June 2, 2012

CBI Live: #4 Austin Peay 1, #3 Indiana State 0

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Win One For The Skipper

By Taylor Gelbrich



EUGENE, Ore. – In a battle with so many storylines, there was only one that Oregon cared about, and that was beating Ducks coach George Horton's former school, Cal State Fullerton . The Ducks, behind Alex Keudell, topped the Titans 7-5 Saturday night to advance to the Eugene Regional final.


"They kicked our butt in every aspect of the game," Fullerton coach Rick Vanderhook said. "Their pitcher threw better strikes, they played better defense, they took better at-bats, they executed, they played a pretty perfect baseball game."


It was a win that meant so many things for No. 5 Oregon (44-17). Not only did the Ducks beat their head coach’s former school, they also continued their emergence as an elite team. And most important they get a chance to win their first Regional and advance to host a Super Regional.


Keudell (11-4)  picked up the win after giving up five runs on four hits in seven innings. The win made Keudell the winningest pitcher in Ducks history with 23 and added to his record for most wins in a season.


Aaron Payne led off the first with a base hit off Fullerton starter Dylan Floro’s glove, then made his way all the way to third on a botched pickoff by Floro. Payne slid into third with Matt Chapman blocking the bag, but Chapman bobbled the ball and Payne crawled in safely Aaron Jones followed all that excitement with a hit-by-pitch and just like that, the Ducks had runners on the corners with nobody out.


Ryon Healy brought home the first run with a groundout to third. Brett Thomas brought home another run with a line drive to left field, and Kyle Garlick followed that with a frozen rope into the right-center gap for a triple that plated two more runs. Ryan Hambright ended the big inning with a base hit to bring in Garlick extending the lead to 4-0.


Floro (10-4) wasn't as sharp as he usually is, giving up five earned runs on 10 hits in seven innings. It didn't help that the Titans made four errors.


"I had an error; I didn't trust my fastball," said an emotional Floro, "I gave up two errors, hit guys, walked guys. I was out of my character. It wasn't my game."


The Ducks came back for more in the second. After a one-out base hit and stolen base by Jones, Healy's base hit up the middle gave the Ducks a 5-0 lead.


Fullerton (36-20) got something going in the third after a leadoff double by J.D Davis and a walk by Anthony Trajano. With nobody out, Jared Deacon moved the runners over with the sacrifice bunt. Keudell got Richy Pedroza to hit a nubber back to the mound, which kept the runners at bay with the second out. Ivory Thomas followed with a walk to load the bases, but Carlos Lopez, the Titans’ No. 3 hitter, grounded out to Healy at first.


The Ducks continued to add to their lead in the fourth as Jones scored J.J. Altobelli on a sac fly to right. Oregon left Healy and Payne on base, but extended its lead to 6-0.


The Titans, though, fought right back with a five-run fifth.


Davis was hit to lead off the inning, Trajano followed with a base hit and Deacon also was hit by a pitch, loading the bases with no outs. Pedroza came through with an RBI single, but Deacon was caught trying to advance to third when Trajano stopped at third.


With one down, Thomas put across another with a ground out. Lopez walked and Michael Lorenzen launched a towering fly ball that stayed just inside the right-field foul pole for a three-run home run.


The action died down until the eighth, when Oregon’s Ryan Hambright reached on an error and scored on an Altobelli groundout. The extra run proved to be a pivotal extra cushion for the Ducks.


Jimmie Sherfy threw the final two innings, allowing one hit and striking out two to pick up his 18th save.



·        The Ducks had a better offensive day at the plate, and Healy especially hit the ball better.. Horton and Healy both jokingly said that it was Horton's granddaughter's fault for Healy's bad game yesterday because she didn't write Healy's number on her hand. Today she wrote both Horton and Healy's numbers on her hand, so the Ducks have Samantha Cook to thank for the win.