Ducks cook Rice, force regional final Monday
EUGENE, Ore. - Jeff Gold did his part to keep Oregon's season alive and he got plenty of help from the No. 9 Oregon Ducks' offense in a 11-0 win over No. 20 Rice in the Eugene Regional Tournament on Sunday at PK Park.
Oregon (48-15) forced the "if necessary" game on Monday night at 6 p.m. at PK Park against Rice (43-18) with the winner advancing to the NCAA Super Regional next weekend against North Carolina State.
Gold, making his first start since April 30, allowed just two hits in five innings while striking out four with no walks. He moved to 4-0 with the win.
Ryon Healy gave Gold and two Oregon relievers all the offense they would need. The first-team All-Pac-12 pick went 4-for-4 with four RBI and two runs scored. Scott Heineman finished 2-for-4 with three RBI and a run scored while Tyler Baumgartner and Aaron Payne both had two hits. Baumgartner went 2-for-5 with two runs scored and a RBI, finishing the day 5-for-10 with five runs scored and three RBI in the Ducks' two wins on Sunday. He combined to hit for the cycle in the two games with a home run, double and single against San Francisco in the early game and a triple and a double in the game against Rice.
Healy gave the Duck an early 1-0 lead when he launched his 11th home run of the season to left-center field in the bottom of the first.
Oregon extended the lead to 4-0 in the bottom of the fourth with three runs on four hits. Heineman singled to center scoring Healy from second after a leadoff single for the Ducks' slugger. Heineman moved to second on a Ryan Hambright single and scored on a Shaun Chase squeeze bunt to make it 3-0. Connor Hofmann wrapped up the inning with a RBI double scoring Hambright from second
The Ducks added two more runs in the bottom of the fifth. Baumgartner tripled deep to center field to score Payne who led off the inning with a hit. Healy drove in Baumgartner with a double to give Oregon a 6-0 lead.
Oregon tacked on four more runs in the bottom of the seventh to blow the game wide open. Healy pulled a RBI double into the left-field corner to make it 8-0 and then after Mitchell Tolman was hit by a pitch, Heineman drove in pinch runner Kevin Minjares and Tolman with a double to right center. Minjares picked up the final RBI with a base hit in the eighth for the Ducks.