We saw a lot of this blueprint early this season, but not so much of late.
Oregon’s ability to rally late came back just in time today in Seattle as the Ducks scored five runs in the eighth inning to defeat Washington.
With the win, not only do the Ducks win the series over the Huskies, they’ll now go for the series sweep up on Montlake. Oregon improved to 23-11 overall, winners of four straight and 9-5 in Pac-12 play. Washington falls to 16-17 overall and just 6-11 in conference action.
Washington was able to grab a 5-1 at the end of the fourth inning and that’s when the Ducks woke the bats up. Colby Shade got Oregon back in the game with a two-run homer to left in the fifth.
Washington came up to bat in the bottom of the fifth and this is when tempers got hot. Oregon starter Isaac Ayon, who wasn’t having the best of days, plunked leadoff batter, Johnny Tincher, in the back. He wasn’t thrilled and home plate umpire Brett Terry felt that was enough to eject Ayon out of the game.
The Huskies scored one in the sixth to make it 6-3 and it stayed that way until the eighth. Anthony Hall got the rally started with a triple down the right field line. Sam Novitske singled Hall home and it was 6-4.
Josiah Cromwick continued the rally with a single of his own and then the Huskies gifted Oregon a run when they threw away Gavin Grant sacrifice bunt attempt that saw Novitske score and Cromwick and Grant advance to second and third.
Colby Shade tied the game with a single and moved up to second when the Huskies’ defense wasn’t paying attention. Brennan Milone gave the Ducks the 8-6 lead with a liner to left field that scored two runs.
Logan Mercado, who came in the game when Ayon was ejected, earned the win with his four innings on the mound. He allowed just one unearned run on two hits.
Kolby Somers came on in the ninth and earned his sixth save of the season, his second in less than 24 hours.
Oregon will go for the sweep when the Ducks and Dawgs meet for Game 3 at 2 p.m. on the Pac-12 Network. Jace Stoffal (0-0, 27.00 ERA) will take the mound for the Ducks and he will battle Washington’s Case Matter (0-2, 5.73 ERA).