Oregon split today’s double-header with Ball State, losing a very close first game in the late innings and dominating the Cardinals in the late innings of the second game.
The early game pitted starter Issac Ayon against Tyler Schweitzer. Ayon pitched very well and blanked Ball State during the 6 1⁄3 innings that he pitched. The Ducks jumped on the board with a first inning home run from Tanner Smith, then both sides were quiet until the 7th inning. In the seventh, Ayon gave up a couple of singles and Oregon brought in Kolby Somers in relief. Somers also gave up a single that allowed Ball State to score their first run of the game. The Ducks answered in the bottom of the seventh, when Cardinals pitcher Sam Klein came on the mound to relieve Schweitzer and a wild pitch scored Anthony Hall.
Oregon mistakes in the eighth inning cost them the first game, when - after a fielding error by Sam Novitske - a Somers wild pitch allowed a score followed by a Ball State home run. The Ducks would not be able to answer in the 8th and 9th innings, and lost yet another game by just one run, 3-2.
The second game saw Jace Stoffel go up against Ty Johnson. Stoffel had a rough first inning, giving up three runs before being relieved by Logan Mercado in the second. Josh Kasevich opened up the bottom of the second with a double, followed by a Sam Novitske walk. Jack Scanlon knocked a double to center, scoring Kasevich. Tanner Smith then hit a 2 RBI single, scoring Novitske and Scanlon, and Oregon tied the game 3-3.
The third and fourth innings went scoreless before Ball State drew next blood, scoring a run in the top of the fifth. That’s all the Cardinals would be able to muster, as they were shut down by relievers Andrew Mosiello in the sixth and seventh, followed by a great closing by Matt Dallas. The Oregon bats then unloaded on Ball State, capped by Brennan Milone popping off a 2 RBI home run in the fifth, and Anthony Hall homering in the seventh. The Ducks scored efficiently, bringing in 10 runs off just 8 hits, and put the game away 10-4.
Oregon baseball plays their fourth game against Ball State tomorrow, 4/10/22, at 12:00 PT in PK Park. The game can be viewed on Oregon Live Stream.
Oregon softball had another frustrating go of it today. Their bats connected early in the game and after three innings the Ducks were up 4-0. In the second inning, Oregon took advantage of an ASU error and hits by KK Humphreys and Paige Sinicki to go up by two. In the third, the Ducks connected on a pair of singles and capitalized on another Sun Devils error to score Gabby Herrera. Jasmine Williams’ sacrifice fly then brought Terra McGowan home.
Ducks starter Stevie Hansen gave up a home run in the fourth, and both sides were quiet in the fifth, with Oregon up 4-1. Arizona State clocked Oregon with six runs in the sixth inning, and you could feel yet another softball game getting away from the Ducks. Oregon’s bats were silenced and a 2RBI ASU homer in the seventh was just icing on the cake, with the Sun Devils ending on top 9-4.
An Oregon softball team that had a great post season look a month ago is now looking shaky. Today’s loss means that the Ducks have dropped their fifth straight game. To be sure, UCLA and ASU have quality teams and occupy the top of the Pac-12 standings, but Oregon’s 4-7 conference record is placing them in the bottom half of the Pac-12, which is clearly not where they want to be. The Ducks desperately need to regain their composure and come away with a win tomorrow, and put the brakes on their current downward trend.