Following a series sweep in Corvallis, the Ducks were looking for a bit of redemption and momentum as the season comes to a close. They got out on the right foot against Arizona taking the first game of the series 6-1. Tommy Thorpe went deep into the game, pitching into the 8th and only allowing a single run in his effort. Shaun Chase stole the show with a 3-4 performance including a pair of home runs, one to the deepest part of the ball park in the fifth and a towering shot in the bottom of the 8th.
Shaun Chase broke up a scoreless tie in the sixth inning when he took sent a solo shot off a 0-1 pitch to the deepest part of the park in right center.
"I've tried to do it for the past three years and it's never happened. I didn't think it would go out of center in PK Park," said Chase.
Oregon wasn't done there as Austin Grebeck laid down a bunt up the third base line. Arizona third baseman Willie Calhoun's throw skipped past the first baseman, allowing Grebeck to get around to third on the error. Mark Karaviotis drove him in on the first pitch he saw to give Oregon a 2-0 lead after 6.
Coach George Horton talked about the psyche of his team in the game until Chase broke through, "I didn't like what was going on in the dug out, you know how the umpire saying 'play ball?' We were working baseball."
Once the Ducks cracked the score board they were able to continue to put up runs and put the Wildcats away.
Arizona got on the board in the top of the seventh when Tyler Krause got to second on a ball the Kyle Garlick just couldn't handle in left. Calhoun made up for his earlier fielding gaffe by driving Krause in on a single. With no one out, Thorpe stood tall and shut down the Wildcat rally, preserving the lead at 2-1.
The Ducks would respond in the bottom of the inning, once again led by Shaun Chase. Chase's double one hopped off the wall and he would be brought around by Austin Grebeck. He would later score on a Karaviotis hit to give Oregon some insurance runs late in the game.
Thorpe would give way to Garrett Cleavinger in the 8th who allowed a single, loading the bases with two away. Cleavinger would go down 2-0 to pinch hitter Zach Gibbons but battle back and get the hitter to softly line out to right ending the Cat's last real threat.
Shaun Chase and the Ducks would strike again in the bottom of the 8th when he turned on a pitch driving a high fly ball deep to left field and out of the park, giving him the first multi-home run game for the Ducks since April 27th, 2013 when Ryon Healy accomplished the same feat.
Oregon needs to build on this win and show that they are still a force in this conference. They have shown the ability to beat teams with less talent than them and this series against Arizona has to be a sweep if they are to keep the reputation alive.