Ducks ride strong pitching to win double-header against UC Davis
After giving up 12 hits to the UC Davis Aggies on Friday night, Oregon baseball’s pitching staff turned things around with a pair of shut-down performances in Saturday’s doubleheader.
The Ducks took both games by scores of 4-1 and 7-2, respectively, and allowed just eight hits total. James Acuna and freshman Kolby Somers earned wins for the Ducks. The victories, Oregon’s fourth and fifth wins in a row, guarantee the Ducks a series win regardless of the final game’s outcome.
“For 18 innings, we had some pretty good arms out here,” Oregon head coach George Horton said. “It’s a pretty tough challenge for the opposition when those guys are out there throwing strikes.”
UC Davis got on the board first in game one when third baseman Tanner Murray scored on a fielder’s choice in the third inning. Despite hitting a batter, Acuna picked off an Aggies runner at first base and a subsequent fly-out ended the inning.
The Ducks didn’t wait long to even things up.
Shortstop Ryne Nelson scored when Kasser drove a single into center field. Center fielder Jonny DeLuca followed things up with a sacrifice fly that sent left fielder Evan Williams across the plate to give the Ducks a 2-1 lead before the Aggies escaped the inning.
The Ducks would score again several innings later. Designated hitter Dan Patzlaff knocked a single into shallow center field to score Jakob Goldfarb in the sixth, while Spencer Steer reached home on a wild pitch in the seventh.
Acuna allowed only two hits and one run in seven innings of work to improve to 2-0 on the season. Kenyon Yovan pitched two perfect innings in relief to pick up his fourth save.
After a brief interlude, the teams returned to the field for game two. This time, it was the Ducks who drew first blood.
Gabe Matthews launched a single down the left field line to score DeLuca in the first inning. In the fourth, Nelson poked a single to right to score Goldfarb and give the Ducks a 2-0 lead.
Somers, who pitched five shutout innings for his first collegiate win, was replaced by Hunter Breault in the sixth. Breault, another freshman, pitched 1.2 scoreless innings to hold the Aggies in check. Nico Tellache took Breault’s place to secure the final out of the seventh inning
Oregon’s scoring resumed in the sixth with a sacrifice fly from Taylor Travess that sent Goldfarb home yet again. Goldfarb finished the second game 3-for-4 and scored two runs. A Braden Stutzman suicide squeeze-play bunt brought Nelson home to extend the Ducks’ lead to 4-0.
In the top of the seventh, it looked like the Aggies might rally when Ryan Anderson smacked a long liner into right-center field with a runner on first. Unfortunately for him, Goldfarb made a spectacular play to chase the ball down to secure a sliding catch.
The Aggies managed to add a pair of runs in the eighth on a deep double to right field by Guillermo Salazar, but Ducks reliever Nelson shut the inning down with a trio of strikeouts.
Oregon responded with a double from Nelson (3-for-4, two RBIs in game two) to score Matthews from second, and continued to pile on with another pair of runs courtesy of an RBI double into deep center field from Williams.
The Ducks will look to complete their sweep of the Sunday at 12 PM.
Follow Aaron on Twitter @aaronalter95
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