EUGENE, Ore. – Oregon moved into first place in the Pac-12 title race with a 7-1 victory over California on Sunday afternoon at PK Park.
The No. 10 Ducks (30-13, 14-7) completed the sweep of the Golden Bears (23-18, 7-11), and have totaled their most conference wins since the program was reinstated (2009).
Oregon’s offense was led by the duo of Kyle Garlick and Aaron Payne, as the pair drove in three runs apiece. Garlick had a 3-for-3 day at the plate, recording his eighth game of the season with multiple RBIs, while Payne recorded his sixth double of the year batting 3-for-5.
Right-hander Jeff Gold (6-3) pitched a sold seven innings, scattering nine hits and allowing just one run while walking no one and striking out two.
The Ducks gave Gold a five-run cushion with a three-run spot in the fourth as Payne poked a two-run, two-out single through the left side as Thomas Walker and Andrew Mendenhall came around to score. Payne’s two-run single followed Garlick scoring on a wild pitch. All three runs were unearned as the Ducks loaded the bases on a single, error and walk.
Oregon took its initial lead, 2-0, in the first as Garlick drove in two runs with a two-out single that squeaked through the left side.
Of Oregon’s seven runs scored, six came home with two outs on the scoreboard.
Cal left-hander Justin Jones (3-6) was issued the loss after allowing six runs (three earned) on eight hits while striking out four.
Oregon added solo runs in the fifth and sixth innings as a Garlick single plated Brett Thomas and Payne drove in Mendenhall with a double into deep right field.
Cal scored its only run in the eighth as the Bears loaded the bases with no outs courtesy of three straight singles. Joey Housey entered the game in relief of Gold, and walked Mitch Delfino to force in a run before the Duck defense turned a 123 double play to escape.
Oregon swept a series for the fourth time this season and the second time against a Pac-12 opponent.
The Ducks will spend the next week on the road, first traveling to Gonzaga for games on Tuesday (6 p.m.) and Wednesday (6 p.m.). Oregon will then travel to Tucson to take on the Arizona Wildcats with first pitch in the three-game series scheduled for 6:00 p.m., Friday.
Notes: Oregon swept its fourth series of the season and its second in Pac-12 play…Oregon’s seven runs were the most for the Ducks since an 8-3 win at UCLA (April 6)…Oregon has totaled 70 two-out RBIs in 2012 with 13 coming from Garlick....Oregon’s 14 conference wins are the most for the program since 1972.