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Around the Bases
Tessar tosses shutout
By Taylor Gelbrich
(photo by Taylor Gelbrich)
Ore. – The Huskies got caged by Brando Tessar.
The sophomore starter for Oregon allowed only
four hits in his complete game shutout over Connecticut. Tessar
(3-0) fanned five and allowed three of the four hits in the
first inning after settling down for the remaining eight.
It was a tough loss for UConn starter Anthony
Marzi (0-3) as he gave up two earned runs on nine hits over nine
innings while striking out four.
The weather proved to be a little trouble some
for both Tessar and Marzi as it rained hard on and off all day.
Command was not as on point as both pitchers would have liked,
but both battled through it. Tessar came out on top and
attributes it to having extensive experience practicing in that
kind of weather.
“We practice in this weather all the time,”
Tessar said.. “It is nice to be a Duck when your practicing in
this weather it doesn’t bother you too much.”
It was another tightly contested game for the
Ducks (12-3), whose two losses in the tournament were both by
one run. UO’s two wins were both shutouts. Tessar used his
fastball effectively and had his change-up working really well
on top of his curveball.
“That was spectacular by Brando,” Oregon head
coach George Horton said. “I thought he pitched extremely well
against a team that has plenty good offense. We didn’t have to
go to our bullpen and it was nice to get another complete game
The difference in Oregon’s win on Sunday as
opposed to Saturday night’s loss was the key situational hitting
that was absent the night before.
“We have kind of hit a funk,” Horton said. “Like
I said last night we had the right guys up in the right
situations…we’ll take that every single time. Like Kobe or
LeBron, those kinds of guys, they don’t make every single shot
when they get to the fourth quarter, but you want them to have
the ball in the fourth quarter and that’s kind of how we feel
with Healy in the middle of our line-up.”
Oregon took the lead early in the top of the
first. After an Aaron Payne hit by pitch and Ryon Healy base
hit, the Ducks set the table for Kyle Garlick after a successful
double steal. With some good base running, the Ducks took the
lead 1-0 after a 6-3 groundout from Garlick.
Connecticut (6-8) looked like it was poised to
tie it up in its half of the inning. After a leadoff strikeout,
the Huskies responded with three straight base hits to load the
bases. Tom Verdi couldn’t get it done as he popped out in foul
territory just in front of the Oregon dugout. With two outs and
the bases loaded, LJ Mazzilli looked like he had tied it up
after a wide throw to first couldn’t get him, but the base
umpire called runner’s interference to end the Huskies’ threat.
The Ducks extended their lead in the third. J.J
Altobeli lead off the inning with a base hit and Payne followed
with another hit by pitch. With runners on first and second,
Marzi tried to pick off Altobeli at second only to throw it away
into center field. Ducks pushed the lead to 2-0 after a Healy
groundout to shortstop.
Payne showed up for the Nike College Showcase.
The sophomore second baseman for the Ducks went 3 for 10 with a
number of walks and hit by pitches, but it was his defense that
proved key. Throughout the tournament Payne made countless plays
with the glove with most of them coming as diving stops.
“My defense was unbelievable today,” Tessar said.
“It is easy to pitch when you’ve got a defense like that behind
Payne in the seventh made every single out with
one of them coming as he laid out going up the middle. He came
up with the ball, popped up and threw to first as he was falling
away to nab the runner at first.
Oregon extended its lead in the ninth. Danny
Pardini pinch-hit for Brett Thomas and took full advantage of
the opportunity. Pardini sat on a 1-2 curveball and launched it
over the left field wall at PK Park for the solo shot.
Vernell Warren tacked on
his second base hit of the game and was brought in on an
Altobeli base hit down the right field line. The 4-0 lead was
all the Ducks needed as Tessar finished out his gem for the