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Oregon (23-19) takes final game of road series, avoid the sweep, end five-game losing skid

Photo courtesy of dailyemerald.com

Ducks narrowly avoid getting swept for a second-straight series on the road taking the final game against the Golden Bears. Spencer Steer continues to climb his way up through the record books, setting a school-record for multi-RBI games (33) in a career.

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California

Ducks 7 - Golden Bears 8

Oregon’s late inning rally was thwarted in game 1 of the California road series. The Ducks’ lost a heart-breaker in Berkeley to begin their two week road trip. The long ball was carrying at Evans Diamond with six home runs hit between the two teams.

Cal’s starter in the series opener, Arman Sabouri, was lights-out in his 3.0 innings on the mound. Sabouri threw three shutout innings and the Golden Bears took an early 4-0 lead before the Ducks could get on the board. Oregon’s Cole Stringer got the start, but was shaky through 5.1 IP allowing 4 runs on 6 hits.

Run production was scarce for Oregon until two bombs in the 6th by first baseman Gabe Matthews and right fielder Jakob Goldfarb. Matthews sent his first solo shot over the right field fence on the second pitch of the inning.

Goldfarb followed up with a two run shot to left, his first of the year, just three batters later. Closing the Golden Bears gap to one with two swings of the bat. Goldfarb continues to swing the bat well just weeks after returning from an ankle injury.

Matthews hit two home runs in back-to-back innings for the Ducks. His second came in the 7th for another solo dinger to right. Once again closing Cal’s winning margin to 6-4 after a Golden Bear two-run 6th inning. This is the first time in his career that Matthews has hit multiple home runs in one game. It’s also the third time Oregon has had a player hit multiple home runs in one game, joining Spencer Steer (2). Matthews also set a career-high with 6 homers in a single season.

The Ducks took their first lead of the game with a late 8th inning rally. The top of the order worked the bases-loaded for Matthews who was hit by a pitch, bringing in second baseman Max Foxcraft for Matthews’ third RBI of the game. Oregon center fielder Jonny DeLuca walked the next at-bat tying the game at 7-7 a piece. DH Aaron Zavala lifted a sac-fly into center scoring outfielder Tanner Smith to give the Ducks their first lead of the game.

Ducks’ right-hander, Ryne Nelson, stayed in to close out the 9th and steal game 1 on the road, but couldn’t prevent the long-ball. Nelson gave up the game-tying homer to third baseman Quentin Selma and a walk-off home run to left field by catcher Korey Lee.

Shortstop Spencer Steer’s school-record 18-game hitting streak comes to an end after going 0-4 Friday. The heart-breaker to begin the series pushes Oregon’s losing streak to four games.

Nelson, R.: (L, 2-2) 1.2 IP, 2 ER, 2 H, 1 BB, 3 K

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California

Ducks 5 - Golden Bears 10

Starting, or rather early-inning pitching dug a well, early grave for the Ducks. Sophomore lefty Kolby Somers’ pitched fairly well in the 1st, striking out a batter and not allowing a single hit, or walk in the inning. Somers’ 2nd inning wasn’t as sharp. After striking out the first batter Somers walked three-straight, then gave up a single to right field by DH Grant Holman bringing two runs across to score.

California broke the game wide open with a six-run 3rd inning. Hitting is contagious and it definitely was for the Golden Bears in the 3rd inning of game 2. Cal’s batters strung six hits together in the inning with four batters recording at least an RBI, or more.

Head coach George Horton went to the bullpen after Somers allowed his fourth run of the game, calling in righty freshman Christian Ciuffetelli. The freshman allowed an additional four runs in 0.2 IP giving Cal an 8-0 heading into the 4th.

Oregon’s bats couldn’t get much going their first time around, but were finally able to see some run production in the middle innings. Center fielder Jonny DeLuca homered to right-center after Matthews reached base on a costly error by first baseman Andrew Vaughn.

