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Huge inning fuels Ducks’ victory

EUGENE — Oregon scored seven runs in the second inning to spark a 12-8 win over USC and secure a series victory against the Trojans in front of a season-high 2,613 fans on Saturday at PK Park.

With Oregon trailing 3-1, Carson Breshears and Travis Moniot led off the second inning with a pair of walks, moved up on a bunt single by Austin Grebeck and scored on a two-run double by A.J. Balta to tie the game 3-3. After a walk to Jake Bennett, Steven Packard gave the Ducks a 5-3 lead with a two-run single. Tim Susnara followed with a bunt base hit to load the bases, and Daniel Patzlaff promptly unloaded them with a three-run double to left-center field to round out the Ducks’ biggest inning of the season.

Oregon (16-12, 6-5 Pac-12) tacked on runs in the fourth and fifth to push its run total to double digits for the fifth time this season. Back-to-back doubles by Packard and Susnara brought home a run in the fourth, and Moniot hit his second home run in as many days in the fifth to extend the Oregon lead to 10-3.

The Trojans got two runs in the sixth on an RBI double by Timmy Robinson and a wild pitch later in the inning that brought him in to score. Balta got a run back for the Ducks in the seventh, scoring Moniot with a sacrifice fly. USC tried to mount a comeback in the eighth, scoring three runs to make it 11-8 before Brac Warren ended the inning with a strikeout to leave the tying run at the plate. Nick Catalano drove in an insurance run with a pinch-hit single in the eighth before Stephen Nogosek secured the Oregon win with a scoreless ninth inning.

USC (15-18, 5-6 Pac-12) took an early lead in the first inning when Robinson sent a 1-2 pitch from Cole Irvin over the left field fence for a two-run home run. The Trojans added one more in the inning on an RBI double to go up 3-0. The Ducks got one back in the bottom half, with Grebeck leading off with an infield single and scoring on a sacrifice fly by Bennett to make it 3-1.

All nine of Oregon’s starters reached base, and eight Ducks checked in with base hits. Balta and Patzlaff each finished with three RBIs, while Packard drove in two. Grebeck, Balta, Packard, Susnara and Moniot all had two hits in the win, and Moniot led the team with three runs scored. The Ducks were 8-for-17 (.471) with runners in scoring position.

After allowing three runs on three hits in the first, Irvin settled down and retired 12 of the next 14 hitters to keep the Trojans off the board through the fifth. USC got two runs in the sixth on a pair of hits, but Irvin again regrouped and threw a perfect seventh inning to secure his third win of the season. Irvin finished the day allowing five runs on six hits with five strikeouts over seven innings.

WASHINGTON STATE 8, OREGON STATE 3: At Pullman, Wash., Logan Ice hit his team-leading sixth home run of the season but seventh-ranked Oregon State was unable to rally late.

Ice drilled a solo home run over the right field fence in the eighth to make it a one-run game at 4-3. The Beavers, however, were unable to score another before Washington State scored four in the bottom half of the inning to take a five-run lead.

The Beavers won the opening game of the series, 12-3, on Thursday, but WSU won game two, 7-5, on Friday and claimed the series.

Luke Heimlich struck out seven in his fifth start of the season, but allowed eight hits and four runs — two earned — over six innings and was charged with the loss. He dropped to 4-1 on the year.

Down 1-0 entering the third, the Beavers (23-9, 6-6 Pac-12 Conference) put two runs on the board in the third thanks to four hits. Trever Morrison knotted the game at one with a double to right, then scored to make it 2-1 when Christian Donahue singled up the middle.

The Cougars (12-20, 5-10) scored the game’s next three runs — one apiece in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings — to take a 4-2 lead.

Washington State starter Ryan Ward allowed five hits and two runs in 2 1/3 innings. He was relieved by Sunitsch midway through the third. Ward, making his ninth start of the season, did not figure in the decision.

Sunitsch improved to 2-0 this season after tossing 4 2/3 innings of scoreless relief. He did not allow a hit, walked one and struck out three.

Softball

CORBAN 1-9, SOUTHERN OREGON 0-7: At Ashland, 18th-ranked Southern Oregon University got a bit of good news Saturday afternoon, but it wasn't the product of anything that happened in its doubleheader against Corban at University Field.

