The Oregon baseball team (25-10) handled the UC Riverside Highlanders (14-15) by a final score of 7-2 Friday night at PK Park, thanks mainly to starting pitcher Tommy Thorpe and right fielder Tyler Baumgartner.
Thorpe was sharp throughout the night, finishing with seven strikeouts in seven innings while giving up two hits, a walk and an unearned run.
Baumgartner finished 2-for-4 with a game-high four RBIs.
Oregon had runners on base the first two innings but each inning ended with a runner caught stealing, the second one being a strike-him-out-throw-him out with Shaun Chase at the plate and Mitchell Tolman running.
The third inning went much smoother for the Ducks. After a Grebeck strikeout to lead off, Desmond Santos and Mark Karaviotis got hit by pitches in back-to-back at-bats. Aaron Payne struck out next, but A.J. Balta drew a four-pitch walk to load the bases with two outs. Tyler Baumgartner came up next and drilled a 2-1 pitch to left center field, clearing the bases. Tolman got hit by a pitch – the third HBP of the inning – next to bring up Kyle Garlick. Garlick lined a shot up the middle that caromed off the second baseman, Joe Chavez, up the middle for an RBI single. That would be the final hit of the inning, in which the Ducks scored four runs to take a 4-0 lead.
The Highlanders got their only run in the fifth inning. David Andriese reached on Balta error to lead off the inning and Thomas Walker followed that off with a single. Shuyo Chang moved both runners over with a bunt and Matthew Ellis drove Andriese home with a groundout to Payne.
The Ducks increased the lead back to four in the bottom of the sixth. In a 1-1 count, Garlick launched a fastball over the Riverside bullpen in left field to make the score 5-1.
The Ducks would tack on a run an inning later. Two batters after a Payne single, Baumgartner came up with two outs and, yet again, delivered an RBI double. This time he hit a sharp line drive to right center, just out of the reach of a diving Devyn Bolasky.
Follow Victor Flores on Twitter @vflores415
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