Newsflash: Cole Irvin is the real deal. The freshman phenom from southern California has been one the best pitchers that Oregon has put on the mound this season. Irvin pitched seven innings and allowed just three runs to earn another quality start, and improve his record to 6-1 on the year, and Oregon demolished ASU 16-3 on Sunday afternoon.
The Ducks (23-8, 9-3) were able to salvage another series, as they kept up the kindle for their hot bats against ASU (19-9-1, 6-6) this weekend. Scoring early and often, the Ducks pushed across a whopping 16 runs against the Sun Devils. Offense was coming from up and down the lineup throughout, and put a silver lining on the series loss. Despite the pitching staff taking a beating from the ASU offense on Friday and Saturday, Oregon’s offense has really been the bright side of the tape this weekend. The Ducks have scored plenty of runs, and have looked like a fluid offensive team for a while now after a relatively slow start to the season at the plate.
Once again, the pitching performance of Cole Irvin was really the difference in this game. He was named the national pitcher of the week only a few days ago, and Irvin turned in another quality start in Tempe. After seeing Tommy Thorpe and Jake Reed get turned around for big innings in the past two days, the freshman carved up the ASU batters throughout, avoided big run outbursts, and put his team in a position to win the game. Irvin is for real, and has a very bright future ahead of him.
Aaron Payne led the way for the Ducks with four hits, 3 RBIs, and 2 runs scored, but plenty of other Ducks turned in eye-popping stat sheets as well. Scott Heineman went 4-6 with 3 RBIs, Ryon Healy went 3-6 with an RBI, and Josh Graham went 2-5 with 3 RBIs – two of them coming from a 2 run homerun in the third (the first of his career).
The Ducks will try to keep their bats hot in a midweek contest against the dreaded Beavers of Oregon State this Tuesday in Corvallis. The quality of opponent will definitely be going up this week, there is no doubt about it.