PHOENIX – Bobby Dalbec started on the mound and hit a pair of home runs for the University of Arizona baseball team, his last sparking a six-run ninth inning to salvage a 7-2 victory in the last of a three-game series against eighth-ranked Arizona State University on Monday evening at Phoenix Municipal Stadium.
With his team trailing 2-1 with one out in the top of the ninth, Dalbec stepped to the plate to face Sun Devils' closer Ryan Burr, who entered the game having allowed only two earned runs in in nearly 25 innings pitched.
In a battle of Coloradans, Dalbec – from Parker, Colo. – crushed a 2-2 slider for a two-run homer over the left-centerfield fence to give the Wildcats a 3-2 lead. It was the second home run of the game for Dalbec, who initially put his club on top 1-0 with a solo shot to right-center in the second inning.
Burr (L, 6-1), from Highlands Ranch, Colo., went on to surrender six earned runs on five hits and a pair of walks in 1.1 innings of relief.
Arizona State (23-10, 11-4) scored single runs in the sixth and seventh innings to take a 2-1 lead against Wildcat reliever Nathan Bannister. That was the margin heading into the ninth inning and the Sun Devils were unbeaten in 15 tries when leading after eight innings.
But the Wildcats were determined to snap a five-game losing streak.
Kevin Newman singled sharply up the middle to open the final frame. After Burr struck out Riley Moore, Dalbec belted his third home run of the series to give the Wildcats a one-run lead.
Defensive replacement Joseph Maggi followed Dalbec and worked 10-pitch walk to keep the rally going. Zach Gibbons singled and Ryan Aguilar walked to load to the load the bases, before Cody Ramer ripped a line drive off Burr's glove for a run-scoring infield hit.
That marked the end of the evening for Burr, who was replaced by Jordan Aboites. The righty struggled, walking Justin Behnke to force in another run and yielding an RBI single to Scott Kingery.
Aboites was lifted in favor of Jordan Graybill, who gave up a sacrifice fly to Kevin Newman, which capped the scoring and left Arizona with the 7-2 lead.
Tyger Talley (W, 4-0) finished off the Sun Devils in the ninth, picking up a win in his first relief appearance of the season.