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Ducks' Gold improves to 9-0

EUGENE — Jeff Gold recorded his ninth win of the season as the Oregon Ducks baseball team handed Washington State a 6-3 loss on Friday at PK Park.

Oregon (30-10, 9-5 Pac-12) won its eighth straight game since dropping a heartbreaker at Washington on April 6, and is alone in third place in the conference after a loss Friday by UCLA. The series finale against WSU is scheduled for today at 2 p.m.

Gold went seven innings and allowed six hits and three runs (two earned). He improved to 9-0, the best record in the NCAA and tied for the national lead in victories.

"Following (teammate Tommy Thorpe) has brought me up," Gold said. "It's just a competitive thing, helps get the best out of us each week."

A control artist, Gold was frustrated to have issued a walk Friday, and also hit a batter. Both played a part in Washington State's two-run fifth inning, though by then Oregon had put together a five-run fourth.

In the wake of Ryon Healy's graduation, Oregon's hitters have desired to be a more complete lineup this spring, and the fourth inning Friday was a success in that regard. Five of the Ducks' eight hits came in the inning, including a two-out RBI bunt single by Steven Packard and a three-run double by Austin Grebeck two batters later.

"I think we've got a little bit of toughness to us," said UO coach George Horton, who celebrated his 700th career Division-I victory. "We've put together a pretty good string coming back from Seattle."

Grebeck's clutch double followed a strikeout in his only plate appearance Thursday, and a groundball out in his first at-bat Friday.

"I hadn't really proven I could hit a fastball, to them," the UO center fielder said. "I knew I had a pretty good chance of getting a fastball, and I was ready to square something up."

Grebeck also helped limit the damage in the top of the fifth. After Gold's walk and hit batter loaded the bases, Yale Rosen's double might have cleared the bases, had Grebeck not ended the inning by throwing out the runner from first at home plate.

Mark Karaviotis was the cutoff man from shortstop, and catcher Shaun Chase applied the tag.

"You have a general idea of where he's going to be," Grebeck said of his cutoff man. "And (right fielder Tyler Baumgarter) did a great job, letting me know where the fence was, how much room I had, so I could stop in time to have enough room to corral it and get it in quick enough."

Track and Field

OREGON RELAYS — At Eugene, the Southern Oregon University women's 400-meter hurdles record fell for the second time in as many years Friday at Hayward Field, and once again Amelia Maguin was the responsible party.

Maguin clocked 1:00.31 for a runner-up finish at the Oregon Relays and an improvement on her automatic qualifying mark for the NAIA Track and Field Championships. It replaced the time she got to top the Raider record books last season (1:00.49), which had bested Jill Carrier's 15-year-old mark.

Maguin was just .14 seconds behind winner Natalie Morerod of Witchita State. She has the third-best time in the NAIA this season.

Rebecca Lupescu ran the second-fastest 5,000-meter race in Raider history while placing third in 17:37.15, making her an automatic qualifier in a second event to go with the 10K. The time was 40 seconds faster than the one she posted four weeks ago at Sacramento State and is No. 15 in the NAIA this season.

Jonz Olander's first crack this season at the 200-meter dash resulted in a tie for his personal best, 21.73, which is also second in school history. He placed fourth but missed an NAIA 'B' standard mark by just eight-hundredths of a second.

Jared Hixon cleared a 'B' mark in the men's 5K, placing seventh in 14:50.86, and Cary Dunagan's 3,000-meter steeplechase time of 9:30.87 missed the 'B' by just two seconds.

Markus Sanders hit an 'A' mark for the second time in the hammer. It was two feet shorter (179-06) than the one he established two weeks ago at Linfield but sixth in SOU history.

Each of the other three Raiders in action had marks worthy of being Cascade Conference Championship qualifiers: Eric Ghelfi in the 5K (15:16.28), Trevor Lynn in the men's steeplechase (9:44.10) and Jessie Rozario in the women's steeplechase (11:38.41).

The Raiders have five entries in the meet today, including Eric Avila in his first attempt at the 1,500-meter race since recording the NAIA's best time last season, and Olander's defense of the 400-meter title he claimed at the Oregon Relays last year.