It was a closer series than many expected, but solid starting pitching and the bullpen were the key in three low-scoring contests. That kept the Ducks in every game with a little help from everyone at the top of the lineup.
- Saturday: USC 3 @ Oregon 4 – FINAL
W – Alex Keudell (9-3)
- Sunday: USC 2 @ Oregon 4 – FINAL
W – Jake Reed (6-3)
- Monday: USC 3 @ Oregon 6 – FINAL
W – Jeff Gold (7-3)
The bullpen absolutely shined for Oregon (38-14, 19-8) in the entire series. In the 7.1 innings pitched, zero runs were given up, no hits were allowed, 14 strikeouts were handed, and only for players walked for Southern California (22-24, 7-16). Closer Jimmie Shefry picked up three saves to get his total to 16 on the season. It was all set up from three very good outings from the starters who never gave up more than three runs. The Trojans never left more than seven men on base in each game.
It wasn’t the problem with the Oregon hitting in general that created lower run totals as they never had less than eight hits in a game. In the first two games, the Ducks had 10 and 14 hits, respectively. They just left more batters stranded on base than USC had all series long. The runs finally came in the last game when they had a monster bottom of the sixth to take a 4-3 lead and then added two runs in the bottom of the eighth.
Second basemen and leadoff hitter Aaron Payne was the player of the weekend. Even without hitting much Saturday, he picked up two walks and scored once. He drove in two crucial runs off of three hits in the one-run victory on Sunday which included the eventual game-winning run in the bottom of the eighth. In the final game, he tacked on two more hits and scored again.
Since losing three straight in late April, Oregon has gone 11-1 since its loss to Oregon State in their first meeting. The Ducks will be playing a couple out of conference series against Seattle and Portland before facing the Beavers in the final conference series.