LOS ANGELES – Aaron Jones hammered two home runs as No. 22 Oregon upset No. 5 UCLA, 6-2, on Thursday night at Jackie Robinson Stadium in the first game of the series.
The Ducks (19-8, 7-3) totaled 11 hits on the evening, and after the win, remain on a four-game winning streak.
Oregon roughed up UCLA (20-6, 7-3) starter Adam Plutko early scoring five runs in the game’s first four innings.
Plutko (4-2) lasted just four and 1/3 innings before he was relieved by right-hander Zack Weiss. Plutko surrendered five runs on nine hits in his shortest outing since tossing just three and 1/3 innings in a loss to Baylor on Feb. 24.
Oregon right-hander Alex Keudell (4-3) tossed seven shutout innings against the Bruins, scattering eight hits while striking out two. The senior is now 3-0 in his last three starts, and has tossed 22 consecutive shutout innings.
Jones, who now leads the Ducks with five home runs in 2012, hit a two-run shot in the third, and a solo homer in the seventh on his way to a 2-for-5 performance.
Oregon took a 1-0 lead in the top of the second as Connor Hofmann’s RBI single dropped in shallow center allowing Kyle Garlick to score from second. The Ducks touched Plutko for three hits in the second as Garlick got the first hit off the right-hander by returning a one-out single up the middle.
Jones put the Ducks ahead 3-0 in the top of the third, delivering the first pitch Plutko offered over the wall in left. The two-run shot scored J.J. Altobelli who led off the inning with a single.
In the fourth, Plutko retired the first two Oregon batters he faced before throwing six straight balls, which included a two-out walk issued to Hofmann. Altobelli then roped a double down the left field line to put runners at second and third. Aaron Payne then sliced a two-run double to right center as Oregon led 5-0.
Jones hit his second home run of the night to lead off the seventh, taking Weiss’ first offering over the wall in left to put Oregon in the lead, 6-0.
In two and 2/3 innings of relief, Weiss allowed one run on two hits.
Altobelli finished his evening 2-for-5 with two runs scored and a double. Jones was 2-for-5 with three runs driven in, two runs scored and his two round trippers, extending his hitting streak to seven games. Brett Thomas batted 2-for-4 with a stolen base on the evening, and Garlick also finished 2-for-4 with a run scored.
UCLA did all its damage in the ninth with left-hander Tommy Thorpe on the mound. The Bruins scored two runs as Matt Giovinazzo drove in a run with a single, and Beau Amaral recorded a sacrifice fly.
Game two of the series is scheduled for a 6 p.m. start from Jackie Robinson Stadium on Friday. Freshman right-hander Jake Reed (2-2) is expected to start for the Ducks against UCLA sophomore right-hander Nick Vander Tuig (3-1).
Notes: Oregon posts a record of 7-1 against ranked opponents in 2012, and has defeated four consecutive top-25 opponents…Oregon has hit seven home runs in five of its last six games…Aaron Jones leads the Ducks with five home runs…the Ducks recorded 11 hits in the game, totaling double-digit hits for the first time since March 28 at Texas State…Alex Keudell’s 16 career wins ties Norm Forbes for fifth all-time at Oregon.