Kyle Hansen

Arizona pitcher Cody Hamlin delievers a pitch during Arizona’s 7-2 win against North Dakota State at Hi Corbett Field on Tuesday.

After a rough start, Arizona baseball bounced back to score seven unanswered runs and win its fourth game in a row to start the season. The Wildcats gave up two runs in the first to North Dakota State (0-4) but rallied to win 7-2.

Cody Hamlin (1-0) started for the Wildcats, going 5.0 innings, giving up two hits and two earned runs and striking out four.

“I was happy to see Hamlin bounce back after a little bit of a rough outing at the beginning,” Arizona head coach Andy Lopez said. “They were hitting him pretty good, but I thought he settled down and did a pretty good job.”

Arizona utility player Bobby Dalbec went 2-for-4 with two RBIs. Shortstop Kevin Newman went 2-for-3 with a double and a walk.

North Dakota State scored two runs in the first after Hamlin hit the first batter, NDSU third baseman John Skrbec hit a double and Dalbec committed an error.

However, Dalbec atoned for the error with a single to give Arizona the lead in the home half of the first inning after the Wildcats scored a run off a balk by NDSU pitcher Reed Pfannenstein and a sacrifice by catcher Riley Moore.

“I told Hamlin I was going to make up for that error, so I did right there, so that’s cool,” Dalbec said, laughing.

In the second, the Wildcats scored again after left fielder Ryan Aguilar moved into scoring position off of another Pfannenstein (0-1) balk, and center fielder Justin Behnke drove him in.

“We’re just gelling as a team chemistry-wise; we’re a lot better this year,” Arizona designated hitter Tyler Krause said. “Last year, we were kind of mixed up, and I think a big thing for us this year is to be efficient, be aggressive.”

UA shortstop Kevin Newman led off the third with a walk and then stole second. Shortly after, Krause drove him in with a triple and Dalbec drove in Krause not long after.

The damage could have been worse as the Wildcats loaded the bases with no outs in third but only scored one run after hitting into a double play.

“You can see, we’re struggling sometimes,” Krause said. “Bases loaded, we’re getting double plays. … [But] I think if we can clean some things up, it’s going to be even better.”

The Wildcats hit into double plays three innings in a row, but Lopez said he was glad they weren’t fly ball outs.

“I would be more concerned if we had, like, nine fly ball outs, 10,” Lopez said. “As crazy as it is, a double play is not that easy to execute defensively, and that ground ball is going to be a line drive eventually. But the fly ball outs, you just get worn down with that psychologically.”

The Wildcats and Bison wrap up the two-game series today at 6 p.m. David Ernst (0-1, 3.60 ERA) is scheduled to pitch for North Dakota State.

Pitcher Xavier Borde will start, making his 2015 debut, Lopez said.

“It’s a double-edged sword when you play five games a week,” Lopez said. “You have to pitch some guys that you might not think are going to be very effective, and, hopefully, they prove you wrong. That’s the honest-to-God truth. I hope they prove me wrong.”

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Follow James Kelley on Twitter.

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