Ducks hang on to complete sweep of Sun Devils

Withstanding a furious rally, the No. 23 ranked Oregon Ducks held on for a 4-3 win over the No. 14 Arizona State Sun Devils at PK Park on Sunday afternoon, completing a three game sweep and ensuring the Ducks will be no worse than third place heading into a series against conference leader UCLA next weekend.

UO closer Jimmie Sherfy worked a shaky ninth inning, giving up four hits and a walk that allowed ASU to score two runs and narrow the Ducks lead to one. With the bases loaded, Sherfy struck out Nathaniel Causey looking to seal his sixth save and the program's first sweep of the Sun Devils in history.

"That feeling kind of reminds me of when you're playing top caliber championship baseball in regional play, or a super regional, or a championship," Ducks Manager George Horton said.

After a rough start to conference play against unranked opponents, Sunday added up to be a statement victory.

"Yeah, I think this is big for us," pitcher Brando Tessar said. "Our bats came through again and going into two great teams and playing at their places, I think it's a great motivation."

Sophomore catcher Aaron Jones had a monster day at the plate, going 2-for-3 with three RBI's and a run. His two run double with two outs in the fifth inning broke the game open for Oregon and gave starter Brando Tessar some breathing room on the hill.

Jones also scored the Ducks fourth run on Ryon Healy's RBI single in the eighth inning, which proved to be the decisive run.

"Him and Kyle Garlick are, every single at-bat, squaring balls up," Horton said. "They were a big part of our offense."

Tessar tossed 6 1/3 innings, only giving up two hits, but he struggled with his control all day. He issued six walks, but pitched well enough to allow only three Sun Devils to reach scoring position.

"They have a lot of lefties in their lineup against a right handed pitcher, and his changeup was just filthy," Jones said of Tessar.

Tessar faced a jam in the fourth inning after giving up a leadoff double to Abe Ruiz, who moved to third on a sacrifice fly by Causey. A subsequent walk proved beneficial as Tessar got Max Rossiter to ground into a 6-4-3 double play on a hit-and-run play to preserve the Ducks 1-0 lead.

The Sun Devils didn't score until Andrew Aplin lined a RBI single to left field off of Ducks reliever Tommy Thorpe with two out in the seventh inning. Arizona State struggled to generate any offense during the three game series, outside of the ninth inning of course, amassing only four runs on 19 hits.

"I'd say the challenge for them to go from Tempe to here, especially the way the weather was this weekend, probably gets them a little out of character," Horton said.

If anything, the sweep gives the Ducks a renewed confidence heading into series against No. 6 UCLA and No. 2 Stanford, which will both take place away from the friendly confines of PK Park. Oregon has struggled on the road as of late, dropping four of their last five after posting a 7-1 record to start the season.

"I think you just take it one series at a time and it's way too early to predict what the Ducks are going to be on the end of the trail, or anybody else from the conference for that matter," Horton said.

The Ducks took two of three in Los Angeles two years ago when the Bruins were the top ranked team in the nation. Since the series kicks off on Thursday night, it takes away an extra day of rest from the starters, which could put more pressure on the bullpen according to Horton.

Oregon starts its three game series against the Bruins on Thursday night at 6 p.m.


Attendance at PK Park was 1,108.

J.J. Altobelli snapped an 0-for-10 hitless streak with a single in the fifth inning.

Thorpe lasted 1 2/3 innings, giving up a three hits, a run and striking out two.

The Sun Devils left 11 men on base. The Ducks left 8.

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