No. 13 Ducks sweep National Champs from Arizona
EUGENE, Ore. - No. 13 Oregon built a five-run lead over Arizona and then held on to win 7-6 and complete the three-game series sweep of the defending National Champions at PK Park on Sunday.
The Ducks (18-6, 5-1 Pac-12) took a 7-3 lead into the ninth inning but the Wildcats (15-11, 0-6 Pac-12) rallied for three runs before stranding the tying run at second base. Third baseman Kevin Minjares, a defensive replacement in the ninth, roamed nearly to second base on a slow chopper by Zach Gibbons throwing the batter out by half a step at first to clinch the win for Oregon.
Freshman Cole Irvin (4-1) picked up the win, while Jeff Gold delivered 2.2 innings of relief allowing just two hits while striking out two. Garrett Cleavinger hit the only batter he faced in the ninth before giving way to All-American Jimmie Sherfy. The Ducks closer struck out the first two batters he faced, before giving up three straight RBI hits to the Wildcats who cut the lead to one.
Freshman Josh Graham went 2-for-3 with a season-high three RBI to lead the Ducks' offense, while Ryon Healy was 2-for-3 with two RBI and a run scored. Brett Thomas finished 2-for-3 with a RBI and two runs scored, and Mitchell Tolman was 2-for-5 with a run scored.
Graham gave the Ducks a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the second with a RBI double to left field scoring Scott Heineman, who led off the inning with a single and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by Tyler Baumgartner.
Oregon added two runs in the bottom of the third to push the lead to 3-0. Mitchell Tolman picked up a RBI on a bloop single to centerfield scoring Brett Thomas, while Graham added a RBI on a bases loaded hit off the leg of pitcher Tyler Crawford to score Healy.
Arizona got an unearned run back in the fourth, but Oregon answered with two of its own in the bottom half of the inning. Healy picked up both RBI with a bases-loaded single to left field to put the Ducks on top 5-1.
Thomas pushed the lead to 6-1 with a RBI single scoring Steven Packard from second, but the Wildcats cut the lead to 6-3 with two runs in the top of the sixth.
Baumgartner scored the eventual winning run in the top of the sixth after tripling off the centerfield wall with one out. Graham drove in the run with a sacrifice fly to centerfield.
The Ducks return to action Tuesday when they host Portland at 6 p.m. at PK Park. Oregon returns to conference play Thursday-Saturday hosting a three-game series against Washington.