With Wednesday’s forecast calling for a 100 percent chance of rain, the Oregon Ducks and Seattle University Redhawks condensed their mid-week series into one busy afternoon and evening at PK Park, with the Ducks taking Game 1 by a score of 10-2.
Oregon starter Jeff Gold earned the win, going six innings and giving up one run on just two hits while striking out six.
Tyler Baumgartner had a big day at the plate, going 3-for-5 with two RBIs and two runs, leading the Ducks in their best offensive showing of the early season.
Seattle would get on the scoreboard first with a little small ball. After a leadoff walk and a sacrifice bunt, Brian Olson delivered an RBI single up the middle to give the Redhawks an early 1-0 lead in the first inning.
Oregon would respond back in the bottom of the first with a little small ball of their own. Aaron Payne would steal second base after leading off with a walk and would advance to third off a sacrifice bunt from Austin Grebeck. An RBI single from Tyler Baumgartner would tie the game at 1-1.
Oregon would add a couple insurance runs in the second inning. After a leadoff double from Austin Grebeck, a throwing error from second base allowed Grebeck to score while Baumgartner advanced to second. Mitchell Tolman would then single and advance to second on a wild pitch. A balk allowed Tolman to move up to third and score Baumgartner.
An RBI double from Baumgartner the next inning would extend Oregon’s lead to 4-1.
Oregon’s bats came alive in the bottom of the seventh, starting with a leadoff triple from Baumgartner. An RBI single up the middle from Kyle Garlick drove in Baumgartner. Tolman, who walked in his at bat before Garlick stepped in, and Garlick advanced to third on a wild pitch. After a walk to A.J. Balta to load the base, J.B. Bryant took one for the team as he was hit by a pitch to drive in a run. Then, a single from Steven Packard would add another run. Another balk would score Balta on the next at bat. After an RBI single from Aaron Payne and an RBI double from Garlick, the Ducks found themselves ahead 10-1, scoring six runs on five hits during the inning to pull away for the win.
The Ducks picked up right where they left off from Game 1, getting the bats going early. With runners on the corners and one out, third baseman Mitchell Tolman roped a triple down the right field line, driving in two runs. Designated hitter Kyle Garlick followed with a single up the middle in the next at-bat to drive in Tolman, putting the Ducks up 3-0 in the first inning.
The Redhawks got back in it by doing things the simple way in the top of the second. After three straight singles to start the inning and load the bases, back-to-back sacrifice flies from left fielder Colin Peterson and catcher Sam Finfer brought Seattle back to within one run.
Seattle starting pitcher Skylar Genger lasted just one inning, having to be taken out of the game after a sharp line drive off the batt of Jack Kruger nailed Genger’s leg.
Oregon starter Brando Tessar also had a short night as well, going three innings giving up two runs on four hits with four strikeouts and no walks.
Jordan Spencer came on in relief for Tessar and went right to work, striking out the side in the top of the fourth inning.
The Ducks threatened to extend their lead in the bottom of the fourth. Oregon managed to load the bases after a pair of singles from Steven Packard and Mark Karaviotis along with a walk from Aaron Payne. Austin Grebeck sent a deep fly ball to right field, but it didn’t have quite enough distance, falling short at the warning track to end the inning.
After a leadoff single in the top of the fifth from Sam Finfer who advanced to second on a passed ball, Eric Koenig laid down a bunt that died as soon as it came off his bat. Oregon catcher Jack Kruger’s throw couldn’t deliver an accurate throw down to third base, giving the Redhawks the tying run 90 feet from home. Chase Fields would drive in the tying run on a fielders choice groundout at second base, scoring Finfer to tie the game 3-3.
Seattle had a chance to take the lead after a throwing error from Jordan Spencer gave the Redhawks runners in scoring position with just one out, but Spencer would recover to set down the next two batters to get out of the jam.
After a couple walks along with a fielding error, the Ducks managed to load the bases with two outs in the bottom of the fifth, but a weak pop-out from Steven Packard would end the inning with the game still tied at 3-3.
In the bottom of the seventh, the Ducks managed to get Mitchell Tolman over to third base after a pair of walks and a sacrifice groundout but couldn’t manage to drive him in as Steven Packward hit a weak groundball to first base to end the inning. It was the fifth straight inning the Ducks had a runner in scoring position without driving in a run.
The Ducks would finally push across the go-ahead run in the top of the eighth. After a leadoff single from Mark Karaviotis and a sacrifice bunt from Aaron Payne, Tyler Baumgartner delivered the go-ahead RBI double to give Oregon a 4-3 lead. Looks like that old Techno Chicken was up to his usual tricks.
The Ducks will remain at home this weekend to take on the Ohio State Buckeyes in a three game series beginning Friday night at PK Park with first pitch scheduled for 6:00 pm.