Oregon Softball -
Unfortunately, tonight’s softball game went as expected and worse than we would have liked. Stevie Hansen took the circle and pitched well for three innings, and the Huskies were kept to one run in the first inning.
The sense was that if Oregon could get some hits then they would have a chance. The Ducks did get a hit in the first inning, and that would be their only hit of the game. Moreover, The Ducks only left two on base the entire game. The Oregon bats were nowhere to be found tonight.
It was therefore seemingly inevitable that the Huskies would get to the Oregon pitching, and they did so with a big 4-run fourth inning, hitting a three-run homer followed by another home run to end Hansen’s night. Allison Benning - who we haven’t seen much this season - came in for relief. Benning looked good to end the inning:
Alas, in the fifth inning Benning gave up the grand slam with two outs and what was looking to be a Washington run-rule win was made certain, ending the shutout 9-0.
Washington’s Gabbie Plain was unstoppable in the circle. Plain completely shut off the Oregon offense. If the Ducks want to be competitive in this series then they will need to score runs.
Softball’s second game against Washington is tomorrow. 4/23/22 at 5:00 pm PT.
Oregon Baseball -
The Ducks played dismally early on in their opener with Washington State. Oregon’s starter, RJ Gordon, only walked one in the 3.2 innings he pitched, but too many pitches hung and the Cougars’ batters capitalized on it. The Cougars were up 6-0 when Christian Ciuffetelli came in for relief. Ciuffetelli took care of Washington State’s last batter, but then gave up a leadoff HR in the 5th, and the Cougars were up 7-0. Washington State, which had not done much offensively this season except against small fry and their first game against Texas A&M, suddenly had a significant shutout lead against the Ducks.
In the sixth inning, Oregon began to show signs of life. Stone Churby came in for relief and put down the Washington St. order after giving up a walk and a single. In the bottom, the Ducks loaded the bases with one out, setting up Anthony Hall for the sacrifice fly to finally get the Ducks on the board.
The Ducks relievers continued their work of silencing the Cougar batting order. Andrew Mosiello came to the mound, and after walking the first batter Oregon turned a nice double play:
Mosiello then fanned the rest of the Washington State batters in the 7th and 8th inning, pitching in dominating fashion.
In the bottom of the seventh, Tanner Smith and Drew Cowley picked up singles with two outs. That set up Brennan Milone to score a big run, bringing Smith home.
Oregon was blanked 1-2-3 in the eighth after Mosiello did the same, bringing us to the 9th inning with Oregon down by five.
Tommy Brandenburg came on the mound and picked up a couple of Ks to keep the Cougars scoreless:
The Ducks relievers had done their part; now Oregon needed to get some hits. Gavin Grant reached base and then advanced on a Tanner Smith double. Drew Cowley walked, loading the bases, and Brennan Milone hit RBI paydirt again with a two-run single:
Oregon was within three at 7-4. Jacob Walsh was called out on a curious strike three without a pitch being thrown - the umpire was motioning Walsh to the batter’s box and there seemed to be some confusion on Walsh’s part, and he became Oregon’s second out. Josh Kasevich’s single to right field scored Cowley, bringing us to 7-5. Anthony Hall sent a single up the middle and scored Milone:
A Washington State wild pitch would take Hall to second while pinch runner Bryce Boettcher scored to tie the game and take it to extra innings.
We all know who is coming to the mound in this game situation...and Kolby Somers did not disappoint, sending WA St. down 1-2-3:
In the bottom of the tenth, the Oregon bats would not be denied. Grant, Smith, and Cowley each hit successive singles before the winning single scored Grant:
And the Ducks complete an improbable, yet not entirely unexpected, comeback, scoring eight unanswered runs to take the first game of this series.
Kolby Somers (4-2) picked up tonight’s win. Brennan Milone was the offensive star today, going 3-6 with 4 RBIs. Anthony Hall may have only gone 1-4, but he picked up another two of Oregon’s RBIs. While Drew Cowley did not score RBIs, his presence was felt in going 4-5 and scoring two runs.
Oregon State also beat Washington tonight in extra innings and the Ducks remain tied with the Beavers for 1st place in the Pac-12. As we get closer, the game with Oregon State on 4/26 followed by the four-game series the first weekend of May is looking more and more like it will be a battle for the Pac-12.