NASHVILLE – Brett Thomas’ pinch-hit single in the top of the sixth drove home Ryon Healy with the eventual game-winning run in Oregon’s 4-2 win over No. 17 Vanderbilt (1-4) on Friday at Hawkins Field.
Hurlers Alex Keudell and Jimmie Sherfy did the rest, shutting down the Commodores’ offense to give the Ducks (5-1) their first five-game road winning streak in the program’s modern era (since 2009) and first since April 11 to May 10, 1978.
Keudell (1-1) scattered five hits over seven innings, allowing two runs, walking two and striking out three. Four of those hits came in one frame – the third – when Vanderbilt scored both of its runs.
Sherfy, fresh of Pac-12 pitcher of the week honors, nailed down his first save by retiring all six batters he faced, striking out two.
Brian Miller (0-1) was tagged with the loss for Vanderbilt, allowing two runs on two hits and a pair of walks over 2 1/3 innings. Miller struck out two.
Trailing 2-1 in the fourth, Aaron Jones tied the score with a sacrifice fly, chasing tough-luck starter Kevin Ziomek, who struck out six and did not allow an earned run in 4 2/3 innings of work. Jones also provided the Ducks with an insurance run in the seventh, lacing a double to left to bring home Connor Hofmann.
The Ducks broke through in the top of the fourth, taking advantage of a pair of Vanderbilt miscues. Healy reached on a error by shortstop Anthony Gomez and advanced to second on a wild pitch. After Shaun Chase flew out to left, Healy went to third on a fly out to right by Kyle Garlick and scored on Scott Heineman’s two-out bloop single into shallow right center, cutting the Vandy lead to 2-1.
Gomez drove in the game’s first run with a two-out single to left field in the third inning, bringing home Spencer Navin, who had led off the frame with a similar base hit to left. Gomez eventually scored on a Keudell wild pitch to put the Dores up 2-0.
The two teams will play the second of their three-game set Saturday at 2 p.m. CT (12 p.m. PT). Oregon will throw RHP Jake Reed (0-0, 1.50) against Vandy LHP Sam Selman (0-1, 10.80).