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Oregon takes down No. 3 Stanford

STANFORD, Calif. — Stinging from two defeats to close out the previous weekend and tasked with taking on the No. 3 team in the nation, the Oregon baseball team put together its most impressive performance of this young season Thursday night to grab a 10-1 victory over host Stanford before 1,002 fans at Sunken Diamond.

The Ducks (15-9, 3-4 Pac-12) got six shutout innings from sophomore Kenyon Yovan, in his second appearance since shifting from the closer role to the rotation. And Oregon touched Stanford ace Tristan Beck for six runs in four innings, blasting three home runs in the fourth inning to break the game open.

“I was proud of them,” UO coach George Horton said. “We got up off the deck, and beat what I think is a great team.”

Yovan (2-1) allowed just three hits with one walk, and struck out nine. His breaking pitches kept the Cardinal off-balance all night, with four called third strikes and a plethora of late, defensive swings. With the Ducks looking to keep normal Friday night starter Matt Mercer on his usual rest, Yovan responded with a dominant outing.

Looking to land the first blow in the three-game series, Oregon came through in the second inning. Gabe Matthews laced a leadoff single to left field and went to second on an errant pickoff throw, before Jonny DeLuca brought Matthews home with a single. The leadoff man reached again in the third when Taylor Travess walked, and after stealing second he scored on a single by Spencer Steer.

“I asked them to be aggressive, and that showed up,” said Horton, whose Ducks chased Beck after a relatively paltry 54 pitches over four innings. “I’m sure Stanford will look to come back strong tomorrow, and it’ll be our job to handle that.”

The Ducks broke it open in the fourth with an uncommon power display. Matthews led off by crushing a home run down the right-field line, and Jakob Goldfarb followed with an even bigger blast to left-center. Ray Soderman singled, and still with nobody out, DeLuca hit the third UO homer in four at-bats to make it 6-0.

Oregon added some insurance in the seventh when Matthews was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded. Soderman followed with an RBI single and DeLuca drove in his fourth run of the night with a sacrifice fly. Stanford got a run in the bottom of the eighth, but the Ducks responded in the ninth when Goldfarb led off with a double and Soderman singled him in.

Ashland High School graduate Peyton Fuller, a freshman, recorded the last four outs for the Ducks, including a strikeout to end the game. Fuller has allowed three earned runs in nine innings of work for a 3.00 ERA.

UTAH 8, OREGON STATE 7: Trevor Larnach hit his second grand slam of the season and Oregon State had the tying run at third in the ninth but the Beavers dropped the series opener at Utah, 8-7, Thursday night at Smith’s Ballpark in Salt Lake City.

The Beavers put runners on second and third with one down in the ninth, down two. Reliever Jacob Rebar struck out Larnach on a 13-pitch at bat before Grenier scored on a wild pitch. Rebar, however, got pinch hitter Preston Jones to fly out to right to end the game.

The loss sent Oregon State to 20-3 overall, and 5-2 in Pac-12 Conference play.

Larnach’s grand slam pushed the Beavers up one after OSU fell behind 4-1 via a three-run Utah fourth. The Beavers scored one when Steven Kwan singled in Michael Gretler in the sixth.

The lead didn’t last long as the Utes (5-22, 2-2) scored three in the sixth and one more in the seventh off relievers Grant Gambrell, Brandon Eisert and Dylan Pearce. Eisert was charged with the loss, dropping to 3-2 on the year.

Neither starter figured in the decision. Oregon State’s Kevin Abel scattered three hits and four runs in four innings, striking out seven. His counterpart, Josh Tedeschi, allowed eight hits and three runs in four innings.

Utah’s Trenton Stoltz picked up the win after limiting the Beavers to four hits and two runs in four innings.

Oregon State managed 13 hits off four Utah pitchers; Steven Kwan and Jack Anderson led the way with three apiece. The Beavers, however, left seven runners on base and hit into four double plays.