TUCSON, Ariz. – Long Beach State plated two late runs, including Colby Brenner’s run-scoring triple in the ninth inning, to defeat the University of Arizona baseball team, 3-2, in the opening game of a brief two-game series Tuesday night at Hi Corbett Field.
Long Beach State (5-6) squandered a slim 1-0 lead by giving up lone runs in the sixth and seventh innings, but quickly answered to tie the game 2-2 in the eighth inning.
Trailing by a run, the Dirtbags strung together three-consecutive one-out singles in the eighth. Freshman Garrett Hampson started the rally with a single to left field off right-hander Tyler Parmenter. Lefty Xavier Borde replaced Parmenter to face the left hand-hitting Michael Hill, who hit a seeing-eye single through the left side.
Arizona (6-6) then brought in first baseman Bobby Dalbec, a right-hander, to face Richard Prigatano. The junior delivered another single through the left side to drive in Garrett with the tying run.
An inning later, Colton Vaughn bounced a single up the middle, before Brenner tripled to the right field corner off Dalbec.
The Wildcats, who again struggled to find timely hits, went quietly in the bottom of the ninth. Dirtbags closer Kyle Friedrichs retired the side in order for his third save of the season.
Arizona, which had eight hits in the game, went 1-for-15 hitting with runners on base, including 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position. Last weekend when it was swept by Seton Hall, the club was 3-for-23 over three games with runners in scoring position, and the Wildcats do not have a two-out RBI in their last five complete games.
The Wildcats’ initial lead did come with two outs in the seventh, but not because of a key RBI hit. Scott Kingery was hit by a pitch with one down and moved to third on Kevin Newman’s two-out double. Reliever Cameron Pongs threw a wild pitch, which allowed Kingery to score the go-ahead.
Just an inning earlier, Riley Moore’s leadoff triple to right-center set up an RBI groundout from Zach Gibbons to tie the game, 1-1.
The Dirtbags claimed the initial lead by stringing a pair of two-out hits together in the top of the second. Colton Vaughn’s two-out single was followed by Brenner’s run-scoring double to the wall in right field – his first hit of the season.
Brenner, who entered the game the game 0-for-8 on the season, collected two extra base hits and drove in two key runs for the Dirtbags. His two-out double in the second inning gave Long Beach State the initial lead.
Long Beach State found production at the bottom of the order, with the last three hitters in the lineup combining for five of the Dirtbags’ nine hits. Vaughn scored two runs and was driven in by Brenner each time.
Arizona utilized a pair of weekend starters to limit the Dirtbags over the first six innings. Cody Hamlin, who threw only 50 pitches in a rain-suspended game last Saturday, allowed one run over the first three innings to go with four strikeouts. Friday starter James Farris utilized his regular throwing day to pitch perfect innings in relief.
Parmenter surrendered the eighth inning runs and gave up three hits over 1.1 innings of relief.
Dalbec (L, 0-1) suffered his first career loss in his second career appearance. The two-way player allowed a run on three hits over the last 1.2 innings.
Releiver Ty Provencher (W, 2-2) earned the victory for Long Beach State with one scoreless inning.
Dirtbags starter Jason Alexander was solid over six complete innings, striking out four and allowing just one run on six hits.
The two teams conclude the midweek series tomorrow at noon at Hi Corbett Field.