baseball

Ahlstrom dominant again, Ducks beat Huskies

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EUGENE – Robert Ahlstrom struck out a career-high 11 in seven scoreless innings while Oregon used a pair of big innings to break the game open in an 8-0 win over Washington in game one of a Pac-12 Conference series at PK Park on Friday night.
 
Ahlstrom dominated allowing just four hits while not walking anyone. The Ducks’ lefty held an opponent without a run through seven innings for the third consecutive start. Two weeks ago, Ahlstrom held UCLA to no runs through eight innings, before surrendering three runs in the ninth in a 5-3 win.
 
Last week, the Ducks ace held Washington State, the second-best hitting team in the Pac-12, to no runs through seven innings on just six hits with only one walk.
 
Tonight, Ahlstrom extended his scoreless streak to 14 innings while not giving up a run in 23 of his last 24 innings pitched dating back to a scoreless sixth inning at USC.
 
How It Happened: Ahlstrom had to overcome runners at the corners with no outs situations in both the second and third innings to keep Washington (17-22, 3-13 Pac-12) off the board.
 
After Will Simpson doubled off the center-field wall and Michael Snyder hit a chopper over Sam Novitske’s head at third to put runners at the corners in the second, Ahlstrom (5-3) fanned the next two batters before getting a weak groundout to get out of the inning unscathed.
 
An infield single, wild pitch and Gabe Matthews’ error put runners at the corner again in the third inning forcing Ahlstrom to work his magic once more. This time, the Eugene product stuck out two-hole hitter Braiden Ward before getting Cole Miller to pop out for the second out. Ahlstrom then fanned Simpson, who doubled in his last at-bat, to finish the inning.
 
Ahlstrom, who had five of his 11 strikeouts in the first three innings, cruised from there allowing just one more batter to reach base over his final four innings of work.
 
He struck out the side in the fourth, got a double play and a fly out in the fifth after giving up a lead-off single, before getting 1-2-3 innings in the sixth and the seventh. He struck out two in the sixth and one in the seventh to reach his career high in strikeouts.
 
Oregon’s offense gave Ahlstrom plenty of run support with a three-run inning in the third and with four more runs in the fifth.
 
Sam Novitske led off the third with a walk and moved to second on a Jack Scanlon fly out to the warning track in right field. Gavin Grant followed with a walk, before Tanner Smith delivered a one-out RBI ground-rule double scoring Novitske from second for a 1-0 lead.
 
Kenyon Yovan made it a two-run game with a RBI on a ground out to the shortstop. Gabe Matthews finished the rally with a two-out RBI single scoring Smith for a 3-0 lead.
 
Grant made it a four-run game in the fifth with a leadoff home run, his second career round tripper. After an out, Yovan walked, moved to second on a Matthews’ single and advanced to third to load the bases on an Aaron Zavala hit by a pitch.
 
Josh Kasevich broke the game open with a bases clearing double into the left field gap to give Oregon a 7-0 lead.
 
The Ducks (28-11, 12-7 Pac-12) tacked on an insurance run in the eighth inning. After a pair of strikeouts, Scanlon reached on a walk, moved to second when Grant walked and scored on Tanner Smith’s second ground-rule double of the game.
 
Box Score Notes: Ahlstrom lowered his ERA to 2.11 with the seven scoreless innings … He combined with freshmen Isaac Ayon and Rio Britton for his third combined shutout of the season … The other two came at Oregon State on March 12 and at Washington State last Friday … Matthews (2-for-4, RBI, R) drove in his 127th career run, leaving him one shy of tying Mitchell Tolman (2013-15) for second all-time in career RBI at Oregon and two behind Spencer Steer (2017-19) for the career record … His two hits gave him his 15th multi-hit game of the season and the 60th of his career, which is an Oregon record … Kasevich (1-for-4, 3 RBI) tied for the team lead with his 10th multi-RBI game of the season and the 11th of his career … Smith (2-for-5, 2 RBI, 1 R, 2 2B) had his 15th multi-hit game of the season and the 29th of his career … He also had his sixth multi-RBI game of the season and the 14th of his career … Grant (2-for-3, HR, RBI, 2 R) tallied his seventh multi-hit game of the season and the 10th of his career.
 
On Deck: Oregon will look for the series win on Saturday with a 2:05 first pitch. Cullen Kafka (4-2, 2.65) takes the mound for the Ducks while Tyson Guerrero (1-2, 3.23) pitches for Washington.
 

