Ducks baffled by Bauer in loss

The Oregon Ducks (23-22, 5-12) were once again baffled by UCLA's starting pitching, this time in the form of junior right hander Trevor Bauer, who pitched all nine innings in the Bruins (26-16, 13-7) 3-1 win at PK Park Saturday night.

Bauer, who is projected to go in the first round of the Major League Baseball Draft alongside teammate Gerrit Cole, came in as the nationwide leader in strikeouts, hits allowed per game, and opponents were batting a mere .143 against him.

Using a mixture of fastballs and breaking balls, Bauer threw for 12 strikeouts, four of them being Oregon designated hitter Shawn Peterson.

"Obviously he's a strikeout minded kid and he's going to mix," Manager George Horton said. "He's got good stuff and we didn't make the necessary adjustments to be able to do enough to continue to put pressure on him."

Bauer finished giving up only four hits and a run to earn his ninth win of the season and his sixth complete game. It was a sort of redemption for him, after getting roughed up for eight runs by the Ducks last year in Los Angeles.

"He's definitely more mature than when we faced him last year, that's for sure," junior second baseman Danny Pulfer said.

The Bruins broke a 1-1 tie in the fifth inning when second baseman Kevin Williams knocked a two-run single off of Ducks starter Madison Boer to give the Bruins the final margin.

"When they scored the two [runs] I missed a lot of two strike pitches," Boer said.

Boer did his best to keep the Bruins bats at bay, but ended up with his fourth loss of the year.

He only gave up six hits but also gave up three runs in 8-1/3 innings before being relieved in the ninth by senior Kellen Moen. He continued his trend of solid performances without run support from the Ducks offense, but said he was disappointed with some of his pitches.

"I think I'm more frustrated in myself giving them free runs and free opportunities," Boer said.

Bruins designated hitter Jeff Gelalich led off the ballgame with a double down the left field line off of the Boer. That set him up to score on first baseman Dean Espy's ground out later in the inning.

Freshman first baseman Ryon Healy tied the ballgame in the bottom of the fourth with his second home run of the season that momentarily weakened Bauer.

However, none of the Ducks besides Healy could find success at the plate after that. Bauer only surrendered one hit after Healy's blast. Second baseman Danny Pulfer and right fielder Aaron Jones were the only other Ducks to register hits in the game.

"He learns from his mistakes from previous at-bats," Pulfer said. "Healy wasn't going to see a fastball after he hit a home run. I wasn't going to see a fastball after I hit the double."

Healy continues to be solid at the plate since being inserted into the starting lineup and seems to be the only Duck not fazed by UCLA's pitching. He was 2-for-3 at the plate Saturday and was praised by Horton after wards for his consistent play.

"He earned playing time the old fashioned way," Horton said. "He earned it, he didn't ask for it. He practiced better, got after it and since we put him in there he's been a bright spot." With another series loss on their hands the Ducks now look to salvage a victory on Mother's Day and finish strong with 10 conference games left to go.

"If we can't play hard on Mother's Day, something's wrong with us," Horton said. GAME NOTES – Attendance at PK Park was 1828.

Danny Pulfer had his 11th double of the season.

All six of UCLA's hits came from different batters.

Post game interviews and highlights by photographer Andrew Louie are available here (copy and paste link):

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