Isn’t it fitting that the same team that Oregon swept to open the 2023 season on a winning note is the same team that they defeated to head to their first Super Regional since 2012?
With the bats blazing in the sixth inning, Oregon opened up a sizeable lead that they would never relinquish in a 11-2 win in Nashville on Sunday.
The Ducks already lead 4-0 heading into the bottom of the sixth inning, and that’s when the offense erupted. With the bases loaded and two out, Rikuu Nishida slapped a double to right center to drive home three runs. Bryce Boettcher was then beaned by a pitch, sending him to first. With Boettcher and Nishida on, Drew Cowley homered to score all three, and give Oregon an insurmountable 10-1 lead.
Pitching-wise the Ducks turned in a solid performance. Grayson Grinsell wrapped up each of the first three innings with a strikeout, stranding runners on base. Grinsell pitched a shutout through four innings before Ian Umlandt relieved him. Umlandt earned his first career victory by pitching a 1-2-3 fifth inning.
The win puts Oregon in the Super Regional, which will begin this weekend in a best-of-three series against Oral Roberts back at PK Park, where the Ducks have a 23-13 record this season. The last time Oregon was in the Super Regional, they hosted Kent State, who knocked them out in a heartbreaking 2-3 loss in the third and final game. Already champions of the inaugural Pac-12 baseball tournament, the Ducks will be seeking a trip to Omaha for the College World Series, a feat they have yet to accomplish since baseball was reinstituted in 2008.