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Ducks Complete Sweep With Shutout

Feb 28, 2022

EUGENE, Ore. — Freshman Tommy Brandenburg and four relievers combined on a three-hit shutout Monday as the Oregon baseball team completed a four-game sweep of St. John's at PK Park with a 6-0 victory.

Brandenburg earned his first collegiate win by throwing five one-hit innings, with help from some sparkling defense. Josiah Cromwick staked him to an early lead with a three-run homer in the second, Josh Kasevich provided some insurance with a two-run single in the fifth and Jacob Walsh hit his first career home run at PK Park in the seventh.

"I felt great," said Brandenburg, a top-10 recruit from the state of Washington last year. "The stuff was there. But I can't say enough about the defense. They just were lights out today and really provided a spark when I needed it."

How It Happened: The Ducks (5-3) failed to score in the first inning for the first time in the series, but Cromwick got them on the board in the second. After Brandenburg's second 1-2-3 inning to start the game, Kasevich singled, Colby Shade walked with one out and Cromwick made it 3-0 with a homer to left-center field.

Brandenburg found some trouble in the third, walking back-to-back hitters with one out. But his infield got him out of the jam, as Kasevich dove up the middle to field a ground ball and flipped it with his glove to second baseman Gavin Grant, whose throw to first was dug out by Walsh to complete the inning-ending double play.

The Red Storm(1-7) finally got a hit off Brandenburg to open the fifth. But after a strikeout of the next batter, Brandenburg coaxed a sharp line drive that Grant snared before doubling off the runner at first to end the inning.

Brennan Milone singled with one out in the bottom of the fifth for Oregon, and Walsh moved up him with another base hit. After a passed ball put both in scoring position, Kasevich drove a sharp single into left field for his eighth and ninth RBIs of the series. Walsh made it 6-0 in the seventh with a towering home run that cleared the taller right-field fence in reconfigured PK Park.

At The Plate: Cromwick and Walsh each hit his second home run of the season, and Kasevich had multiple hits for the fourth time in four games against St. John's. Kasevich finished the series 10-for-18 with nine RBIs and five runs scored.

Shade entered the day having reached base in 11 straight plate appearances. After walking in the second inning, he extended the streak to 13 straight when he was hit by a pitch in the fourth. The streak ended on a groundball out in the fifth.

On The Mound: Caleb Sloan, Rio Britton, Matt Dallas and Kolby Somers completed the shutout for the Ducks out of the bullpen, giving the UO pitching staff a total of 11 scoreless relief appearances in 13 opportunities during the four-game series. Sloan benefitted from yet another inning-ending double play after walking two in the sixth, Britton struck out the side in the seventh before getting the first out of the eighth, and Dallas struck out the next two hitters in that frame. Somers allowed consecutive base hits with one out in the ninth, but Oregon's veteran closer then struck out the next two batters to end the game.

"It was nice to see everybody just kind of passing the baton," UO coach Mark Wasikowski said. "And then at the end of the ballgame to be able to see Somers do what he does, which is, you know, it can be boring at times — and it's great when it's boring because that means he's just really good. He was the best closer in the Pac 12 last year and he will be this year as well."

Up Next: The Ducks open a four-game series against UC Santa Barbara at PK Park on Friday at 4 p.m.