Ducks Take Game One
STANFORD, Calif. – Tanner Smith connected for a game-winning home run in the top of the ninth inning, breaking a 3-3 tie and handing Oregon (9-5, 1-0 Pac-12) a 4-3 victory over No. 5 Stanford (8-4, 0-1 Pac-12) on Friday from Sunken Diamond to open Pac-12 play.
Smith finished the game 2 for 5 with his third homer of the year.
Stanford starter Alex Williams did not factor into the decision on Friday after tossing seven innings and allowing two runs on seven hits with a career-high tying 10 strikeouts. Sophomore Tommy O'Rourke was saddled with the loss and fell to 0-2 on the year after allowing the home run in the ninth.
Stone Churby earned the victory out of the bullpen for Oregon despite allowing the tying run in the eighth inning on a double from Drew Bowser. Churby improved to 1-0 on the season. Kolby Somers walked a pair in the bottom of the ninth, but held on to record his first save of the year with a scoreless inning of work.
Stanford got on the board first on Friday, plating a pair of unearned runs in the first inning while taking advantage of two Duck errors.
Williams worked out of a few jams in the early innings, but Oregon finally broke through in the fifth after back-to-back triples from Anthony Hall and Colby Shade to start the frame. Shade's triple drove in Hall and cut the deficit to one before Sam Novitske tied the game with an RBI-single.
The Ducks outhit Stanford 11-9 in the victory.
The 2-2 stalemate held until the eighth when O'Rourke inherited the bases loaded and two out from Joey Dixon. O'Rourke dealt a 3-2 pitch and got a check swing, but the call went the way of Oregon and the walk forced in the go-ahead run.
Dixon was charged with his first run allowed of the season, ultimately working 1 2/3 innings and allowing three hits with two strikeouts.
Bowser's eighth-inning double seemingly handed the momentum to Stanford, but a bases-loaded double play off the bat of Adam Crampton limited the Cardinal to just the one run and left the door open for Smith's go-ahead shot leading off the ninth.
Stanford will look to even the series with Oregon on Saturday as the two teams meet at 2:05 p.m.