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Ducks host Huskies in weekend series

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Series History – Washington

  • Oregon leads the all-time series against the Huskies, 149-137-1.
  • The home team has won the series in seven of last eight meetings, with Washington breaking through with a series road win in 2019 in Eugene.
  • Oregon holds a 41-22 advantage in games played in Eugene, with the series tied 10-10 in games played at PK Park.
  • The Ducks lost the first two games played the last time the teams met (2019 in Eugene) with Washington winning 9-3 on Friday and 19-3 on Saturday.
  • Oregon salvaged a win in game three, 1-0 in 10 innings.

 
Somers on watch list

  • The NCBWA named JR LHP Kolby Somers to the midseason Stopper of the Year watch list last week.
  • Somers is 1-0 with a 1.54 ERA and seven saves in 11 appearances this season with 15 strikeouts in 11.2 inning pitched.
  • The lefty has not allowed a run in 10 of his 11 outings in 2021.
  • Two former Ducks have been finalists for the Stopper of the Year Award.
  • Jimmie Sherfy was a finalist in both 2012 and 2013, while Kenyon Yovan was a finalist in 2017.
  • Five other Ducks have been on the watch list since 2009.

 
Ducks in the polls

  • Oregon remains solidly ranked in all six major polls following just its second series loss of the season last weekend at Washington State.
  • The Ducks had run off four straight series wins all coming in the month of April.
  • The Ducks also claimed series wins at UC Santa Barbara, at Oregon State and vs. Arizona State in March.
  • D1Baseball ranks Oregon No. 11 this week, while the USA Today Coaches Poll and the NBWA have Oregon in the No. 13 spot.
  • Collegiate Baseball (No. 15), Baseball America (No. 17) and Perfect Game (No. 21) all rank Oregon as well.

 
Tough early season schedule

  • In six of the first 10 weeks of the season, Oregon played a series against a team ranked in the national rankings in at least one of the polls.
  • The Ducks have already played UC Santa Barbara, Oregon State (twice), Arizona State, Arizona and UCLA while they were ranked in one of the polls.
  • Oregon enters the weekend series at Washington State as the No. 12 ranked team in the RPI, while boasting the 18th best strength of schedule.
  • Oregon is 68-82 against teams ranked in the Baseball America poll since 2009, including 10-3 this season.
  • Oregon’s last game against a ranked team (Baseball America) was on April 11 when the Ducks rallied for a 5-4 11-inning walk-off win over No. 21 OSU.
  • Oregon is 11-3 in its last 14 games against teams in the Baseball America top 25.

 
Ducks match home run record at USC

  • Oregon hit four home runs in a 13-4 win at USC on April 17 to match a modern-era school record for home runs in a game.
  • FR C Jack Scanlon, SO 2B Gavin Grant, JR DH Kenyon Yovan and FR CF Anthony Hall homered in the Ducks win.
  • The last time the Ducks hit three bombs was on April 13, 2013, when RF Scott Heineman went yard twice and 1B Ryon Healy and LF Brett Thomas hit solo shots in a 10-4 win at Cal.
  • The only other four-HR game came on April 21, 2010, when SS KC Serna, 3B Dylan Gavin, SS Danny Pulfer and RF Steven Packard all homered.

 
Ducks pitching dominant in six games vs. rival Oregon State

  • Oregon’s rotation of LHP Robert Ahlstrom, RHP Cullen Kafka and RHP Brett Walker put together an impressive pair of series at Oregon State earlier this season.
  • The three man rotation combined to allow just eight earned runs in 38 innings (1.89) ERA against the Beavers, who were ranked 17th in the first meeting at 21st in the second.
  • In the March non-league series, the Ducks’ starters combined for a 1.45 ERA in a series win allowing just three runs on eight hits in 18.2 innings with 21 strikeouts and five walks.
  • , Kafka and Walker held OSU to a .127 batting average (Ahlstrom – .125; Kafka – .133; Walker – .208) while on the mound in the series with each of them facing at least 21 batters.
  • The three Ducks held the Beavers scoreless in 18 of the 19 innings they combined to start on the mound.
  • In the April Pac-12 series, the trio set the tone for Oregon’s first sweep of the Beavers since 2011.
  • They combined to allow five earned runs in 20.1 innings, an ERA of 2.21, in the Pac-12 Conference series.

