OSU’s Eckert dominates in victory
LOS ANGELES — Travis Eckert was perfect through 6 2/3 innings and held USC to two hits and a run in a complete game effort as Oregon State won the series opener at Dedeaux Field, 3-1, on Friday night.
Eckert faced one batter over the minimum, struck out five and walked one over 111 pitches. The complete game, the first of his career, surpassed his previous long of 8 2/3 innings against Utah last season.
The righty retired the first 20 Trojans he faced before Timmy Robinson blooped a single to center. Robinson, however, took a long turn at first and was put out on a 4-6-3 effort to end the frame.
Eckert’s lone blemish came in the eighth when Jeremy Martinez homered to open the inning. The senior, however, set USC down in order from there on in the inning.
Eckert’s lone walk came in the ninth but he spun a 4-6-3 double play off the bat of David Edson to end the game. Edson was the only USC (24-26, 12-13 Pac-12 Conference) batter to record four at bats.
The masterpiece netted Eckert the win, pushing him to 6-4 on the year.
Eckert received all the support he needed in Oregon State’s (31-18, 12-13) three-run fifth inning. Three straight hits off the bats of Trever Morrison, Cadyn Grenier and Christian Donahue scored three runs to put the Beavers up on the Trojans.
Morrison opened the game’s scoring with a bloop double down the left field line off USC starter Joe Navilhon, enabling Billy King, who had singled earlier, to score.
Grenier singled on the first pitch he saw to drive in Navilhon, scoring Morrison. Grenier then scored when Donahue doubled down the left field line on a 2-0 pitch.
Logan Ice finished with two hits to pace the Beavers, who tallied seven off Navilhon. He took the loss after allowing three runs in 7 1/3 innings to drop to 5-4.
The teams continue the series today with a 1:05 p.m. first pitch.
OREGON 3, ARIZONA 0: At Eugene, juniors Cole Irvin and Stephen Nogosek combined on the shutout as Oregon beat Arizona before 1,491 in PK Park, keeping the Ducks alive in the race for the postseason.
Irvin (6-4) was dominant from the outset, striking out six of the first seven batters he faced. The left-hander allowed four hits and a walk over 7.1 innings, leaving with two on and one out in the eighth.
Nogosek took over and loaded the bases with a walk, before coaxing an inning ending double play. He earned his 14th save by pitching around a single in the ninth.
The Ducks (27-22, 13-12 Pac-12) took a 1-0 lead on a two-out single in the third inning by Daniel Patzlaff that scored Carson Breshears. Oregon added on in the fourth when a throwing error by the Wildcats (32-19, 15-13) allowed two more runs.
The Ducks entered the day three games behind first-place Utah, which doesn’t open its series this weekend at California until today. Oregon was one of 10 teams within four games of first entering the final two weeks of the regular season.
The Ducks had usual setup man Brac Warren warming up in the eighth, but asked Nogosek to get hot in a hurry when the Wildcats began to threaten. By recording five outs, Nogosek lowered his ERA on the season to 0.96.
“I didn’t want to mess around,” UO coach George Horton said. “Cole had done a great job. Not that we’ve lost confidence in Brac, but he hasn’t been as automatic as he was. Heck if you’ve got a fresh Nogo, I wouldn’t sleep at night if I went the other way and it didn’t work out.”
Warren allowed two runs a week earlier in an appearance at Oregon State. He recorded two outs in a scoreless appearance against the Beavers on Sunday, then struck out the side in an inning of work Tuesday against Portland.