Oregon Ducks Baseball Vs. Stanford Cardinal Recap: Payne Delivers Late, Ducks Top Trees 2-1

An RBI single by Aaron Payne gave Oregon a 2-1 victory over the #21 ranked Cardinal

Stanford was trouble defensively and Oregon was able to capitalize as the Ducks won 2-1 against the Stanford ace Appel. Appel pitched the whole game, officially 8.1 innings and struck out 9 in the losing effort. Appel was hindered by a defense which committed 3 errors, including one in the ninth which would aid in the Oregon win. Both teams were hitting the ball well, but would leave a combined 19 batters on base. George Horton spoke on his defensive effort post game, "Even in this park, you're kind of walking on egg shells because of their big strong guys in the middle." Thorpe would pitch 6 and 2/3 but the win would go to Cleavinger, his third of the year.

Thorpe had good control early but was living dangerously. He faced batters with runners in scoring position in each of the first three innings, and in the third it would come back to bite him. Austin Slater advanced to second on a high chop off the plate and a double down the left field line by Danny Diekroeger would score the Cardinal's first run of the game. The Ducks responded with a two out rally in the bottom of the frame. Aaron Payne advanced to second on a passed ball and would slide in under the tag at the plate on a Ryon Healy single into right, knotting the score at 1 after 3.

Both pitchers would be solid throughout their appearance. The Ducks would threaten in the 6th getting their first two batters on base. A pair of errant bunts attempts and a ground out would thwart the Ducks scoring threat. Tommy Thorpe settled down after getting touched up a little by Stanford's bats. In the seventh he would give up a double off the wall in left by Drew Jackson and a walk and Thorpe's day would be over, leaving runners on the corners for Darrell Hunter.

Cleavinger came in late and struck out 3 of the 5 batters he faced, setting the stage for the bottom of ninth. Coming on to pinch hit for Josh Graham was Steven Packard who drilled a shot up the middle. Shortstop Drew Jackson was shaded over towards second and was able to make a play on the ball but threw it into the Oregon dugout awarding Packard second. Packard advanced to third on a bunt single by Connor Hofmann put runners on the corners. With the bases loaded and one away, Aaron Payne stepped into the box and missed on the first two pitches. Payne would adjust with two strikes and drive a hot shot grounder past the first baseman to plate the winning run. "The first two I was just trying to hit something to the outfield and with two strikes I was just trying to put something in play and get the barrel on something." Aaron Payne said just before getting the shaving cream treatment post game.

The Friday victory was the first for Oregon against a ranked opponent this season and coach Horton was cautiously optimistic about the series, "I hope my guys are mature enough to get the series win. We got a Friday which is a great feeling against the big boys but unless we do something about it tomorrow or Sunday, what's the difference?" Tomorrow, Cole Irvin takes the hill for the Ducks and will face off against Dean McArdle for the Cardinal.

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