 
Double trouble and extra good

  • Oregon matched modern school records for doubles and extra-base hits in an 18-13 Pac-12 Conference win over Arizona on March 28.
  • The Ducks doubled eight times and hit a home run to total nine extra-base hits in the game.
  • SO LF Tanner Smith, second-year FR CF Anthony Hall and SR 1B Gabe Matthews all doubled twice, while true FR C Josiah Cromwick and SO 2B Gavin Grant each had one double.
  • SO RF Aaron Zavala hit Oregon’s home run.
  • Oregon had eight doubles in a game once before, in a 12-2 win at Loyola Marymount on Feb. 21, 2014. Tyler Baumgartner had three in that game, while five other Ducks had one.
  • The Ducks have totaled nine extra-base hits in a game twice before.
  • UO had nine (4 doubles, 3 triples, 2 HRs) in an 18-1 win over Clemson in the first round of the 2014 NCAA Regional Tournament in Nashville on May 30, 2014.
  • Oregon’s first nine extra-base hit game came in a 17-7 win over East Tennessee State on May 16, 2010, when the Ducks finished with seven doubles, a triple and a home run.
  • C Eddie Rodriguez hit for the cycle in that game.

 
Ducks pitchers throwing up zeros

  • Oregon’s pitching staff put together a 24-inning scoreless streak, which started in the ninth inning of the March 7 win at UC Santa Barbara and ended when Oregon State scored three in the fifth inning on March 14.
  • The streak was the fourth longest in Oregon modern era history.
  • The Ducks’ had a 27-inning stretch in 2013 against Ohio State (23) and Gonzaga (4), a 25-inning streak in 2017 against Santa Clara (18) and California (7) and a 25-inning stretch in 2013 against Washington (23) and Arizona State (2).
  • Before the Arizona series, Oregon’s pitching staff had held its opponents to no runs in 62 of the last 71 innings played.
  • Against New Mexico State, The Ducks staff allowed just one earned run in 36 innings, with that coming in the seventh inning of game four of the series.

 
Ahlstrom two-time Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week
The Pac-12 Conference named JR LHP Robert Ahlstrom its Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week after an impressive outing in a win over then No. 17 Oregon State (3/12/21), and then awarded him the honor a second time after another dominant performance against the No. 21 Beavers (4/9/21).
Ahlstrom, who dominated from the first pitch against the Beavers in the first meeting, struck out a career-high 10 batters while allowing just three base runners in seven innings with none of them advancing past first base.
At one point, Ahlstrom retired 17 of 18 Beavers including 10 on strikeouts. He fanned multiple hitters in four different innings and had four 1-2-3 innings.
In the second outing against OSU, he tossed seven scoreless innings before allowing a leadoff triple in the eighth to end his day.
He finished allowing one run on five hits with one walk and nine strikeouts in seven-plus innings.
 
Big game Rob

  • JR LHP Robert Ahlstrom has been at his best in games vs. ranked teams during his three seasons in Eugene.
  • The Ducks’ lefty has made seven starts during his career against teams ranked in the top 25 of the Baseball America poll and has been dominant.
  • In those seven games, Ahlstrom has combined for a 2.08 ERA allowing just 10 earned runs on 36 hits in 43.1 innings with 49 strikeouts and just eight walks.
  • In three of the seven games, Ahlstrom did not allow a run.
  • Against ranked opponents, he has set new career high in strikeouts with eight against No. 10 Arizona State in 2019, nine against No. 1 UCLA in 2019 and 10 against Oregon State on March 12.

 
Kafka gives Oregon back-to-back Pitcher of the Week honors

  • After the ASU series, JR RHP Cullen Kafka became the second Duck in as many weeks to earn Pac-12 Conference Pitcher of the Week honors.
  • The Ducks Saturday starter, who was looking to even the series after Oregon lost game one, struck out a career-high 11 batters while allowing no runs.
  • He matched a career-high with seven innings pitched, with the ASU effort marking his first seven-inning stint in Pac-12 play.
  • After retiring the side in the first inning, Kafka pitched out of trouble in the second inning fanning two batters and enticing a weak groundout after ASU put runners on second and third with no outs.
  • It was clear sailing from there as only one runner advanced past first base with Kafka retiring the final 11 batters he faced.

 
Walker earns Collegiate Baseball national honor

  • JR RHP Brett Walker claimed one of Collegiate Baseball’s Player of the Week honors after he struck out a career-high 13 batters in a win over New Mexico State on April 3.
  • Walker entered the game with just 15 strikeouts in his first five starts, including a then career-high five in a win over Arizona the week before.
  • struck out at least one batter in all six innings, with three Ks in the first and sixth innings and two punch-outs in the second, third and fourth innings.
  • He left the game with a 6-0 lead.
  • After an impressive shortened 2020 season, Walker caught the eye of the National Collegiate Baseball Writers who named him third-team preseason All-America.
  • finished the shortened season 3-0 with a 0.84 ERA while allowing just two runs on 13 hits with 10 strikeouts and one walk in 21.1 inning pitched.
  • He held opponents to a .176 batting average.
  • The Ducks’ right-hander finished second in the Pac-12 Conference in strikeout-to-walk ratio (10-to-1), WHIP (0.66) and walks per nine innings (0.42) while ranking third in wins.
  • Nationally, Walker ranked 10th in walks per nine innings, 19th in WHIP and 31st in strikeout-to-walk ratio.

