Ducks drop Moutaineers behind Gold's shutout

By the time Oregon Ducks pitcher Jeff Gold solidified his four-hit shutout against West Virginia, it's a safe bet that the Mountaineers were glad the game was called due to a time limit in the eighth inning. It might as well have ended under the mercy rule.

Aided by an offensive onslaught, including a grand slam home run by catcher Aaron Jones in the top of the eighth inning, the No. 17 ranked Ducks (11-2) destroyed the Mountaineers (6-9) 12-0 at PK Park Saturday afternoon during the Nike College Showcase.

Gold (3-0) enjoyed his best start of the season by far by getting ahead in the count against most of the batters he faced and allowing only one man to reach scoring position, setting the tone against a Mountaineers squad that managed only one hit in an 11-0 loss to the Oregon State Beavers on Friday night in Corvallis.

Gold retired nine of the first 10 batters he faced to start the game and retired the 12 of the last 13 he faced to end it. He finished with five strikeouts and no walks, lowering his earned run average to 3.00.

Right fielder Kyle Garlick was 4-for-4 with an RBI, run scored and two stolen bases. He, along with first baseman Ryon Healy and Ryan Hambright, combined to go 9-for-12 at the plate with five runs scored and five RBI in the 4-5-6 slots of the batting order.

Hambright's third inning three-run home run into the Ducks bullpen in right field broke the game wide open as part of a four run inning. Prior to that, Garlick drove in Healy on a two out RBI double in the first inning to give the Ducks an early 2-0 lead.

Already leading 7-0 in the eighth inning, the Ducks sent 11 batters to the plate that led to five more runs. Jones' slam with one out off of Mountaineers reliever Austin Pressly broke an 0-for-4 day for the sophomore catcher while senior outfielder Vernell Warren picked up his first collegiate RBI later in the inning on a two out single to score redshirt senior Antony Kreitz.

In all, the Ducks racked up 12 runs on 15 hits, the fourth time this season they've eclipsed a dozen runs.

The Ducks will take on the No. 22 ranked Oklahoma Sooners in a nightcap starting at 7 p.m. as part of a doubleheader.

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