The Warriors completed a sweep of the season series over the Raiders, as Jessica Holsinger tossed a three-hitter in the 1-0 opener and Raimee Sluder hit an opposite-field, tiebreaking two-run homer in the 11th inning of Game 2 for a 9-7 win in SOU's longest game since 2012.

The Raiders (30-14, 16-8 CCC, 11-5 CCC West), however, remained in control of their own destiny in the CCC West Division. They started the day one game up on 24th-ranked Oregon Tech, but Northwest Christian managed a split at OIT to keep the Owls and Raiders in a first-place tie. SOU owns the tiebreaker over OIT by virtue of winning the season series and both teams finish the regular season next weekend with twin bills at British Columbia and Northwest (Wash.), the two teams at the bottom of the West standings.

The winner of the division will host the six-team CCC tournament May 6-8.

Corban (31-16, 15-9, 13-7) — which is still two games back of SOU in the loss column but has completed its West division slate — scored the only run it needed in Game 1 during the second inning. Sluder hit a leadoff double off SOU pitcher Sydney White, who was otherwise dominant during the ninth straight start in which she's allowed two earned runs or less. After consecutive strikeouts, McKenzie Giancola's sharply hit grounder got a piece of White's glove and her shin before rolling into shallow right field, allowing Sluder to score without a play.

White worked around eight hits and a walk with seven strikeouts in the loss.

Holsinger struck out five and walked one. The only time she allowed a Raider to reach to lead off an inning was in the seventh, when pinch-hitter Amelia Hensler served an 0-2 delivery into right for a hit. Hensler's pinch-runner, Kaelynn Miller, was bunted over to second but got caught trying to steal third to end the game.

Holsinger (15-7) and White (11-8) were dominant again in Game 2, this time in relief, but White was again the tough-luck loser.

White went 6 2/3 innings, entering after McCayla Hoffman sent a fifth-inning three-run homer over the fence in centerfield to put the Warriors up 7-3.

The Raiders chipped away at the deficit with three runs in the bottom of the fifth as Kelsey Randall, Alexa Gonzalez and Kayleen Smith all singled with no outs. Smith's hit drove in the first run, a wild pitch scored the second and a fielder's choice plated the third. In the sixth, Aaliyah Oliver led off with a triple and Randall followed with a sacrifice fly that tied the game.

Track and Field

RAIDERS HIT ROAD: While Julius Shellmire and Southern Oregon's 4x100-meter relay team put together their best day of the season Saturday at Hayward Field, Zach Beltz and Hannah Lambert were collecting wins up the road at the Pacific Open.

Shellmire, a freshman product of Portland's Grant High, claimed the No. 2 spot on SOU's all-time 100-meter list by clocking 10.74 seconds and placing seventh of 15 at the Oregon Relays. His previous best of 10.74 had already made him a provisional qualifier for the NAIA Championships and was the top time in the Cascade Conference, and the new one makes him the 24th-fastest in the NAIA.

He also joined Zac Hannan, Hayden Saparto and Cameron Bremner to register the sixth-fastest 4x100 time in school history, 41.73, which made the Raiders fifth place of 11 teams and provisional qualifiers for the NAIA Championships. As it stands, their time is No. 12 on the NAIA list and tops the CCC.

SOU's women's 4x400 team of Tierra Barrett, Aspen Abbott, Loghan Sprauer and Rakayla Tyler came in at 3:59.71, trimming over five seconds off their previous best and taking over the No. 3 spot in the conference. The men's 4x4 team of Saparto, Hannan, Gary Fanelli and Cedric Quartey finished sixth of nine teams in 3:23.46.

Saparto also placed seventh of 11 in the long jump (21 feet, 11 inches) at the Relays and Hannan was ninth of 14 in the hurdles with a time of 15.44, trimming three-tenths of a second off his former time.

At the Pacific Open, Beltz won the long jump with a mark of 22-7, the fourth-best in the conference. Brian Sievers added a third-place finish in the hammer (142-2) and Kevin Tunnell was fifth in the discus (128-10).

Lambert had another strong day, highlighted by her win in the shot put with a throw of 38-5. She also placed third in the discus (116-4) and 10th in the hammer (112-7).