June 2, 2013
Ducks, Owls to Meet Again
By Isaac Rosenthal
Special to CollegeBaseballInsider.com
EUGENE, Ore. –
Oregon's batters struggled to a 4-for-53 start to Regional play,
then, just like that, the Ducks found their offense scoring 17
runs in a pair of wins against San Francisco (6-1) and Rice
(11-0) to force a Monday night game between the Ducks and Owls
with a Super Regional berth on the line.
Against the Owls, things just seemed to go
Oregon's way with its offense exploding for 11 runs.
"They had a great day, and we had a bad one,"
Rice coach Wayne Graham said.
It wasn't just the Ducks’ offense that showed up
to play Sunday, with starter Jeff Gold needing just seven
pitches to get through the first inning of his first start since
"I knew it was going to be a good day when the
first two balls of the game were at me," Gold said. "I was
having fun after that."
After Gold's quick 1-2-3 inning in the top half
of the first the Ducks’ offense picked up where it left off in
the first game with Ryon Healy sending a home run to
It was the first of a four-hit, four-RBI day for
Healy, who never looked to be at 100 percent when he was running
Oregon really got things going in the fourth,
scoring three runs on four hits. Scott Heineman had an RBI
single to go along with a run-scoring sacrifice bunt from Shaun
Chase and an RBI double from Connor Hofmann.
After Gold gave the Ducks five scoreless innings,
Ducks coach George Horton handed the ball to Darrell Hunter, who
threw three innings of no-hit ball before Jordan Spencer came in
to shut the door in the ninth.
"Our pitchers located all day," said Chase,
Oregon’s catcher. "They were pounding the zone, their stuff was
spectacular. Coach Horton called a great game, there's nothing
else I can say about our pitching staff."
Oregon and Rice now will play one more for the
right to play in a Super Regional with first pitch set for 6
local time on Monday. Momentum certainly seems to be on the
Ducks’ side, but both teams are well aware that Monday's game
will be an entirely new ballgame.
"If you're an athlete you're resilient, period,"
Graham said. "One of my junior college teams got beat 14-2 the
night before they won the national championship."
Neither coach elected to name a starting pitcher
for Monday's contest.
The Ducks got their second chance at Rice by
eliminating San Francisco earlier in the day.
San Francisco struck first, scoring on a leadoff
home run by Justin Maffei. From that point, however, it was the
Cole Irvin show with the Ducks No. 2 tossing a complete game and
striking out nine along the way, keeping the Dons scoreless
after the leadoff shot.
The Dons didn't do themselves any favors with the
glove, committing three errors including two in the third.
"I wish we would have played up to our
capabilities defensively," San Francisco head coach Nino
Oregon took a 2-1 lead on a fourth-inning home
run by Chase – who only started the game because Josh Graham was
late to the ballpark – and the home run sparked the Ducks’ long
"It lit a fire under me," Chase said. "I didn't
want our season to end right there."
Oregon added another run in the fifth, two more
in the seventh and a final insurance run in the ninth before
Horton gave the ball to Irvin to finish what he started.
"I was relaxed with the guys before the game,"
Irvin said. "In a situation like this that's the best thing that
happened for me is that I was able to be myself."