EUGENE, Ore. – Oregon’s offense continued to put up big numbers on Friday night, opening its series with a 12-2 victory over visiting USC at PK Park in front of a record crowd of 2,832.
The No. 18 Ducks (26-12, 7-6) are on a three-game winning streak, and have won five of their last six.
USC drops to 16-21 overall on the season and 2-11 in conference action.
Oregon’s 12 runs were the most they have scored against a Pac-10 opponent since a 12-4 win at Washington State on March 27, 1979.
The Ducks were led at the plate by sophomore shortstop KC Serna, who had a 3-for-5 evening with four RBIs, a double and his 11th stolen base of the season. The Ventura, Calif., native has now produced 11 RBIs in his last three games.
Oregon stole six bases against USC’s defense with Curtis Raulinaitis leading the way with three – tying a career high he set last year vs. Santa Clara March 6, 2009.
On the mound, left-hander Tyler Anderson improved to 6-3 on the year, lasting 6 and 2/3 innings, allowing just two runs on four hits and three walks. The Las Vegas native struck out 10 – one short of his season high. Anderson didn’t give up a hit until fourth, and faced only one batter over the minimum through four innings, including retiring the side in order through the first three.
USC’s two runs came from solo homers off the bat of freshman Cade Kreuter. The son of USC head coach Chad Kreuter, Cade homered to center on a full count to lead off the fifth, and hit his second round-tripper to left in seventh with two outs on the board.
Anderson exited in the seventh after surrendering a second homer to Kreuter, a double to Garret Houts after an outfielder got tipped up on a line drive, and a walk to Hart. Oregon made the change to right-hander Joey House who issued a walk, but struck out Beau Brett to end the seventh for USC.
Housey finished the game for Oregon, tossing 2 and 1/3 innings, allowing just one hit and one walk with one strikeout.
Freshman Steven Packard had a career day with a 3-for-4 performance that included two RBIs. Danny Pulfer was 2-for-5 with two runs scored, while J.J. Altobelli was 2-for-4 with a run scored and RBI. Raulinaitis ended his day 1-for-4 with three RBIs and two runs scored.
Oregon didn’t waste any time manufacturing a two-out rally in the first. Pulfer’s two-out single started things rolling for the Ducks, and Eddie Rodriguez’s single to right left runners on the corners for Packard. The freshman right fielder’s high chopper turned into an RBI infield single as Pulfer crossed the plate. Jack Marder then drove a RBI single into center, scoring Rodriguez as the Ducks took a 2-0 lead.
Oregon added three runs in the third after a leadoff error from Matt Hart at third put Altobelli on second. Serna’s one-out single to center scored Altobelli, but Serna was erased one at-bat later when Marcus Piazzisi hit into a fielder’s choice. The Ducks quickly got Piazzisi into scoring position as the speedster stole second. Pulfer then drove a RBI single into right on an 0-2 count, plating Piazzisi. Rodriguez was walked, leaving runners on first and second for Packard, who claimed another RBI single in his second consecutive at-bat as Pulfer scored and the Ducks went ahead 5-0.
The third inning was again another two-out rally as Raulinaitis singled into shallow right center. He moved to third on a stolen base and wild pitch, setting up Serna’s bunt RBI single as UO took a 6-0 advantage.
In the bottom of the fifth, USC starter Andrew Triggs issued a leadoff walk to Ryan Hambright that paid off for the Ducks. Altobelli’s bunt single proved too hot to handle for Triggs, as his throw to first was late and high, allowing Hambright to move to third. He scored UO’s seventh run on Rauliniatis’ RBI single.
The Ducks added two more runs in the seventh, and in the eighth, USC reliever Adam Dedeaux issued six walks, walking in three runs.
Triggs (1-7) took the loss for USC, allowing seven runs – three earned – on 11 hits and three walks while striking out three.
Game Two of Saturday’s game is scheduled for a 5 p.m. first pitch. It will be Greek Night at PK Park, and UO fraternities and sororities are invited to attend. The fraternity and sorority with best attendance will be able to play a future softball game on at PK Park.
Sunday, 12 p.m. vs. USC
Little League Day Presented by Grand Slam – Free admission for kids in the seventh grade or under that wear their team jersey. Sunday Clinic with the Ducks 30 min. following the game.
Umpqua Sunday Sundaes for the first 96 fans through the gates.
In Portland, Saturday’s game will be tape delayed on Freedom 970 at 10 p.m. On Sunday, the game in Portland will be tape-delayed on KUIK 1360 AM at 3 p.m. Both Saturday and Sunday’s game will be aired on 95.3 FM in Eugene.
Notes: Oregon has won its series opener for the third straight weekend.