Oregon loses their first games of the series with UCLA, with baseball coming up short 3-2, and softball losing 3-1.
The Oregon Ducks baseball squad hit the scoreboard first, but was not able to overcome a three-run sixth inning by the UCLA Bruins, dropping the first game of this weekend’s series, 3-2.
Oregon started RJ Gordon pitched a solid 5 2⁄3 innings before giving up a two-run homer with two outs. Reliever Dylan Sabia tried to keep UCLA in check, but could not, and the Bruins’ additional run would be all they would need to get off the field with a win.
UCLA starter Jake Brooks gave up a 2-run homer to Sam Novitske in the fifth inning, but shook it off and the Duck bats remained quiet for the rest of the game. Brooks allowed only 6 hits off 86 pitches in his eight-inning start.
Gordon allowed 6 hits behind 106 pitches, but came away earning all three of UCLA’s runs. The Duck offense was quiet with half the batters not getting a single hit. Novitske went 2-3 at the plate in bringing in all of the Duck runs tonight.
The Bruins got the game they wanted - keep Oregon’s offense quiet with great starting pitching and get enough runs to win. That will be UCLA’s modus operandi this series and Oregon will have to overcome the Bruins pitching and make some offensive noise if they want to prevail in this series.
Oregon baseball next plays UCLA on 4/2/22 at 2:00 pm PT where they will attempt to even up this series.
Oregon softball knew they would have their hands full going against UCLA and pitcher Megan Fairimo, but Oregon starter Stevie Hansen got out of jams in the first two innings and pitched well enough to win this game. Instead, she was let down by some mental and fielding mistakes, which normally might not be fatal - but were mistakes the Ducks can’t make against the #3 Bruins, who made Oregon pay dearly for them.
UCLA scored runs in the fourth, fifth, and sixth innings. The fourth inning run was due to a fielding error that allowed an unearned run on a double. In the sixth, Bruins DP Alyssa Garcia sent UCLA’s only home run of the game over the right center wall.
A second inning home run by Ariel Carlson would be one of the few hits that Oregon would get tonight. Fairimo showed why one could make a case for her being the best pitcher in softball, as she took out the Ducks batters in order in four of her seven innings. Oregon only managed four hits this game. The only silver lining is that this game was winnable by Oregon; they came up short but can play head-to-head with one of the best teams in the nation.
The win over Oregon is the 22nd straight this season by UCLA. Oregon can win, but they will need to muster better offense than they showed today.