Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

Oregon Ducks clip Long Beach State

The Oregon Ducks rallied to defeat Long Beach State 5-4, and the rising Ducks showed why they have been moved up to the 18th spot in the rankings. The No. 18 Oregon Ducks swept then-No. 17 Vanderbilt, and they won their home opener in the ninth inning after tantalizing on a crucial defensive error from LBS. Aggressive baserunning calls from George Horton helped the Ducks win their eighth of the season.

With a runner on second, shortstop Matt Duffy overthrew first and gifted the Oregon Ducks a run thanks to some hustle from pinch runner Vernell Warren. He went from second to home on the error and just beat the tag for a beautiful winning run that exemplifies small-ball at its finest. That’s exactly what a manager looks for from their pinch-runner, and Warren certainly delivered.

Alex Keudell is starting to build his reputation as one of the better front-line starters in the country, and he struck out six batters in seven innings of work. He allowed nine hits and four runs, but those were due to some shaky stretches at the beginning of the game. As the contest wore on, Keudell became more confident and started cruising through. Jeff Gold finished things off and is now 2-0 on the season after cleaning things up with two shutout innings of one-hit ball that came without a walk and just one fly ball.

The Oregon Ducks are continuing to rise up, and their first home game yielded a win and continued their eight game winning streak. George Horton is a phenomenal manager, and the talent is starting to come into the fold. The pitching depth questions have been quelled, after a rash of serious injuries to the young guns on the pitching staff. Ryan Healy walked three times and Bret Hambright came through with a two RBI double in the fourth to cut the deficit to 3-2. Both of those guys provided important offense for the Oregon Ducks, and this was a well-deserved win for this No. 18 ballclub.

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Tags: Alex Keudell Bret Hambright George Horton Jeff Gold Long Beach State Matt Duffy Oregon Ducks Baseball Ryan Healy Vanderbilt Vernell Warren

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