LOS ANGELES – Tyler Baumgartner had three of Oregon’s eight doubles and made a run-saving diving catch in right field to lead the No. 7 Ducks to a 12-2 win over Loyola Marymount in game one of a three-game series on Friday night.
Baumgartner went 3-for-4 with two RBI and a run scored, while Kyle Garlick was 2-for-4 with a double, two RBI and a run scored. His double missed being a grand slam by less than two feet.
Oregon (5-0) broke open a tight game with eight runs in the top of the eighth inning. Garlick (two-RBI double), Baumgartner (RBI double) and Connor Hofmann (RBI double) highlighted the run explosion with key hits. The Ducks finished the inning scoring eight runs on just four hits and one error. LMU pitchers walked three Ducks and hit another in the inning.
Scott Heineman led off the inning reaching base on an error by Lions third baseman Tyler Cohen. After Aaron Payne (1-for-3, double, RBI, 3 runs scored) walked, Baumgartner laced his third double of the game into right field plating Heineman.
Mitchell Tolman (1-for-2, RBI, run scored) loaded the bases after being hit by a pitch to set up Garlick’s clutch hit. The Ducks’ designated hitter smashed a ball deep to left field that came within a couple of feet of clearing the field’s “Blue Monster.” Payne and Baumgartner scored to push Oregon’s lead to 6-2.
Two straight walks to freshmen A.J. Balta and Jack Kruger added another run before Hofmann lined a double down the right field line giving the Ducks and 8-2 lead. Kevin Minjares, who led off the inning making an out, picked up an RBI with a single to center before Heineman drove in the last run with a sacrifice fly for an 11-2 lead.
Loyola Marymount (2-3) jumped out to an early 1-0 in the bottom of the first inning and nearly made it 2-0 in the second. The Lions put runners on second and third with one out against starter Tommy Thorpe. The Ducks’ lefty got out of the inning without any damage striking out the next hitter, before Heineman made a tough throw on a swinging bunt to end the inning.
Oregon took the lead in the third on Baumgartner’s second double of the game. Minjares walked to lead off the inning, and moved to third on a double by Payne. Baumgartner drove both runners in with a double into the left-field corner.
LMU tied the game with a run in the fifth, but Oregon got it right back in the sixth. Tolman delivered the go-ahead RBI on a double that scored Payne from first.
Thorpe (1-0) picked up the win allowing just two runs on eight hits in seven innings, while striking out six. Colin Wellmon (1-1), who beat Oregon in Eugene last season, was charged with the loss.
The Ducks will send freshman Matt Krook (0-0) to the mound for game two of the series Saturday at 1 p.m.