Oregon sophomore Tommy Thorpe throttled Oregon St., limiting the 6th ranked Beavers to just 2 hits Friday night. The 3-0 shutout win that resulted in front of a crowd of 3,820 pulled the 10th ranked Ducks into a tie atop the Pac-12 standings with Oregon St., though Oregon does now hold the tie-breaker as well.
Oregon jumped out to a 2-0 lead in their first at bat, as the first 3 Duck batters got hits, and all 6 that came to the plate in the opening inning put the ball in play, though Ryon Healey's RBI single to left that scored Brett Thomas was the only ball that left the infield.
The Ducks added another run in the second, after Nick led off by pulling a low, outside pitch by Matt Boyd into the left field corner, and scored on a single by J.J. Altobelli, and though video showed one run should have been an out, it turned out to be all Thorpe needed and more.
Oregon St. really only threatened Thorpe once, in the 3rd inning, when Thorpe hit Max Gordon with a pitch, Andy Peterson laid down a perfect bunt, and both moved up when Thorpe unleashed a wild pitch. But Michael Conforto struck out looking with 2 runners in scoring position, and the Beavers didn't threaten again until the 9th inning.
Boyd turned in a complete game for Oregon St., allowing only 7 hits, and just 2 after the 3rd inning, as the pitching duel breezed through the middle portion of the game.
Thorpe came out in the 9th inning to try for a complete game shutout, but walked Tyler Smith, and Oregon coach George Horton turned to ace closer Jimmy Sherfy. Sherfy struck out Peterson, but hit Conforto with a pitch, and repeated the sequence, striking out Dylan Davis, but then hitting Ryan Barnes.
Danny Hayes was able to work the count full, but flew out to center field, and Oregon had the win, making this at 43-11 the winningest regular season in Duck history.
Thorpe improved to 6-4 with the win, and Sherfy notched his school record setting 20th save of the season, albeit a more exciting one than Duck fans might have hoped for.
Boyd dropped to 10-3 for the season, despite his second complete game of the season, and the Beavers 41-9 for the year. Both teams are now 20-5 in the Pac-12.
Gordon submitted another candidate play for the Sportscenter top 10 plays with a leaping and rolling catch on the warning track in center field, above, but it was equaled by the Oregon defense, which handled several balls hard hit by Oregon St., but right at Duck defenders.
Oregon St. will try again tomorrow to become the first northwest Pac-12 team to beat Oregon this academic year in the premier men's sports (the Ducks swept their NW rivals in football and basketball, and are 8-0 so far in baseball), sending Eugene native freshman RHP Andrew Moore out. Oregon will counter with another freshman, LHP Cole Irvin, who was named the Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week this past week. Both freshman already have 10 wins this season.