SAN DIEGO – Oregon may have needed an extra inning, but the Ducks scored two runs in the top of the 10th to secure a 6-4 victory over San Diego on Sunday afternoon at Cunningham Stadium.
With the win, the Ducks (11-7) clinched the series victory over the Toreros (4-14), and have extended their winning streak to six games. Oregon has the opportunity to sweep San Diego as the fourth game of the series is scheduled for a 1 p.m. first pitch from Cunningham Stadium on Monday.
In the top of the 10th with the game knotted at 4-4, San Diego reliever Bryan Haar (0-1) issued a four-pitch walk to KC Serna
and plunked Danny Pulfer
before he was pulled in favor of Trevor Bayless. With Serna taking a huge lead at second, Bayless was rattled and charged with a balk as both runners advanced.
San Diego intentionally walked Aaron Jones
to load the bases with one out, but freshman Kyle Garlick
’s high infield chopper plated Serna as the Ducks took a 5-4 lead. Ryon Healy
then drove a sacrifice fly into center field as Pulfer scored and Oregon took a 6-4 lead into the bottom of the inning.
Senior Kellen Moen
(1-1) earned the victory on the mound, tossing 1 and 1/3 innings of relief. In the bottom of the 10th, Moen struck out the first two batters he faced before surrendering a single. With the tying run at the plate, the right-hander coaxed a fly out from Tony Strazzara to end the game.
Haar (0-1) was charged with the loss.
The Toreros more than doubled Oregon in hits with a 13-6 advantage, but left 10 runners stranded. Oregon also overcame committing three errors in the game.
Pulfer led the Ducks at the plate with a 2-for-3 performance and two runs scored, while Healy produced two RBIs and also scored a run. Jones was 1-for-2 with a run scored and was intentionally walked on two occasions.
The Ducks took a 4-0 lead in the top of the fourth after freshman Tyler Kuresa
laced a two-out, bases-clearing triple to deep left center.
San Diego starter Chris Jensen had faced the minimum through three innings before the Ducks got to the right-hander in the fourth.
With Pulfer on second after a single and stolen base, the Toreros chose to intentionally walk Jones, putting two runners on with two outs. With both runners going on two strikes to Garlick, Jensen plunked the freshman left fielder to load the bases. Jensen then walked in a run by issuing a five-pitch walk to Healy as Pulfer scored. Kuresa then drove a bases-clearing triple to deep left center as the Ducks took a 4-0 lead.
Jensen tossed nine innings before the game went into an extra stanza, allowing four earned runs on five hits, three walks and eight strikeouts.
Oregon starter Madison Boer
allowed the leadoff runner on for San Diego through all five innings, but the Toreros were not able to capitalize until the fifth. USD plated their first two runs on RBI groundouts as Jon Hotta and Zach Sullivan scored. With the bases empty and two outs on the board, Boer issued a walk to Kevin Muno. Kris Bryant put a high chopper in play down the third base line that was fielded by J.J. Altobelli
. The third baseman’s throw was wide of first base, allowing Muno to move to third while Bryant was safe at first on the single. Muno then scored unearned on Zack Kometani’s single to center, before Boer coaxed Corey LeVier into a fly out to center field.
Boer lasted 6 and 2/3 innings, surrendering three earned runs on eight hits and three walks - leaving the game with the lead.
He was relieved in the bottom of the seventh with a runner on first and two outs by freshman Porter Clayton
, and Oregon’s defense was able to catch Muno going for the steal to conclude the inning.
Junior right-hander Scott McGough
shutout San Diego in the eighth, but wasn’t as effective in the bottom of the ninth. An error on a failed pickoff attempt put Muno - the tying run - at second base with one out. Muno scored the tying run on Kometani’s RBI single before Moen came on in relief and UO’s defense turned a double play.
Sullivan led USD with a 3-for-4 performance, while Haar, Kometani and Dillon Checkal had two hits apiece.
Game 4 of the series is scheduled for a 1 p.m. first pitch from Cunningham Stadium on Monday. Before returning to Eugene, the Ducks will play a single game at San Francisco on Wednesday.
Notes: Oregon is now on a six-game winning streak…the Ducks won their third series of the season…Madison Boer
allowed a season-high three runs...the Ducks were plunked a season high four times in Sunday’s victory.