After getting back on track with three straight wins to bounce back from being swept by Cal State Fullerton last weekends, the Ducks struggled to get any sort of offense going in a 5-0 loss to Ohio State on Saturday prevening (click here for further explanation of prevening) at PK Park.
Ryan Riga went the distance for Ohio State (8-4), tossing a complete game shutout, giving up just five hits while walking one and striking out 10.
Oregon (11-4) starter Matt Krook tossed 5 an 1/3 innings giving up one run on just one hit with 10 strikeouts. Krook struggled with his command, issuing six walks. Jake Reed struggled out of his new role in the bullpen, giving up two runs on three hits in the ninth inning.
Eight of Oregon’s nine batters in the starting lineup combined to go 2-for-26 at the plate, striking out ten times. Aaron Payne was Oregon’s lone bright spot in the lineup with three of Oregon’s five hits.
Ryan Leffel led the Buckeyes in the batter’s box, going 2-for-4 with two RBIs.
The Ducks had an early opportunity to score in the bottom of the first inning. After laying down a bunt single, Aaron Payne advanced to third base off a pair of throwing errors from the Buckeyes. A 1-2-5 putout from Ohio State caught Payne at third, ending the scoring threat.
The Buckeyes would put runners in scoring position in the top of the third after two straight walks from – to start the inning. A wild pitch gave Ohio State runners on second and third with one out. – would recover by striking out the next two batters he faced to end the inning.
After the two teams combined for just one hit in two full innings, the Buckeyes struck first with an RBI double to left field from Leffel.
Oregon struggled to get their bats going with just one hit between the fourth and eighth innings.
In the top of the ninth, the Buckeyes added a few insurance runs to build a comfortable lead. A leadoff walk and a single along with a failed pickoff attempt gave the Buckeyes runners on the corners with no outs. Troy Kuhn singled to left field to drive in a run. A sacrifice bunt from Jacob Bosiokovic gave Ohio State runners in scoring position with one out. Back-to-back RBI singles from Troy Montgomery and Ronnie Dawson along with a hit batsman with the bases loaded gave the Buckeyes a 5-0 lead going into the bottom of the ninth.
Tyler Baumgartner would be hit by a pitch to lead things off in the home half of the ninth, but Mitchell Tolman would ground into a double play as the Ducks couldn’t muster enough for a comeback.
Oregon and Ohio State are back at it tomorrow afternoon for the rubber match of the three-game series. First pitch is schedule for 12:00 pm at PK Park.