Tyler Baumgartner led the way, falling a triple short of the cycle as Oregon overcame an early shock to the system and bounced the Dons from the regional 6-1. The Ducks responded to a first inning home run with two of their own. USF also committed three errors on the game which would contribute to two of Oregon's runs. Cole Irvin came in and pitched a complete game, striking out 9 and scattering 6 hits. "I was in control. I was comfortable. I was comfortable the whole game even after the home run. It was a very satisfying feeling," Irvin said on his performance which kept the Ducks playing. The win paved the way for Oregon to face Rice in the second game of a double header on Sunday.
The noon game found itself starting in familiar territory as Justin Maffei took Cole Irvin deep to left field in the top of the first to give the Dons an early 1-0 lead. Irvin would be able to settle down after the early blast and retired the next nine batters he faced. However, unlike the last two games in the regional, the Ducks brought their bats against San Francisco.
Tyler Baumgartner would get the hitting going for Oregon as he singled through the middle in the third and Mitchell Tolman would bring him in with a sacrifice fly to right field. The inning did not end without controversy as Ryan Hambright got caught up in a rundown causing Ryon Healy to try and score on the play. Healy appeared to beat the tag on the play but was called out by the home plate umpire.
The out at the plate gave Shaun Chase another opportunity at the plate and Chase crushed a no doubt home run to left giving Oregon a lead they would not relinquish. Baumgartner would lead off the fifth and homer off the roof of the hitting barn in right. Baumgartner would strike again in the seventh as his double scored JJ Altobelli and Mitchell Tolman beat the relay to first to score Baumgartner giving the final score of 6-1.
In the second game of the double header, Oregon kept their foot on the gas totaling 11 runs and 15 hits in the rout of the Rice Owls 11-0, a team which had shut them out only a night before. "I have no idea where all the offensive production came from. My instincts tell me the edge was off and they weren't trying too hard," coach George Horton said after the game. Ryon Healy and Tyler Baumgartner continued their torrid hitting as they combined for 6 hits and 5 RBI. "My mentality was ‘I don't want to lose," Jeff Gold said "I just came out and executed Coach's game plan and Shaun [Chase] caught the crap out of it."
Oregon's hot hitting continued in their second matchup against Rice as Ryon Healy got in the act early drilling another Oregon home run just under the scoreboard to give the Ducks an early 1-0 lead. The struggles Oregon had against Rice yesterday seemed a distant memory as they put together a 3 run 4th inning which would chase starter John Simms from the game after only 4 innings of work. Blake Fox wouldn't fair much better for the Owls as he threw only 12 pitches and allowed two more runs before he gave way, leaving the game with a 6-0 Oregon lead.
The Ducks would continue to pour it on in the seventh. Healy doubled down the left field line, scoring two and Scott Heineman's triple would score two more as Oregon separated themselves from the Owls, leading 10-0 after seven, having the game all but sewn up. With a series of pinch hitters in the 8th, Kevin Minjares would bloop a base hit just inside the right field line to plate Oregon's final run of the game . Jordan Spencer came on to finish off the game and as was the case through most of the game, the Owls went down quietly.
Getting the wins today creates a winner take all match up against Rice tomorrow at 6 PM. Both coaches exhibited a little bit of gamesmanship, neither naming a starter post game but alluding to both of them putting a right hander on the mound. A lot remains to be seen but Oregon definitely has the momentum going into the last game of their home regional. As coach Horton said though, "I expect Rice to pick themselves up off the deck...momentum is only as good as tomorrow's starter."