Oregon started Game 2 of the series with Cal State Fullerton with Freshman Matt Krook on the mound. The former Florida Marlins draft pick entered the game with 19 strikeouts on the season through two games. Expectations are high for Krook and the Ducks turned to him to start a new winning streak on Saturday after losing to Cal State Fullerton on Friday night 8-2.
It did not take long for the Titans to put together some hits with men on first and second with two outs in the Top of the 2nd. Cal State Fullerton Shortstop Keegan Dale walked to load the bases. Center Fielder Austin Diemer came through with a hit to score two runs for the Titans in the inning.
The Ducks started to rally in the third with a Connor Hoffman single. Shortstop Kevin Minjares moved Hoffman to second of a fielder’s choice. Aaron Payne hit Hoffman home with a single giving the Ducks the first run of the game. Austin Grebek hit a seeing eye bunt down the left field line to put Oregon in good position for another score with runners on first and second base. The inning would end on a strikeout with three hits for the Ducks.
It was at this point that the rain started to fall at PK Park. Play resumed after a thirty minute delay and Krook struckout Right Fielder Clay Williamson to start the inning. Catcher Jared Deacon would also be a strikeout victim as would Second Baseman Taylor Bryant still looking for his first hit of the season. Krook sat down the side for his first one two three inning of the game.
In the bottom of the fourth with two on it appeared that Cal State Fullerton had Kruger in a rundown, but on a sneak play Kyle Garlick was able to steal home on a double steal. Krook returned to the mound and was dominant for the next three innings. He would leave after six innings giving up three hits and two runs and striking out eight.
Pitcher Trent Paddon then came in for Oregon and struck out the first Titan batter he faced on one pitch. The next two batters would also be outs. For the Ducks it was not much better. Heading into the eighth inning ten batters were set down in a row.
The Ducks unraveled in the Top of the Ninth with two hits putting men on first and third with no one out. Titans Left Fielder Greg Velazquez hit a fly ball to left that scored a run for Cal State Fullerton and gave Velazquez a double. The score put Pitcher Garrett Cleavinger on the mound for Oregon getting a 1-2-3 inning as the Techno Chicken makes an appearance before the bottom of the ninth inning.
It was a good start for Oregon in the bottom of the ninth as Right Fielder Tyler Baumgartner picked up his second hit of the game to start the inning. Mitchell Tolman who started the game 0-3 would bunt Baumgartner into scoring position for Designated Hitter Kyle Garlick who already stole home earlier in the game who would hit a soft grounder to the first baseman for the out. A.J. Balta was the Ducks last chance with two outs and would hit the ball to the warning track in right field, but that was where it ended.
Oregon has lost two games in a row and will look to win the rubber match in the series on Sunday at noon.