 
Matthews is all-time leader in hits, doubles and extra-base hits at Oregon

  • SR 1B Gabe Matthews has already set three Oregon career records this season and is closing in on a number of others.
  • Matthews set a new school record for career doubles when he ripped his 48th two-bagger against Portland on April 6 to break the old record set by Mitchell Tolman (2013-15).
  • In the USC series opener on April 16, he added the hits record when he delivered his 212th career knock to break the old record held by J.J. Altobelli (2010-13).
  • On April 28 against San Jose State, Matthews went 2-for-3 for his 59th career multiple-hit game to break Danny Pulfer’s (2009-11) career record.
  • Matthews has run his career total to 227 hits and 54 doubles, while holding at 59 career extra-base hits.
  • Matthews needs four RBI, 17 runs, 17 walks, and 30 at-bats to set new school records.
  • He is 19 starts shy of setting a new school record as well.

 
Leadoff hitter Smith, Matthews among Pac-12’s Top Extra-Base Hitters

  • SO LF Tanner Smith packs a lot of punch batting in the leadoff spot for the Ducks, while SR 1B Gabe Matthews continues to accumulate extra-base hits.
  • Heading into the Washington series, Matthews and Smith are tied for eighth in the nation, and first in the Pac-12, in doubles while Smith is tied for fourth in the conference in extra-base hits with 23 while Matthews is sixth with 22.
  • Through 38 games, Smith has 16 doubles, four triples and three home runs.
  • He is second the league in and 10th in the nation in triples.
  • Three Arizona players rank in the top five in extra-base hits with all three playing between 40 and 42 games while Smith and Matthews have played in 38.

 
Zavala among nation’s elite hitters

  • SO RF Aaron Zavala heads into the Washington series fourth in the nation in on-base percentage (.540), while ranking 17th in batting average (.407), 15th in base on balls (36) and 17th in base on balls per game (0.95).
  • Zavala leads the Pac-12 conference in OBP, walks and base on balls per game, while ranking second in batting average, fifth in slugging percentage (.615), sixth in hits per game (1.45) and ninth in hits (55).
  • Zavala leads the Ducks in batting average, runs scored (40), hits, base on balls, OBP, slugging percentage and stolen bases (9).
  • also ranked first in the nation on D1Baseball’s Top 100 Draft-Eligible Hitters list (April 15) based on analytics with an overall score of 96.92 (1.3 points ahead of Notre Dame’s Niko Kavadas).

 
Yovan named to Golden Spikes watch list

  • For the second time in his career, JR Kenyon Yovan has been named to the Golden Spikes midseason watch list.
  • Yovan earned a spot as a hitter this season, after claiming a spot as a pitcher in 2019.
  • After winning four national awards and one conference honor after the UCSB series, Yovan has continued to swing a hot bat.
  • The Ducks’ DH has batted .282 (29-for-103) with five home runs, six doubles, 21 RBI and 21 runs scored in the 27 games since the UCSB series.
  • Against UCSB, Yovan batted .467 (7-for-15) with four home runs and 11 RBI, while finishing the weekend with a blistering 1.267 slugging percentage and .591 on-base percentage.
  • That resulted in D1Baseball, Collegiate Baseball and Perfect Game naming Yovan a national player of the week following the series, while the NCBWA honored him as the hitter of the week and the Pac-12 Conference awarded him player of the week honors.
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Missed opportunities lead to series loss at WSU

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PULLMAN, Wash. – Oregon squandered some early opportunities to break the game open before Washington State rallied for an 11-6 Pac-12 Conference victory on Sunday clinching the series win for the Cougars at Bailey-Brayton Field.
 
Oregon (27-11, 11-7 Pac-12) jumped on top 2-0 in the first inning and had a chance to tack on more over the first three innings, but instead stranded six runners on base including four in scoring position and had one more thrown out at the plate.
 
Washington State (21-17, 9-12 Pac-12) took advantage scoring a run in the first, three in the second and five more in the third to take control of the game.   
 
