Ducks Win Series Opener on Thorpe’s Gem

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Featured Photo Courtesy Steve Francis Photography

The Oregon Ducks scrambled their way to three runs to take battle number one of the Civil War series on Friday night against the Oregon State Beavers.  The victory came behind a brilliant pitching performance from starter Tommy Thorpe, who dominated the Beaver’s offense all night long.

Thorpe throws to Healy for the out.

Steve Francis Photography

Thorpe throws to Healy for the out.

Both starters dueled well on the hill; but sadly, one has to win and one has to lose.

Duck’s starter Tommy Thorpe was immaculate in his outing on the mound Friday night.  The sophomore from Vancouver, Washington, set into a groove and was almost untouchable as he picked up win number 6 on the season in 8 innings allowing just 2 hits and 2 walks and adding 7 strikeouts.

Thorpe did an excellent job getting ahead in the count against the Beaver hitters.  His execution of first pitch strikes allowed him to work around the plate and keep hitters off-balanced and it resulted in Thorpe taking complete control of the game.

Beavers’ starter Matt Boyd went the distance, allowing 3 runs on 7 scattered hits.  Boyd limited the opportunities to score for the Ducks, but when the opportunities were there they took advantage.

Brett Thomas scores!

Steve Francis Photography

Brett Thomas scores!

The Ducks jumped on the board first, scoring two runs in the bottom of the 1st inning.  Brett Thomas came around to score on Ryon Healy’s 48th RBI of the season with a single to left field.  The Ducks then put small ball into action; after a Mitchell Tolman sacrifice bunt, Scott Heineman hit cue ball off the end of the bat down the first base line to score Aaron Payne and put the Ducks up 2-0.

Freshman Nick Catalano was given the start in center field.  He made an immediate impact with a leadoff double in the second, and later scored on a single by senior shortstop J.J Altobelli to give the Ducks a 3-0 lead.

Oregon was robbed of another scoring opportunity when Oregon State center fielder Max Gordon made a miraculous leaping catch, that should definitely be on ESPN’s Top Plays, to rob Ryon Healy of extra-bases and end the threat.

Tommy did have to pitch out of trouble in the 3rd inning after the Beavers got runners on second and third with the tying run in Michael Conforto at the plate, but Thorpe came from behind an 2-0 count to strike out Conforto looking on a absolute filthy curveball to get out of the inning.

Jimmie Sherfy closes it out.

Steve Francis Photography

Jimmie Sherfy closes it out.

The bullpen continued its dominance as well.  All-American closer Jimmy Sherfy set a new school record in saves, picking up his 20th save of the season.  The national leader in saves came in to relieve Thorpe in the 9th inning and got himself into some trouble by loading the bases before getting Danny Hayes to fly out to center to end the game.  Sherfy’s remarkable numbers has honored him as a semi-finalst for The Dick Howser Trophy, which is awarded to the best collegiate baseball player of that season.

The war continues Saturday at 2 p.m. at PK Park, as the crucial series heats up in Eugene.  The standings for the Pac-12 title are now tied, as Oregon and Oregon State have identical records of 20-5-0.  The state’s freshman superstar hurlers, Cole Irvin (10-2) and Andrew Moore (10-1), will take the hill on Saturday.

 

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Bryan Holt

Bryan Holt

Bryan Holt is a 20 year old junior at the University in Oregon looking to major in Journalism and Communications with hopes in pursuing a career as a sports writer or analyst.

  • Ol’CodgerDuck

    I am really enjoying how the Ducks are playing this year! Winning with everything from the long ball to small ball, I am very impressed with the well rounded completeness of this team. Looking forward to the next 2 games, hopefully we come out on top of the conference at the end of this series.
    Bryan – I see we are playing the Beavers again on Tuesday, do you know if this is a conference game or another one of those weird non-conference games?
    I am excited as both games today and tomorrow are on the Pac12 net, with replays later so we should all have a great chance to watch!!
    Go Ducks!! WTD!!!

    • It seems to be the case that, other than the first year back, in 2009, we play two non-conference games, and three conference games vs. the Beavs. We played them in non-conference three times the first year. By my reckoning, we are 4-6 NC and 5-8 Conf, since our return to the game.

      • Bryan Holt

        Randy is right, Tuesday is jut another non-conference matchup like the one they had on April 6th I believe.

    • fishduck

      It was explained to me by the AD that we get our best attendance and interest in the sport from these Civil War matchups for both schools, hence whoever is not hosting the three Pac-12 games, gets to host the two non-conference games. It also helps our Power ratings, and of course, bragging rights.

      It is so cool to see the two “Cold-Weather” teams leading the Pac-12, and how great would it be for both to be the in the College World Series?

      • Ol’CodgerDuck

        That makes sense. I was watching Saturday’s game, and was encouraged to see the stands looking full.