Dominant Outing By Fuller Leads Ducks To Win
EUGENE – Oregon exploded for six runs in the bottom of the third inning and Ducks' pitchers Peyton Fuller and Rio Britton combined for a five-hit shutout in a 6-0 non-conference win over Seattle at PK Park on Friday night.
Fuller (1-0) dominated most of the game, allowing just five hits in a career-high 7.0 inning pitched. Britton, a true freshman, relieved Fuller in the eighth inning and retired six of the seven batters he faced in his career debut.
How It Happened: It did not look like Fuller would cruise through the Redhawks (2-3) lineup after he struggled with his control in the first inning. The Ducks' right-hander gave up a leadoff single before walking the next two hitters to start the game.
Fortunately, for the Ducks, Fuller picked off the leadoff batter at first before the two walks and then enticed an inning-ending double play with runners on first and second.
When he came out for the second inning, it looked like a different pitcher for Oregon (2-0). Fuller did not allow a base runner in three of the next four innings, retiring 14 of the next 15 hitters before allowing a one out single in the top of the sixth.
While being in command for much of the game, Fuller was able to pitch out of trouble on a couple occasions. In addition to the first-inning jam, the Ashland, Ore., native escaped a runner on third with less than two outs situation in the third inning.
Seattle's Kyle Sherick led off the inning with a double inside the first-base bag and moved to third on a sacrifice bunt. Fuller responded fanning SU leadoff hitter Gavin Rork before enticing a fly out by two-hole hitter Connor O'Brien to end the inning unscathed.
In the seventh, Fuller allowed a pair of one-out singles but was able to escape without allowing a run thanks to the help of freshman center fielder Bryce Boettcher. With one out, Mason Hoover hit a line drive into left-center field but Boettcher made an amazing diving catch for the second out of the inning.
Fuller capped off his appearance with an epic 10-pitch battle against Sherick, who fouled off four pitches to extend the at-bat before flying out to A.J. Miller in right field to end the seventh inning.
Offensively, Oregon did all of its damage in the bottom of the third inning scoring all six runs. After Jack Scanlon reached on an error and moved to second on a Gavin Grant single, Boettcher picked up his first career hit and RBI scoring Scanlon from third on a single through the right side.
Aaron Zavala made it 2-0 with an RBI fielder's choice scoring Grant while beating the throw from second to avoid the double play. Three pitches later, shortstop Josh Kasevich hit a two-run home run over the left-field wall for a 4-0 lead.
Oregon tallied three straight extra-base hits to break the game open in the third. After Kasevich's homer, senior Gabe Matthews hit a ground-rule double into the right-field corner and then scored on a Tanner Smith triple to the right-center gap. Miller drove in Smith with a sacrifice fly to make it 6-0.
Game Of Firsts: In addition to picking up his first career hit and RBI, Boettcher also had his first career multiple-hit game (2-for-3, RBI) … Kasevich hit his first career home run … Stanford graduate transfer Nick Bellafronto had his first career hit as a Duck, doubling as a pinch hitter in the eighth inning … Britton struck out his first career batter in the eighth inning … He also fanned his second batter to end the game.
Inside the Box Score: At 2 hours and six minutes, the game was the shortest Oregon game in length of time since a 3-2 loss to Illinois State on Feb. 27, 2016 (2:02) … Kasevich had his third career multiple hit game going 2-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored … The two-RBI game was the second of his career … Kasevich has two extra-base hits through the first two games, doubling his 2020 total in 14 games … Of Oregon's eight hits, four went for extra bases.
Beyond The Box Score: Oregon improved to 24-2-1 all-time against Seattle … The Ducks are 9-0 at home since Wasikowski took over as head coach … The Ducks have scored a combined 10 runs in the first two games of the series with all of them coming in just two innings.
Waz Said It: "I thought it was well pitched, well-played game with good defense. There were a lot of balls hit well. Some balls ended up falling in and some didn't. Very impressed with the pitching and the defense overall tonight."
On Deck: Game three of the series between Oregon and Seattle starts at 2:05 p.m. at PK Park. The Ducks will send Brett Walker to the mound while Seattle counters with RHP Nestor German.