HONOLULU – Sophomore Nick Catalano scored from second on a wild pitch on a strikeout with two outs in the top of the ninth inning to give No. 7 Oregon a 3-2 win over Hawaii in both teams’ season opener on Friday night at Les Murakami Stadium.
Catalano, a sophomore from Anaheim, Calif., reached base with a two-out walk and moved to second on a walk by freshman A.J. Balta. He scored when junior Scott Heineman chased a ball on a 0-2 count that was outside off relief pitcher Jordan DuPonte. Catcher Trevor Podratz couldn’t catch the ball, which went to the backstop, allowing Heineman to reach first and Catalano to score.
Oregon (1-0) took a 2-0 lead in the top of the fourth thanks to Catalano and some shaky Hawaii (0-1) defense. Junior Kyle Garlick scored from second base on a hustle play when Rainbow Warrior second baseman Steven Ventimilia dropped a pop fly off the bat of freshman Jack Kruger that would have ended the inning. Catalano made it 2-0 driving in Kruger from first base with a double to left field.
Hawaii answered with two unearned runs in the bottom of the fifth off starter Tommy Thorpe. The Ducks’ lefty gave up a bases loaded walk to Marcus Doi and then allowed the tying run to score on a fielder’s choice by Kaeo Aliviado.
Garrett Cleavinger (1-0) picked up the win in relief. The sophomore, who struck out three of the four batters he faced, moved his career record to 10-0 with the win, while junior Jake Reed picked up his first career save striking out Jordan Richartz to end the game.
Oregon’s bullpen came up big in the season-opening win. Four Ducks—Trent Paddon, Porter Clayton, Cleavinger and Reed—combined to strike out six while allowing no runs on just two hits in three innings. Thorpe threw six innings allowing three hits with two strikeouts and four walks.
Hawaii and Oregon will meet in game two of the four-game series Saturday night at 8:35 p.m. (PT). Junior Jordan Spencer gets the start for the Ducks, while Hawaii counters with Jarrett Arakawa.