SDSU starting pitcher Layne Somsen held the Ducks to just one hit in seven innings of work, leaving with a 2-1 lead after facing just one batter in the eighth.
But once Somsen was removed after issuing an inning-opening walk to J.J. Altobelli (just his third of the game), the Ducks struck. With Altobelli on first, relief pitcher J.D. Moore hit Oregon second baseman Aaron Payne with a pitch to put two on for the always dangerous Ryon Healy.
Healy did not disappoint, roping a Moore pitch to the left-center wall to score two both base runners and give Oregon a 3-2 lead.
"Walking to second base, you just sit and watch it all happen, you don't hear much but you see everyone jumping around. It's pretty surreal," Healy said of the moment.
SDSU was unable to rally in the top of the ninth off closer Jimmie Sherfy and Oregon advanced to the winner's bracket.
"Mr. Healy comes through once again, [Garrett] Cleavinger gets a vulture win and Jimmie gets a save. It's pretty much Groundhog's day," said Oregon coach George Horton.
Oregon's Jake Reed allowed two runs (just one earned) and despite giving up two runs in the first four innings, was able to keep the Jackrabbits at bay for the rest of the game.
"I made a few bad pitches early on in the game, I left a few pitches over the plate and they did a good job of capitalizing on it. I just started settling in and pitching low in the zone," Reed said.
The Jackrabbits struck first, plating Daniel Telford off of the bat of Aaron Machbitz in the second inning. Telford found the gap between second and short to lead off the inning and after the next two Jackrabbits advanced him on consecutive outs, Machbitz drilled a ball to the same spot to score Telford.
Circumstances repeated themselves in the fourth when Telford opened the inning with a single. Once again he was able to score from third with two outs, this time when Machbitz hit a hard ground ball that was mishandled enough by Oregon third baseman Ryan Hambright to allowed SDSU to take a 2-0 lead.
"The Jackrabbits didn't get here because they're crummy," Horton said. "That was their best guy. He's really good. We call it a Friday night win. All that matters is you have one more run than the opposition."
Oregon scored its first run in the bottom of the fifth inning when Machbitz misplayed a ground ball down the first base line that allowed the Ducks' Connor Hofmann to reach second. Hofmann stole third and scored on a Somsen wild pitch.
The Ducks only threatened on one other occasion prior to the eighth, loading the bases on the only Somsen hit and the only back-to-back walks in the second inning. But Somsen was able to get J.J. Altobelli to ground out to second base.
Oregon will face the Rice Owls who defeated San Francisco 3-2 in Friday's opening game.
The Ducks and Owls will start at 6 p.m Saturday.