The Oregon Ducks swept their series with Utah this weekend, winning today’s morning game by a score of 7-2.
Starters for today’s game were Cam Day for the Utes vs. Caleb Sloan for the Ducks.
Both teams came out quietly in a scoreless first inning. After striking out the first batter, Sloan walked the next three and found himself in a bases loaded situation with only the one out. The Ducks got out of that jam, however, when Utes right fielder Alex Baeza grounded into a double play. Oregon then grounded out three times, ending the first.
Sloan’s pitching was better in the second. Despite giving up a single and then beaning a hitter, the Ducks were able to take out the rest of the order, leaving the two runners on base. Oregon’s bats came to life in the bottom, with Josh Kasevich walking, then advancing to third off an Anthony Hall single to right. Singles from Josiah Cromwick and Gavin Grant brought the base runners home, and Oregon was up 2-0.
In the top of the third inning, Sloan gave up three singles, allowing Utah to score their first run of the game. Sloan kept the damage to a minimum and Oregon was able to go into the bottom of the third with a 2-1 lead. The Ducks batters could not get much traction with Cam Day pitching on target for the most part, and Oregon went scoreless in the bottom of the third.
The fourth inning saw Sloan start to run out of juice. While he picked up a couple of outs, a pair of walks and a hit batter sent Sloan to the dugout for the day, and Logan Mercado came in on relief. Mercado also walked a Ute and Utah scored its only other run of the game before a Mercado strikeout ended the top of the inning tied up at 2. Anthony Hall started the bottom of the fourth with a home run to right. Josiah Cromwick followed with a single before Day picked up a couple of outs. Then with two outs and Cromwick on second, Tanner Smith sent a homer to right, picking up 2 RBIs on the way and putting the Ducks ahead for good at 5-2.
Dylan Sabia started the fifth in relief of Mercado, and the Oregon relief juggernaut of Sabia, Stone Churby, Christian Ciuffetelli, Rio Britton, and Matt Dallas shut down any thought of a Utah rally. After Brennan Milone singled to get on base, Anthony Hall’s single up the middle brought Milone home for Oregon’s sole run of the inning.
Oregon’s only other run came in the seventh, with the Ducks capitalizing on a pair of successive throwing errors by the Ute infield. That sent Kasevich home on an unearned run.
Logan Mercado (2-0) was the winner today, while Cam Day (1-2) picked up the loss. The Ducks finished 7-2 on 10 hits with no errors, and five runners left on base. Anthony Hall had an outstanding day at the plate, going 3-3 with a home run and 2 RBIs. Brennan Milone also batted well, going 2-3 on the game.
In sweeping this series, the Oregon Ducks are showing that the series win at Palo Alto was not a fluke. If they continue this trajectory they will be a contender for the top of the Pac-12. The Ducks now have a 13-6 record, including a Pac-12 record of 5-1.
Next up for the Ducks is a road trip to Spokane with a Tuesday afternoon game against Gonzaga. After that, Oregon comes back home for a weekend series against USC.