FRESNO, California- The Ducks once again played Small Ball, scraping together three runs without the benefit of an extra base hit to take the series finale Monday evening over the Fresno State Bulldogs, 3-2.
Fresno State (2-2) once again jumped out to an early 1-0 lead after one inning, but Oregon (2-2) would strike back with a pair of runs in their half of the third, courtesy of a two-run single off the bat of redshirt junior leftfielder A.J. Balta. The Bulldogs tied the game in the bottom of the inning after Oregon starter sophomore Isaiah Carranza gave up an RBI double to Fresno State second baseman Scott Silva, but that was it for the night for the ‘Dogs’ offense. In the fifth, Oregon redshirt senior centerfielder Jake Bennett stroked a single back up the middle off of reliever J.J. Santa Cruz (0-1) to drive in freshman second baseman Morgan McCullough and the Ducks’ third run for the final margin of victory.
For the third time in four games, the Ducks’ starter failed to make it past the fourth inning, as Carranza was pulled after four, ending his night giving up two runs on five hits with no strikeouts. Freshman James Acuna (1-0) came out of the bullpen and pitched three sterling innings, giving up only two hits while striking out five. Freshman Ryne Nelson pitched a perfect eighth inning before giving way to fellow frosh Kenyon Yovan, who closed the door in the ninth to pick up his first save of the season.
Fresno State was once again done in by inconsistent pitching, as starter Davis Moore gave up three of the eight walks issued by Bulldogs pitchers on the night. For the series, Fresno State pitchers issued thirty free passes to Ducks’ batters.
The Ducks next travel to San Diego on the 24th, where they’ll play UC Irvine in their opening game of the Tony Gwynn Classic tournament.