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Oregon Ducks infielder Spencer Steer fields the ball. Oregon Ducks baseball takes on University of Washington at PK Park in Eugene, Ore. on Mar. 15, 2019. (Henry Ward/Emerald)

Oregon baseball was trailing by four runs and needed a miracle shot and Spencer Steer delivered just that in the top of the ninth inning.

Steer came up to the plate with the bases loaded and two outs with his squad trailing Washington State by four runs. Steer saw a 2-1 fastball right in his sweet spot as he launched an opposite field grand slam to tie the game at seven heading into the bottom of the ninth inning.

Despite a miracle shot, Oregon's (21-13, Pac-12 7-5) defense faltered to drop the third and final game of the series to the Cougars (8-25, Pac-12 1-11), 8-7.

The Ducks brought in Ryne Nelson, who was the sixth pitcher of the day, to keep Oregon alive and give them a chance for a weekend sweep. Nelson had a smooth 1-2-3 inning for the Ducks in the bottom of the ninth, but trouble started in the 10th inning.

Nelson quickly struck out two Cougars, only needing one more out to end the inning. He then allowed a single to Collin Montez, but an error by Max Foxcroft advanced Montez to second base. Montez quickly ended up on third base after Nelson threw a wild pitch. Nelson was unable to settle down, as he threw another errant pitch to home plate that led to Oregon’s demise and a loss for the Ducks.

Oregon’s offense, despite scoring 32 runs over two games, got out of the gates slow for the final game in Pullman, Washington. The Cougars jumped out to a 3-0 lead over the span of two innings before the Ducks could answer in the fourth. Steer, who finished the day 3-for-5 with five RBIs, hit a solo shot to put the Ducks on the board.

The Cougars responded with a scoring four runs over the fifth and sixth innings to jump out to a 7-1 lead.

Cole Stringer, who hasn't pitched since early March, got the start for the Ducks, but seemed rusty coming off of injury. Stringer went 4.1 innings, giving up three earned runs on eight hits.

The Ducks began to claw back in the seventh inning with two-runs to cut the lead to 7-3 before the late-game heroics from Steer in the ninth inning.

Oregon will end its five game road trip with a one game series against Gonzaga in Spokane, Washington, on Monday. 

Gabriel is a sports reporter covering women's volleyball, women's soccer, men's basketball, baseball, women's lacrosse and football.


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