One day after ending its five-game losing streak with a 12-4 win over Cal in Berkeley, the Oregon baseball team (23-19, 8-10) returned to the loss column, this time in a 4-3 defeat to San Jose State on Monday.
The Ducks blew a one-run lead in the ninth inning, their second blown save and walk-off loss of the four-game road trip.
Reliever Ryne Nelson allowed three runs, just one earned, in his 1.1 innings of work. The Spartans tied the game on a James Shimashita single to score Brandon Peterson. Shimashita then advanced to third on an errant pickoff by Nelson.
Nick Knecht then pinch hit for Ryan Belluomini, needing just a well-placed hit to end the game. Although it wasn’t a walk-off home run, like Cal’s Korey Lee hit against Nelson on Friday, Knecht achieved the same result.
Shimashita broke for home and Knecht got the squeeze down to win the game for San Jose State.
The Ducks took an early 2-0 lead in the first when designated hitter Evan Williams knocked Sam Novitske and Spencer Steer home on a single.
Oregon added a third run in the fifth when Steer singled home Novitske.
The shutout did not last any longer, with the Spartans breaking their scoreless drought on back-to-back doubles with the RBI coming from Shimashita.
Oregon’s pitching has battled a lot this season given the injuries, but these late game collapses are tough to rebound from, especially a team that is trending toward the wrong side of the bubble.
The Ducks will remain on the road, heading to Tucson, Arizona, where they will take on the Arizona Wildcats beginning Friday, May 3 at 6 p.m.
Follow Maverick Pallack on Twitter @mavpallack