Jeff Gold came in for relief of Christian Jones to get the win against the Pilots
Oregon (7-1) faced off against an overmatched Portland Pilots (2-7) team on a cold Tuesday night at PK Park. The Ducks' pitching staff stymied the Pilots through 8 consecutive innings before the Pilots would score late to give the game some late drama. The staff of Christian Jones, Jeff Gold, who was credited with the win, Garrett Cleavinger and Jimmie Sherfy combined for 15 strike outs and only allowed 1 run while scattering 6 hits.
The Ducks wasted no time getting into the act offensively. Scott Heineman took first with a walk and back to back singles from Brett Thomas and Ryon Healy brought Heineman around third to tally the first run in the opening frame. The Ducks' unorthodox way of scoring runs would continue as Heineman would get hit on the leg by a pitch, getting on base without swinging the bat. Heineman would then score again on a shallow sacrifice fly to left field from Brett Thomas to put the Ducks up 2-0 after 3.
Christian Jones pitched very strong in a controlled start for the Ducks but would run into a little trouble in the third. Jones had a pair of strike outs in the inning before he hit Kramer Scott with a pitch. Brian Frattali would single Scott to second and a passed ball would put both runners in scoring position. They would get no closer though, as Jones finished off the scoring threat with another strike out to get out of the jam. Jeff Gold came on in relief of Jones after he had thrown 45 pitches and picked up right where Jones left off, striking out the side in the fourth.
Oregon would score again in the fifth, using a lead off walk from J.J. Altobelli. With some gutsy base running, Altobelli advanced to third on a shallow single to left. Oregon's threat would be thwarted though as Aaron Payne got doubled off on a hit and run attempt. When Garrett Cleavinger came on in relief for Jeff Gold, Gold had tallied 7 strike outs and only allowed a single base runner when he hit Michael Lucarelli in the fifth.
Jimmie Sherfy came in with a runner on first in the top of the ninth and as per usual made the game exciting. Caleb Whalen drove in Cody Lenahan with a double down the right field line. Sherfy would lock in against the final two batters, striking them both out to preserve the win and garner his third save of the season.
The Ducks will have to elevate their game against a tough Cal State Fullerton team who has been pitching quite well themselves early in the season. Coach Horton remains confident that the Ducks' bats will come alive sooner than later and they are going to need them against the Titans. Oregon was only able to muster 3 hits but despite that, they manufactured enough runs to get the victory, albeit against a Portland squad who has been struggling all season.