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Oregon Ducks Baseball: Ducks defeat Cal 8-3

Oregon takes the series in the second game

COLLEGE BASEBALL: MAR 12 Oregon at Stanford Photo by Douglas Stringer/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Oregon’s second game of their series with the California Golden Bears encountered Oregon’s liquid sunshine, same as yesterday, but the game start was delayed about 20 minutes due to rain. It did rain later in the game, and the rain was arguably more manageable than last night.

Isaac Ayon started for Oregon vs. Joseph King for the Bears.

Both sides set to scoring in the early innings. For Ayon, he gave up a home run on his second pitch. After the next batter struck a double, Ayon was able to close his half of the inning. Tanner Smith got on base, followed by a Drew Cowley double to put runners on second and third. Brennan Milone grounded out, scoring Smith in the process.

Next up was Jacob Walsh, who sent a single to right field and scored Cowley, giving Oregon the lead at 2-1.

The Ducks were not done bringing damage to Cal’s best pitcher. Anthony Hall hit his second double in as many days, scoring Walsh, and advanced to third on a throwing error.

Colby Shade then followed with his second double in as many days, and Hall scored.

Next up, Josiah Cromwick hit a deep right field single that scored Shade, and the Ducks were up 5-1.

Cromwick would then get caught stealing second, ending Oregon’s first-inning scoring bonanza.

In the top of the 2nd, Cal picked up a double and then scored off a single before the batter/runner was tagged a second for the final out, and the Bears were down 5-2.

Oregon struck again in the bottom of the second inning. After Tanner Smith and Drew Cowley singles, Brennan Milone also hit a single that scored Smith, and the Ducks were up 6-2.

Oregon would load the bases with two outs, but could not make them count and they ended the inning with the bases loaded.

In the third, Cal batters hit Ayon with another double, followed by an RBI single, to halve Oregon’s lead at 6-3. Ayon then settled down and pitched flawlessly through the sixth inning, only allowing one hit.

Meanwhile, Cal pitcher Joseph King also settled down and while Oregon picked up hits here and there, the score remained 6-3.

Andrew Mosiello came in to pitch in the seventh, and the Duck relief pitching was stellar for the rest of the game. Mosiello can thank Tanner Smith for the scoreless 7th. Mosiello walked a batter and then nearly gave up a two-run homer, which Tanner completely robbed in perhaps the best defensive play so far this season.

The Ducks bats came to life again in the bottom of the seventh. Anthony Hall reached base on a single, and then stole second, then reached third on a ground out. Gavin Grant walked and got to second on a wild pitch. That brought the star of the 7th inning - Tanner Smith - who belted a 2 RBI single to left field.

With Caleb Sloan keeping the Bears off the board in the 8th and 9th innings, Smith’s RBIs would be insurance runs, but that does not negate how Smith - on offense and defense - completely snuffed out any hope of a Cal rally, and Oregon took this game by a score of 8-3.

After some initial bugs, Isaac Ayon (3-1) earned the win that he got, with Joseph King (3-3) chalking up the loss.

After sputtering and giving up early leads last weekend, the Duck bats hit early and then it was heartening to see more runs in the later innings. Six batters scored RBIs, with Tanner Smith batting a blazing 4-5 and 2 RBIs.

The Ducks go for the series sweep tomorrow, and while they’re not looking forward to next week, we are - because the series in Corvallis is looking to be a title fight for the Pac-12. A win tomorrow would likely cement that, even though UCLA is tied with Oregon in second place.

The Oregon Ducks go for the sweep tomorrow, 5/1/22, at 12:00 PT in PK Park.