EUGENE, Ore-- David Peterson got his regular Sunday start today two days after it was announced that he would join the USA collegiate national team this summer on their tour of Japan, Taiwan, and Cuba. Peterson will join his head coach, George Horton, who was selected to coach the USA collegiate team before the season began.
Peterson walked Utes leadoff man Kody Davis to start the game and after being moved to second on a Hunter Simmons groundout, Davis was quickly in scoring position with one out. Dallas Carroll then roped a single up the middle into center field to score Davis and quickly put the Utes up 1-0 in the first. Peterson was able to settle down after giving up the run and minimize the damage in the opening inning.
Utah starter, Josh Lapiana, and Peterson dueled it out on the mound over the next six innings, although Peterson pitched under duress the majority of the time allowing leadoff batters to reach safely in four of his first five innings pitched. Lapiana allowed only three Ducks base runners aboard through his first six innings via one walk and two singles that were scattered few and far between.
George Horton pulled the plug on Peterson’s afternoon after the sixth inning with six strikeouts, one earned run on four hits and three walks. Despite giving up just the one run, the lack of run support for their starters returned for the Ducks. Oregon hitters went down quickly during their at bats and not working into many advantageous counts throughout the afternoon. When the Ducks were making contact balls rarely left the infield and when they did they were lofty fly balls that were easy for the Utah outfielders to park under. Jacob Bennett came in to start the seventh.
The Utes took advantage of Peterson leaving the game, Dashawn Keirsey Jr. doubled in the top of the seventh with one out and moved to third when Daniel Patzlaff committed a throwing error on a throw to first. Coach Horton brought in sophomore Brac Warren to get the Ducks out of the first and third jam but Warren balked on a third to first pickoff fake to allow the Utes second run of the game to score without a pitch being thrown. Stephen Nogosek was brought in to clean up the rest of the inning, as he had yet to make an appearance in the series.
Meanwhile, Josh Lapiana continued his solid outing as he pitched into the ninth inning to attempt the complete game. Lapiana retired 10 consecutive batters from the fifth inning until Daniel Patzlaff singled up the middle in the top of the ninth. Austin Grebeck laid down a sac bunt and reached on a fielders choice and a throwing error by Utes catcher Zack Moeller, who tried to gun down Patzlaff at second but missed high, and everyone reached safely creating the Ducks biggest threat of the afternoon. Despite the quick spurt of offense, the hitting blues returned and the Ducks went down in order without making any significant contact. Lapiana completed the game with a line of nine innings, three hits, one walk and no runs crossing the plate.
The Ducks will try to recapture some of their early season magic this week when they go on the road to face Seattle University on Tuesday and start a three game series with rival Washington on Thursday. The Ducks will return to PK Park on April 6th to face the University of Portland for a single game matchup.
Photo Credit: Ryan Lund