Commodores Too Strong For Ducks

EUGENE, Ore.- Giving up an early lead is no way to upset the second-ranked team in the country. That's exactly what Oregon (10-4) did Friday night, falling behind 3-0 in the second inning, before dropping the first of three games with Vanderbilt (14-1) 4-1 at PK Park.

EUGENE, Ore.- Giving up an early lead is no way to upset the second-ranked team in the country. That's exactly what Oregon (10-4) did Friday night, falling behind 3-0 in the second inning, before dropping the first of three games with Vanderbilt (14-1) 4-1 at PK Park.

After picking up two outs, Oregon's Jake Reed allowed three batters to cross home in the second. The Commodores teed off on the right-hander, hitting him four times in the inning, including a two-run triple by second baseman Tony Kemp to deep center field.

"Their little leadoff hitter [Kemp] is an awfully good player," said head coach George Horton. "We threw everything but the kitchen sink at him and he squared everything up and clutched up. The story of the game is that they had more opportunities than us."

Oregon's opportunities and comeback effort were cut short in large part because of Vanderbilt starting pitcher Kevin Ziomek. Ziomek struck out 15 batters and allowed just four Ducks to reach base (two hits) in a complete game effort.

First baseman Ryon Healy, a former summer league teammate of Ziomek's, said the Ducks had a good scouting report on the left-hander, but couldn't find a way to hit him.

"That's what great pitchers do," he said. "They have good stuff and you still have to hit what they throw. You can know what a pitcher is throwing."

"As good as their pitching is, our guys thought mentally that they could come back, but he just wouldn't let us," Horton said "He just kept throwing both pitches for strikes… as advertised he's really good."

Healy tried to start the rally in the fourth inning, when he found a good pitch to hit and a good hit and drove it past the left field wall for the Ducks only run of the game.

"We just need to get some guys on before that happens. It's kind of been our bugaboo. We've just got to get more guys involved," Horton said.

Reed was able to regain composure after the second, retiring 13 straight batters before a Spencer Navin single in the seventh inning.

"I was real happy with his response to a couple of rough innings," Horton said. "After that he only gave up one hit. An immature pitcher tries to throw harder or snap the slider off sharper, but I think he just a better pitcher."

The start of the season has been tough for Reed, who has lost three of his four starts, but giving up just one hit in the final five innings of play hopes to encourage him heading into Pac-12 play.

"It was good for me to go seven innings tonight and put zeros up after that big three and use that as a positive," he said.

Vanderbilt added to their lead in the top of the ninth when Navin scored on a Jack Lupo squeeze bunt off of Oregon relief pitcher Darrell Hunter.

The Ducks and Commodores face off Saturday at 2 P.M. at PK Park.


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