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.
Ducks tie it on a @MiloneBrennan RBI ground out. #GoDucks pic.twitter.com/CLoCakeliJ— Oregon Duck Baseball (@OregonBaseball) April 30, 2022
Next up was Jacob Walsh, who sent a single to right field and scored Cowley, giving Oregon the lead at 2-1.
Ducks take the lead. @JGWalsh_ drives in the go-ahead run. #GoDucks pic.twitter.com/u5y3GYIjQU— Oregon Duck Baseball (@OregonBaseball) April 30, 2022
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.
— Oregon Duck Baseball (@OregonBaseball) April 30, 2022
1st inning RBI to go with his 5 from yesterday. #GoDucks pic.twitter.com/0Y27nU2QW9
Colby Shade then followed with his second double in as many days, and Hall scored.
@ColbyShade with the 5th hit of the inning. Back-to-back doubles from Hall and Shade for second straight day. #GoDucks pic.twitter.com/RmaUSVKf1B— Oregon Duck Baseball (@OregonBaseball) April 30, 2022
Next up, Josiah Cromwick hit a deep right field single that scored Shade, and the Ducks were up 5-1.
B1 |— Oregon Duck Baseball (@OregonBaseball) April 30, 2022
Ducks get five in the first capped by this @Josiahzzc RBI single. #GoDucks
Oregon 5 pic.twitter.com/K9oVvoNBSq
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.
Back-to-back at-bats with an RBI for @MiloneBrennan #GoDucks pic.twitter.com/t1npBWlDq6— Oregon Duck Baseball (@OregonBaseball) April 30, 2022
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.
Day's done for @IsaacAyon4. Solid outing for the righty, leaving with a 3-run lead while tying a career high with 7 Ks. #GoDucks pic.twitter.com/IPa3L03c1g— Oregon Duck Baseball (@OregonBaseball) April 30, 2022
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.
@tannerr_smith brings one back to keep the Ducks on top by 3. #GoDucks | #SCTop10 | #D1Top10 pic.twitter.com/ZfSZYZdsA5— Oregon Duck Baseball (@OregonBaseball) April 30, 2022
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.
@tannerr_smith continues to do it all today for the Ducks. 2-out, 2-run single makes it a five-run lead. #GoDucks pic.twitter.com/AhmbCoXmj3— Oregon Duck Baseball (@OregonBaseball) April 30, 2022
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.