PORTLAND, Ore. - Sophomore Mitch Karraker laced a two-run line drive to right center in the eighth inning that put the game-winning run across the plate, leading Oregon to a 6-4 non-conference victory over Washington on Saturday afternoon at PGE Park.
Playing in the fourth game of the Rose City Invitational, the Ducks (9-9) were poised to add runs in the bottom of the eighth after Washington reliever Jason Erickson, who was struggling with his control, led off the inning by walking John Adamson. Freshman Sean Potkay, in his first start of the year, executed a sacrifice to move pinch runner Jett Hart to second, but the speedster was laster erased after being thrown down by Husky catcher Pierce Rankin in an attempt to steal third.
It didn’t matter though, as the Ducks still had two runners on after Erickson hit back-to-back batters in Andrew Schmidt and Josh Hogan. With the pair on first and second, Erickson was pulled in favor of Geoff Brown and that was when Karraker drove a two-run, full-count double to deep right center, scoring the tying and go-ahaed runs.
The Ducks added a little insurance with their third run of the inning when a wild pitch allowed Karraker to score from third.
Drew Gagnier came on in the top of the ninth to pick up his third save of the year as Oregon defeated its first Pac-10 opponent of the year. He issued a two-out walk to Julien Powell, but ended the inning by forcing pinch hitter Brett Wilcox to pop up to Potkay.
Oregon came from behind to get the win, after Washington (6-11) wasted no time taking a 2-0 lead, scoring two runs on its first two hits. Leadoff batter Brendan Gardner-Young led off the first with a single to left, while Rankin followed with a home run to left center that landed on 18th Ave.
The Ducks cut the Huskies lead in half in the second, after Pollard over threw first base allowing Hogan to reach base. Hogan stole his second bag of the year, and it worked out nicely as Dylan Gavin’s deep shot to left was dropped by Huksy outfielder Jake Rife, bringing Hogan home unearned.
Oregon starter Erik Stavert gave up a second two-run round-trippper putting Oregon in the hole in the top of the fourth, 4-1. After a one-out walk had Kyle Conley on base, Ty Rasmussen sent him home with a two-run shot to left center.
Washington starter Ben Guidos held Oregon hitless until the fifth when a one-out bunt single down the first baseline from Gavin sparked a Ducks rally. At the bottom of the order, Antony Kreitz, - in just his second start of the season - singled through the left side to put runners on first and second for Tommasini.
Tommasini’s infield blooper dropped behind the mound and took an awkward bounce, making it impossible for Washington’s defense to field, and loading the bases for Raulinaitis, who was due to face Guidos in a lefty-on-lefty match up.
Raulinaitis sent an infield chopper to first baseman Troy Scott, and Guidos beat Raulinaitis in a race to first, but the groundout allowed Gavin to cross the plate for Oregon’s second run.
Guidos got himself into serious trouble in the sixth, surrendering a lead off double to freshman Paul Eshleman - just out of Rife’s reach in left. Potkay was walked, and a sacrifice from senior Andrew Schmidt moved the runners over before Hogan rifled a RBI single back up the middle to bring Eshleman home.
Hogan’s RBI single proved to be the end for Guidos, who was relieved by Erickson after 5 1/3 innings. The 6-foot-1 righty coaxed a pop up out of Karraker and a ground out to first base from Kreitz to stop the damage in the sixth.
Washington had runners on first and second with two outs in the top of the eighth, but a diving grab from Caleb Tommasini on Rasmussen’s line drive to shallow left got the Ducks out of the inning unscathed.
Erickson took the loss for Washington allowing two runs in 2 and 1/3 innings of work. Guidos finished his start allowing three runs on five hits.
Freshman Scott McGough earned his first win for Oregon, pitching for the final out of the eighth. In his fifth start of the season, Stavert pitched 7.0 innings and allowed four runs on six hits, striking out three.
Notes: Oregon was missing two regular starters; freshman JC Serna missed his first start of the season...the shortstop is day-to-day with a hip pointer injury...Eddy Rodriguez is out 3-4 weeks with a right knee sprain...freshman Sean Potkay made his first start of the season at first base...freshman Danny Pulfer has now made starts at third base, shortstop and second base...the win was Oregon’s first over a Pac-10 opponent this year.
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