STANFORD, Calif. - Three Stanford errors led to three Oregon runs in the top of the tenth, as the No. 16 Ducks held off the No. 6 Cardinal in a series-opening 4-2 victory on Friday night at Sunken Diamond.
With Stephen Piscotty on the mound in relief of Mark Appel, right fielder Austin Wilson had trouble with a fly ball as Kyle Garlick reached second on the drop.
Garlick was sacrificed to third by Brett Hambright, and Piscotty walked pinch hitter Thomas Walker to put runners on the corners with one out. Connor Hofmann placed a bunt down the third base line that initially kept Garlick at third, but a Piscotty throwing error to first allowed Oregon’s go-ahead run in Garlick to score as Walker moved to third and Hofmann to second.
A wild pitch brought Walker home, and Hofmann slipped rounding third, prompting a throw from Stanford (21-8, 4-6) catcher Eric Smith. But the throw was errant and sailed into left field, allowing Hofmann to score Oregon’s (23-9, 9-4) fourth run.
Piscotty (2-1) was credited with the loss, allowing three unearned runs on one hit and one walk in just one third of an inning.
Before the tenth, the game was a pitching duel between Appel and Oregon’s Alex Keudell. Now 4-0 in his last four starts, Keudell (5-3) was credited with the win for the Ducks after allowing just one run on five hits while walking no one and striking out a season-best seven. In his last 32 innings of work, the Portland native has allowed just two runs (one earned).
In nine innings on the hill, Appel reached a 149 pitch count, and allowed one unearned run on 10 hits, while striking out 13 and issuing just two walks in the no decision.
Jimmie Sherfy was credited with his eighth save of the year, but not before making things interesting in the bottom of the tenth as Oregon held a 4-1 advantage. The Duck closer walked two batters and hit a batter to load the bases with one out before Piscotty drove in Stanford’s second run with a two-out RBI single to left. Brian Ragira then flied out to right to end the game.
Oregon took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first as a two-out error proved costly for Stanford as Aaron Jones reached second base on a throwing blunder from Piscotty at third. Ryon Healy then drove in Jones with a two-out single back up the middle.
Stanford tied the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the sixth as Piscotty lined a double down the left field line, allowing Wilson to score from second. Wilson reached on a single and moved to second on an error.
The Ducks left 14 runners on base for the third time this season.
J.J. Altobelli, Brett Thomas, Garlick and Hofmann led Oregon with two hits apiece as Oregon totaled 12 hits compared with Stanford’s six.
The second game of this weekend’s series is set for 1 p.m. first pitch from Sunken Diamond on Saturday afternoon.
Notes: J.J. Altobelli tripled for the first time this season and third time in his career…Altobelli leads the Ducks on a seven-game hitting streak…Alex Keudell had his scoreless innings streak snapped at 22 allowing an unearned run vs. San Francisco on April 10, he did not allow an earned run until the sixth inning of the Stanford game – a streak of 28 consecutive innings…the Ducks matched a season high stranding 14 base runners.