SPOKANE, Wash. – A new national ranking didn’t faze No. 18 Oregon on Tuesday as the Ducks defeated Gonzaga, 7-2, at the Patterson Baseball Complex.
Oregon improves to 24-12 on the year, while Gonzaga falls to 13-23-1.
UO shortstop KC Serna led the Ducks with a 2-for-4, four RBI performance that included a two-run double in the second and a two-run homer in the eighth. It was the first round-tripper of 2010 for Serna, and the fourth of his career.
Senior Jett Hart was 3-for-4 with three runs scored and a stolen base.
In a controlled start, Zack Thornton went five innings allowing one run on two hits and one walk while fanning six.
Joey Housey (1-0) was credited with the win as the Ducks retook the lead in seventh after scoring three runs to go ahead 5-2. Housey tossed two innings, allowing one run on three hits while striking out two.
Liam Baron (0-4) took the loss for the Bulldogs, allowing three runs on seven hits and one walk. He struck out three in six innings of work.
Scott McGough also pitched two innings of scoreless relief for Oregon to finish the game.
Serna got the Ducks on the scoreboard in the second, lining a stand-up, two-run double off the wall down the left field line.
The Ducks had three hits in the inning with singles coming from Paul Eshleman and Jett Hart, before Serna’s two-out, full-count double.
Gonzaga cut UO’s lead in half after Royce Bolinger’s solo home run over the wall in left cut the Ducks’ lead to 2-1 in the bottom of the fifth. It was Bolinger’s sixth of the season.
With Housey coming on in the sixth, Drew Heid led off the inning with a triple to right center. Mark Castellitto’s RBI single to left scored Castellitto bringing the tying run home.
The Ducks retook a 5-2 lead scoring three runs in the seventh. After Baron gave up a leadoff single to Curtis Raulinaitis, before he was relieved in favor of right-hander Mark Phillips. The reliever surrendered a single to Hart as the speedster put down a solid bunt. With runners on first and second, Oregon continued the bunting game as Serna moved the runners over with a sacrifice.
The Bulldogs then intentionally walked Danny Pulfer to load the bases.
With Jack Marder at the plate, the freshman played a ball into the infield that Gonzaga tried to erase Pulfer at second , but the throw was wide for the error, allowing Raulinaitis to score earned and Hart to score unearned as Marder picked up one RBI.
Rodriguez’s sacrifice then scored Pulfer as Oregon went ahead 5-2.
The Ducks and Bulldogs will play tomorrow at 1 p.m., before UO returns home to host USC in a three-game series beginning on Friday.