Oregon gets strong outing from Matt Mercer

EUGENE, ORE. -- Gabe Matthew’s two out RBI double in the bottom of first inning lifted the Oregon Ducks over the Washington Huskies 1-0.  Matt Mercer turned in a solid performance going seven shutout innings and striking seven batters out. The Ducks are now 15-5 overall and 4-1 in conference play. 

 “I felt alright, this week my arm is kind of tired, little sore which is unusual but tonight I felt really good,” said Matt Mercer on his pitching performance.

 For the night, Mercer gave up six hits, zero runs a walk along with the seven strikeouts on 118 pitches. Coming into the game Mercers ERA was sitting around 1.84 and when he left his ERA had dropped to 1.49. With the win, Mercer now finds himself sitting at 4-1. 

 “Yeah, it’s great, they’ve been great all year,” Mercer said on his team’s defense. “Having that confidence throwing the ball with conviction and if they hit it, you got a defense behind you to make a play.”

Matthews was up to his old ways as he got the fire started for Oregon with a two RBI double down the left field line that scored Jake Bennett from first base. That would be the only run the Ducks would need to win. 

Connor Zwetsch was brought in to take over in relief and he was lights out from the first pitch he threw until the last. Zwetsch was able to retire the Huskies in the top of the eighth on seven pitches, getting the first two batters on a one pitch pop up and two pitch ground out to first base. He closed out the inning getting MJ Hubbs looking at strike three.  

Closer Kenyon Yovan was brought in to shut the door on Washington in the top of the ninth looking to give the Ducks another series win. Yovan had some control issues as he walked two batters in the ninth before getting one to strike out and the others to fly out, all inn 24 pitches. Yovan picked up his eighth save on the season.  

Chris Micheles only lasted two innings throwing around 25 pitches for the Huskies. Micheles surrendered the two out RBI double to Matthews in the bottom of the first which put the Ducks in the lead for the duration of the game.  

Hubbs was the main hitter for the Huskies again as he was 2-for-4 including a double. Hubbs had the only extra base hit for the Huskies tonight.  

Noah Bremer came in for relief duty at the bottom of the third and shut down the Ducks offense for six straight innings. Even though Bremer would walk four batters, Oregon’s offense couldn’t find a way to put runs up on the board. Bremer gave up three hits and struck out seven batters on 82 pitches.  

“Tip your cap to Jason Kelly their pitching coach,” Head coach George Horton said regarding the stellar pitching performance by Washington. “He (Bremer) cut us up and he made us not have very good at bats, it was a frustrating night for us offensively.” 

The Ducks look to sweep the Huskies in the rubber game match tomorrow at 2:00 p.m. Pacific at PK Park.  The Huskies are scheduling RHP Joe DeMers (2-1, 2.34) against LHP Zack Noll (1-0, 2.70) for Oregon.

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