PROVO, Utah— Morgan McCullough had three hits, Kenyon Yovan picked up his tenth save, and the Ducks pulled out the win against the BYU Cougars Monday 9-6.
Oregon’s offense perked up a bit after their disastrous series with Utah over the weekend, pounding out twelve hits— ten of them singles— leading to nine runs overall while leaving ten men stranded. Freshman second baseman Morgan McCullough broke out of his recent slump with his 3-4 day which included a double, two RBI and two runs scored.
The Ducks were the fortunate recipients of four errors on the part of the Cougars, leading to four unearned runs, including two on an errant pick off throw from Cougar reliever Keaton Cenatiempo in the top of the eighth for what turned out to be the winning runs for Oregon (18-8). BYU (14-12) used six pitchers overall, as starter Jordan Wood was unable to make it through the fourth, giving up four runs (three earned) on three hits while striking out five and walking one. Hard-luck reliever Aaron Cross (1-2) took the loss, despite only giving up one unearned run on one hit in his inning-and-a-third of work.
Oregon’s pitching staff continued it’s streaky work of late: sophomore righthander Isaiah Carranza got the start and went five innings, allowing two runs on six hits while striking out two. He also hit a batter and uncorked two wild pitches and did not figure in the decision. Sophomore righty reliever Parker Kelly came in the game in the bottom of the sixth with the Ducks leading 5-2, and promptly walked the first two batters he faced. That was all Head Coach George Horton needed to see, as Kelly was summarily yanked and replaced with senior right hander Cooper Stiles, who after coaxing a flyout to BYU centerfielder Kyle Dean, served up a three-run home run to Cougar third baseman Nate Favero to tie the game at five. Stiles was able to close out the inning without any further damage, giving way to senior righty Connor Zwetsch (1-2) who picked up the win with a hitless seventh. Rising star freshman righthanded closer Kenyon Yovan gave up a hit and an unearned run while pitching the eighth and ninth innings for his PAC-12 Conference-leading tenth save.
The Ducks return to the friendly confines of PK Park Friday, where they’ll open a three-game series with the Anteaters of the University of California at Irvine, a team Oregon beat in their opening game of the Tony Gwynn Classic in February 11-5. First pitch is scheduled for 6:00 pm.
Game notes: earlier in the day, junior left hander David Peterson was named Pac-12 Conference Pitcher of the Week for the week ending April 3rd, his second POTW honor this season... Yovan now has 21 strikeouts in his sixteen innings of work, while only walking two.