Oregon’s 3-game road series against UC Santa Barbara showed real promise early on. With terrible baseball weather engulfing most of California, the Ducks got a break and the series was moved to the friendly confines of PK Park. Unfortunately, Oregon decided to go ahead and look that gift horse right in the mouth, dropping the Friday afternoon game 6 – 2 for their first loss of the season.
On Saturday, the teams played twice more with similar results. In the first game, the Ducks just didn’t seem ready and were not competitive in any phase of the game. Oregon generated only 2 hits and made 3 errors in a 10 – 0 loss. The Gauchos pounded out 14 hits, scoring multiple runs in the 4th, 5th, and 8th innings. Freshman hurler Leo Uelmen (1-1) started the game for the Ducks and lasted 4 innings during which he gave up 4 runs on 7 hits. Uelmen struck out 5 and walked 2 but of course got no run support. Oregon brought on Grayson Grinsell in relief, but he also struggled through 1.2 innings and gave up 3 more runs. The Ducks brought on three more pitchers as the game progressed and Turner Spoljaric and Jackson Jaha managed to keep UCSB off the scoreboard, but Gus Rogers had a poor outing between the two, giving up 3 runs on 4 hits in less than a full inning. Owen Diodati and Josiah Cromwick had the only hits for the Ducks, who never threatened to score.
In the second game of the double-header Oregon had its best game of the series, although it also ended in a loss and a Gauchos sweep. The Ducks could never gain the lead but trailed only 1 – 0 going into the top of the 4th. UCSB scored twice in that frame, however to lead 3 – 0 and Oregon could only pull one back in their half of the 4th. Despite the low scoring game, Oregon did manage to get 7 hits in this game but couldn’t string them together often enough. Seven Ducks had hits – Colby Shade doubled to lead off the third, but no one could get the ball out of the infield to bring him home.
Sabin Ceballos had Oregon’s only RBI, slapping a double into right center that scored Drew Cowley from second in the fourth.
Matthew Grabmann (0-1) started on the mound for the Ducks and pitched just two innings, giving up the Gauchos first run. The Ducks used 4 more pitchers who had varying degrees of success. Austin Anderson and Josh Mollerus gave up no runs.
Some of the shine of Oregon’s season-opening sweep of Xavier has worn off as the Ducks now sit 4 – 3 in the early going. The Ducks failed to score in 24 of the 27 innings played this past weekend, quite a turn-around from some of the offensive fireworks seen against the Musketeers. But it’s a long season and the Ducks have time to find their footing.
Next weekend, Oregon welcomes the San Diego Toreros to PK Park for a 4-game series.