EUGENE, Oregon— It took extra innings to do it, but Oregon (6-4) finally shook off the pesky Bulldogs of Mississippi State (7-5) Sunday to take the final game of the three-game series 6-5.
Junior third baseman Kyle Kasser provided the heroics, driving a sharp single back up the middle to bring home redshirt sophomore pinch runner Carson Breshears with the winning run in the bottom of the eleventh.
The Ducks offense started strong again— highlighted by a two-run single by junior shortstop Daniel Patzlaff— scoring four runs in the bottom of the second to take a 4-0 lead, and send MSU starter Graham Ashcraft to the showers after only an inning-and-a-third. The score remained this way until the top of the sixth, when the Bulldogs broke through with three runs of their own, the main damage thanks to a two-run double by right fielder Elijah MacNamee, chasing Oregon’s starter sophomore Cole Stringer from the game. Stringer went five-and-a-third innings, giving up three runs on eight hits while striking out three. He did not factor in the decision.
MSU would tack on two more runs off of Oregon sophomore reliever Parker Kelly in the top of the seventh to take a 5-4 lead, courtesy of an RBI double by center fielder Jake Mangum, and an RBI single by shortstop Ryan Gridley.
Oregon would tie the game at five a piece the hard way in the bottom of the eighth, thanks to a walk, a wild pitch, and an RBI sacrifice fly by junior catcher Tim Susnara.
The game stayed 5-5 through the ninth and tenth, as relievers Spencer Price for MSU and Oregon freshman Kenyon Yovan dueled on the mound. Fortunately for the Ducks, Price (1-1) blinked first in the bottom of the eleventh. Yovan (1-0) was stellar in relief, throwing three innings of shutout ball, allowing four hits while striking out six to get the win.
For the game, Kasser went 2-5 with a pair of RBI for the Ducks, who were once again forced to play Small Ball, as Oregon managed to scrap out their six runs without the benefit of an extra-base hit.
The Ducks next take the field Monday, as the UC Davis Aggies come to PK Park. First pitch scheduled for 6:00 pm.