Arizona Wildcats’ pitching difference again in Game 1 win over Mississippi State

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Bobby Dalbec walks to the dugout with two outs in the ninth with some Mississippi State fans giving him a standing ovation (ESPN screen shot).

Bobby Dalbec walks to the dugout with two outs in the ninth with some Mississippi State fans giving him a standing ovation (ESPN screen shot).

Game 1: Arizona 1, Mississippi State 0

Game 2: Arizona vs. Mississippi State, 3 p.m. (ESPNU)

Game 3 (if needed): Arizona vs. Mississippi State, 3 p.m. (ESPN2/ESPNU)

Information from the Arizona media relations department contributed to this report.

Bobby Dalbec pitched the Arizona Wildcats past Mississippi State in the opening game of the Starkville Super Regional on Friday night

Following a 37-minute delay in the eighth inning due to a power outage, Dalbec kept his edge until the Bulldogs generated a rally with two outs in the bottom of the ninth. He pitched 8 2/3 shutout innings, propelling the Wildcats to a 1-0 win.

Dalbec, drafted in the earlier in the day by the Boston Red Sox in the fourth round, was so impressive that many of Mississippi State’s fans gave him a standing ovation when Arizona coach Jay Johnson replaced him with left-handed reliever Cameron Ming in the bottom of the ninth.

Dalbec, a junior right-hander, came into the game with four starts this season and a team-high 25 appearances. He went the deepest in a game he has all season. He retired the first two men in the ninth, before giving up two hits.

Ming shut the door with the final out, striking out leadoff batter Jake Mangum to end the game and give the Wildcats a 1-0 win.

Dalbec let a man reach in the first and second, two more in the third and fourth, but then found his groove starting in the fifth inning. He pitched a 1-2-3 fifth, and then struck out the side in the sixth on only 11 pitches. He again retired the side in order in the seventh.

Arizona’s lone run came in the sixth on a clutch two-out hit. Alfonso Rivas singled with one out, but was then thrown out at second when Ryan Aguilar reached on a fielder’s choice. With two outs and Aguilar on first, JJ Matijevic slugged an opposite-field double to left field to score Aguilar all the way from first and give the Cats a 1-0 lead.

Dalbec out-dueled hyped Mississippi State starter Dakota Hudson, to achieve his 10th win of the season. Hudson was taken in the first round (34th pick overall) by St. Louis on Thursday. Ming did not have a save in his career until the last two games against Louisiana-Lafayette and Mississippi State (44-17-1).

Arizona (43-21) will now have a chance to advance to the College World Series on Saturday in Game 2 of the Super Regional. First pitch is set for 3:04 p.m., MST, on ESPNU.


ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.

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