How It Happened: Josh Kasevich gave the Ducks a 2-0 lead in the first with a two-out, two-run single that scored Anthony Hall and Aaron Zavala. Hall had doubled with one out and moved to third on a Kenyon Yovan fly out, before Zavala walked and stole second. Kasevich stole second as well, but was stranded there when Gabe Matthews flew out to end the inning.
 
Oregon had a chance to add to the lead in the second. Sam Novitske led off the inning with a double before Jack Scanlon put runners at the corners with no outs with a single. Gavin Grant laid down a bunt, but Novitske was tagged out at the plate for the first out of the inning. Scanlon and Grant ended up being left on base after Tanner Smith flew out and Hall struck out.
 
WSU cut the lead in half in the bottom of the second scoring one run off Oregon starter Brett Walker (4-2). Oregon had a chance to get it back and more in the top of the third. Yovan led off the inning with a single and moved to third on a Zavala base hit to give Oregon runners on second and third, after Zavala moved into scoring position on the throw to third.
 
Washington State brought Grant Taylor (1-0) out of the bullpen, and he proceeded to strike out Kasevich and Matthews before walking Novitske to load the bases. Taylor got Scanlon to ground out to end the inning and leave three Ducks on base.
 
The Cougars took advantage scoring three runs in their half of the inning before adding five more in the bottom of the fourth.
 
Novitske pulled Oregon back to within five in the top of the fifth picking up a two-RBI single scoring Kasevich and Matthews. WSU answered with two runs in the sixth to push the lead to 11-4.
 
Oregon put two more runs on the board in the top of the seventh, but it looked like the Ducks might get more the way the inning started. UO loaded the bases with no outs on a Yovan hit-by-pitch and back-to-back Zavala and Kasevich singles against reliever Caden Kaelber. WSU went to the pen and Michael Newstrom responded striking out Matthews and Novitske before allowing a Tyler Ganus two-out, two-RBI pinch-hit single scoring Yovan and Zavala. Pinch hitter Bryce Boettcher ended the inning with a ground out, which WSU third baseman Jack Smith made a diving play on to rob Boettcher. It was the first of three consecutive highlight plays Washington State’s defense made to secure the win.
 
Box Score Notes: Matthews (1-for-4, RBI, R, HBP) continued to close in on more Oregon career records … Mathews drove in his 126th career run, leaving him four away from breaking Spencer Steer’s (2017-19) career record … He scored his 119th career run, pulling him within 17 of breaking the record held by Aaron Payne (2011-14) … Matthews also recorded his 43rd career HBP, which ranks second all-time at Oregon (Payne – 73) … Kasevich (2-for-4, 2 RBI, R) had his 13th multi-hit game and ninth multiple-RBI game of the season … It was his second of both in the series, and his 15th career multiple-hit game and 10th multi-RBI game … Zavala (2-for-4, 2 R, BB) reached base three times raising his Pac-12 best OBP to .615 and his conference leading batting average to .407 … He had his 17th multi-hit game of the season and the 35th of his career … Novitske (2-for-3, RBI, 2 BB) finished with his eighth double-hit game of the season and the 29th of his career … Ganus, a true freshman, had his first career multi-RBI game.
 
On Deck: Oregon’s game at Gonzaga scheduled for Monday was canceled because of COVID-19 developments in the Bulldog’s program. In turn, the Ducks will play next when they host Washington in a three-game Pac-12 Conference series at PK Park starting at 6 p.m. on Friday.
 

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Ducks drop game two at WSU

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PULLMAN, Wash. – Washington State built an early lead scoring six runs in the first two innings on its way to an 11-1 win over Oregon on Saturday in Pac-12 Conference action at Bailey-Brayton Field.
 
The Cougars (20-17, 8-12) evened the series with the Ducks (27-10, 11-6 Pac-12) after Oregon won Friday’s series opener 13-0.
 
How It Happened: Washington State’s Kodie Kolden led off the bottom of the first inning with a home run off Oregon starter Cullen Kafka (4-2) in what was a sign of things to come.
 
The Cougars belted five home runs, including two in a five-run second inning, to overpower the Ducks. Back-to-back home runs, a grand slam and solo shot, in the second followed a Josh Kasevich throwing error, which made all five runs in the inning unearned.
 
WSU added a solo home run in the fourth and four runs in the sixth, including another solo homer, to build an 11-0 lead.
 
The Ducks scored a run in the eighth after threatening a number of times during the game. Gabe Matthews picked up the RBI with a walk, after Kenyon Yovan and Aaron Zavala both walked and Josh Kasevich was hit by a pitch to load the bases.
 
The inning ended with the bases loaded, three of the 11 runners the Ducks left on base including eight in the final four innings.  
 
