Oregon knocks off Stanford in series opener

Coming off of the program's first tie since being reinstated, the Oregon Ducks (25-23-1, 6-13) left little doubt on the scoreboard Friday night against the Stanford Cardinal (27-17, 9-10) with a 6-2 victory at PK Park.

Riding a wave of hot hitting since being two-hit at home against UCLA last weekend the Ducks once again reached double-digit hits with 11. The worst hitting team in the PAC-10 has now registered 44 hits in their last three games.

Junior shortsop KC Serna led the charge going 3-for-4 with two RBI's and a double and junior second baseman Danny Pulfer went 3-for-5 with an RBI. Each Ducks starter reached base with the exception of freshman first baseman Ryon Healy.

"It's about time guys are like ‘You know, who cares? It's been going bad for us the whole year so what's the worst I can do?'" Pulfer said.

The Ducks change in mojo may have gotten a boost from Manager George Horton, who shaved his infamous mustache prior to the game, a move that his players saw as shocking, but made them loosen up.

"My focal point every time he talks is his mustache because he's always wearing sunglasses or something like that," Pulfer said. "Now it's gone and I'm rattled. I didn't know what to do."

The Ducks benefitted from a couple of errors by Cardinal third baseman Stephen Piscotty and first baseman Brian Ragira in the first inning. Both Pulfer and freshman center fielder Brett Thomas reached base after Piscotty and Ragira couldn't connect with each other on throws, putting runners on the corners. After the Ducks loaded the bases, Healy grounded into a 6-4-3 double play that scored Pulfer.

Two batters later, freshman designated hitter Kyle Garlick singled home Thomas from third to give the Ducks a 2-0 lead. Oregon refused to let up from there.

"I just feel like we're being more of ourselves at the plate," Serna said. "We come up in those big spots and we're starting to come through now."

The Cardinal recorded four errors on the night and had plenty of defensive lapses that gave the Ducks opportunities to score. In the seventh inning with two outs, Garlick hit an easy pop fly to right field that dropped in after three Cardinal players in the vicinity of the ball failed to make a move to catch it. Serna subsequently knocked a double off the wall in left to score Garlick and give the Ducks a five run cushion.

Ducks junior Tyler Anderson rebounded from a rocky performance at home against UCLA last week and regained his old, dominant form on the mound. The lefty faced a little bit of trouble in the sixth inning when he walked two straight batters to load the bases with one out. But, Anderson calmed down and struck out Piscotty and Ragira to end the threat.

"Last weekend I pitched careful and nervous," Anderson said. "You couldn't tell from today but my intent was just to make them throw strikes and make somebody beat me."

Anderson earned his seventh win of the season and in the process lowered his earned run average to a staggeringly low 1.60. With pro scouts in attendance, he gave up only four hits and one run in seven innings, striking out seven and walking four.

Junior Madison Boer, who had been the Ducks second day starter all season, settled back in to the closer role he held during their stretch run last season to finish the game. Despite giving up an RBI single to Ragira in the top of the eighth, Boer was able to shut down the Cardinal in his two innings of work to snap Oregon's four game home losing streak.

"It's a nice luxury to have Madison and put him out there," Horton said.

Cardinal starter Mark Appel didn't fare as well, haunted by the errors and a lack of control in the later innings. He pitched 6-2/3 innings giving up six runs (four earned), on ten hits, walking and striking out five.

Horton said the team has committed itself to letting things fly in the final 11 games in which the Ducks would have to essentially win out if they even want a remote chance at making the postseason.

"It's going to take all of us collectively together to make a lot of sacrifices and grind through some difficult things," Horton said.

GAME NOTES –

Attendance was 1776 at PK Park.

Cardinal right fielder Austin Wilson extended his hit streak to 12 games with a double in the ninth inning.

Ducks freshman left fielder Stefan Sabol was 2-for-3 with a triple in the ballgame.

The four errors tied a single game record this season for the Cardinal. They also had four against Washington State on Apr. 3.


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