Oregon Baseball Sweeps Defending Champions Arizona


The Oregon Ducks (18-6, 5-1) defeated the Arizona Wildcats (15-11, 0-6) by a final score of 7-6 on Sunday at PK Park, holding onto a four run led heading into the 9th inning. Unlike last weekend against the USC Trojans the Ducks were able to sweep the Wildcats.

The Ducks flashed consistency with the bats, scoring runs in five consecutive innings between the second and sixth. Seven different Ducks recorded hits and six scored runs.

Oregon Ducks first baseman Ryon Healy went 2-3 from the plate with a run scored, two RBIs and two walks. Freshman catcher Josh Graham also had a good day going 2-3 with three RBIs.

(Gary Breedlove)
(Gary Breedlove)

The Wildcats came storming back due to multiple stolen bases and abnormal performance by closer Jimmie Sherfy. Arizona scored three runs in the top of the 9th, but fell one run short to extend the game.

“We challenged them to finish,” said Ducks head coach George Horton.

That’s exactly what they did. They finished when adversary faced them in the top of the 9th inng.

“It looks like guys are getting back into the character that we saw in January, and the type of pressure we can keep on our opponents without just using the bunting game,” Horton said.

The Ducks won today by sticking to small ball: bunting and sacrifices. The game winning run came in the 6th inning when Tyler Baumgartner scored Graham hitting a sacrifice fly.

[gn_quote style=”1″]“I don’t think they’re that bad a team,” Horton said. “Luckily we got three wins before they start playing well, and we’ll take it. We fell very good about sweeping those guys.”[/gn_quote]

Graham didn’t look like a freshman on Sunday with his strong play behind the plate, both offensively and defensively. The Wildcats have to start putting things together quickly if they want a chance to get back to NCAA tournament much less the College World Series.

The Wildcats will host a series with the Utah Utes (11-10, 2-4) next weekend. Utah has been playing better of late winning three of their last four games.

The Ducks will face the Portland Pilots (8-15,1-2) on Tuesday night before hosting the Washington Huskies (6-16, 2-4) over the weekend. The Ducks will be heavy favorites this week at PK Park and anything fewer than three wins will be a disappointment.

After the Ducks’ sweep of Arizona, they move up into first place in the Pac-12 along with the UCLA Bruins (17-4, 5-1) and Oregon State (21-2, 5-1). Horton, in his 5th season at Oregon, is looking to continue to build upon last season Super Regional that had a College Word Series berth within grasp.

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