The Ducks won game one of a three game series against the Washington Huskies Thursday night at PK Park. After falling behind 3-2, the Ducks’ resistence to lose and mental toughness allowed them to crawl back in the eighth and send the game into extra innings. The extra-inning thriller concluded in the bottom of the tenth when Ducks’ first baseman Ryon Healy blasted a two run shot over the left field fence.
All year the Ducks have relied on pitching to get the job done. So far, Duck pitchers have put together a 20-6 record with a 2.79 earned run average. Jake Reed took the mound Thursday and showed himself to be no different. After giving the lead up in the fifth inning, Reed stayed tough to hit and allowed no runs in his last three innings of work to keep the Ducks in the game.
In the eighth, Tyler Baumgartner started a two-out rally with a double down the left field line and later scored on a single by the Ducks’ leading hitter Ryon Healy, tying the game at 3-3. Duck pitchers Garret Cleavinger and Jimmy Sherfy continued the resiliency on the mound with scoreless ninth and tenth innings, giving Oregon a chance to win the game in the bottom half of the tenth.
With two outs, the duo’s success continued. Tyler Baumgartner strung a walk together to bring Ryon Healy to the plate. Already 2-4 on the day with an RBI, the Ducks’ first baseman blasted his fifth home run of the season, a two run walk-off homer to give Oregon a 5-3 victory.
After the game, Ryon Healy was asked about the Ducks’ recent success. He said it comes from willingness not to lose and the ruthlessness they’re developing as a team. Jake Reed was also interviewed and emphasized that the team takes pride in being mentally tough and competing until the final out in every game. Baseball is a sport that is 90% mental and 10% physical and the Ducks proved that in their 5-3 win over the Huskies.
Oregon continues its series against the Washington Huskies Friday at 6 p.m. at PK Park. Southpaw sophomore Jimmy Thorpe is expected to take the mound for the Ducks and looks to continue Oregon’s five game win streak.