10-run first inning sparks Ducks to win
EUGENE, Ore. — Oregon jumped on San Francisco with 10 runs in the first inning and then cruised to a 15-5 nonconference win at PK Park on Tuesday.
Tanner Smith finished with a career-high four hits, while Brennan Milone drove in four runs (all in the first inning) to lead the Ducks (17-7) to the win. Christian Ciuffetelli (1-2) picked up his first career win, while Rio Britton registered his first career save.
How It Happened: San Francisco (14-13) drew first blood with a single run in the top of the first, but Oregon responded by send 14 hitters to the plate in the bottom of the inning with the eight of the nine batters in the lineup scoring a first-inning run.
Smith led off the inning with a single and moved to third on a Colby Shade single and an error on the USF center fielder that put runners on second and third with no outs. Milone picked up his first two RBI of the inning, singling to right to score Smith and Shade.
After a Jacob Walsh walk put runners on first and second, before Milone stole third to put runners at the corners. Josh Kasevich walked to load the bases, setting up an Anthony Hall RBI single for a 3-0 lead.
After an out, Sam Novitske picked up an RBI with an infield single, before Bryce Boettcher drove in two with a single through the left side for a 6-0 Oregon lead.
Smith picked up his second hit of the inning, a hard shot off the USF first baseman to load the bases. Milone knocked in two more with a single to left field for an 8-0 lead. The Ducks capped the inning scoring two more runs on a misplayed ball by the center fielder off the bat of Walsh.
USF cut the lead to 10-4 with three runs in the second, but Oregon got two back in the bottom of the third. With Walsh on second following a double, Kasevich lined a shot over the wall in left-center field to push the lead back to nine.
The Dons chipped away with a run in the fourth, but Oregon made it a 10-run game again with three runs in the bottom half of the inning.
Josiah Cromwick lined a shot off the pitcher to start the inning with a single. Novitske doubled to left center to drive in Cromwick, before scoring on a Smith infield single and eventually coming around to score on a wild pitch.
The Ducks bullpen took it from there. Four Oregon relievers combined to throw 7.2 innings of one-run ball on just five hits. Ciuffetelli tossed two scoreless innings while fanning three for the win. Britton pitched the final three innings and didn't allow a run while striking out three.
Box Score Notes: Kasevich's homer gave Oregon a round tripper in 17 straight games, the longest streak in school history … The Ducks streak of multi-homer games ended at eight … Smith (4-for-5, RBI, 3 R) had his 49th career multi-hit game, moving into sole possession of seventh all-time at Oregon … Milone (2-for-4, 4 RBI, 2 R) had his 13th multi-hit game of the season and his sixth multiple-RBI game … Novitske (2-for-4, 2 RBI, 2 R) finished with his 37th career multi-hit game and his 13th multiple-RBI game … Boettcher (1-for-4, 2 RBI, R) started at second base for the first time in his career … He had his second career multi-RBI game … Oregon's 10-run inning marked the third time Oregon has scored double digit runs in an inning this season … Oregon scored 12 runs in the eighth inning at San Diego on Feb. 21 and then scored 13 runs in their next game against St. John's, also in the eighth inning, on Feb. 25.
On Deck: The Ducks and Dons wrap up their two-game midweek series Wednesday with a 1:05 p.m. first pitch.