It was a rough start to the series in Salt Lake City for Oregon, but, as in many cases, it’s not how you start, but how you finish.
The bats came back alive as the Ducks compiled 24 runs in two games in defeating Utah on Friday and Saturday, pushing themselves above .500 in conference heading into the Pac-12 Tournament.
The first win, 9-1 on Friday, was spearheaded by freshman pitcher Turner Spolijaric, who allowed only one run on five hits through seven innings. The Utes went six innings without a run as their offense, which had been so effective the day before, sputtered to a standstill.
Oregon’s offense, on the other hand, came back alive, with Bennett Thompson compiling three hits in four at bats and Drew Cowley, Sabin Ceballos, and Tanner Smith each getting two hits with at least one RBI.
But the best was yet to come for Oregon’s offense as the Ducks put up 15 runs on Saturday in a 15-3 victory.
Oregon put up three runs in the top half of the first inning, setting the stage for the batting barrage that would be released on Utah. Two more runs scored in the second inning and another in the third made it 6-1, and a Thompson triple in the fifth scored two more.
But the seventh inning was when the Ducks erupted with six runs, putting the game away completely. For the game, Oregon had only three innings without a score.
Utah was held to just three runs courtesy of another solid pitching performance, this time by freshman Matthew Grabmann, who allowed only two runs through six innings and had three strikeouts.
Next up for Oregon is the Pac-12 Tournament in Scottsdale, Arizona. The Ducks will start off against Cal on Tuesday at 7pm PT.