Box Score Notes: Six different Ducks had a hit, but none had multiple hits … Matthews’ RBI was the 125th of his career, just four behind career leader Spencer Steer’s (2017-19) 129 … His walk was the 116th of his career, 17 behind all-time leader Guy Krause’s (1971-74) 129 … Both Matthews and Tanner Smith doubled for the 16th time this season, tying Tyler Baumgartner (2014) and Danny Pulfer (2011) for fourth on Oregon’s single-season doubles list … Zavala walked twice moving his total to 35, tying Matthews (2019) for fifth on the single-season list … Freshmen Scott Ellis and Rio Britton combined to throw a 2.2 scoreless innings to end the game.
 
On Deck: Oregon and Washington State meet in the rubber match of the series on Sunday at 12:05 p.m. Brett Walker (4-1, 3.67) will pitch for the Ducks, while Dakota Hawkins (3-5, 5.49) gets the ball for the Cougars.
 

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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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Ducks return to Pac-12 play at Washington State

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Somers on Stopper of the Year watch list

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EUGENE, Ore. – The National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association named Oregon closer Kolby Somers to the midseason Stopper of the Year watch list this week.
 
Somers, a junior from Hillsboro, Ore., is 1-0 with a 1.54 ERA with seven saves in 11 appearances this season with 15 strikeouts in 11.2 inning pitched. The Ducks’ lefty has not allowed a run in 10 of his 11 outings in 2021, with both of his runs allowed coming in an 18-13 win at Arizona.
 
Somers, who is one of 65 relief pitchers on the list, picked up a pair of saves against nationally-ranked UC Santa Barbara in early March, before adding a save against Arizona State for his third save in as many games. He added saves against New Mexico State and Oregon State in back-to-back outings, before picking up two more saves in back-to-back appearances against USC and UCLA. Somers notched a win in his last trip to the mound, a 3-2 victory over UCLA to clinch the series against the Bruins.
 
Two former Ducks have been finalists for the Stopper of the Year Award. Jimmie Sherfy was a finalist in both 2012 and 2013, while Kenyon Yovan was a finalist in 2017. Former Ducks Drew Gagnier (2010), Jake Reed (2014), Garrett Cleavinger (2014), Stephen Nogosek (2014) and Ryne Nelson (2019) have all been on the awards watch list since baseball returned to Oregon.
 

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Complete Effort Results In 13-1 Win

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EUGENE, Ore. —Gavin Grant came within a home run of the cycle and the UO pitching staff was one pitch short of a shutout Wednesday as the No. 11 Ducks completed a midweek sweep of San José State at PK Park, 13-1.

Grant doubled in two runs in his first at-bat, singled in his second plate appearance and had an RBI triple in the fifth for the Ducks, who won for the sixth time in seven games. A solo home run by the Spartans was the only blemish on the UO staff, which saw starter Peyton Fuller throw two shutout innings in his first action since March 5.

The Ducks (26-9) are considered a top-10 team in some polls as of this week, despite squandering a chance to finish off a sweep of UCLA on Sunday. They needed to land the bigger punches to win a slugfest over San Jose State on Tuesday, but on Wednesday they looked like a team worthy of its elite ranking.

“The only way that’s going to be met is if there’s a really high standard,” UO coach Mark Wasikowski said. “The standard wasn’t met on Sunday; the standard wasn’t met on Tuesday; the standard was met today. … Now we get a chance to meet that standard tomorrow in practice.”

How It Happened: The Ducks scored four runs in the second inning and five in the fifth, adding on later in the game while going to the bench. All nine members of the starting lineup had at least one hit, and Grant, Tanner Smith and Aaron Zavala had three.

Gavin Grant

Fuller made his seventh career start but his first in nearly two months due to injury. He got through two innings despite allowing leadoff hits in both frames. Then, the UO bats went to work.

Gabe Matthews led off the second with an infield single, and took third on a double by Sam Novitske. Jack Scanlon was hit by a pitch to load the bases, and Grant kick-started his big day with a double to the gap in right-center for a 2-0 lead. After Tanner Smith walked to load the bases again, Anthony Hall singled in two more runs for a 4-0 lead.

Fuller handed the ball off to Logan Mercado, who was sensational in his UO debut. The freshman right-hander threw three scoreless innings, allowing a hit and two walks. He faced the minimum in the fifth, helped by Scanlon throwing out his second potential base-stealer of the day.

