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Baseball Recap: Streaking Ducks Win Seventh In A Row, Thump Cal in PAC-12 Opener 7-1

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Photo courtesy of goducks.com

BERKELEY, California— The Ducks took their show on the road Friday, but the results were the same, as Oregon opened conference play by whipping the California Golden Bears 7-1 for their seventh consecutive win.

David Peterson (4-1) authored another dominating performance, throwing six shutout innings while giving up nine hits— none for extra bases— striking out eight and issuing one walk. The current PAC-12 Pitcher of the Week has now tossed twenty-two-and-a-third consecutive shutout innings. A trio of Duck set-up men (senior Connor Zwetsch, junior Brac Warren, senior Connor Stiles) pitched a combined inning-and-two-thirds before giving way to freshman closer Kenyon Yovan with two outs in the eighth. Yovan came in and slammed the door on the Bears, striking out three of the four batters he faced while picking up his league-leading sixth save.

The game was scoreless before Oregon (12-4, 1-0) finally broke through with three runs in their half of the third, thanks to an RBI fly out from senior center fielder Jake Bennett, and a two-run single from freshman right fielder Matthew Dyer. Oregon would tack on two more runs in the fifth off Bears’ starter Tanner Dodson (1-4), courtesy of another RBI fly out, this time off the bat of junior catcher Tim Susnara, and an RBI double from freshman third baseman Spencer Steer. After Cal (8-8, 0-1) picked up their lone run in the eighth thanks to an RBI fielder’s choice by DH Matt Ruff, the Ducks flexed their muscles in the ninth, adding two more runs to their tally via solo home runs from Bennett and redshirt junior left fielder A.J. Balta, the first of the season for each. Bennett paced the Ducks’ offensive attack Friday, with three hits (including the aforementioned home run), two RBI, a walk, and two runs scored.

The three-game series continues Saturday from Evans Diamond in Berkeley, with first pitch scheduled for 6:05 pm.

Game notes: Peterson’s 39 strikeouts over his past three starts is the most by a Ducks’ pitcher since the program was reinstated in 2009... Peterson currently leads the PAC-12 with 48 strikeouts, and is tied with Oregon State’s Luke Heimlich and Jake Thompson for most wins at 4... Yovan has yet to allow an earned run in his seven appearances this season... Bennett’s home run was not only his first of the season, it was the first of his Duck career... Oregon is currently in second place in the conference, behind only OSU.