Oregon Ducks Take Game One vs USC To Reach .500 In Conference Play

Oregon Ducks host Illinois State at PK Park.Justin Phillips/KPNW Sports
Oregon Ducks host Illinois State at PK Park.Justin Phillips/KPNW Sports /

Jake Bennett had a hit, run, and stolen base in the series opening win against the USC Trojans and helped the Oregon Ducks get to the .500 mark in Pac-12 play.

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The Oregon Ducks returned to PK Park on Friday night after a short one game road stint in Hillsboro to face Portland on Wednesday night. The game was called in the top of the ninth due to rain with Oregon leading 3-1. Prior to the midweek matchup, Oregon won two games in a row against Cal at home. This weekend, Oregon hosts the USC Trojans for a three game series. The Ducks sent Matt Krook to the mound to get things started on Friday night, giving the usual Friday Starter Cole Irvin an extra day.

Corey Dempster opened the game with a double up the right field line. He woud steal third in a wild pitch. It was not the start that Head Coach George Horton had hoped for. David Oppenheimer who led the team in hitting percentage at .381 was given a walk to first base for Jerermy Martinez.

Martinez hit into a double play as a run would score for the USC Trojans in the top half of the first inning. Krook would get out of the inning giving up one run and two hits.

Oregon would open the game on Offense with a walk to Austin Grebeck. Two batters later A.J Balta hit a ball deep to the right field corner for a triple, scoring Grebeck and tying the game in the bottom of the inning.

The Oregon Offense was at it early against USC as Catcher Slade Heggen hit a triple in the top of the 2nd inning. Travis Moniot would walk bringing Austin Grebeck to the plate. Grebeck hit a single on a two strike count scoring Heggen and giving Oregon a 2-1 lead.

USC would retake the lead with a two run 4th inning before Oregon would tie the game again off the bat of Travis Moniot and a home run over the right field wall. It was his second homerun of the season.

Jake Bennett singled to center in the bottom of the sixth and stole second, then scored Oregon’s 4th run of the give Oregon the lead 4-3. The Ducks scored a run in four of the first six innings.

Oregon Starter Matt Krook would be lifted after six innings giving up 4 hits and 3 runs. He struck out 6 USC Trojans. Matt Mercer and Brac Warren came in to pitch the 7th inning. Mercer gave up two hits before Warren came in for two strikeouts to end the top half of the inning.

Stephen Nagosek would come in to pitch the 9th for Oregon with the Ducks holding onto a one run lead.

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The win would be the Oregon Duck third straight. Oregon would turn to Cole Irvin on Saturday for the second game of the series. First pitch on Saturday at PK Park is set for Noon.