EUGENE, Ore. - The Ducks got all they could handle from Arkansas Pine Bluff on Monday night at PK Park, as No. 8 Oregon escaped with a hard-earned 3-2 victory over the visiting Lions.
Oregon’s (25-10) starting pitcher Jeff Gold (5-2) threw a gem in the win, keeping the Lions off the scoreboard for the game’s first six innings, until allowing two runs in the top of the seventh.
Gold was backed by perfect relief, as Tommy Thorpe and Jimmie Sherfy pitched an inning each, as both struck out the side in their respective appearances. The relief staff ended the game with six straight strikeouts. Sherfy also picked up his ninth save of the season.
Offensively, the Ducks were led by Kyle Garlick, whose sacrifice fly in the seventh proved to be the difference. Freshman Thomas Walker contributed after replacing J.J. Altobelli, hitting an RBI single in the fourth inning, and giving the Ducks a crucial 2-0 lead after a wild pitch plated the first run in the third inning.
The Lions scored their two runs in the seventh. Arkansas Pine Bluff left fielder Jacob Whitney grounded out to third, bringing Christian Weeber across for their first run of the game. Cody Demara followed with an RBI of his own, tying the game at 2-2.
Arkansas Pine Bluff’s starter Brett Schweiger was effective throughout his five innings of work, allowing just two runs on five hits. But the Ducks forced the Lions to bring in a reliever in the sixth. Stanten Jones (2-7) did not allow a hit in his two and 2/3 innings, but walked four batters, opening the door for Garlick’s game-winning RBI.
Oregon returns to action on Wednesday, playing Portland at Volcanoes Stadium in Keizer, Ore.
The Ducks return to PK Park on Friday at 6 p.m., to being a three-game Pac-12 series against Washington State.
Notes: Oregon is now 9-4 in one-run games.