New Offensive Punch For 2014 Ducks

EUGENE- The Oregon bats were ready and rearing to show that 2014 would be a different season. Oregon threw up a six-spot in the first inning, before running past the visiting Pilots 8-2 in their first home game of the season.

EUGENE- The Oregon bats were ready and rearing to show that 2014 would be a different season. Oregon threw up a six-spot in the first inning, before running past the visiting Pilots 8-2 in their first home game of the season.

"We're the 2014 Ducks. We're going to be able to hit this year. PK Park better watch out for us," catcher Shaun Chase said.

Six consecutive batters reached during the first inning onslaught. Tyler Baumgartner, Mitchell Tolman, A.J. Balta plated a runner each, before Chase caught an inside pitch and drove it over the left field wall to score three runs.

The reserve catcher had just four at-bats entering Tuesday's season-opener, and was without a hit. Chase is currently battling Jack Kruger and Josh Graham for reps behind the plate.

He picked up his second hit, a bunt, in his next plate appearance, and finished 2-for-4 with two runs, and 3 RBI.

Five Oregon batters recorded multiple hit games, and six had at least one RBI. "I think our lineup might be a little bit deeper in quality," Oregon coach George Horton said. "So far, I think we have the opportunity to have a better offensive consistency."

The Duck bats came back to earth a little after the first inning, recording just six hits in the game's final eight innings, and only two runs.

But by then the point was already made.

"I think that's the most runs we've put up in a first inning since I've been here," Chase said.

Oregon scored eight runs or more just three times at PK Park last season.

While the Ducks were busy racking up runs, Jeff Gold held the visiting Pilots without a hit until the fourth inning. Portland got to the right-hander in that inning, scoring their only two runs of the game in the fourth.

Gold left after the fifth, allowing just three hits, while tying a career-best with seven strikeouts.

"Shaun got me a lot of pitches back there. Shaun works hard for me and I love it. He did a really good job tonight," Gold said following the game.

The bullpen, made up of Porter Clayton, Brando Tessar and Stephen Nogosek combined for four shutout no-hit innings. Oregon drove in a run in both the second and third inning to take an 8-0 lead. J.B. Bryant singled in Baumgartner in the second and Austin Grebeck scored Chase in the third.

Grebeck, Baumgartner, J.B. Bryant and A.J. Balta joined Chase with two-hit outings.


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