Extra inning win gives Ducks a sweep
GOLETA, Calif. – Oregon scored five runs in the top of the 10th inning and went on to win 9-5 to finish off a sweep of UC Santa Barbara on Sunday.
The four-game road sweep of a ranked team by the Ducks was the first in the history of the program. The Gauchos entered the weekend ranked as high as seventh in the college baseball national polls.
How It Happened: Unlike the first three games of the series, Oregon (6-2) took an early lead over UC Santa Barbara (6-5). Kenyon Yovan, who dominated the entire series against the Gauchos pitching staff, hit a solo home run to stake the Ducks to a lead two batters into the game.
Oregon would add to the lead in the first scoring its first of seven runs in the game with two outs. Aaron Zavala started the two-out rally with a walk and came around to score on a Josh Kasevich double for a 2-0 lead.
Robert Ahlstrom helped Oregon hold the lead through the early portions of the game. The Ducks' lefty, making his first start, fanned four and did not allow a run through three innings before leaving due to a pitch count. Ahlstrom was the only Ducks' starter to not allow a first-inning run in the series, and in turn, not face a deficit on the scoreboard after opening inning.
Freshman Isaac Ayon replaced Ahlstrom to start the fourth and continued to make the day hard on Gaucho hitters allowing just one run on one hit in four innings with three strikeouts. UCSB picked up the run off Ayon in the bottom of the sixth to cut the lead to 2-1.
Oregon responded in the top of the seventh with a pair of runs to push the lead to three. Tanner Smith led off the inning with a double and came around to score on a Yovan single off the top of the left-field wall. After a pair of outs moved Yovan to third and a walk and a hit by pitch loaded the bases, Sam Novitske drew a bases loaded walk to score Yovan.
UCSB rallied in the eighth inning tying the game on a pair of home runs off Ducks' reliever Hunter Breault. Neither team scored in the ninth, but it took a great play by Oregon to prevent the Gauchos from getting the walk-off win. With two outs and a runner on first, pinch hitter Kyle Johnson hit a ball off the right-field wall barely eluding Zavala on the warning track.
Steele Ledford, the runner on first, tried to score but Zavala hit cutoff-man Gavin Grant who turned and threw a strike to catcher Jack Scanlon to get Steele at the plate by two steps to force extra innings.
The Ducks took advantage of the momentum with a five-run, two-out rally. Yovan started the rally when UCSB intentionally walked him with two outs and nobody on base. After a Gabe Matthews walk moved pinch runner Jack Haley to second, Zavala put the Ducks on top with a RBI single scoring Haley.
Josh Kasevich made it a two-run lead with an RBI single past the third baseman, before Zavala scored on a wild pitch to make it a three-run game. Kasevich then came around to score on a throwing error by UCSB on a Bryce Boettcher ground ball. Novitske finished the scoring with a RBI single plating Boettcher who had moved to third on a pair of stolen bases.
Andrew Mosiello, who came in relief of Breault in the eighth inning, finished off the Gauchos in the 10th to secure the win.
Inside the Box Score: Yovan became the first Duck to homer in three straight games since Spencer Steer did it at UC Irvine from May 4-6, 2018 … The Ducks DH also reached base five times with a home run, single and three intentional walks … Zavala and Novitske both reached base four times … Zavala (3-for-5, 1 RBI, 2 R) had his fourth multiple-hit game of the season and his third of the series … Yovan (2-for-3, HR, 2 RBI, 2 R, 3 IBB) drove in multiple runs for the third time in the series … Novitske (2-for-4, 2 RBI, BB, HBP) had his second multi-hit game of the season … Kasevich (2-for-5, 2 RBI, 1 R, 1 BB) had his third multi-hit and multi-RBI game … Oregon pitchers combined for 12 strikeouts with Mosiello leading the way with five.
Series Notes: The last time the Ducks swept a four-game road series against any team came in February 2014 when they won four to open the season in Hawaii … Oregon outscored UCSB 38-16 in the four games and batted .302 with 14 extra-base hits … Zavala (8-for-16, 2 HR, 4 RBI) and Novitske (4-for-7, 3 RBI) both finished the series batting .571 … Yovan (7-for-15, 4 HR, 11 RBI, 6 BB) batted .467 in the series … Smith (6-for-17, 2 HR, 4 2B, 7 RBI) hit .353 during the weekend … Oregon's pitchers combined for a 3.89 ERA with 36 strikeouts and 15 walks … They held the Gauchos to a .245 batting average.
On Deck: The Ducks head to Corvallis to play a three-game non-league series starting on Friday.