EUEGENE, Ore. – Senior right-hander Justin LaTempa was nearly untouchable on Saturday night at PK Park, tossing a complete-game, one-hit shutout as the No. 17 Ducks evened their series with the Cougars after a 6-0 victory.
LaTempa (4-2), threw the first complete game of his collegiate career at Oregon, and also dealt a career-high 10 strikeouts as a record crowd of 3,791 cheered him on.
The Ducks now improve to 29-14 on the season and 9-8 in the Pac-10, while Washington State drops to 22-16 overall and 6-8 in league play.
LaTempa’s complete game shutout was the first thrown by an Oregon pitcher since the program was reinstated, and was also the second complete game tossed this season, as Tyler Anderson threw nine innings of one-run baseball back on April 1 in a loss to No. 1 Arizona State.
LaTempa threw seven innings of no-hit baseball until WSU’s Matt Argyroppulos led off the eighth with a shallow double to right that fell just a few feet fair of the right field line. In his outing, LaTempa allowed just one hit, issued only one walk and hit one batter. The Cougars had just four base runners on over nine innings as an Oregon error accounted for the fourth.
Tomorrow’s series finale and rubber game is set to start at 1 p.m. from PK Park. The first 500 fans through the gates will receive a free hat courtesy of Nike. It will also be a BI-Mart Family Day with two adults and two children receiving admission to the park for $25. The ticket offer is available online only and can be obtained by entering the code “BIMART”.
Oregon was led at the plate by a multitude of Ducks including Jack Marder and Eddie Rodriguez. Marder was 0-for-1 but had two RBIs on the day, while Rodriguez was 1-for-3 with two RBIs as well. KC Serna was 2-for-5 with three runs scored, one RBI and his 12th stolen base of the year, while Danny Pulfer was 3-for-4 with a run scored.
For the first time this season, not one Oregon batter was fanned over eight innings, as WSU failed to register a strikeout.
Paul Eshleman was 2-for-3 with a walk in the designated hitter role for UO, and Shawn Peterson was 2-for-3 with one run scored.
Washington State starter and left-hander David Stilley (2-2) took the loss after allowing three runs on seven hits. Four WSU pitchers appeared in relief, allowing 11 hits and issuing only one walk while the defense committed three errors.
In the bottom of the first, Oregon took a 1-0 lead after Serna and Pulfer led things off with back-to-back singles. Marder moved the runners over on a sacrifice bunt, and Serna was brought home for the Ducks first run on Rodriguez’s sacrifice fly to center.
The Ducks scored two runs on two hits to take a 3-0 lead in the fifth. Peterson led off the bottom of the inning with a single through the left side, and was sacrificed to second on a bunt from Jett Hart that pulled Stilley off the mound.
Peterson then moved to third on a balk, before scoring UO’s second run. Serna’s RBI fielder’s choice was fielded by Cody Bartlett at second, and the Cougars’ second baseman chose a throw to the plate instead of the out at first, but catcher Jay Ponciano’s tag was too late on a diving Peterson as the Ducks took a 2-0 advantage.
Serna then stole second and moved to third on Pulfer’s infield single, and Stilley’s night was ended as right-hander Connor Lambert took over on the mound. Serna then put UO ahead 3-0 scoring from third on Marder’s sacrifice fly to right.
In the bottom of the sixth, Steven Packard and Eshleman occupied first and second after back-to-back lead off singles off Lambert. Altobelli then dropped a sacrifice bunt in front of the plate and moved both runners over, before WSU pulled the hook on Lambert, and right-hander Seth Harvey took over on the mound.
Peterson then sent a shot to short that Shea Vucinich bobbled on the error, allowing Packard to score unearned from third and Peterson to rest safely at first as Oregon went ahead 4-0.
Serna was on with a throwing error on Argyropulos to lead off the bottom of the seventh and Pulfer reached safely on with a bunt single, but a high throw from Harvey allowed Serna to move all the way to third. With runners on the corners, Marder then laid a bunt down first base line allowing Serna to score. Rodriguez then cleared the bases by lacing a one-run double down the right field line that scored Pulfer as UO took a 6-0 lead.
Notes: Ahmad Rashad and Dan Fouts both threw out ceremonial first pitches prior to Saturday’s first pitch…Oregon reached 10 strikeouts on the game and Duck fans received free personal pan pizza coupons courtesy of Pizza Hut upon exit from PK Park…not one Oregon batter struck out during the game – a first for the 2010 season…LaTempa threw the second complete game of the season for UO – the first was Tyler Anderson’s one-run nine inning loss to No. 1 Arizona State on April 1…LaTempa’s performance was the first complete game shutout of the modern era.