Ducks Rebound With 15-6 Victory
EUGENE, Ore. – After getting shut out in back-to-back games, Oregon's bats heated back up in a 15-6 victory over UC San Diego.
The Ducks scored 14 of their 15 runs between the second and fifth innings, five in both the second and third. Seven players had multiple hits, led by three each from Tanner Smith and Bennett Thompson. Brennan Milone and Sam Novitske each drove in three runs.
How it happened: Signs of progress were evident early in the game. After committing two errors in Tuesday's loss to UCSD, Oregon had a pair of sparkling defensive plays that kept them within striking distance early on.
Colby Shade played a role in both. In the first inning, the centerfielder ranged back to the wall just to the right of the batters eye and robbed a home run. Then, in the second Shade kick-started an 8-6-2 relay to nail a runner at home after a double to left-center. The two plays combined to keep the Ducks down just 1-0 heading into the bottom of the second inning.
The UO bats went to work in the second inning, the first of two five-run frames. Josh Kasevich opened the inning by depositing the first pitch he saw into the visiting bullpen, and Novitske hit his second home run of the season – a two-run blast – just two batters later.
Oregon tacked on two more runs after the home runs, getting one when Smith singled home Thompson. Gavin Grant scored the other when the catcher misplayed a steal by Smith and allowed the ball to skitter back behind home plate.
The Ducks piled on in the third. Eight batters came to the dish in another five-run inning. Drew Cowley opened the frame with a double, coming around on a bunt single from Bryce Boettcher. Thompson later drove in Boettcher and Colby Shade roped a two-RBI single into left-center to close the inning.
Milone scored on an RBI groundout in the fourth for Oregon's 11th run before driving in the next three in the fifth. The sophomore laced a one-out, bases-loaded double into the left-center gap. His tenth double of the season cleared the bases due to Shade getting a good read on the ball and hustling around from first base to put the Ducks up 14-5.
Oregon pitching took it from there, holding the Tritons to just one run over the final four innings. Rio Britton tossed scoreless frames in the sixth and seventh innings, striking out one. Kolby Somers earned the victory with 1.2 scoreless innings in the eighth and ninth. The senior struck out two and did not allow a baserunner.
Boettcher contributed the Ducks' final run of the ballgame in the eighth. The sophomore tripled down the right-field line and scored on a subsequent groundout.
Inside the Box Score: Smith started his 151st straight game, extending his school record … Smith's double was the 47th of his career, which is tied for second-most all-time with Mitchell Tolman … The senior also had his 60th career multi-hit game and 22nd of the season … Kasevich started his 100th career game at shortstop … He also had his 25th career multiple-RBI game, moving into a tie for sixth in school history with Kenyon Yovan … Novitske had multiple hits for the 40th time in his career and posted multiple RBIs for the 16th time … Shade's two-run single gave him 10 multi-RBI games this season.
Up Next: The Ducks head to Tempe for their second-to-last Pac-12 series of the season against Arizona State.