Eugene, Ore—For the second consecutive game, USC was able to get on the board in the first inning. Oregon starter, Cole Irvin, looked strong coming out of the gate—sitting down two of the first three batters he faced with relative ease and early in the count. David Oppenheim singled for the Trojans and two batters later right fielder and cleanup hitter, Timmy Robinson, put one over the left field wall in a two strike, two out count to put the Trojans up 2-0 over the Ducks. Irvin gave up a single and a double to plate another run for USC putting Oregon in an early 3-0 hole.
The Ducks were able to do some damage of their own in their half of the first against the struggling Trojans pitching staff. Today’s starter for USC, Mitch Hart, came into today’s game with a hearty 6.23 ERA over two starts which he only went a combined 4.1 innings in. After a leadoff single by Austin Grebeck, the Ducks were able to load the bases with a walk and a hit batter. Jake Bennett flew out to center to bring Grebeck in to score to make it 3-1 Trojans. Steven Packard then walked to load the bases again but two consecutive non-productive at bats from Tim Susnara and Daniel Patzlaff prevented Oregon from having a potentially big inning.
Irvin settled down and pitched a clean 1-2-3 second inning. Oregon’s offense loaded the bases for a second consecutive inning and chased Hart from the game without recording an out. A.J. Balta then hit a two run double to tie the game at 3-3 while extending his hit streak to five games. Two batters later Steven Packard knocked in two runs to put the Ducks ahead 5-2. Tim Susnara, who was back catching today, singled on a sac bunt attempt to load the bases for the Ducks for the fourth time in two innings. Daniel Patzlaff then lifted a hard hit ball into the right center gap for a bases clearing three-run double, extending the Oregon lead to 8-3 and giving the Ducks seven runs in the inning—their highest scoring inning of the season.
The Ducks added two more runs in the fourth and the fifth (one in each). In the fourth a scuffling Tim Susnara doubled home Steven Packard from second and in the fifth Travis Moniot homered for his second in as many days.
While the Ducks bats were busy putting runs on the board, Cole Irvin was busy shutting down the Trojans’ offense. Irvin cruised through the second, third, fourth, and fifth innings—never facing more than four batters in each. The Trojans were able to scrape together two runs in the top of the sixth to cut the Ducks lead in half at 10-5. Irvin returned for the seventh and sat the Trojans down in order before exiting the game. Irvin’s final line came out to five earned runs on six hits, five strikeouts, and a walk in seven innings pitched—with four of those six hits coming in the Trojans’ big first inning.
After the Ducks added another run in the bottom of the seventh, the seldom used, Jack Karraker replaced Irvin in the top of the eighth and struggled to gain any sort of consistency. Karraker struck out Jeremy Martinez, who was leading off the inning but the following three Trojans got on base with the last being by way of an RBI double by A.J. Ramirez. After recording another strikeout, an error by Kyle Kasser at first plated another run and extended the inning. George Horton then replaced Karraker with Brac Warren who gave up an RBI single to allow the Trojans to keep digging into the Ducks lead moving the score to 11-8. Warren got out of the inning by striking out the next batter.
Stephen Nogosek came in to pitch the ninth despite no save opportunity going into the inning. Nogosek struck out the first batter he faced but walked the next that prevented him from having a clean three up, three down inning as he retired the next to Trojans in a row to close out the game and give the Ducks the series win heading into tomorrow’s getaway day matchup.