HONOLULU – Oregon ended its series with Hawai’i and snapped a three-game losing streak with a 3-0, seven-inning, shutout victory over the Rainbows on Sunday evening at Les Murakami Stadium.
It was the fourth game of the series for Hawai’i (4-4) and Oregon (4-4), and the second game of a doubleheader on Sunday, as Saturday’s game was postponed due to tsunami warning for the state of Hawaii.
Oregon left the bases loaded in the top of the third, but Hawai’i starter Sam Spangler wasn’t as lucky in the fourth, loading the bases again as a two-out rally was spurred by Shawn Peterson.
The Eugene native hit a single to right center, and Jett Hart kept things going with a single through the left side. Spangler then struck KC Serna to load the bases with two outs for Danny Pulfer. The two battled to a full count, and Spangler offered ball four to walk in Peterson for a 1-0 lead.
That ended Spangler’s night as right-hander Connor Little was brought in for relief with the bases again loaded. On a 1-1 count, Little struck Jack Marder to score Hart as Oregon took a 2-0 advantage. Little’s first offering to Nick Wagner was a wild pitch, allowing Serna to score from third. Little then regained his composure to strike out Wagner, leaving Pulfer and Marder stranded.
The Ducks could have added some insurance in the sixth as Peterson led off the inning with some aggressive base running, turning a single to center into a double. Hart’s sacrifice moved Peterson to third, who was replaced by Marcus Piazzisi to pinch run. Serna’s infield chopper had Piazzisi moving from third, but he was thrown out 6-2-5-3. Serna got greedy overrunning second and was also picked, 4-6-9-3 as part of the double play.
In the sixth Hawai’i looked to threaten with two runners on, but Drew Gagnier came on in relief of Oregon starter Zack Thornton, and struck out Collin Bennett to record the third out of the inning as the ‘Bows left two on.
Gagnier then struck one batter in the seventh, but recovered to secure his first save of the year in his third appearance and first save opportunity.
Thornton picked up his first win of the season tossing 5 and 1/3 innings and holding Hawai’i scoreless on two hits and two walks while striking out five.
Spangler (0-2) took the loss for UH after allowing three runs on five hits and two walks in three and 2/3 innings of work.
Oregon dropped the series to the ‘Bows, 3-1.
Oregon will return home to Eugene on Monday morning.
The Ducks will play their home opener with the University of Washington (3-3) at 5 p.m., Tuesday at PK Park. Tickets are still available.
The game is scheduled to broadcast by the Oregon Sports Network on Comcast SportsNet Northwest.