Ducks win big at WSU behind Ahlstrom

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PULLMAN, Wash. – Robert Ahlstrom and Caleb Sloan combined for a shutout and the Ducks offense scored in six straight innings to give Oregon a lopsided 13-0 win over Washington State at Bailey-Brayton Field in game one of a three-game Pac-12 Conference series on Friday night.
 
Ahlstrom (4-3) continued his dominant season tossing seven scoreless innings while allowing just six hits while striking out six and walking just one. The Ducks’ lefty held an opponent scoreless through the first seven innings for the third time this season, and for the second consecutive week. Last week, Ahlstrom took a shutout into the ninth inning against UCLA and on March 12 he tossed seven scoreless innings in a win at Oregon State.
 
Offensively, the Ducks (27-9, 11-5 Pac-12) gave Ahlstrom all the runs he would need and more when they scored five runs in the top of the third. Oregon added two runs in the fourth, one in both the fifth and sixth, three in the seventh and one in the eighth.
 
Washington State (19-17, 7-12) stranded eighth runners, but seven of those came after the fifth inning when the game was out of reach.
 
How It Happened: Ahlstrom set the tone early dominating through the first six innings. He retired nine of the first 10 batters he faced, allowing only a second inning walk in the first four innings, while fanning five of the first eight Cougars to come to the plate.
 
The Eugene native allowed WSU’s first hit in the fourth but followed with a ground-ball double play to get out of the inning. In the fifth, Washington State picked up its second hit but Ahlstrom got another ground-ball double play to end that inning.
 
The Cougars added a one-out double in the sixth, but Ahlstrom got a foul out and a ground out to end the inning. Washington State finally put together its first true threat against Ahlstrom in the seventh loading the bases with two outs on three singles, but Ahlstrom got the final out to end his night with no runs allowed.
 
Offensively, Oregon had six players finish with multiple hits with Kenyon Yovan leading the way with three, including a three-run home run. Yovan and Josh Kasevich each drove in three runs leading seven Ducks who finished with at least one RBI. Eight different Ducks scored a run, including four who scored multiple runs led by Tanner Smith’s three.
 
Oregon jumped on Washington State starter Brandon White (5-3) in the third inning sending nine batters to the plate. Smith led off the inning with a walk and moved to second on an Anthony Hall ground out. Yovan singled moving Smith to third before Aaron Zavala walked to load the bases.
 
Josh Kasevich gave the Ducks the early lead doubling into the right-field corner scoring both Smith and Yovan. After an out, Washington State first baseman Kyle Manzardo dropped a throw from third that would have ended the inning on a Sam Novitske ground ball, allowing Yovan and Zavala to score.
 
Novitske swiped second and the scored on a Jack Scanlon double to give Oregon a 5-0 lead.
 
The Ducks added two more in the top of the fourth. Smith led off with a double, before walks to Hall and Yovan loaded the bases. Kasevich picked up his third RBI of the game singling to left to score Smith, before Hall scored on a Matthews’ ground out to make it 7-0.
 
Scanlon doubled for the second time in the game to lead off the fifth and scored on a Hall RBI single. Scanlon reached three times in the game with a pair of doubles and a hit-by-pitch.
 
Zavala led off the sixth inning with a solo shot over the right-field foul pole for his fifth homer of the season. Yovan added a three-run shot, his 10th of the year, in the seventh to make it a 12-0 lead. Colby Shade tacked on the final run with a RBI single in the eighth.
 
Box Score Notes: Oregon scored double-digit runs for the third consecutive game … It marked Oregon’s first three-game streak with 10+ runs since April 9-13, 2019 when the Ducks scored 12 at Oregon State (4/9), 21 at Washington State (4/12) and 11 at WSU (4/13) … It’s only the third time Oregon has scored double-digit runs in three straight games since baseball returned for the 2009 season … The Ducks’ first three-game double-digit streak came in Feb. 2012 when they scored 14 runs at Hawaii (2/19), 12 runs at Hawaii (2/20) and 13 runs at Belmont (2/23) … Oregon has never scored 10-or-more runs in four straight games in the modern era … Yovan (3-for-5, HR, 3 RBI, 2 R, BB) had his 10th multi-hit and multi-RBI game of the season … It was his 23rd career multiple-hit game and 17th multiple-RBI game … Kasevich (2-for-5, 3 RBI, R, BB) finished with his 12th multi-hit and eighth multi-RBI game of the year, and the 14th multiple-hit and ninth multiple-RBI game of his career … Smith (2-for-4, 3 R, 1 BB) had his 14th multiple-hit game of the year and the 28th of his career … Zavala (2-for-4, HR, RBI, 2 R, 2 BB) had his 16th multi-hit game of the season and the 34th of his career … He reached base four times to increase his Pac-12 leading on-base percentage to .533 … Hall (2-for-4, RBI, 2 R, 1 BB) had his sixth multi-hit game of the season and the ninth of his career … Scanlon (2-for-4, RBI, R, 2 2B, HBP) finished with his second multi-hit game of the year and the fifth of his career … His two doubles set a new career high … Ahlstrom and Sloan combined for 10 strikeouts, the 20th double-digit strikeout game by the Ducks’ pitching staff this season.
 
On Deck: Oregon and Washington State meet in game two of the series with a 2:05 p.m. first pitch on Saturday. Cullen Kafka (4-1, 2.55) will make the start for the Ducks, while Zane Mills (4-3, 3.81) takes the mound for the Cougars.
 

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