TUCSON, Ariz. – Washington found out there's a first time for everything.
The visiting Huskies pulled out their first one-run victory in 11 chances during conference play as they handed host Arizona a 3-2 defeat on Mother's Day at Hi Corbett Field.
Austin Rei's two-run homer in the second inning and Alex Schmidt's fifth-inning sacrifice fly proved to be all the offense Washington needed to spoil a strong start from Arizona's two-way talent Bobby Dalbec.
Dalbec (L, 2-6) suffered a tough-luck loss despite tossing his first career complete game in which he racked up a career-best 10 strikeouts. The sophomore righty allowed the three runs on nine hits over his nine innings.
Arizona (28-20, 12-15) found it difficult to mount scoring chances against the Huskies, but did plate a pair of runs in the fifth when starter Joshua Fredendall was lifted from the game.
Fredendall, who did not factor into the decision, walked Zach Gibbons to open the inning. After a sacrifice bunt advanced Gibbons to second, Scott Kingery singled to place runners at the corners. A wild pitch moved Kingery to second, and Kevin Newman drove in a run with a ground out.
Riley Moore then drew a walk against Fredendall, who was replaced by Spencer Jones (W, 4-6). The reliever yielded an RBI single to Dalbec, but was able to escape further trouble as JJ Matijevic grounded out.
That was all the Arizona offense would muster and Jones went on to pitch 3.1 scoreless innings of relief. The righty scattered three hits and a walk to go with two strikeouts.
Closer Troy Rallings took over for Jones with one down in the eighth, stranding the potential tying run at second. Rallings then retired the Wildcats in order in the ninth to earn his fourth save.
Washington (26-22, 11-16 Pac-12) snapped its string of tough-luck losses. The club was previously winless in 10 one-run games during Pac-12 play.
Arizona has also experienced its struggles in tight games and fell to 1-4 in one-run conference contests.
The Pac-12's leading hitter, Scott Kingery, was a late addition to the lineup, but went 3-for-5 with a run scored. Kingery missed a start Saturday evening and was inserted into Sunday's lineup 25 minutes before first pitch.
Prior to the game, mothers from both teams were honored by throwing out the ceremonial first pitches. The players on each club wrote "4MOM" on their arms as a tribute to the initiative driven by Braden Bishop, whose mother has been diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer's disease. Bishop was 2-for-4 with two runs scored out of the leadoff spot for the Huskies.
Arizona will close out its conference slate next weekend against league-leading UCLA. The three-game series begins next Friday evening at 7 p.m. (PDT) at Jackie Robinson Stadium in Los Angeles.
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