Ducks drop rubber match against UCLA
EUGENE — A one-run game turned into a seven-run difference in the seventh inning as UCLA crossed the plate six times on its way to an 8-1 victory and series clinching win over Oregon on Sunday afternoon at PK Park.
The Ducks (14-31, 4-14 Pac-10) issued five free bases in the seventh inning on four walks and one hit batter as UCLA (22-22, 13-8) turned a 2-1 lead into an 8-1 advantage.
Entering the seventh nursing a 2-1 lead, UCLA loaded the bases after Oregon starter Madison Boer walked the leadoff batter, and reliever Geoff Nichols issued a walk and allowed a single, setting up Eddie Murray's squeeze bunt — a high chopper that Nichols fielded but allowed only a play at first as Gino Aielli scored.
The Bruins did the rest of their damage with two outs on the scoreboard as Oregon's bullpen failed to deliver strikes. Ryan Fleckenstein walked a batter to again load the bases, while Zack Thornton forced in two runs by hitting Casey Hearther and delivering a four-pitch walk to Cody Decker. Left-hander Bennett Whitmore then came on, and two wild pitches allowed two more Bruins to score. Blair Dunlap sent an RBI single up the middle for UCLA's sixth score of the inning, before Aielli grouned out to first base finally ending things.
Charles Brewer (3-4) earned the win for UCLA, pitching six innings and allowing just one run on five hits.
Boer took the loss for Oregon despite allowing just three runs on six hits in six innings on the mound.
After UCLA built a 2-0 lead on a Gabe Cohen solo home run in the third and Niko Gallego's RBI double in the fifth, Oregon looked to be within striking distance.
The Ducks touched Brewer in the bottom of the fifth when freshman Darrell Hunter laced a double down the left field line past a diving Aielli at third. Josh Hogan then singled to left, putting runners on the corners for Antony Kreitz. The right fielder's one-run double over the right field wall scored Hunter from second.