Ducks score five in the eighth to rally for win
SEATTLE — Oregon scored five runs in the top of the eighth inning to rally for an 8-6 win at Washington on Friday afternoon and in the process clinched a series win in Seattle for the first time since the 2010 season.
Relief pitcher Logan Mercado picked up the win tossing four inning of relief, allowing just one unearned run after coming into the game with the Ducks trailing by two runs. Mercado was forced into action after starter Isaac Ayon was ejected after hitting the leadoff batter in the top of the fifth.
Mercado got out of the inning getting a pop up before Jack Scanlon threw out the runner trying to steal second. Mercado finished off the inning with a strikeout.
After Washington (16-17, 6-11) scored an unearned run off Mercado in the sixth on a failed Ducks' rundown between third and home, the sophomore right-hander retired the next eight batters he faced before giving way to closer Kolby Somers to start the ninth inning.
Somers, who threw 43 pitches on Friday night, retired three of the four batters he faced in the ninth to record a save, his sixth of the season for the second straight game.
How It Happened: Like game one of the series, Oregon (23-11, 9-5 Pac-12) got out to an early lead. Scanlon walked to lead off the top of the third, moved to second on a wild pitch and to third on a fly ball to deep center field that allowed him to tag. Brennan Milone drove him in with an infield hit into the six-hole for a 1-0 lead.
Washington rallied to take a four-run lead, thanks in part to some help from the Ducks. UW scored two unearned runs in the third after Oregon committed a pair of errors. The Huskies tacked on three more in the fourth with a double, three walks and then a single.
Oregon answered with a pair of runs in the top of the fifth. Colby Shade lined a two-run shot over the left-field wall scoring Gavin Grant, who led off the inning with a single.
UW got one back when Oregon couldn't execute the rundown, but ran into trouble in the eighth.
Anthony Hall sparked the rally with a leadoff triple, his second three-bagger of the series, into the right-field corner. Sam Novitske drove him in with a single to right-center field to cut the lead to two.
Josiah Cromwick, who doubled as a pinch hitter in the sixth inning and then stayed in at catcher, singled to right moving Novitske to second. Gavin Grant then bet out the throw on a sacrifice bunt attempt, before moving to second on a wild throw from the Huskies pitcher to first trying to retire Grant.
Novitske scored on the wild throw to cut the lead to one and Cromwick moved to third giving Oregon runners at second and third. Shade picked up his third RBI of the game with a single to right, scoring Novitske. Milone followed with a two-run single giving him three RBI, as well.
Inside The Box Score: Mercado's five wins have all come in the last 18 wins … He has two of Oregon's last four wins, after having a three-win spurt in four games from March 18-22 … Somers picked up career save number-18, two behind Kenyon Yovan (2017-21) for second on the all-time saves list at UO … He moved into fifth in career appearances (75), passing Scott McGough (2009-11) … He also passed McGough and Yovan for fifth all-time in games finished (33) … Shade's home run was his fourth of the season, and first since March 27 … Six Ducks had multiple hits, with Milone registering his second multi-hit game in the series … The win was Oregon's sixth straight in the series.
On Deck: The Ducks and Huskies wrap up game three of the series at 2 p.m. on Saturday. The game will be televised on Pac-12 Washington.