Andy Lopez called it the Wednesday night massacre.
Following a loss to Long Beach State this week, the Arizona Wildcats manager gathered his team in the home clubhouse of Hi Corbett Field and held a meeting. Actually, it was more of a four-hour speech.
The coach addressed a number of topics. Among them: The team’s lack of competitiveness, poor execution with runners on base and too many balls being thrown by his pitching staff.
He followed up the four-hour summit with the most demanding practice of the season a day later.
It’s something Lopez hopes he never has to do again, and based on the early returns, he won’t.
The Wildcats won their second straight game Saturday night at the Hi Corbett Classic, beating UC Santa Barbara 10-5 in front of 2,559 fans.
“That was a kick in the butt for the whole team and it was very beneficial,” said shortstop Kevin Newman. “I think it woke us all up and got us going. We needed to hear some of that.”
The victory over the Guachos (9-2) followed a 12-3 win over No. 10 Mississippi State a night earlier.
Saturday’s win was hardly a masterpiece, but Lopez will take it.
Following a 5-for-5 night with six RBIs against Mississippi State, Trent Gilbert led off the second inning with a single. Two batters later, he was driven home on a sacrifice fly by catcher Riley Moore.
Two innings later, Gilbert made it 2-0 when he launched his first career home run to right field.
Starting pitcher Cody Hamlin and the Wildcats surrendered the lead in the fifth inning. The Gauchos scored three runs, courtesy of three UA errors and two walks. Hamlin finally got out of the inning when he got Cameron Newell to fly out to center field.
The Wildcats (8-7) responded right away in the bottom half of the inning , scoring four runs and taking a 6-3 lead.
Scott Kingery had an RBI single to score the first run, and Kevin Newman followed two batters later with a two-out, three-run triple.
After Newman had an RBI single in the seventh, the Gauchos threatened in the eighth and closed the lead to 7-5.
UCSB had five straight batters reach base on four singles and a walk, but closer Bobby Dalbec got a 4-3 double play with the bases loaded to get out of the inning.
The Wildcats then gave Dalbec some breathing room, scoring three runs in the bottom half of the inning. Cody Ramer and Newman each had RBI singles and Gilbert had an RBI double.
Newman and Gilbert led the way for the Wildcats for the second straight night. Newman went 3 for 5 with 5 RBIs after going 3 for 5 with an RBI and three runs scored on Friday.
Gilbert followed up his 5-for-5 night with a 3-for-5 performance with two RBIs and two runs scored.
“(Gilbert) has been short of spectacular,” Lopez said. “He’s hot, there’s no other way to say it.
“He’s shortened up his stroke and has come through with a couple big hits.
“Kevin had a rough stretch in the field but instead of feeling bad for himself, he came back and had a couple big hits and that’s the competitiveness I want to see.”
Hamlin earned the win and improved to 3-1 on the season. He gave up two runs on five hits and struck out three. Dalbec earned his first career save.
The Wildcats will play two games today to close out the Hi Corbett Classic. Their first game is at noon against UCSB and the finale is at 5 p.m., against Mississippi State.
Tyler Crawford will start the first game.
A starter hasn’t been announced for the second contest.