EUGENE – KC Serna
needed just one at-bat to propel Oregon to 4-2 victory over No. 23 Arizona on Thursday night at PK Park.
The junior may not have been in the starting lineup, but when called upon in the bottom of the eighth with two outs and runners on first and second, Serna worked a full count against Arizona reliever Bryce Bandilla and fouled off two pitches before driving a one-run single through the right side to score the game-winning run in Dylan Gavin
Oregon (20-16, 3-7), now on a three-game winning streak, has won six of its last eight while the Wildcats drop to 23-14 overall and 5-8 in Pac-10 play. For Arizona, it was just the second time this season the Wildcats have dropped a series opener.
On the mound, Oregon junior left-hander Tyler Anderson
(6-1) tossed the second complete game of his career, allowing two runs on three hits while fanning nine. His nine innings were a season-best on the mound this year, while he recorded his ninth quality start of the season.
After giving up two runs in the top of the fourth, the Las Vegas native allowed just two hits the rest of the way while retiring the final 11 batters of the game.
Arizona tied the game 2-2 in the top of the fourth, and the game remained even until designated hitter Ryan Hambright
led off the bottom of the eighth with a single up the middle. Pinch-runner Dylan Gavin
was sacrificed to second by Aaron Jones
, but Arizona starter Kurt Heyer struck out Tyler Kuresa
for the second out.
The Wildcats then went to the bullpen and left-hander Bryce Bandilla came out to face Jack Marder
and plunked him to put runners on first and second. Serna, who entered the game in the top of the seventh as a defensive replacement at shortstop, worked Bandilla to a full count and fouled off two pitches before delivering his game-winning hit.
The inning continued as J.J. Altobelli
dropped a bunt in front of the plate that scored Marder from third as the Ducks added some insurance with a 4-2 advantage.
Anderson then retired the Wildcats in order in the top of the ninth.
Oregon outhit Arizona 11-3, recording its sixth game in its last eight with double-digit hits.
Heyer (6-2) took the loss for Arizona, allowing three runs on nine hits and two walks in seven and 2/3 innings of work while striking out four.
led the Ducks with a 3-for-4 performance, while Hambright and Marder each had two hits apiece. For the second straight game, Oregon started five freshmen, and the Ducks are now 8-4 when starting at least four freshmen in 2011.
Oregon took a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second as back-to-back hits produced a run. Kuresa rallied for a two-out single to shallow left field before Marder laced a double to right center that scored Kuresa from first.
The Ducks used another two-out rally to put a run on the board in the bottom of the third. UO strung together three straight hits as Thomas started it with a single up the middle. Stefan Sabol
battled Heyer to a full count before singling through the right side to put runners on the corners. Hambright then drove in Thomas with a single to left.
Arizona scored two runs on one hit to tie the game in the top of the fourth as Cole Frenzel doubled to left center and the deep drive got past a diving Thomas. Joey Rickard was able to score from first after being issued a leadoff walk on Frenzel’s drive. Frenzel then moved to third on a groundout before scoring on Robert Refsnyder’s sacrifice fly to center field.
Oregon and Arizona play game two of the series at 6 p.m., Friday at PK Park.
Oregon is now 1-3 against ranked opponents in 2011…the Ducks are now 6-4 when Tyler Anderson
starts…for the second time this season, KC Serna
was responsible for the game-winning hit… for Arizona it was just the second time this season the Wildcats have dropped a series opener…Tyler Anderson
recorded the second complete game of his career and the ninth quality start of his season, tossing a season-best nine innings… Danny Pulfer
has reached safely in 22 consecutive games and has recorded hits in 19 of those contests...the Ducks have now played seven games in nine days and have a 5-2 record during that stretch… for the second straight game, Oregon started five freshmen, and the Ducks are now 8-4 when starting at least four freshmen in 2011…Stefan Sabol
leads Oregon on a seven-game hitting streak.