TUCSON, AZ - The University of Arizona baseball team overcame an early deficit and received a third-consecutive quality start as the Wildcats finished a three-game sweep of Eastern Michigan with a 6-2 victory Sunday afternoon at Hi Corbett Field.
Junior Tyger Talley tossed a three-hitter with nine strikeouts over 7.1 innings, and closer Bobby Dalbec picked up his first save of the year with 1.2 perfect innings of relief.
Arizona (3-0) fell behind 2-1 in the third inning, but Talley (W, 1-0) settled in and shut down the Eagles the rest of the way. The right-hander did not allow another hit the rest of the game and set down 14 in a row until EMU finally put a runner on base via an error.
The Wildcats collected only nine hits one day after rapping out 21 in a 16-3 thrashing Saturday night, but benefitted from seven EMU errors which led to four unearned runs in Sunday's victory.
Shortstop Kevin Newman went 2-for-4 in the contest and his bunt single to open up the bottom of the sixth ignited a decisive inning as the Eagles committed three errors.
The first was committed by starting pitcher Jake Andrews, who fielded Newman's bunt and errantly threw to first base, allowing the preseason All-American to scamper into scoring position.
Then Tyler Krause reached on a sacrifice bunt attempt when Andrews again threw errantly, this time to third as he looked to throw out Newman. The ball skipped into foul territory down the left field line, bringing Newman home with the tying run and allowing Krause to advance to second base.
After Krause stole third, JJ Matijevic drove in the go-ahead run with a groundout, and the score was 3-2 in favor of the Wildcats.
Later in the inning, Bobby Dalbec smacked a two-out double and came into score on pinch-hitter Michael Hoard's single.
That proved to be plenty of run support for Talley, who worked into the eighth inning before handing the game over to Dalbec with a runner on first and one out. Dalbec, who started at third base, needed only one pitch to induce an inning-ending double play and preserve the 4-2 lead.
In the bottom of the eighth, defensive replacement Sawyer Gieseke dropped down a bunt single to drive in Riley Moore for an added insurance run.
Eastern Michigan (0-3) continued to struggle defensively.
Left-handed reliever Michael Marsinek threw wildly to first when he caught Gieseke leaving on a steal attempt, which pushed the runner to third base. Then Ryan Aguilar walked and drew a wild throw on steal attempt from catcher Tony DiLeo, which sent Gieske home with the sixth and final run.
Dalbec pitched a clean ninth inning to seal the victory.
Andrews (L, 0-1) suffered the loss despite not allowing an earned run. He gave up four total runs on seven hits and a walk with four strikeouts in 5.2 innings of work.
The Wildcats were solid in all three phases over the weekend, batting .368 as a team, turning in a 2.67 team earned run average and committing only two errors. Junior Scott Kingery paced the club with a .538 (7-for-13) weekend at the plate, while all three weekend starters earned a victory on the mound.
Arizona will now host North Dakota State for a pair of midweek games beginning Tuesday, Feb. 17. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. (MST) at Hi Corbett Field.
GAME NOTES: Arizona drew 8,522 fans to its three games on Opening Weekend … Four Wildcats hit safely in each game of the weekend, including Scott Kingery, Kevin Newman, Tyler Krause and Bobby Dalbec. Kingery carried over a 7-game streak from the end of last season and has now hit safely in 10-straight games … Six Wildcats collected their first career hits on the weekend … The pitching staff combined for 29 strikeouts in 27.0 innings on the weekend, with only seven walks issued … A total of 13 players tallied a base hit and 10 scored a run over the weekend … UA's leadoff batter reached base 12 times in 24 opportunities … The Wildcats improved to 36-6 on Opening Weekend under Andy Lopez.