The Oregon Ducks swept the San Diego Toreros this last weekend, showcasing new talent at the mound and displaying power at the plate.
Game 3 - March 4, 2023
Oregon started freshman Jackson Pace on Saturday, in his second career start, and he pitched six innings of shutout ball. USD brought Garrett Rennie to start and this was a tight contest for the first three innings.
In the fourth inning, the Ducks struck first. Sabin Ceballos knocked a double to center field, followed by a Drew Cowley single to bring him home.
Colby Shade hit a double to left field, and two batters later Bennett Thompson hit a single that brought Shade home.
After dispatching USD in the top of the fifth, Oregon’s bats broke the game open with a four run fifth inning. Tanner Smith hit a single, followed by a successful Rikuu Nishisa bunt to get runners on first and second. Jacob Walsh singled to left field, scoring Smith.
A Colby Shade 3 RBI double extended the Ducks lead to 6-0.
Pace pitched a scoreless six innings, aided by excellent Ducks defensive play.
In the bottom of the sixth inning, Oregon blew the roof off of PK Park, starting with a Tanner Smith home run to left field.
Ceballos walked and Cowley hit a single that put runners on first and second base. The Jacob Walsh single scored Ceballos.
A Colby Shade home run brought everyone to the plate, and Oregon was up 11-0.
A great outing by Jackson Pace ended after the sixth inning, and he was relieved by Grayson Grinsell.
Grinsell went 1-2-3 against the order and the Ducks bats stepped up again. Nishida walked, followed by another Sabin Ceballos home run.
The score of 13-0 would be the final for the day, with the Oregon bullpen keeping the Toreros off the board with a shutout. Coach Mark Wasikowski lauded the freshman pitchers after the game:
Game 4 - March 5, 2023
Sunday’s game was pushed forward a couple of hours and started at 2:05 pm instead of 12:00. Morgan Lunceford started for the Toreros and Matthew Grabman took the Oregon start, and the Ducks brought runners home from the very first inning, with a Rikuu Nishida home run on his first at-bat.
A USD run in the top of the second inning would be all that the Toreros would be able to muster on the day. In his first at-bat, Colby Shade hit the HR to left center field.
T2 | '— Oregon Duck Baseball (@OregonBaseball) March 5, 2023
Solo blast for @ColbyShade. Back-to-back ABs for Shade with a homer dating back to yesterday and 4 straight extra-base hits (2B, 2B, HR, HR). #GoDucks
San Diego 1
Oregon 2 pic.twitter.com/Oh3pRKyjxT
Grabman took care of the USD order in the top of the third innings, and Gavin Grant opened up the Ducks order with a solo home run.
Austin Anderson came in for Grabman in the top of the fourth and pitched two flawless innings.
In the fifth inning, the weather gods would have their say on the game and there was a 36 minute rain delay. Both sides went scoreless in the fifth and sixth innings. The Oregon bullpen did their job in keeping USD off the board and struck paydirt again in the bottom of the seventh inning. Gavin Grant reached base after being hit by a pitch, and Tanner Smith advanced runners to first and third on a well placed bunt. A two-out single by Colby Shade brought the runners home.
Oregon’s 5-1 lead would be the game final score. With the win, the Ducks swept a very good USD team and brought their record to 8-3 in the early season.
Oregon’s four starting pitchers in the series combined to give up just four runs (3 earned) in 18.1 innings (a 1.47 ERA). The Ducks pitching staff combined for a 1.25 ERA, and allowed just five earned runs in 36.0 innings - a very impressive pitching performance on the weekend.
The Rikuu Nishida home run was off a wood bat! Check this out:
Coach Waz had this to say after the game:
Oregon rests up this week before hosting UCLA for a three-game series this coming weekend. You will be able to watch the action on Oregon Live Stream.