May 31, 2013


Opportunistic Oregon Opens with Win

By Isaac Rosenthal

Special to


EUGENE, Ore. – Oregon scored three runs on just two hits to beat South Dakota State 3-2 at PK Park in the postseason opener for both squads.


The Jackrabbits led for most of the night until Ryon Healy doubled to left-center in the eighth inning to give the host Ducks a 3-2 lead. 


"The way we won that one was the way we've won a lot of games with this particular core group of guys," Oregon coach George Horton said. 


The eighth inning especially was characteristic of Ducks baseball, with JJ Altobelli drawing a lead-off walk, Brett Thomas sacrificing him over to second and Aaron Payne getting hit by a pitch before Healy stepped in for the two-run double. 


"[Oregon assistant coach Mark Wasikowski] always says it's not about the big hit," said Ryon Healy. "It's about the things that lead up to the hit."


Oregon's other run was equally opportunistic. In the fifth inning, Connor Hofmann reached safely and took second base on an error, stole third and scored on a wild pitch. He was the only Ducks baserunner of the inning. 


"Our gameplan all night was to try and keep the leadoff guy off base," South Dakota State coach Dave Schrage said. "When their leadoff guy got on base, we got in a little bit of trouble."


When he was able to get the leadoff man out — and he was more often than not — Layne Somsen was stellar for the Jackrabbits, throwing 115 pitches in seven-plus innings and giving up just one hit along the way. 


"There were spots in there early that he was almost effectively wild," Horton said. "He was working all four corners of the plate and dropping that power curveball in. There's a reason he's very good and hard to hit. I looked at his numbers and wondered why he's 4-5."


Oregon moves on to play Rice in the winners’ bracket game Saturday at 6 p.m., and the Jackrabbits will play USF at 2 in the elimination game.