Bats Quiet In Loss To Seattle
EUGENE, Ore. — The Oregon baseball team suffered its first loss of the 2021 season Saturday, falling behind early and rallying to tie the game before ultimately losing to Seattle in PK Park, 4-2.
The Ducks (2-1) scored in each of the first two innings to tie the game, after falling behind 2-0 in the top of the first. But Seattle reclaimed the lead in the fourth and Oregon squandered a couple of late chances to rally back.
"We didn't hit very well today," UO coach Mark Wasikowski said. "Lotta fly balls — lotta lazy fly balls. Probably only five or six balls hit hard all day. … I didn't think we did a very good job of staying short to the ball today."
How It Happened: The Redhawks (3-3) opened the game with a walk and an RBI double off UO starter Brett Walker, and two batters later a run-scoring single made it 2-0. Walker settled in and stranded a runner in each of the second and third innings, before the Ducks went to their bullpen.
Aaron Zavala continued to look right at home in the leadoff spot for Oregon, singling to open the bottom of the first and moving up 90 feet when Josh Kasevich followed with a base hit. They each moved up on a balk, and Tanner Smith drove a sacrifice fly into left field to score Zavala.
Another leadoff man sparked Oregon in the second, when Anthony Hall reached on a base hit. Jack Scanlon was hit by a pitch with one hit to put two on for the Ducks, and both runners moved up on a fielder's choice. Hall then scored on a balk to tie the game, 2-2.
Seattle took the lead in the fourth when Caleb Sloan surrendered a leadoff home run before retiring the side in order. Decker Stedman pitched a 1-2-3 fifth for Oregon, but he was pulled after walking two batters to open the sixth. One of those runners came around to score and make it 4-2.
With one out in the bottom of the sixth, Smith walked and Nick Bellafronto singled for the Ducks. They moved up on a wild pitch but got no farther. A walk by Kasevich put two on with two out in the seventh for Oregon, before Gabe Matthews laced a sharp groundball that the first baseman was able to smother before tagging the base to end the inning.
The sixth-inning single by Bellafronto was the last of six hits on the day by Oregon. In the eighth, the Ducks had three straight fly outs, on seven total pitches.
"We expect a better result, and that's on us as coaches," Wasikowski said. "We need to do a better job of getting our guys prepared, so we see a different result than what we saw today."
On The Mound: Two arms expected to be anchors in the back of the UO bullpen made their season debuts. Hunter Breault and Kolby Somers each pitched two scoreless innings, though Breault allowed an inherited runner to score in the sixth.
Walker threw 50 pitches, which was about his designated pitch count for the day as he continues to build up his arm for the season.
At The Plate: Hall had the fourth multi-hit game of his career, and his first of this season. Kasevich has a hit in all three games so far this season. Zavala has scored a run in all three games.
Up Next: The Ducks and Redhawks play the series finale Sunday at noon.