Our first game of the day was softball, which found the Ducks visiting the Arizona Wildcats in Tuscon. Oregon started Stevie Hansen against AZ’s Hanah Bowen.
In the top of the first, after a ground out, the Oregon bats began to draw Wildcat blood. After Allee Bunker doubled off the first pitch thrown, Terra McGowan singled up the middle and brought Bunker home for the Ducks’ first run. Two batters later, KK Humphreys brought herself and Bunker home off a 2 RBI homer. Ariel Carlson homered after that, and Oregon was up 4-0 off the bat. In the bottom of the first, after the Wildcats got on base with a single, Hansen gave up a home run to Allie Skaggs, and Oregon’s lead was cut in half.
The second inning took a strange turn for the Ducks. After Paige Sinicki bunted a single to third base, Kai Luschar appeared to get a single and Sinicki was interfered with rounding to third, but Sinicki was ruled to have left 1B early and Luschar grounded out. It was a strange play that flipped the momentum for Oregon; instead of having two runners on with no outs, AZ came out of the inning unscathed. Stevie Hansen then ended the inning 1-2-3.
Terra McGowan homered in the third, putting Oregon up 5-2, and Hanah Bowen’s evening was over. Madi Elish came in relief, and after a Humphreys single Elish would not allow a hit until the 6th inning. In the bottom, the Duck defense made a couple of mistakes, putting two on base with no outs. Hansen buckled down on the next three batters and was able to close the inning with no damage.
After Elish went 3-up 3-down against the Oregon order, the game started falling apart for the Ducks. Hansen allowed a single and then walked a batter. Lombardi had seen enough and brought in Raegan Breedlove. Breedlove would give away a three-run HR to the next batter, and Arizona tied the game at 5-5 with no outs. Breedlove then let a couple of singles get by her, the Wildcats went up by one, and Breedlove’s night was done just about as soon as it started. Makenna Kliethermes was brought in to stop the bleeding. Kliethermes closed the inning after AZ scored another run, going up 7-5 after a five run 4th inning.
Elish blanked the Oregon side in the top of the fifth inning, and the Wildcats hit a single to start their half of the inning and then advanced the runner on successive sacrifice outs. A double then put Arizona up 8-5 before Kliethermes ended the inning.
In the top of the sixth, the Ducks were finally able to get to Elish, with Humphreys getting on base and then coming home on an Ariel Carlson long double to center. Hannah Galey then knocked off a 2-run HR to ties the game up a 8-8, and it looked like Oregon was back in the game.
The sigh of relief was short-lived. Kliethermes picked up two outs in order, then walked the next batter and gave up the go-ahead run off a double. A 2RBI HR put Arizona up 11-8 and sealed the game, as the Ducks were not able to mount a rally in the top of the seventh.
The bats for the Oregon Ducks came alive this game, but pitching is proving to be Oregon’s weakness. The Wildcats won only their third Pac-12 game, and in beating the Ducks tonight they came away with their only win to open a Pac-12 series this season.
The Oregon Ducks will try to even the series in tomorrow’s game. That game will also be at 5:00 PT and can be seen on ESPNU.
Oregon Ducks baseball is looking for their first series win in Seattle since 2010. Tonight’s game pitted starters RJ Gordon for the Ducks against Jared Engman. The Duck offense went immediately to work against Engman. Tanner Smith led off with a single to right field and then advanced to third off a Brennan Milone double. Jacob Walsh knocked a two-run single up the middle but was picked off stealing second for the Huskies’ second out. Josh Kasevich walked, setting up an Anthony Hall two-run homer to close the top of the first, 4-0.
Washington would score a run in the bottom of the first and second innings, but Oregon’s lead gave Gordon enough cushion to relax and find his groove. The run in the bottom of the second came off back-to-back wild pitches, but Gordon settled down and would pitch well through the top of the 6th.
The Ducks and Huskies traded scoreless 3rd-4th-5th innings, with both sides getting an occasional hit and not being able to get anywhere with it - although UW relieved Engman with Jake Enger after a Sam Novitske single.
In the top of the sixth, Anthony Hall lead off with a triple, and a Novitske sacrifice fly scored Hall. In the bottom half, a lead-off double would end RJ Gordon’s night after pitching a solid 6 1⁄3 innings. Matt Dallas gave up a single before UW was able to score off a sacrifice fly, bringing the Huskies closer at 5-3.
In the seventh, the Huskies brought in Stu Flesland for relief, but after a Tanner Smith double Flesland was immediately pulled in favor of Josh Emanuels. Emanuels struck out the rest of the order and Dallas took care of the Huskies in the bottom for a scoreless seventh inning.
Oregon was not able to gain any traction in the eighth inning due to some superb pitching by Emanuels. Andrew Mosiello came on the mound for Dallas. Mosiello got a batter to ground out, but followed with a single and a double, and then Kolby Somers was brought in to save the game. With two outs, Somers loaded the bases after hitting a batter, but was able to K the next one to end the eighth with no damage.
In the top of the ninth, Emanuels control began to escape him, and after walking Gavin Grant and Tanner Smith the Huskies brought Ryan Velazquez on the mound. That brought Jacob Walsh to the plate. Coby Shade and Gavin Grant pulled off a double steal to advance to second and third base, and scored off a long Walsh single, putting Oregon up 7-3.
Somers’ pitching wasn’t terribly spectacular in the ninth, and he found himself in a bases loaded situation again. This time, Somers was not able to get out of the inning before Washington scored two more runs, making the bottom of the ninth unnecessarily exciting. That’s as far as the Huskies would get, however, and Oregon opened up the Washington series with a win on the road, 7-5.
RJ Gordon (2-1) comes away with the win tonight, and Kolby Somers notched his fifth save of the season. Anthony Hall batted 2-4 with a HR, and has now hit in seven consecutive games with 5 homers in those games. Jacob Walsh also made the Huskies feel his bat, going 2-4 with 4 RBIs.
Oregon comes away with the win, and tomorrow they will have their first opportunity to snag their first series win in Seattle since 2010.