Maddox, Duck lineup come alive in commanding win over Redhawks

By Saul Galvan

EUGENE, Ore- Coming off a high-scoring performance the previous night, the Ducks kept the offense production going in game three vs. Seattle. Oregon managed to plate 9 runs in the win over the Redhawks. Maddox Molony led the offense with 3 hits, including his first career home run all in the ballpark where he grew up watching games.

“I was hoping it sparked something,” said Molony. “Hitting it in this uniform (Oregon) though was cool.” Molony graduated from Thurtston Highschool where he led his team to a state championship as a senior. The hometown kid was banged up to start the season but has had a good series with six combined hits. 

The rest of the offense backed up Molony’s performance, converting with base runners on. Last night, Oregon left 13 baserunners stranded but cleaned things up tonight, with only eight. Bennett Thompson, Jeffrey Heard, and Drew Smith all had 2 hits a piece. Thompson drove in three runs, two of which came in the 8th inning on a triple. The lineup came alive in the game’s back half, scoring four in the 5th and 8th inning. “Our (at-bats) are getting older,” said coach Mark Wasikowski. “We were able to pull away in the end…pretty complete offensively.” The Ducks continuously took at-bats deep into the count, knocking out Seattle’s pitcher in the fifth inning. As the series and season have progressed, this ever-changing lineup has started to find a rhythm heading into one of the most crucial parts of conference play 

Pitching was once again dominant, led by Grayson Grinsell. Grinsell threw six innings, allowing just three hits and one run. The sophomore pitcher also struck out nine batters en route to another solid pitching performance. “Kind of all three (offspeed pitches) but the changeup was my go-to,” said Grinsell. Many of the punchouts came via offspeed pitches, which Grinsell located well against the Seattle lineup. It is the sixth outing of the season where he only allowed one run or less. His ERA sits just below 1.65 in his last three starts. Unlike the previous two games, the Ducks only needed two other pitchers to close out the ballgame. Matthew Grabmann came in the sixth but got into trouble immediately, walking the first two batters, which led to Seattle’s second run. Ryan Featherston came in and held the Redhawks to just one run. He would finish the game and secure his first career save. 

Oregon has steadily improved since game one of the series. The offense has been able to capitalize with baserunners on, while the pitching has limited scoring opportunities. Questions about the everyday lineup continue, though we could still see shifts as the season progresses. Unlike last year with a solidified veteran lineup, Wasikoswki has many options to fill the gaps. Molony and Cooney could be on a rotating basis at shortstop with Drew Smith making the move over to second base. The rotation of Gordon, Grinsell, and Seitter has also become more consistent. Toby Twist remains a solid fourth option in the rotation but could move to the bullpen if the rotation continues its dominant performances. 

The Ducks look to sweep Seattle on Saturday and finish their eleven-game homestand with a win.