Ducks walk off No. 10 Zags
EUGENE, Ore. — Freshman Jacob Walsh doubled into the right-field corner in the bottom of the ninth inning scoring the tying and winning runs to give Oregon a 5-4 win over No. 10 Gonzaga at PK Park on Tuesday night.
Oregon (32-21) led most of the night after putting three runs on the board in the first inning, but Gonzaga (32-14) took the lead in the top of the eighth on a three-run Shea Kramer home run setting up Walsh's heroics.
How It Happened: After the Zags took the lead in the eighth, Oregon stranded a pair of runners in scoring position in its half of the inning.
Dylan Sabia (2-0) came out of the bullpen and retired three of the four batters he faced, including an inning-ending strikeout, to keep the Ducks within one run in the ninth.
Josh Kasevich, who homered in the first to put the Ducks up by three, led off the bottom of the ninth with an infield hit. Pinch hitter Tyler Ganus executed a sacrifice bunt perfectly to move Kasevich to second before Sam Novitske, another pinch hitter, walked to put the go-ahead runner on first.
That brought Walsh to the plate. The Ducks designated hitter fell behind in the count 1-2 before lining a changeup into the right-field corner scoring Kasevich and pinch runner William Riley for the win.
Oregon struck early with a three runs in the bottom of the first inning. With two outs and runners at the corners, Tanner Smith forced Gonzaga starter Bradley Mullan to balk while attempting to steal home. Drew Cowley attempted to advance to third on Mullan's errant throw home, but was thrown out at third.
Since Cowley was out on the play, Oregon accepted the result of the balk taking away Smith's stolen base. Keeping Cowley on base paid off when Kasevich hit the next pitch over the wall in left center for a two-run home run and a three-run Oregon lead.
Gonzaga rallied for a run in the second to cut the lead to two and then took the lead with a three-run home run in the top of the eighth.
Box Score Notes: Walsh's walk off was the Ducks' fifth of the season … The double was his 16th of the year, tying Tyler Baumgartner (2014) and Danny Pulfer (2011) for the sixth most in a single-season at Oregon … Kasevich (2-for-4, HR, 2 RBI, 2 R) finished with his 20th multi-hit game of the season and the 44th of his career … He also registered his 11th multiple-RBI game of the season and the 28th of his career … Cowley (2-for-4, R) had his 17th multiple hit game of the season in just 32 games played (30 starts) … Smith (2-for-4, R) tallied his 24th multiple-hit game of the season, moving into a tie with Aaron Zavala (2021) and Kyle Kasser (2017) for the third most in Oregon history … It was his 62nd career multi-hit game, just four shy of Gabe Matthews' (2017-21) school record.
Up Next: Oregon returns to Pac-12 Conference play facing No. 25 Arizona in a three-game series to end the regular season.