Oregon walks their way to victory over USF

The No. 16 ranked Oregon Ducks (21-9) walked their way to victory on Monday night, racking up 10 base-on-balls en route to a 4-2 win over the San Francisco Dons (14-21) at PK Park.

The Ducks needed the charity offensively, as they couldn't seem to get the big hit until Brett Thomas broke a 2-2 tie in the fifth inning with a two-run single off of Dons reliever Cameron Love. Before that, the Ducks scored via a wild pitch by Love earlier in the inning that plated Connor Hofmann, and a base-on-balls by starter Jordan Remer (1-3) that forced in Ryon Healy in the second inning.

Oregon left 11 men on base and couldn't figure out Remer early on, despite him averaging a walk per inning on the season.

"His bugaboo has been the base-on-balls and we weren't able to really capitalize and break it open," said Ducks Manager George Horton.

Even after Thomas' decisive single, Oregon squandered opportunities to widen their lead by leaving the bases loaded in the sixth and eighth innings.

Meanwhile, after taking the series against then-No. 5 ranked UCLA over the weekend and facing another tough test in No. 6 Stanford next weekend, Horton turned to third baseman Scott Heineman to take the hill. However, Horton decided not to tell the freshman until he showed up to the ballpark.

Heineman beat him to the punch though, through the power of social media.

"I actually found out by Twitter," Heineman said. "A buddy of mine sent me a text that said ‘Hey, looks like you're getting the start', and I'm like, ‘What?' I had no clue."

Since Heineman said he hadn't thrown a bullpen session in over a month, he had to quickly throw together a game plan. He hadn't pitched since high school, and saw limited time on the hill due to arm problems that forced him to have surgery during his junior year.

"I got with a buddy on our team, Jake Reed, and I just started working on a windup and going from there," Heineman said.

His first pitch sailed into the backstop. But, he quickly recovered and ended the first inning with a strikeout, before working a perfect second. He was quickly pulled with one out in the third, paving the way for reliever Jordan Spencer (1-1).

"We didn't want to bring some guys back on short rest from the weekend," Horton said of Heineman. "We've got two games in a row and a tough league contest coming up so we just needed to eat up some innings."

Spencer struggled initially, giving up an RBI double on only his second pitch to Dons nine hitter Bradley Zimmer. Following a fielder's choice, Jason Mahood crushed an RBI triple to put the Dons ahead 2-1.

But, after the Ducks took back the lead in the fifth, Spencer settled down and pitched scoreless ball until he was relieved in the eighth by freshman Henry Gigeous.

"I thought Spencer was spectacular to be honest with you," Horton said.

Gigeous, making his first collegiate appearance, racked up two strikeouts in an inning of work to set up Jimmie Sherfy for his seventh save of the season in the ninth inning.

The Ducks and Dons finish up their two game set Tuesday at 12:00 p.m.


Attendance at PK Park was 1,366.

Heineman racked up three walks at the plate.

Brett Hambright and J.J. Altobelli pushed their hitting streaks to five games apiece in the ball game. Aaron Payne's hit streak ended at five after a 0-for-4 night with two strikeouts and a walk.

The Ducks moved to 1-1 in Tuesday gam

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