EUGENE, Ore. – Oregon looked to have an early edge on top-ranked Arizona State, but the Ducks were held scoreless for the game’s final eight innings as the Sun Devils prevailed 7-3 at PK Park on Saturday afternoon.
The Ducks are now 19-10 on the season and 2-4 in the Pac-10, as No.1 ASU takes the weekend series 2-1, and improves to 25-1 on the year and 5-1 in conference play.
The teams began the final game of the series at 1:07 p.m., Saturday afternoon, just over 12 hours after Friday night’s 12-inning thriller ended at 12:45 a.m., 6-5, in favor of UO.
The Ducks struggled again defensively committing three errors, but it was ASU starter Jake Borup who recovered from a difficult first inning to hold Oregon scoreless through the seventh allowing ASU’s offense to regain the lead.
The Ducks didn’t was time at the plate in the first inning as KC Serna’s leadoff walk issued by Borup quickly turned into the Ducks’ first run of the game as Serna stole second and scored on Marcus Piazzisi’s RBI single up the middle.
Danny Pulfer then connected on a RBI double to the gap in right center, scoring Piazzisi as Pulfer advanced to third on ASU’s throw to the plate. The Ducks’ starting second baseman then scored UO’s third and last run of the game on Eddie Rodriguez’s RBI groundout.
But Oregon let its three-run lead slip away beginning in the second inning. ASU’s Matt Newman was issued a leadoff walk by Oregon starter Alex Keudell, and moved into scoring position at second on Zach Wilson’s shallow single to right. With runners on first and second, Jordan Swagerty picked up an RBI single with a hit into right center. Keudell recovered to strike out Raoul Torrez, but Drew Maggi’s two-out RBI single scored Wilson to bring the score within 3-2.
The game remained scoreless through the next three innings until Arizona State tied the score in the sixth as the leadoff batter, Kole Calhoun, reached first on a throwing error from Serna. Riccio Torrez followed with a single to right center to put runners on the corners with no outs. Newman grounded into a double play and Calhoun scored unearned to tie the score 3-3.
Arizona State took the lead in the seventh with a three-run inning as Swagerty reached base with a one-out single, and stole second to move into scoring position for Raoul Torezz’s RBI double into deep center field over the head of UO outfielder Jett Hart. Keudell then issued a walk to Drew Maggi, and with runners on first and second, the Sun Devils put on the double steal and were successful. Keudell had one last strikeout in him, fanning Zack MacPhee for the second out of the inning, but UO brought on lefty Christian Jones to get out of the inning.
The first batter Jones saw was Calhoun, and the starting outfielder laced a two-run single into right as ASU’s lead climbed to 6-3.
Keudell, 4-2, took the loss for the Ducks after allowing six runs – five earned – on seven hits and three walks. The Portland native struck out seven.
Borup improved to 6-0, tossing seven innings and allowing three runs – all in the first inning – on six hits and one walk while fanning four.
ASU freshman Jake Barrett picked up his first save of the season, coming into the game with a 6-3 lead and holding the Ducks to just one hit in his two innings of work.
The Sun Devils added their seventh run of the game in the top of the ninth as Maggi’s two-out single turned into a run after stealing second and scoring on MacPhee’s RBI single.
Madison Boer also appeared in relief for Oregon tossing the ninth and lowing one run on two hits.
Maggi finished his day 2-for-4 with two runs scored and one RBI, while Calhoun was 2-for-4 with two RBIs and one run scored. Swagerty, who appeared on the mound in relief during the first two games of the series, was 2-for-4 with an RBI and run scored as ASU totaled 10 hits on the day.
The Ducks also surrendered five stolen bases to ASU.
Pulfer led Oregon with a 3-for-5 day and his eighth double of the season. Raulinaitis was 2-for-3 for the Ducks, while Piazzisi, and Hart had Oregon’s other two hits.
The will hit the road for their next eight games with the first stop next week at Stanford. First pitch from Sunken Diamond on Friday night is set for 5:30 p.m.