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Ducks start fast, finish strong in win

May 19, 2022

EUGENE, Ore. — Tanner Smith hit a pair of home runs and Kolby Somers came up with two huge eighth-inning strikeouts to give Oregon a 10-4 win over No. 25 Arizona at PK Park on Thursday night, in what will be the first of four consecutive games between the two Pac-12 clubs.
 
Stanford and UCLA both picked up wins on Thursday night, while Arizona State lost locking the Ducks and Wildcats into the 4-5 game at the Pac-12 Conference Tournament next Wednesday in Scottsdale, Ariz.
 
How It Happened: Arizona (35-19, 16-12 Pac-12) jumped out to the early lead scoring a run in the top of the first inning, but Oregon (33-21, 16-12) rallied scoring eight runs between the second and fourth innings.
 
The Ducks put five runs on the board in the second, thanks to a pair of home runs. Drew Cowley led off the second with his first of three hits on the night. After a line out to center, Anthony Hall launched a two-run home run over the right-center field wall to give the Ducks the lead.
 
Jacob Walsh followed the homer with a double and after an out, Gavin Grant walked to put runners on first and second for Smith. The Ducks leadoff batter responded, lifting a 2-2 pitch into the Ducks' bullpen beyond the right-field wall for a three-run home run and a 5-1 lead.
 
Oregon tacked two more on in the third. Cowley led off the inning with a base hit, moved to third on a Josh Kasevich hit and scored on a Hall fielder's choice. Hall made it 7-1 when he came around to score from first and a Bennett Thompson double into left field.
 
Smith led off the fourth inning with his second homer of the day, knocking a 2-1 pitch over the right field wall to make it 8-1, Ducks.
 
The Wildcats climbed back into the game scoring a run in the sixth and two more in the eighth, forcing the Ducks to bring closer Kolby Somers into the game with the bases loaded and one out to face the Arizona two and three-hole hitters, Daniel Susac and Tanner O'Tremba respectively.
 
Susac and O'Tremba entered the game as two of the top four hitters in the Pac-12 with Susac ranking second with a .368 average and O'Tremba ranking fourth at .364. The two UA hitters also ranked one and two in hits in the conference with Susac leading the way with 84 and O'Tremba sitting right behind him with 78.
 
Somers was up for the challenge. He struck Susac out on four pitches, before getting O'Tremba to chase a ball in the dirt for strike three and the final out of the inning on a 1-2 pitch.
 
Oregon added two insurance runs in its half of the eighth on a Colby Shade two-out base hit. Somers finished the job retiring three of four batters he faced for his 21st career save.
 
Box Score Notes: Grant made his 100th career start giving Oregon four players who have started 100-plus games at a single position during their careers … Smith made his 144th start in left field and Josh Kasevich made his 105th start at shortstop, while Sam Novitske has started 118 games at third base … The Ducks have five players on the roster who have more than 100 total starts (Anthony Hall) … Smith's second-inning homer snapped a 18-game streak for the Duck without a homer … The two home run game was his second career multi-homer game, with the last coming at UC Santa Barbara on March 5, 2021 … Smith (2-for-5, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 2 R) had his 25th multi-hit game of the season and the 63rd of his career … He also had his 22nd career multiple-RBI game moving him into a tie for 10th all-time at Oregon … Hall and Smith are now tied with 20 career homers, the eighth most in school history … Hall has 13 homers this season, one shy of a tie for second in a single-season … Smith moved into a tie for 10th win single-season homers with 10 … Cowley had his 18th multi-hit game in just his 31st start … Shade finished with his 12th multi-RBI game … Somers moved into a tie for the league lead with his eighth save … He also moved into sole possession of second all-time at Oregon with 21 saves … It was his ninth save of the season, tying Garrett Cleavinger (2015) for seventh all-time at the UO … RJ Gordon (4-2) picked up the win for the Ducks … Oregon ran its season total to 406 runs, the first time a Ducks team has scored 400 runs in a season … The Ducks have now hit 70 home runs.
 
Up Next: The Ducks and Wildcats meet in game two of their series on Friday. First pitch is 4:05 p.m. at PK Park.