EUGENE, Ore. - A late comeback fell short for Oregon on Sunday, as the Ducks dropped the rubber game of its Pac-10 series with Stanford, 6-3, at PK Park.
Oregon (12-17, 2-4) had been held to one run and three hits by Stanford starter Brett Mooneyham through six innings, but the bottom of the seventh put the Ducks back in the game.
With his team trailing 4-1, freshman KC Serna got Oregon’s bats going by launching a solo home run over the left field wall on the first pitch delivered by Mooneyham. After Serna’s solo shot - his second of the season - Curtis Raulinaitis followed with a single and eventually crossed the plate to get Oregon within one run, 4-3, on Mitch Karraker’s pinch-hit double to center field.
The Cardinal (11-12, 5-4) closer, Drew Storey, came on for Mooneyham right before Karraker’s RBI double, but after that held the Ducks scoreless and allowed just two more hits in his 2 and 1/3 innings of work to close the game.
Within a run of tying the game entering the final inning, Oregon brought on reliever Drew Gagnier. The sophomore issued back-to-back walks to lead off the inning and both runners moved over on a sacrifice bunt, leaving runners at second and third with no outs. Colin Walsh scored on a wild pitch and Kellen Kiilsgaard picked up Stanford’s sixth run with an RBI double to left center.
Down 6-3, Serna again tried to start a rally leading off the bottom of the ninth with a double to center field, but Storen retired the next three batters to earn his third save of the year.
Mooneyham (2-1) finished his day allowing three runs on five hits and two walks in 6 and 2/3 innigns of work.
Madison Boer (1-4) took the loss for Oregon, pitching 4 innings and allowing three runs, two earned, on three hits and two walks. Bennett Whitmore, Zack Thornton, Geoff Nichols and Gagnier all appeared in relief, combining to walk seven batters.
The combination of Mooneyham and Storen issued just two free bases.
While the Ducks out hit the Cardinal, 8-7, Stanford executed its offense flawlessly. The Cardinal dropped six sacrifice hits during the game, with five of those runs eventually scoring.
Toby Gerhart finished his day 3-for-4 with two RBI and one run scored. The junior had an RBI triple to the right field corner in the fifth and also was responsible for Stanford’s first run with an RBI sacrifice fly in the first.
Serna led Oregon at the plate with a 2-for-3 performance, scoring two runs and picking up an RBI. Danny Pulfer also added two hits for the Ducks.
Oregon returns to action next Thursday playing a three-game Pac-10 series at USC. Start time for Thursday is 6:30 p.m., and live stats will be offered on www.GoDucks.com.
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