OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Bobby Dalbec pitched seven innings of four-hit ball, Zach Gibbons drove in three runs and Arizona beat Oklahoma State 5-1 on Saturday to advance to the College World Series finals.
The Wildcats, who forced a second Bracket 1 final by beating the Cowboys 9-3 on Friday, returned to the best-of-three finals in their first CWS appearance since winning the 2012 national championship. They are 6-0 in NCAA Tournament elimination games.
Arizona (48-22) will face TCU or Coastal Carolina beginning on Monday.
Dalbec (11-5), a fourth-round draft pick of the Boston Red Sox, allowed only two baserunners over his last four innings. He struck out six and is leading the NCAA Tournament with 33 in his five appearances.
he Wildcats chased Big 12 pitcher of the year Thomas Hatch (9-3) when their first two batters reached in the third inning. It was the shortest outing of the season for the Chicago Cubs' third-round pick. He was charged with four runs and five hits.
Gibbons was 2 for 4 and drove in runs in the first, second and fourth innings. He went a combined 5 for 9 with five RBIs in the Friday and Saturday games. He is 9 for 19 (.473) with seven RBIs in five games in Omaha.
The Cowboys (43-22) threatened in the ninth against Kevin Ginkel, putting two runners on and one out. Arizona shortstop Louis Boyd made a diving stop on Jon Littell's grounder and threw to first for the second out. Left-hander Alfonso Rivas came on to face pinch hitter Colin Simpson and struck him out to end the game.
Oklahoma State beat Arizona 1-0 on Monday, with Tyler Buffett holding the Wildcats to three hits. At that point, the Cowboys had allowed only six runs through seven NCAA Tournament games.
That untouchable pitching became very touchable the past two days. The Wildcats pounded out 14 hits Friday, and they had nine more Saturday. Hatch allowed four doubles after giving up one extra-base hit in his previous three starts.
The attendance of 9,326 was the smallest since the CWS moved to TD Ameritrade Park in 2011.