Oregon baseball split a 4 game series with Wichita State this weekend, playing a hard fought 44 innings over the course of 3 days. Oregon won games one and four 2-1 and 6-1 and lost games 2 and 3 6-5 and 7-6 Oregon’s two losses were very tough losses, losing both games by only one run. The theme of this series seemed to be the lack of clutch hitting for the Ducks. In four games the Ducks left 51 runners on base, and just couldn’t manage to get hits with runners in scoring position.
Oregon won game one behind fantastic pitching. Tyler Anderson was his usual self, going 7 innings and allowing only 1 run. Oregon’s offense, however, was nothing special in game one, scoring only 2 runs. Oregon scored in the 4th on a single and a fielder’s choice which resulted in a two base throwing error. The other run came from some small ball in the 6th, as a leadoff walk resulted in a run on a fielder’s choice. Kellen Moen came in for a 6 out save and pitched a scoreless two innings, despite allowing a few baserunners, and clinched the 2-1 victory for the Ducks.
Oregon looked great in the first half of game two, scoring 3 runs on 4 hits in the 2nd, and adding another in the 3rd with some small ball. The Shockers got to Madison Boer in the 5th though, and scored 4 runs off of Boer and Housey to tie the game up 4-4. Oregon threatened to break the tie in the bottom of the 8th, but came up empty, unable to convert with a runner on 2nd with 1 out and then with the bases loaded and 2 out. WSU loaded up the bases with a walk and two bunt singles and, unlike Oregon, was able to capitalize as they got a 2 RBI single to take a 6-4 lead. The Ducks threatened in the bottom of the 9th, as they loaded up the bases with only 1 out, but were only able to score 1 on a sacrifice fly, and lost 6-5, snapping an 8 game winning streak. Interestingly enough, in the top of the 9th, right before WSU’s 2 RBI single, Danny Pulfer pulled off a hidden ball trick on the runner at 2nd; however the umpire was not in position to see the tag, and therefore the runner was called safe and was one of two runs to score on the next play.
Game three was a 17 inning marathon in which the Ducks fell just short. After WSU scored 1 in the 3rd, Oregon responded with a 3 run inning, scoring a run on a wild pitch and then two on a HR by Jack Marder. WSU scored 1 in the 4th on an RBI triple, then added 3 more in the 5th; two of those runs came on a line drive that bounced off Aaron Jones’ glove to the center fielder, Mendenhall, who threw the ball away, allowing two runners to score. Oregon responded with 1 in the 5th, but scored on a double play with bases loaded and no outs, a play that ended a potential rally. WSU added one more run in the 7th to extend their lead to 6-4. Oregon put runners on second and third in the bottom of the 9th and tied the game on a 2 out single by JJ Altobelli. From the 10th inning to the 16th, the Ducks got only 2 hits and only seriously threatened in the 15th, until KC Serna was picked off of 2nd with 2 on and 1 out. Scott McGough’s tremendous relief performance finally came to an end in the 17th when WSU scored one run on a 2 out single. Oregon went down in order in the 17th, losing the longest game since re-instatement, a 6 hour 8 minute game, by a score of 7-6.
Freshman Ryon Healy took the mound for his first college start in game four. Healy, primarily an infielder, had only faced one hitter yet this season and allowed a homerun to him. However, Healy pitched great, allowing only 1 run in 5 and 2/3 innings. Meanwhile, the Duck offense continued to struggle, leaving the bases loaded in the 2nd and 3rd and runners on 2nd and 3rd in the 4th. WSU scored 1 in the 6th to take the lead. Oregon’s offense finally came to life in the 6th, as they scored 5 runs on 7 hits, finally getting hits with runners in scoring position. Oregon added 1 run in the 8th, and won the game 6-1 behind Alex Kuedell’s 3 and 1/3 innings of no-hit relief.
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