Wasikowski Waving

Oregon’s offense got back to work in the bottom of the fifth, batting around. After walks to Josh Kasevich and Matthews, Novitske bunted the runners over and Scanlon plated Kasevich with a sacrifice fly. The Ducks scored four more runs with two out, with Grant lining a triple down the third-base line, Smith bringing him home with a single, Kenyon Yovan plating Smith with a base hit and Aaron Zavala doubling in Hall for a 9-0 lead.

San José State got its only run on a solo homer in the sixth, but the Ducks answered in the bottom of the inning — again with two out. Scanlon reached on an infield single to start the rally, Grant was walked to deny him the chance at the cycle, and Smith singled to score Scanlon and make it 10-1.

Tanner Smith

The Ducks added on in the eighth thanks to their bench. Bryce Boettcher singled, Sam Olsson was hit by a pitch and Colby Shade plated Boettcher with a single for his first career hit with the Ducks. Olsson and Shade both moved up on a one-out passed ball, and Zavala brought both around with a double for his third hit of the game.

At the Plate: Zavala’s three-hit day got his average back to an even .400 for the season. Oregon’s No. 3 and No. 4 hitters, Yovan and Zavala, each got his first hit in the fifth inning, at which point the Ducks already had a 7-0 lead thanks to the guys around them in the order.

“It definitely takes the pressure off for sure, and kind of changes the way teams pitch to me,” Zavala said. “When guys are producing behind me, it opens up possibilities throughout the lineup.”

Grant drove in three runs for the second time in three games, and had multiple extra-base hits for the first time this season. Smith’s three-hit day was his fourth of the season, and Zavala had his 15th multi-hit game of the spring.

Peyton Fuller

On the Mound: Along with five scoreless innings from Fuller and Mercado to open the game, the Ducks also got a shutout frame from Christian Ciuffetelli in his first appearance since March 23. Ciuffetelli allowed a leadoff walk in the eighth, then struck out the next three batters to retire the side.

“We’ve got a lot still on the table for us,” said Wasikowski, whose team is in the middle of a stretch of six games in seven days. “Stretching our pitching out — having a couple more serviceable arms — it’s clearly going to be needed down the stretch.”

The Ducks also got a nice bounce-back effort from Hunter Breault, who took the loss Sunday against UCLA but struck out two in a scoreless ninth inning Wednesday.

On Deck: Oregon opens a three-game series at Washington State on Friday at 6:05 p.m.


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Ducks win slugfest over San Jose State

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EUGENE – Anthony Hall had three hits and drove in four runs while Eugene native Sam Olsson hit his first career home run to lead Oregon to an 11-7 nonconference win over San Jose State on Tuesday at PK Park.
 
The Ducks won for the 13th time in 16 games in the month of April, including eight wins in their last 11 games.
 
How It Happened: The Ducks (25-9) fell behind early with the Spartans (4-11) scoring a run in the second and two in the third to build a 3-0 lead.
 
The Ducks countered with a five-run third and four-run fourth, while San Jose State tacked on one in both the fourth and fifth for a 9-5 Oregon lead.
 
After an out in the third, Gavin Grant reached on a hit-by-pitch and Tanner Smith walked to set the table for Hall’s first two RBI. The Ducks centerfielder laced a triple into the right-center field gap scoring both runners to pull the Ducks within a run. Kenyon Yovan tied it with a RBI while reaching on a throwing error by SJSU shortstop Ruben Mercado.
 
Aaron Zavala gave the Ducks the lead driving in Yovan with a triple into the right-field corner, before scoring on a Josh Kasevich sacrifice fly to complete the five-run rally.
 
The Spartans cut the lead to one in the top of the fourth, but the Ducks responded with four runs to push the lead to 9-4.
 
After a Sam Novitske single, Olsson pulled a 0-1 pitch over the left-field wall for a two-run homer to give the Ducks a three-run lead against his former team.
 
Grant followed with a double, moved to third on a balk and scored on a wild pitch to make it 8-4. Smith walked for the second time, moved to second when Yovan was hit by a pitch and third on a Zavala walk before scoring on Kasevich’s second sacrifice fly of the game.
 
SJSU added a run in the top of the fifth on a Ruben Ibarra leadoff home run, the last run scored until the bottom of the eighth.
 
The Ducks tacked two on in their final at-bat to push the lead to 11-5. Olsson led off the inning with a walk before Jack Haley pinch ran for the Ducks’ catcher.
 
Haley moved to third on a throwing error by SJSU third baseman Theo Hardy, who threw the ball away trying to double up Haley after Grant lined out to third. Haley moved to third on the error and scored along with Smith, who walked for the third time to get on base, on a two-run Hall single.  
 
