The Diamond Ducks went into the second game of their respective series with mixed results. Softball batted anemically and lost to Utah 2-8, while baseball nabbed the lead in the middle innings and held off the Trojans for the 7-5 win.
Stevie Hansen took the circle for Oregon’s second game against the Utah Utes. Hansen pitched 1-2-3 in the first two innings. Meanwhile, the Ducks were going to rue the fact that they stranded all the bases in the bottom of the first inning. They would regret on this day that they were not able to get those runner across the plate.
Utah scored first in the third inning, off of this two-run home run:
Not only did they score off the home run, but at the end of this game it would be a curious fact that both teams have scored all of their runs in both games solely off the long ball. It’s just that the Utes have hit more home runs than the Ducks.
The bats on both sides were silent until the bottom of the fifth inning. Terra McGowan knocked a solo home run over center field to bring Oregon to within one run.
Utah scored another solo home run in the top of the sixth inning to lead again by two runs, 1-3.
Hansen was left in the game into the seventh inning. After the Utes picked up a single from their first batter, Morgan Scott was brought in for relief. Unfortunately for Scott and the Ducks, Utah popped off two more homers for 5 RBIs, and Oregon was not going to be able to respond in having to come up with eight runs in the final inning for the win. All that the Ducks were going to be able to generate was this solo shot from Allee Bunker, bringing us to our final score of 2-8:
Oregon (35-13, 14-9 Pac-12) has lost the series against the Utah Utes (33-13, 14-9 Pac-12), and both teams currently share fourth place in the Pac-12 standings. The Ducks need the Sunday win to not only place themselves in front of Utah, but to also take some momentum into post-season. That game is on Sunday, 5/7, at 2:00 pm PT. You can watch this final game of the Pac-12 season on the Pac-12 Network.
Logan Mercado took the mound for Oregon and did what he needed to do for nearly six innings, which was to keep the USC run count low enough to get some help from Oregon’s offense.
The Ducks were first to get on the scoreboard, when they notched a run off the Sabin Ceballos solo shot in the top of the second inning.
USC responded with a solo home run of their own to tie the game after two innings.
Oregon’s offense would come up with nothing for the next three innings, while the Trojans added a pair of solo home runs in the bottom of the third to take a 1-3 lead.
The Ducks began to find their stroke in the sixth inning in manufacturing a pair of runs the small ball way:
Oregon tied the game, but USC put up two run of their own in the bottom of the inning to regain the lead, 3-5.
Oregon’s bats exploded in the seventh inning, first with this Drew Cowley double that scored two:
That was later followed by Tanner Smith also knocking down a 2 RBI double.
Oregon’s bullpen combination of Matt Dallas, Grayson Grinsell, and Josh Mollerus were then able to secure the win, keeping the Trojans scoreless through the rest of the game.
The Oregon pitchers did what they needed to do to allow the bats to catch up, and the Ducks rose to the occasion, rallying to the 7-5 final score. Drew Cowley was the offensive leader today, going 2-5 with 3 RBIs.
— Oregon Duck Baseball (@OregonBaseball) May 7, 2023
Cowley 2-for-5, 2B, 3 RBI, 2 R@20_sabin 3-for-4, HR, RBI@tannerr_smith 1-for-5, 2 RBI
Ducks' Bullpen (@dallasmattt, @graysongrinsell, @_jmo40_) 3.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 5 K#GoDucks pic.twitter.com/syg9QUnZ4t
The Oregon Ducks play for the series win today when they face the USC Trojans on Sunday, 5/7, at 12:00 pm PT. The game can be seen on USC Live Stream.