Ducks homer three times, rally to win over Utah
EUGENE, Ore. — Oregon belted three two-run home runs including two in the fifth inning en route to an 11-4 Pac-12 Conference win over Utah on Friday night at PK Park.
Brennan Milone hit his fourth homer of the season in the bottom of the third inning to give Oregon (11-6, 3-1 Pac-12) the lead after the Ducks trailed by three runs earlier in the game. Anthony Hall belted his first home run and Gavin Grant his fourth homer, both coming in the fifth inning, to help Oregon break the game open.
How It Happened: Utah (11-5-1, 2-2 Pac-12) jumped on Oregon starter RJ Gordon in the second inning, building a 3-0 lead.
The Ducks cut into the lead with a pair of runs of their own in the bottom of the inning. Josh Kasevich led off the inning and moved to third on a Hall double before scoring on a Sam Novitske RBI ground out. Hall made it 3-2 scoring on a Jack Scanlon sacrifice fly.
Oregon took the lead with two more runs in the third. Milone blasted his first home run since Feb. 26, scoring Tanner Smith who reached on a hit-by-pitch earlier in the inning.
Utah threatened to regain the lead in the top of the fourth. After getting a ground out to open the inning, Gordon walked the next three batters he faced to load the bases, forcing the Ducks to go to the bullpen. Dylan Sabia struck out the first batter he faced and got a ground out against the next hitter to get out of the inning without allowing a run.
The team exchanged runs in the bottom of the fourth and the top of the fifth. Milone picked up his third RBI of the game in the fourth, singling home Smith.
Leading 5-4 in the bottom of the fifth, the Ducks broken it open behind the big bats of Hall and Grant. After Kasevich led off the inning with a walk, Hall blasted his first home run of the season giving Oregon a 7-4 lead.
With Scanlon on first after he was hit by a pitch, Hall blasted another home run putting the Ducks up 9-4. Freshman Jacob Walsh added a RBI single later in the inning, scoring Colby Shade who doubled on batter after Grant's home run.
Oregon tacked on a final run in the sixth. Hall led off the inning with a single and came around to score on a Shade bases-loaded walk.
Box Score Notes: The Ducks scored in double figures for the seventh time this season … Oregon's 14 hits marked the 12th time the Ducks have had double-digit hits this season, including the last six games … Oregon has outscored its opponents 24-9 in the fifth inning this season … Logan Mercado (1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K) picked up his first win of the season … Four Ducks had multiple hits, while three Ducks had multiple RBI … Every Duck starter had a hit, except Scanlon who was hit by two pitches … Those two HBP gave Scanlon 21 for his career, moving him into a tie for eighth all-time with Jakob Goldfarb (2017-19) … Walsh extended his reached base streak to 15 games.
Up Next: The Ducks and Utes meet in game two of the series at PK Park on Saturday with a 3:05 p.m. first pitch. The game will be televised on Pac-12 Oregon.
They said it:
Head Coach Mark Wasikowski
"Anthony Hall was fantastic. The offense for the first five innings of that game was really, really good. I thought we let them off the hook in that one bases loaded situation, where we only got one in the sixth. It was a great five in the fifth inning. That was tough one, because in the top of the fifth after we scored one in the bottom of the fourth, they came back and did a nice job and got a two-out single to get a run on the board. I thought that was big on their part, especially with the beginning of the game, they had opportunity after opportunity with runners on and so that game could have ended a lot differently. The offense was relentless and it was really nice to see our kids battle at the plate."
Anthony Hall – On his first home run of the season
"It feels good to get the first one out of the way, it's always the hardest. It's about time that happened. I was looking for a fastball and just trying to barrel it up. Keep it simple. I started out a little rough this year, so I was trying to keep it simple."
Brennan Milone – On rallying from an early deficit
"That is all we pretty much talked about. You can probably even hear (assistant coach Jack) Marder from the stands saying 'get on this inning'. That is pretty much all we do, we are always on the inning we are in, it doesn't matter what the score is – whether we are up 10 to zero or down 10 to zero – we are just focused on that inning and putting the best at bats we can out there. Usually things will start to come together when you do that."