Zavala scored the third run of the game on another error by Cal second baseman Darren Baker. The Golden Bears committed four errors in the game, but still managed to keep the Ducks scoring at bay.

Steer hit an RBI single up the middle in the 5th to cut Cal’s lead in half, 4-8. It was Steer’s 11th multiple RBI game Tying Mitchell Tolman for most multi-RBI games in school history with 32. He’s also tied with Kyle Garlick for third all-time in career RBI’s (108).

The Golden Bears added two more insurance runs on hits by center fielder Cameron Eden for a 10-4 lead. Steer recorded his second RBI, walking with the bases-loaded in the 9th, but the early deficit left by the Ducks was too much to come back from.

Junior left-hander Nico Tellache set a career-high in strike outs (7) in the final 3.0 innings of relief.

Somers, K.: (L, 1-3) 2.0 IP, 4 ER, 2 H, 4 BB, 2 K

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California

Ducks 12 - Golden Bears 4

The Ducks stole the final game of the series at Evans Diamond to avoid the sweep by California. DeLuca sets a career-high 5 RBI’s in one game as his grand slam pushes game 3 out of reach; notching Oregon’s fifth grand slam of the season.

Both starters on the mound were in command of their pitches early on. Neither Cullen Kafka, or Grant Holman had given up a run through the first four innings. With good defense behind him, Kafka, the right-handed sophomore, was superb in his 5.0 innings of work; not allowing a single run on just three hits.

Cal’s Holman nearly got through the 4th inning, but Oregon went on a run, bringing seven batters across the plate to score in the 5th inning. Campbell started the scoring in the 5th, laying a beautiful sac-bunt down the third base line to bring in Zavala.

Oregon was able to work the base loaded multiple times in the 5th, taking advantage of runners in scoring position. After a fielders choice that brought Zavala home, Steer ripped a single through the left side scoring two for a 3-0 lead.

The Ducks immediately loaded the bases again after Matthews was hit by a pitch and that’s when DeLuca uncorked a grand slam over the left field fence clearing the bases for a very crooked 4 runs.

DeLuca walked in another run in the 6th setting a career-high for the sophomore out of Agoura Hills, California. Steer added another run on an RBI single an inning later, after Cal second baseman Darren Baker committed an error allowing two runs to score. The multi-RBI game for Steer is his 33rd, officially setting a new school record, passing Mitchell Tolman for most all-time.

While DeLuca led the team in RBI’s (5), left fielder Tanner Smith led Oregon in hits going 3-4 with an RBI. Taking the final game of the series, the Ducks snap their five-game losing skid before heading up to San Jose State for a quick single-game series. They’ll head to Arizona after SJSU to wrap up their seven-game road trip against the Wildcats in Tucson.

Kafka, C.: (W, 5-3) 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 H, 2 BB, 2 K

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STATE OF THE PAC

#2 Stanford (32-7-0) / Conf. (15-3-0)

#3 Oregon State (31-11-1) / Conf. (17-4-0)

#1 UCLA (35-7-0) / Conf. (14-4-0)

#22 Arizona State (32-10-0) / Conf. (13-8-0)

California (24-15-0) / Conf. (10-8-0)

USC (19-22-1) / Conf. (8-9-1)

Oregon (23-19-0) / Conf. (8-10-0)

Washington (21-18-0) / Conf. (7-11-0)

Arizona (19-23-0) / Conf. (7-14-0)

Utah (12-25-0) / Conf. (4-17-0)

Washington State (8-31-1) / Conf. (1-16-1)

*Rankings determined by Pac-12.com and D1Baseball.com Top 25

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DUCK OF THE WEEK

Jonny DeLuca

The rangy center fielder got it done with his bat against the Golden Bears, even the Oregon dropped two of three in the series. in the three games, DeLuca went just 3-12 (.250), but was clutch when it counted driving in 8 RBI’s with two homers against Cal. DeLuca also recorded a stolen base in the first game showing off his range of versatility with the bat, glove and on base.

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On Deck:

Arizona (19-23-0)