SPOKANE, Wash. — Freshman catcher Jack Kruger's first collegiate home run highlighted a six-run fifth inning and made a winner of relief pitcher Cooper Stiles for the first time in his career, as the Oregon baseball team completed a midweek sweep of Gonzaga with a 14-5 victory on Wednesday.
The game was called after eight innings due to the Ducks' travel schedule. No. 19 Oregon next plays at No. 14 Washington in a three-game series beginning Friday.
The Ducks (21-8) broke open the game with a five-run second inning, then had to rally again when the Bulldogs (10-18) tied it in the fourth. The six-run fifth put Oregon up 11-5, and the Ducks tacked on insurance runs in the sixth and seventh.
Kyle Garlick homered and doubled twice to lead the Ducks' 18-hit attack. A trio of freshmen — Kruger, first baseman A.J. Balta and shortstop Mark Karaviotis — had three hits apiece.
Garlick's leadoff homer in the second tied the game 1-1, and Balta added a two-run single during the five-run inning. But Gonzaga rallied against UO starter Brando Tessar with three in the bottom of the second, and tied it 5-5 with Stiles on the mound in the fourth.
The big UO fifth inning developed similarly to the second, with a home run — this time by Kruger — sparking the rally, and Balta contributing an RBI single. Garlick and Kruger drove in runs in the seventh as the Ducks put the game out of reach.
Stiles (1-0) gave up an unearned run over 2 1/3 innings, allowing one hit and no walks with two strikeouts. Jack Karraker, Darrell Hunter and Porter Clayton each threw a scoreless inning of relief to close out the game.