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The Daily Wildcat

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College World Series: Arizona defeats Oklahoma State 5-1, advances to the championship series

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Devin Wilber

Arizona outfielder Alfonso Rivas III (20) and catcher Cesar Salazar hug after the Wildcat’s 5-1 victory over Oklahoma State on Saturday, June 25, 2016 in Omaha, Nebraska. Rivas recorded the final out of the game, leading Arizona into the College World Series championship series.  

OMAHA, Nebraska — Arizona baseball is heading back to the College World Series championship series. 

The Wildcats defeated Oklahoma State 5-1 Saturday at TD Ameritrade Park to advance to a best-of-three final series against Coastal Carolina.

Arizona, which pulled off three straight elimination game wins at the College World Series, was led by a strong outing by starting pitcher Bobby Dalbec. 

Dalbec went seven innings, allowing just one run on four hits while striking out six Cowboys. 

In 22 2/3 innings pitched in the NCAA Tournament, Dalbec has allowed just five runs. His 33 postseason strikeouts are the most of any pitcher. 

“I look at Bobby and what he’s done on the mound, it’s borderline legendary here in the postseason,” Arizona head coach Jay Johnson said.

For the second game in a row, Arizona’s offense provided its starting pitcher with an early cushion by putting up a pair of runs in the first and second innings. 

Oklahoma State starter Thomas Hatch, who tossed a complete game shutout against UC-Santa Barbara in the Cowboys’ first game of the College World Series, only made it through two innings.

Cody Ramer led the Wildcats off with a double and then stole third on the next pitch. Zach Gibbons scored in Ramer with an infield groundout. 

A Ryan Aguilar double followed by a JJ Matijevic walk on a wild pitch put runners on first and third for Oliva, whose sacrifice fly scored Aguilar to make it 2-0. 

In the second inning, Arizona added to its lead when Louis Boyd doubled home Kyle Lewis. Boyd later scored on an RBI double by Zach Gibbons. 

Oklahoma State scored its only run of the day in the top of third, when second baseman JR Davis hit a sacrifice fly to bring in Jon Littell. 

The next inning, Arizona got the run back on an RBI single by Gibbons. 

“I think honestly we just stuck with what we did yesterday,” Gibbons said. “Getting our foot down, moving the ball back, letting it get deep and putting a good swing up the middle.

Offense dipped the rest of the afternoon, as Arizona put runners in scoring position a couple times but could not bring anyone home. 

Kevin Ginkel replaced Dalbec on the mound in the eighth inning. Dalbec tossed 103 pitches, 68 of them for strikes. 

“I just didn’t try to change or differ from what I did the first time I faced them because it worked the first time,” Dalbec said. “And I knew the offense would come back strong, just yesterday. So I was just trying to be down in the zone.” 

After a scoreless eighth, Ginkel came back out in the ninth, where he allowed two Oklahoma State batters to reach base. 

A diving stop by Louis Boyd on a grounder recorded the second out of the inning. 

Alfonso Rivas replaced Ginkel on the mound to record the final out of the game — a strikeout.  

Game 1 of the championship series against Coastal Carolina is scheduled for 4 p.m. Monday. Game 2, which is on Tuesday, is also slated for a 4 p.m. start. 

An if-necessary Game 3 would take place Wednesday at 5 p.m. 

“We’re going into Monday really confident, as a really tight group of people,” Boyd said. We stay together as a team, and everyone just believes in one another.” 


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