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Horton earns 300th win at Oregon

EUGENE — Matt Mercer dominated on the mound and the Ducks' offense had a big day to help head coach George Horton earn his 300th win at Oregon in a 10-0 non-conference win over Santa Clara at PK Park on Saturday afternoon.

Horton is 10 victories away from reaching 800 as a Division I head coach.

Three Oregon pitchers combined to shut out Santa Clara, giving up just four hits with seven strikeouts. Mercer (2-1) turned in another quality start, pitching seven innings with five strikeouts and no walks while allowing just three hits. Jesse Hobaica and Nico Tellache each pitched one inning to secure the win.

Morgan McCullough gave Oregon an early lead with an RBI double two batters into the game, scoring Kyle Kasser. Gabe Matthews followed two batters later with a run-scoring single, making it 2-0.

The Ducks added single runs in the second, third and fourth innings to stretch the lead to 5-0.

In the sixth, Matthews extended the lead, blasting his first career home run to lead off the inning. Later in the inning, Spencer Steer drove in a run with a single and Daniel Patzlaff recorded a sacrifice fly for an 8-0 lead.

Matthews was perfect at the plate, going 4-for-4 with three RBIs and two runs scored. It was his second four-hit game and third multi-hit game.

Kasser recorded his sixth multi-hit game in the last seven with a 2-for-4 day and two runs scored, while Steer went 2-for-3 with an RBI and a run scored and A.J. Balta finished the day 2-for-3.

Oregon pitchers have not allowed an earned run in the series, and Ducks' pitchers have struck out 107 batters while walking just 11 in the 10 wins this season.

Oregon (10-4) and Santa Clara (3-11) will play the series finale this afternoon at 12 p.m. at PK Park. Cole Stringer will be on the mound for the Ducks.

OREGON STATE 8, BALL STATE 4: At Corvallis, Jake Thompson scattered one run and two hits over 7 1/3 innings and Trevor Larnach went 3-for-3 with an RBI to help send fourth-ranked Oregon State to a win over Ball State at Goss Stadium.

With the win, the Beavers swept the four-game series with the Cardinals, and won their ninth straight game to improve to 14-1 on the year. Ball State, meanwhile, dropped to 8-8 on the season.

Thompson picked up his team-leading fourth win of the season after striking out eight, tying a career-high.

Larnach, meanwhile, singled twice and doubled in addition to drawing two walks. The sophomore extended his hit streak to four games where he is 6-for-10 with five RBIs, six walks and two doubles.

KJ Harrison hit a fifth-inning solo home run to help Oregon State to 11 hits on the day. Of those 11, five went for extra bases, including triples by Michael Gretler and Adley Rutschman and another double by Christian Donahue.

Ball State starter Kevin Marnon went four innings, striking out four while walking four. He also allowed four hits and three runs to take the loss, dropping his record to 2-2.

The first through fifth batters in Oregon State’s lineup combined for 10 of the 11 hits on the day, with Larnach (three hits), Gretler (two) and Nick Madrigal (two) recording mult-hit efforts. Madrigal has eight multi-hit efforts on the year, while Gretler is at five and Larnach at two.

Thompson’s outing marked the seventh quality start for the pitching staff this season. Oregon State’s starters are 11-1 this season, posting a 1.43 earned run average in 94 1/3 innings. They’ve combined for 90 strikeouts to just 18 walks while giving up 61 hits.

Up next, Oregon State goes back on the road next week when visiting Arizona State in a series that starts Thursday in Phoenix.