SOU's Dotson fifth, OIT's Gretz fourth
GULF SHORES, Ala. — Southern Oregon University decathlete Joseph Dotson’s rapid progression throughout the season was typical of a freshman. His clutch performance on the big stage of the NAIA Outdoor Track & Field Championships was not.
On the second day of the national meet Friday at Blackwell Stadium, Dotson spent the afternoon climbing up the standings before ultimately placing fifth with 6,486 points — a personal best and a far cry from the 5,770 he posted two months ago in his first collegiate try.
Former Rogue River standout Seth Gretz, a sophomore for Oregon Tech and the Cascade Conference champion, placed fourth with 6,663 points. Kale Wolken of Doane College (Neb.) won with a meet-record 7,830 points.
Dotson, from Siuslaw, became just the fourth freshman to place among the NAIA’s top five decathletes in the last 10 years, and SOU's first male freshman All-American since pole-vaulters Robbie Johnston and Ryan Mussleman in 2005.
Dotson was in 10th place with 3,218 points after Thursday’s first five disciplines and dropped to 11th after Friday’s first event, the 110-meter hurdles, despite a PR of 16.08 seconds. He jumped three spots with a 14-foot PR in the discus (126 feet, 3½ inches) and remained in eighth place going into the final event, the 1,500. In that race, he finished in 4:33.84 — six seconds better than his previous best and good enough for second place.
In Friday’s other action, defending 5,000 champion Dylan Alexander of SOU was fourth in the prelims in 15:05.32, setting the Raiders up for six finals today, and freshman Zach Beltz placed 22nd in the long jump at 22-1½.
OSU 1, UCLA 0: At Corvallis, Travis Eckert threw 6 2/3 scoreless innings and Nick Madrigal’s ground out in the seventh inning drove in the only run in to lead Oregon State.
Madrigal hit a slow roller to third baseman Luke Persico on the first pitch he saw, scoring Kyle Nobach, who had singled, from third.
Eckert scattered seven hits, struck out five and walked one. The win went to Max Engelbrekt (3-3), who came on with a runner at second in the seventh.
Oregon State is 33-19 overall and 14-14 in the Pac-12. UCLA is 25-29 and 12-16.
STANFORD 4, OREGON 2: At Stanford, Calif., Oregon had the tying run on base in the eighth inning but couldn’t get the big hit as Stanford clinched the series.
Stanford (30-23, 14-15 Pac-12) broke open a tight game in the bottom of the sixth. Mikey Diekroeger delivered a three-run double with two outs off Oregon starter David Peterson to push the lead to 4-0.
Oregon (29-25, 14-15) cut the lead in half in the eighth with a little help from the Cardinal. A.J. Balta picked up an RBI on what should have been a sacrifice fly but left fielder Quinn Brodey dropped it to make the score 4-1. Steven Packard scored an unearned later in the inning.
NCAA: At Eugene, Oregon got off to a slow start Friday in first round of the NCAA Championships at Eugene Country Club, shooting 11-over 291 as a team.
The Ducks are in tied for 19th place in the 30-team field. Arkansas and TCU lead the field after each shooting a 2-over 282.