HONOLULU – Senior right-hander Kellen Moen mowed down the final four batters he faced and Oregon left Les Murakami Stadium with a 4-3 victory on Monday night.
The game was shortened to eight innings due to Oregon’s travel, but the Ducks evened the series at 2-2 after dropping the first two games.
Oregon took a 4-2 lead in the top of the sixth as the Ducks touched up Hawai’i reliever Jarrett Arakawa in the sixth. Freshman Stefan Sabol, in his first start of the season, led off the sixth taking the first pitch from Arakawa and driving it off the wall in left. Danny Pulfer then came to the plate and drove in UO’s third run with a single to right field. Connor Hofmann then sacrificed Pulfer to second, before the junior stole third and was able to score on David Peterson’s throwing error from behind the plate.
Hawai’i closed to 4-3 in the bottom of the seventh as a walk, double by Kolten Wong and intentional walk loaded the bases. Pi’ikea Kitamura scored from third on a sacrifice fly to right courtesy of Michael Blake with Porter Clayton on the mound before Moen was brought in to coax Collin Bennett into a groundout for the final out of the inning.
Moen then retired the side in the bottom of the eighth to pick up the first save of his career.
Alex Keudell was credited with the win after lasting five innings on the mound allowing two runs – one earned – on five hits and four walks while tying a career high by fanning nine.
UH starter Jesse Moore lasted 4 and 1/3 innings on the mound allowing two earned runs on four hits and three walks.
Arakawa lasted just one inning allowing two runs on three hits and one walk.
Sabol finished his night with a 1-for-2 performance and was walked twice while freshman Aaron Jones was 2-for-5 including a homer that led off the game.
Jones put Oregon in the driver’s seat immediately leading off the game with a home run to left on a 1-2 count. It was the right fielder’s second home run of the season.
Hawai’i evened the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the first with a two-out rally as Wong singled and then stole second setting up Jeffrey Van Doornum’s RBI single to right.
In the top of the fourth, freshman Kuresa took the first pitch delivered by Moore off the wall in right center for his second double of the season. Sabol was issued a walk by Moore, and the pair of freshman advanced to second and third courtesy of Pulfer’s sacrifice down the first base line. With Kuresa sitting at third, Hofmann’s RBI groundout to short was just enough to score the Ducks’ second run as UO took a 2-1 lead.
Hawai’i again answered Oregon’s lead as Keudell issued three walks in the bottom of the fourth, including his first to Van Doornum to lead things off. Van Doornum stole second and moved to third on a throwing error by Marder behind the plate. Four batters later, Zack Swasey drove a RBI double down the right field line to score Van Doornum and even the game at 2-2.
The Ducks will return to Eugene to play their home opener on Friday with first pitch against Saint Mary’s set for 5 p.m. from PK Park.
The 2011 Oregon baseball poster will be available, and fans will also be treated to postgame fireworks.
Tickets are available by clicking HERE, calling 1-800-WEBFOOT, at the Casanova Center ticket office or 90 minutes prior to game time at the South Ticket Box Office on game day.