LOS ANGELES – No. 22 Oregon won its fifth in a row and clinched the series with an 8-3 victory over No. 5 UCLA on Friday night at Jackie Robinson Stadium.
Oregon’s (20-8, 8-3) bats were once again active, as the Ducks turned a 2-1 lead into 6-1 advantage with four-run effort in the fifth, and totaled 11 hits for the game.
On the mound, the Ducks received another solid start from freshman Jake Reed. In the win, Reed (3-2) earned his second straight victory on the mound, limiting UCLA (20-7, 7-4) to three runs on five hits and two walks, while striking out two in six innings of work.
As Oregon built its lead, Reed retired nine consecutive UCLA batters from the third through fifth innings.
UCLA’s Nick Vander Tuig (3-2) took the loss, surrendering eight runs on 10 hits, while issuing two walks and striking out one.
In relief, UCLA right-hander David Berg shut out the Ducks for the final three innings of the game, striking out seven UO batters and allowing just one hit in three and 2/3 innings of action.
Brett Thomas led Oregon with a 3-for-4 performance which included a RBI and run scored. Ryon Healy was 2-for-5, driving in two runs and also recording a double. Aaron Jones also doubled, and drove in a run, extending his hitting streak to eight games. Sophomore Connor Hofmann also hit his second career home run, while Brett Hambright was walked twice and scored two runs.
The Ducks roughed up Vander Tuig for four runs on four hits to take a 6-1 lead in the top of the fifth. Oregon did all of its damage with two outs on the scoreboard as Hambright drew a leadoff walk, and scored on Aaron Payne’s RBI single that just slipped by the diving glove of Cody Regis at third.
Payne stole second and third, before scoring UO’s fourth run of the game as Jones lined a double down the left field line. Jones moved to third on a balk and scored as the UCLA outfield could not locate a high fly ball from Healy, resulting in a RBI double for UO’s clean-up batter and a 5-1 lead for the Ducks. Thomas then singled home Healy as Oregon took a 6-1 advantage.
The Ducks’ lead increased to 8-1 in the top of the sixth as Hofmann crushed a two-run homer to right field.
Joey Housey was credited with the save after tossing three shutout innings, allowing just two hits and striking out four.
Cody Keefer led UCLA batting 2-for-3 from the plate with a RBI.
Oregon took a 1-0 lead in the first as Healy’s RBI single scored J.J. Altobelli, who led off the game with a single.
UCLA evened the score in the first as Keefer’s RBI single to right brought in Beau Amaral, who led off the bottom of the inning with a double off the wall in right center.
Oregon reclaimed the lead, 2-1, in the top of the fourth as Thomas scored on Scott Heineman’s sacrifice fly. Thomas reached first with a one-out single up the middle, and moved to third as Thomas Walker drove a single to right field, putting runners on the corners with one out for Heineman.
The series finale is set for a noon first pitch from Jackie Robinson Stadium on Saturday. Oregon right-hander Brando Tessar (4-0, 2.64) is expected to start against UCLA right-hander Grant Watson (6-1, 5.36).
Notes: Oregon won its fifth consecutive conference game for the first time since May 4-9, 1976…since reinstatement (2009), Oregon has won both series against UCLA at Jackie Robinson Stadium (2010, 2012) …Oregon is now 8-1 against ranked opponents in 2012, and has won back-to-back series against top-25 opponents…the Ducks have won their sixth series of the season, and their third against a ranked opponent (two on the road)…Aaron Jones has extended his hitting streak to eight games… Oregon has hit eight home runs in six of its last seven games.