The Oregon Ducks went with a pitching formula that worked well toward the end of the regular season: start Christian Ciuffetelli, get as many solid innings as you can with him, then bring out RJ Gordon and your relievers to close out the game. Ciuffetelli and Gordon pitched well except for the 2-run homers that each pitcher gave up to Wolverine’s catcher Jimmy Overtop. That put the Ducks in a hole that they were never quite able to get out of.
Michigan starter Conner O’Halloran blanked the Duck hitters for the first three innings, while the Wolverines went up 3-0 off a second inning RBI out followed by the first Overtop home run in the third. Ciuffetelli was relieved by Gorden after that first Overtop homer. Oregon got on the board in the fourth, when Anthony Hall scored Josh Kasevich with an RBI double, then Hall scored on a wild pitch.
B4 | We'll take it. ♂️— Oregon Duck Baseball (@OregonBaseball) June 4, 2022
Two runs score after the double and error with Kasevich crossing home on the play and @Anthony_Hall_ coming in on a wild pitch! #GoDucks
Oregon 2 pic.twitter.com/3PFzGe7G0N
In the fifth inning, Gordon delivered the second Overtop home run, followed with an RBI single that put Michigan up 6-2. In the bottom, Brennan Milone chipped away at the lead, scoring Gavin Grant on an RBI double that closed the score to 6-3.
Casey Sloan kept Michigan off the board in the sixth, while Josiah Cromwich scored Josh Kasevich on another RBI double.
Rio Britton did his part in blanking Michigan in the seventh. A Brennan Milone home run brought the Ducks within one run.
Then Anthony Hall evened up the scored at 6-6 with yet another RBI double.
Hall’s double would be all the runs that Oregon would see, as Michigan pitcher Cameron Weston - after giving up the Hall double - would completely shut down the Ducks. Oregon did not get a hit for the rest of the game.
In the eighth inning, Lyle Mercado gave up the third two-run home run that the Wolverines hit on the night, and that would be the dagger that sent Oregon to the dugout with a loss, and our final score of 8-6.
Oregon’s performance was about the same as in the first Pac-12 tournament game against Arizona, which they coincidentally also lost by a score of 8-6. Like that game, the Ducks again gave up multiple home runs that their offense was not able to catch up with.
Brennan Milone did what he could to rally the Ducks, going 3-5 with two RBIs. Anthony Hall was also a huge contributor, going 2-4 with one RBI. However, the batting of Josh Kasevich - who hit 2-2 and scored half of Oregon’s six runs - was really what kept the Ducks in the game tonight.
It will be all for naught if Oregon’s pitching can’t improve and keep home runs off the board. It’s win tomorrow or go home with your season over.