Oregon baseball wrapped up their regular season schedule with a 10-1 loss to the UCLA Bruins on Saturday afternoon at PK Park.
The Ducks finish the regular season 30-25 and a 12-18 record in the Pac-12 conference.
“Its been a long year, but we have a lot to build for next year,” shortstop Kyle Kasser said. “There’s a lot to learn from this season.”
UCLA got to starter Cole Stringer early, putting up two runs in the first inning with an RBI-double and an RBI-groundout. By the end of the second, the Bruins had a 4-0 lead and Stringer’s day was done. He finished the season with a 4-3 record.
The Ducks turned the game over to the bullpen to start the third inning and five pitchers saw time in the game the rest of the way.
In the fourth the Bruins added three runs on five hits to take a seven run lead and essentially put the game away.
“We got thumped,” head coach George Horton said. “We got outplayed in a lot of different areas.“
Oregon’s only run of the game came in the seventh inning when Spencer Steer led off with a double and Gabe Matthews drove him in with hit an RBI-single. UCLA starter Jon Olsen held the Ducks to four hits and eight strikeouts that included a stretch of retiring 17 different batters during eight innings of work.
Kasser, who went 2-for-3 Saturday, caps off an impressive season that saw him end the season on a 15-game hitting streak and tied for fifth on Oregon’s single season hits list. Kasser also finished the year with the highest season batting average (.352) since the return of baseball in 2009.
He credited his work during summer baseball as the reason for his increased batting average this season.
“I think it’s an important lesson for these guys when they go out to summer ball to not mess around,” Kasser said. “Go out every day to get better, next season will be here before you know it.”
The Ducks head into the offseason with an uncertainty at the head coaching spot. Horton’s contract expires at the end of season and there have been no updates regarding whether his contract will be renewed. His contract officially runs through Sept. 11.
“I expect to be the coach,” Horton said. “Nothing’s been indicated to me that they want anybody else but me leading this program. I expect to be leading it. I want to be leading it and I’m honored to be leading it.”
Follow Zak Laster: @zlast3445