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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


College World Series Finals: Coastal Carolina beats Arizona 4-3, Wildcats fall short of a National Championship

Stan Liu/Arizona Athletics

The Arizona baseball teams accepts the runner-up trophy at the College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska on June 30. The Wildcats lost 4-3 to Coastal Carolina in the final game of championship series.

OMAHA, Nebraska — The Arizona baseball team sat in the TD Ameritrade Park home dugout with stoic faces.

Right in front of them, Coastal Carolina celebrated with a national title trophy that the Wildcats had thought belonged to them just 48 hours earlier.

A Game 2 loss and a weather postponement forced a Thursday afternoon Game 3 in the College World Series Finals, where Coastal Carolina defeated Arizona 4-3.

The Chanticleers won their first ever national title, while Arizona fell just short of its fifth.

A strong outing by Arizona’s Bobby Dalbec was overshadowed by a costly two-error mistake by Cody Ramer in the sixth inning— which proved to be the difference.

The Wildcats had a chance to mount a dramatic ninth inning comeback but went down swinging.

Down two runs, Louis Boyd walked with one out and Ramer singled to put runners on the corners.

Zach Gibbons hit a sacrifice fly to score Boyd and make it a one-run game.

Ryan Aguilar then doubled down the left field line on a ball that would usually score a run. But a clean-fielded pick up by Chanticleers left fielder Anthony Marks held Ramer at third while Aguilar took second.

“Trust me, nobody wants to send a runner with two outs more than I do,” Johnson said. “I can’t believe that guy made the play. It was the play of the year in college baseball.”

Ryan Haug, who had entered the game in the seventh inning to replace an injured Cesar Salazar, struck out swinging on a full-count to end the game.

The Wildcats couldn’t overcome an ominous start to the game.

In the third inning, Cody Ramer was thrown out at the plate on what appeared to be a wrong ruling.

In the sixth inning, with runners on second and third and two outs, Coastal Carolina’s Zach Remillard hit a slow grounder up the middle that landed in the hands of Ramer.

Ramer did not get a good grip on the ball, allowing Remillard to sprint down the first base line before Ramer could throw him out.

With the runner on third already crossing the plate, Ramer decided to throw the ball to third to pick off the advancing base runner, but his throw went over Kyle Lewis’ head and to the backstop, allowing a second run to score.

Ramer’s two-error mistake was a rare hiccup for the sure-handed Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim draft pick

“[Ramer] was runner-up for Pac-12 Conference Defensive Player of the Year and that wasn’t by accident,” Johnson said. “I can’t even remember the last time he made an error.”

With one on and two outs, Johnson decided to leave Dalbec on the mound to face left-handed G.K. Young, instead of turning to lefty Cameron Ming, who was warming up in the bullpen.

Dalbec, who was over 100 pitches, left a two-strike breaking ball over the plate, which Young hammered to right field for a two-run homer.

That made the score 4-0.

Johnson then pulled Dalbec with one out to go in the sixth, bringing in Ming from the bullpen.

Before walking off the field, Dalbec put his arm around Ramer, attempting to soothe his older teammate.

“I’ve made errors behind guys all year in big situations and it doesn’t feel good,” Dalbec said. “I can’t even imagine how it feels for Cody to make one on this stage and I didn’t want him to feel like he’s the only person out there.”

In the bottom of the sixth, Arizona responded with a pair of runs when with two outs and two on, Oliva hit a two-run single through the right side.

With runners on first and second, Louis Boyd struck out to end the inning.

Ming recorded a scoreless top of the seventh but on a strike-three swinging to end the frame.

Coastal Carolina’s Michael Paez hit Arizona catcher Cesar Salazar in the helmet on his backswing.

Salazar remained on the field for a few minutes before walking off with a trainer.

Arizona put two runners on in the bottom of the seventh—both via walk. Haug came in to pinch hit for Salazar with one out but grounded into a double play to end the rally.

Cody Deason relieved Ming in the ninth and tossed a scoreless top of the frame.

“It’s an incredible experience,” Dalbec said. “I’m excited for the younger guys who got to experience this their first year and not their last year so they know what it’s like.”

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