By Knight Jarecki
Although the sunset was just about perfect leaving PK Park Tuesday, the performance by the Ducks was not as Oregon came out victorious 11-7 against San Jose State in a game they did not play their best. Although the Ducks trailed early, Oregon was able to battle back and pick up their 5th win over the Spartans since 1964 despite playing 12 times.
Action began in the top of the second inning. San Jose State jumped out to a 1-0 lead after Reece Hernandez came out triumphant in a 9 pitch at bat, hitting an RBI groundout to score Ruben Mercado from 3rd.
The next inning the Spartan’s bats were still awake as they scored 2 runs off of back to back RBI singles by Ruben Ibarra and Connor Konishi to extend their lead to 3-0 after 2 and 1/2 innings played.
The Spartans lead was short lived as the Ducks scored 5 runs in the bottom of the 3rd inning to take the lead 5-3. The inning was highlighted by a 2RBI triple from Anthony Hall to put the Ducks on the board and a RBI triple from Aaron Zavala to take the lead.
After the Ducks took the lead, San Jose State answered back with 1 run of their own in the top of the 4th on a Theo Hardy RBI double that went off the mitt of a diving Gabe Matthews to make the score 5-4 in favor of the Ducks.
Just like the bottom of the 3rd, the Ducks were able to answer back big in the bottom of the 4th scoring 4 runs. Sam Olsson hit a 2 run home run to start the inning giving the Ducks a 7-4 lead. Gavin Grant hit the next pitch off the left field wall for a double and later scored on a passed ball after being advanced to 3rd base on a balk to give Oregon a 8-4 lead. Later in the inning, 2 walks and a hit by pitch loaded the bases for Josh Kasevich who hit a 1 out sac fly to give the Ducks a 9-4 lead.
Ruben Ibarra answered back for the Spartans in the top of the 5th with a rocket over the left field fence to make the score 9-5.
The action was limited for the next couple of innings before the Ducks added 2 more runs to their lead in the bottom of the 8th. Sam Olsson walked and was pinch ran by Jack Haley. After Gavin Grant lined out to 3rd, a wild throw by the 3rd basemen advances Haley to 3rd. Tanner smith then walks and advances to 2nd on a passed ball. Anthony Hall then singled and brought home both runners to extend the lead to 11-5.
The Spartans, however, did not go down easy. After a hit by pitch and a walk put 2 runners on with no outs, Ruben Ibarra answered again for the Spartans, this time time on a laser to the left field wall for an RBI double. After a walk loaded the bases, Andrew Mosiello struck out the next two batters before Reece Hernandez hit an RBI single keeping the bases loaded and bringing the tying run to the plate in Andrew Jurado. Jurado was no match for Mosielo though as Mosielo struck out Jurado looking to end the game.
Isaac Ayon was credited with the win for the Ducks after coming into the game during the 3rd for a struggling Scott Ellis. Ayon pitched 2.2IP and gave up 2 runs on 3 hits while striking out 4. Rio Britton was impressive once again on the mound as the Freshman struct out 4 batters in 2 hitless innings pitched.
Anthony Hall was the star performer offensively for the Ducks. Hall finished 3-5 with 4RBI’s and a run. Hall also was impressive defensively as he made a throw from centerfield to 3rd base to tag out a runner and the inning. Sam Olsson also impressed offensively going 1-3 with the 2 run home run and a walk. The home run was the first home run of his career as a Duck.
Ruben Ibarra was the sole performer for the Spartans. The 6’5 290lb 1st basemen finished 3-5 with 3RBI’s, a home run, and a double.
Oregon improves to 25-9 on the season. The Ducks will look to stay hot as they have a showdown with the Spartans once again Wednesday at noon.