San Jose State tacked on a pair of runs in the top of the ninth, but Ducks’ reliever Andrew Mosiello got out of trouble leaving the bases loaded with a strikeout to end the game.
 
Box Score Notes: Smith matched a career-high with four RBI, tying the four he had at Arizona on March 28 … Hall had his fourth multi-RBI game of the season and the seventh of his career … His three hits gave him five multi-hit games on the season and eight in his career … Kasevich had his seventh multi-RBI game of the season and the eighth of his career … Smith’s three walks tied his career high set at Washington State on April 13, 2019 …  Gabe Matthews was hit by two pitches in the game, moving his career total to 40 and allowing him to pass Spencer Steer (2017-19) and Mitchell Tolman (2013-15) for second all-time at Oregon … Isaac Ayon picked up his first career win … True freshman Rio Britton fanned a career-high four batters in two innings of work.
 
On Deck: Oregon and San Jose State will meet in game two of their two-game midweek series Wednesday at 12: 05 p.m. Peyton Fuller (1-0, 2.89) will get the start for the Ducks and make his first appearance since March 5 at UC Santa Barbara.
 

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Mistakes Late Cost Ducks In Loss

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EUGENE, Ore. — Oregon led early and rallied back into the lead in the middle innings, but UCLA won Sunday to salvage a game in their series at PK Park, 7-6 in 10 innings.

The UO bullpen faltered after the Ducks rallied to lead 5-3 through six. After the Bruins forced extra innings and went up 7-5 in the 10th, Oregon answered with a run and was threatening to walk it off for the second day in a row before UCLA closed it out.

The Ducks had to settle for a series win that left them at 10-5 in the Pac-12, tied for first with Oregon State. No. 16 Oregon is now 24-9 overall.

“We won two out of three this weekend, and boy there’s a lot of disappointment with not finishing off the weekend,” UO coach Mark Wasikowski said. “… I’m very pleased with the overall effort of this baseball team. I love this baseball team. These guys show up to play every day, and they play hard. They’re made of the right stuff, and that’s why it burns so much in our locker room right now.”

How It Happened: After a two-run home run by JT Schwartz put UCLA up 3-2 in the sixth, the Ducks rallied back in the bottom of the inning. Gabe Matthews walked to lead off the inning and moved up on a single by Sam Novitske, and Gavin Grant plated both runners with a one-out single. Tanner Smith followed with a single that scored Grant, and Oregon led 5-3.

The Bruins (23-13) got a run back in the seventh, then tied it in the eighth on a solo homer by Matt McLain. In the 10th, McLain led off with an infield single before Schwartz followed with his second home run of the game for a 7-5 lead.

Game to of the UCLA Oregon series.

Matthews doubled with one out in the bottom of the 10th and moved to third on a two-out infield single by pinch-hitter Nick Bellafronto. Pinch-hitter Tristan Hanoian then reached on a bunt that scored Matthews, but Smith grounded out to second to end the game.

The Ducks provided early support for starter Brett Walker when Anthony Hall doubled in the first and scored on a single by Aaron Zavala. The Bruins got a run back in the second, but Oregon answered in the bottom half when Novitske reached on a fielder’s choice, moved up on a single by Jack Scanlon and scored on a base hit by Grant.

The Bruins chased Walker in the sixth after McLain walked with two out, Schwartz followed with his first homer of the game and the next batter also walked. Reliever Isaac Ayon entered and got the Ducks out of the inning, but each of the next three pitchers to appear out of the UO bullpen was scored upon.

Two big missed opportunities haunted the Ducks after the loss. In the bottom of the fifth with Oregon up 2-1, Hall singled to lead off the inning and Yovan was hit by a pitch. The Ducks were looking to tack on with two on and nobody out, and the heart of the order coming up. But Zavala popped out, and Josh Kasevich grounded into an inning-ending double play.

Then, in the top of the sixth, there were two out when McLain walked. With the count 2-0 on Schwartz, the Bruins executed a delayed steal, and two pitches later Schwartz hit the go-ahead homer.

“We lost the game in the sixth inning,” Wasikowski said. “… Throw out the runner on a delayed steal, the rest of it doesn’t happen.”

Gabe Matthews

On The Mound: Walker surrendered just two hits in 5.2 innings, but a hit batter came around to score in the second and a walk ahead of the sixth-inning homer by Schwartz proved costly. Hunter Breault took the loss after allowing the second homer by Schwartz in the 10th.

At The Plate: Grant drove in a season-high three runs, and was one of three Ducks with multiple hits, along with Hall and Matthews.

On Deck: The Ducks will host San Jose State for two midweek games beginning Tuesday at 4 p.m.


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