EUGENE, Ore. – Despite sporadic performances from the plate this weekend, the Oregon Ducks secured their first Pac-10 baseball series victory of the season, taking two of three from Arizona. The Wildcats came into the series with some of the hottest bats in the country, posting a team batting average of .331, but they were shut down by Oregon’s pitchers.
Tyler Anderson dominated the first game of the series pitching a complete game three-hitter, his second of the season. Anderson was consistently ahead in the count, throwing strikes early and often. “It’s harder to hit 0-1 or 0-2 (counts) than 2-0,” Anderson said. “I just tried to get ahead all night.”
Heading into the eighth inning in game one, it looked like Anderson’s stellar performance might go for nothing, but KC Serna came up big with a two out single to help the Ducks take the lead. Serna has been struggling with the bat recently, but he woke up just in time.
Thursday's win was a great confidence builder for the rest of the series, but sadly the Ducks could not manufacture the same clutch hitting on Friday night. The second game of the series showcased two outstanding pitching performances—unfortunately, only one could get the win.
That pitcher was Arizona’s Kyle Simon. The UA starter pitched nine innings, giving up one run and striking out five. Simon’s success was very similar to Anderson’s the night before, getting a lot of first pitch strikes and working ahead in the count. He was deceptive all night using his slider to induce many ground balls.
Simon’s performance overshadowed an equally impressive outing by Oregon’s Madison Boer—who threw his first career complete game.
“I felt really good,” describing how he felt before the game. “I pounded the inside half of the plate and it really helped. A lot of their guys are right on top of the plate and that’s when you have to go in. I got a lot of balls off the handle.”
After consecutive great starting pitching performances, the Ducks were hoping that their bats could help carry the load Saturday to secure a series victory over the #23 Wildcats.
For the first time this series, Oregon came out hot—scoring runs in each of the first four innings. Three Oregon freshman each drove in two runs in Saturday’s victory and leadoff hitter Danny Pulfer scored three times. Pulfer has now reached base safely in 24 consecutive games—with hits in 22 of those games.
This run support helped Alex Keudell pick up his fifth win, pitching 5 2/3 innings while allowing seven hits and three earned runs before Scott McGough finished for his fourth save of the season.
The 7-3 victory pushes the Ducks record to 21-17, 4-8 in conference play as they get ready for their upcoming series against Cal.