Well it wasn’t a totally lost day for Ducks fans. Just after the Oregon basketball team fell to top seeded Louisville, the Oregon baseball team redeemed the day with a close 1-0 win over the hated Washington Huskies. After taking UW to extra innings the day before, the Duck offense fizzled out throughout most of the game, but got literally all it needed to top the Huskies on Friday night.
In fact, the only run the Ducks needed came in the second inning. Josh Graham belted a ball of the left field fence for a leadoff double. Steven Packard followed him up with a single, and J.J. Altobelli finished off the sequence with an RBI sacrifice bunt to give the Ducks a 1-0 lead they would not surrender.
While the offense didn’t do much more of anything in the rest of the game, the Ducks got yet another amazing outing from their starting pitcher. This time, it was Tommy Thorpe that was carving up the opposition for Oregon. Thorpe pitched eight dominant scoreless innings, allowing just three weak hits all night, and struck out seven Huskies in the process. The performance was good enough to improve Thorpe’s record to 4-2 on the season.
The lefty faced a bit of drama early in his outing, as he allowed a runner to third base in the first inning. The Huskies almost came through in the early pressure spot, but third baseman Kevin Minjares robbed a Washington batter of an RBI double down the third base line, and gunned the batter out at first. After that, it was mostly smooth sailing for Thorpe in his outing.
Jimmie Sherfy finished the shutout with a spotless ninth inning, adding two more strikeouts to his total on the season (26), earning him his eighth consecutive save.
Oregon is now 3-0 in PAC-12 series play, and looks to be really stepping up their play with every passing week. Whether it is the offense coming through, or the pitching shutting down the opposition, Oregon should be extremely competitive in conference play this season if they continue to play at this level… well, a few more runs now and then probably wouldn’t hurt (have to love these 1-0 wins right?)
The Ducks will go for the sweep of the Huskies on Saturday night (7 p.m.) at P.K. Park. If you can’t make it out to the ballpark and don’t have DirecTV, the game will be available on the Pac-12 network.
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