EUGENE, Ore. – The No. 9 Oregon Ducks dropped a 1-0 pitcher’s duel to the No. 20 Rice Owls on Saturday night in the Eugene Regional Tournament at PK Park.
The Ducks (46-16) face San Francisco Sunday at 12 p.m. in a loser out game with the winner advancing to play the Owls at 4 p.m.
Jordan Stephens bested Tommy Thorpe in a battle between the two hurlers on the mound. Stephens threw a complete-game two-hitter with 11 strike outs. He didn’t allow a runner past second base. Thorpe was nearly as sharp allowing just a first inning run in seven innings with four strike outs
Rice (43-17) got all the offense it would need in the bottom of the first off Thorpe (7-5) on a Shane Hoelscher double that scored Ford Stainback. The run snapped a 15-inning scoreless streak for Thorpe dating back to May 11 when he allowed a run in the sixth inning against Ohio State. Stainback’s leadoff base hit also snapped a 13.1-inning hitless streak by Thorpe. The last hit against Thorpe came when Oregon State had a bunt single in the third inning on May 17.
Stephens (8-4) retired the first 13 batters he faced to set the tone early for the Owls. Tyler Baumgartner finally got the Ducks’ first hit with a ground ball up the middle with one out in the fifth, but he was thrown out at second trying to steal. Oregon’s only other hit came when Ryon Healy beat out a bunt to lead off the seventh inning.
Oregon will send freshman Cole Irvin (11-3) to the mound tomorrow against the Dons in an effort to advance to Sunday’s second game.