Ducks Down Huskies, Win Series in Seattle

SEATTLE — The No. 23 Oregon baseball team used 10 hits to score five runs in a 5-3 victory over rival Washington on Sunday afternoon to claim its seventh Pac-12 series this season.

The Ducks (34-16, 16-11 Pac-12) opened the scoring with a pair of runs in the top of the second, but the Huskies (19-25-1, 10-17 Pac-12) scored three of their own in the bottom half of the inning to take the lead. After Bennett Thompson knocked in a run to even things up in the third, starter Kevin Seitter (6-4) locked in to strike out seven batters across his final 4.1 innings to shut Washington down.

In the top of the fifth, Justin Cassella knocked a RBI single through the right side to give the Ducks the lead, and in the seventh Jacob Walsh hit a sacrifice fly to add some insurance. Bradley Mullan and Logan Mercado combined to allow just one hit in 2.2 innings of relief, holding the Huskies scoreless and securing the series victory.

How It Happened: After each pitcher retired the first three batters they faced, Thompson got things going with a double to left field to represent the first base runner of the day for Oregon. After Maddox Molony earned a walk, Chase Meggers singled to right field and loaded bases for the Ducks. Bryce Boettcher stepped up to the plate and hit a sacrifice fly to score the first run of the day, and Carter Garate followed up with a double to score Molony and put UO in front by two.

Seitter forced ground outs from the first two Husky hitters in the bottom half of the inning but surrendered back-to-back singles which set up runners on first and third. Washington stepped up to the plate and hit a two-run double to tie the game, followed by another double that gave the home side the lead.

Mason Neville knocked a single through the right side of the field to begin the third inning and stole second base to move into scoring position with no outs on the board. Walsh worked a walk to set up runners on first and second for Thompson, who hit a single up the gap and scored Neville to tie the game.

With the score back to even, Seitter found a second gear and retired the next nine batters thanks to double plays in the third and fifth innings. In the top of the fifth inning, Neville stole second once again after reaching on a walk before scoring on a single down the right side from Cassella to reclaim the lead.

Seitter was sensational in the sixth inning, striking out three Huskies and stranding a runner on base. Neville was once again the offensive catalyst in the seventh inning for Oregon as he hit a single that advanced Ryan Cooney to third, setting up a sacrifice fly from Walsh which added some cushion to the lead entering the late stages of the game.

After Washington put a runner on base with a one-out double in the bottom of the seventh, Mullan took the mound and struck out back-to-back hitters to work his way out of the jam. The senior lefty kept the board clean in the eighth, and in the ninth inning the Ducks turned to Mercado to close out the game.

After striking out the first batter he faced, Mercado gave up a single to the Huskies who moved the runner into scoring position following a ground ball from the next batter. With two outs and the tying run at the plate, Mercado showed poise and struck out the final batter to put a stamp on the victory.

Notables: Garate recorded his 20th RBI this season and became the 11th Duck to reach that mark … Oregon is one of three teams (Dayton, Oakland) to have 11 players record 20-or-more RBI this season.

Up Next: The Ducks return home to close out the regular season with a three-game series against Washington State, beginning with a 6:05 p.m. PT first pitch on Thursday, May 16.

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