After winning seven of eight on the road to start the season, a home series was well deserved by Oregon. So far, that's off to a good start, too. Coming back from an early 3-0 deficit, Oregon was able to push a run across the plate in the bottom of the 9th to take the series opener from the Dirtbags 5-4.
Alex Keudell started for the Ducks on the mound, and it was not a sharp beginning. Keudell gave up three runs in the top of the first on four Dirtbag singles. However, that was the bulk of his struggles, and he ended up settling down for a nice outing. He would go on to pitch seven innings, giving up only five more hits, one more run, and a single walk the rest of the game. Jeff Gold, whose Tuesday start was postponed due to weather, pitched two shutout innings in relief for the win.
The Ducks would load the bases in the second, to no avail. They would load them again in the fourth, and Brett Hambright smacked a two run double, followed by a fielders choice by Connor Hofman to tie the game. The Ducks would load the bases a third time in the bottom of the sixth, and plate another run on a walk to take a 4-3 lead. Long Beach State would then tie it up in the seventh. It reamained knotted up until the bottom of the ninth, when Ryon Healy led off with a walk. Vernell Warren, a former UO trackster competiting in his only year of baseball as a senior, pinch ran for Healy, was bunted to second, and scored the winning run on a throwing error.
Despite loading the bases in three separate innings, it wasn't the gaudy offense performance that Oregon has at times had this season. The Ducks got only six hits--but drew a whopping ten walks. Hambright and Shaun Chase had doubles, while Aaron Jones smacked a triple. LBSU had ten hits on the game, but only one went for extra bases.
The winning streak now stands at 8, and the Ducks keep rolling up the non-conference victories against quality opponents. The same two teams square off at 6:00 Saturday at PK Park. Freshman Jake Reed (1-0, 2.25) is on the hill for Oregon, while Matt Anderson (0-0, 1.59) will start for the Dirtbags.