The Oregon Ducks(22-14, 7-6 Pac-12) came into Thursday’s game looking to steal one away from the #2 ranked Stanford Cardinal(25-6, 11-2 Pac-12); instead they drop the first game of the series 5-4. Oregon might have had a chance to win the game had a Jonny DeLuca ground rule double in the first inning not hopped the fence, preventing the runner rounding third from scoring. That extra run would prove to be the difference in this game.
Starting pitcher Cullen Kafka(5.03 ERA) started out strong, only allowing 2 runs through his first five innings. However, as his start wore on he became obviously fatigued, losing almost 10 mph off his fastball, and in the sixth inning he would cough up 3 runs; 2 of which were from home runs. Once the bullpen came in for Kafka, it was lights out pitching, as no hits were allowed and only one player reached base for Stanford over the final 3.1 innings.
Offensively, Sam Novitske was the obvious star of the game, putting together his second career 4-hit game, going 4-5 with 2 runs scored. He also made some nice plays at the hot corner to make his performance even better. Spencer Steer went 2-4 with 2 RBI and his sixth home run of the season, while Gabe Matthews and Jonny DeLuca also chipped in two hits apiece.
Game Story – Kent Williams
Post Game Audio
Head Coach George Horton
Outfielder Jonny DeLuca
Oregon Baseball had a double header scheduled for Saturday, and split the two games with Fresno State, winning game one and dropping game two.
However Cullen Kafka was dealing during game one. Kafka completed seven shutdown innings, only giving up six hits, while striking out seven of the batters he faced.
In the seventh inning, with the scored tied a 3-3. Jonny DeLuca strode to the plate and with two runners on blasted a two run single, scoring Foxcroft and Novitske giving the Ducks a 5-3 lead.
Ryne Nelson would come in for the save and the Ducks went on to win game one 5-3.
In game two, Fresno State jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the first, before the Ducks grabbed two in the bottom of the frame.
The game seesawed back and forth for much of the game. Oregon would go ahead by a run and Fresno State would claw their way back.
After a 40 minute rain delay in between the fourth and fifth innings Fresno State took the lead in the top of the eighth due to Oregon’s third error of the game. With runners on first and second, Fresno State went for the double steal and Campbell overthrew the bag at third, allowing the runner to score from second and gifting Fresno State a 6-5 lead.
The game was tied headed to the ninth, where Nico Tellache gave up a two out single with a runner on second, allowing Fresno State to take a 7-6 lead. Oregon loaded the bases in the bottom half, and then Gabe Mathews hit a single past the second baseman scoring Foxcroft and Novitske.
Audio Story (by Sean MacPherson)
Head Coach George Horton
First Baseman Gabe Matthews