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Pair Of Runs In The Ninth Not Enough As Huskies Fall To Oregon 7-5

Apr 15, 2022

The Dawgs welcomed the Oregon Ducks to Husky Ballpark this evening for a rare Thursday night start to a three-game series.  Sporting an impressive 21-11 record the Ducks offered a clear challenge, but the Huskies had reason to be motivated. With Pac-12 records at 6-9 for the Dawgs and 7-5 for the Ducks, a sweep would flip the teams in the conference standings.

RHP Jared Engman started on the hill, but found himself in trouble early as a leadoff single to right field got things started for Oregon. A strikeout on three straight pitches had Engman back on track, but a double followed and a single up the middle scored two. Moments later catcher Johnny Tincher scooped a pitch in the dirt and fired down to first. The runner was hung out to dry and bolted for second. First baseman Will Simpson threw over to shortstop Cam Clayton for the tag out. With two outs the end was in sight, however a walk put another runner on and the following batter sent a home run over the right field fence. The Huskies finally got out of the inning as Urps fielded a ball at second and threw over to Clayton on the bag.  

Will Simpson drew a full count walk with one out. Two batters later, Johnny Tincher drove a ball all the way to the wall in right center and soon found himself sliding in head-first at third base with an RBI. AJ Guerrero came up next and put a charge into one to excite the crowd, but it came up just short of the wall for out number three. 

Cam Clayton stepped in with one out and laced a base hit to left field. He soon found himself on second following a wild pitch. There was a bigger one waiting though as a second wild pitch ricocheted off the catcher's shin guard over toward the Oregon dugout. Clayton bolted toward third and soon realized home was within reach. He turned on the juice, rounded third, and flew headfirst into home just beating the throw!  It was now a 4-2 ballgame.

Jake Enger, who entered with two outs in the fourth and gave up just one base hit in the fifth, gave up a leadoff triple. Following a strikeout, a sacrifice fly to left field would put another run on the board for Oregon making the score 5-2. The next batter sent a ball sky high behind home plate. With his back toward the plate, catcher Johnny Tincher tracked it for what seemed like forever.  He slowly drifted back and finally launched backwards making an incredible diving catch.

Tincher led off the sixth with a double to the left field corner. AJ Guerrero walked on five pitches and Colby Wallace singled through the right side to load up the bases. Clayton drove a ball to straight-away right field for an out, but was able to score Tincher from third. Michael Brown came to the plate next and turned on one ripping a hard grounder to the third baseman. Unfortunately, he made a great play and was able to turn two to end the inning.

As the ninth got underway, the Huskies were looking at the wrong side of a 5-3 ballgame. Pitching had kept them in the game though, giving up just one run since the first inning. RHP Josh Emanuels returned to the mound where he'd been since the seventh inning when he came in following a leadoff double and struck out the side.  An Oregon walk led off the ninth. Following a ground out to second, another walk brought a call to the bullpen for RHP Ryan Velazquez. He settled in with two straight balls, then delivered a trio of strikes for the out. With two down, the runners swiped second and third with no throw following a slow curve. With two in scoring position, the Huskies were desperate for that final out, but it was not to be. The next batter singled to center field plating two to give the Ducks a four run lead. Velazquez's second strikeout of the inning followed, but damage had been done as Oregon now led 7-3.

With work to be done, the Huskies wasted no time as McKay Barney got things started with a single to center field. Will Simpson followed with a single through the left side.  Following a Coby Morales strikeout, Johnny Tincher singled through the right side to bring the tying run to the plate. AJ Guerrero dropped one into no man's land as the right fielder, left fielder, and second baseman all converged on the ball. It dropped in to thrill Dawg fans, but quick thinking by the right fielder had the ball on it's way to second base before Tincher could get there. A run scored, but there were now two outs on the board. Colby Wallace came up next and turned on one, crushing it into the right field corner scoring Simpson from third. Momentum was there, but the comeback was not to be as the next batter, Clayton, went down on strikes to end the game.

Starter Jared Engman took the loss moving to 2-5. He went three and two-thirds innings, giving up four earned runs on six hits with three walks and two strikeouts.