Ducks strike, pitch path to Game 1 win at ASU

PHOENIX, Ariz. — Oregon hit 14 hits and had a dominant three-pitch pitching performance in an 11-3 win over Arizona State on Friday night in Game 1 of a three-game Pac-12 series at the Phoenix. Municipal Stadium.

Oregon scored three runs in each of the first two innings and scored in six of the first seven innings to build a big lead. It was more than the Ducks pitching staff would need with Christian Ciuffelli, RJGordon and Rio Britton combining to allow a single race won.

How did it happen: The Ducks jumped early by scoring three runs in the first inning, courtesy of four hits and a pair of Sun Devils errors.

Tanner Smith started the inning and moved to second on a fielding error on a Colby lampshade chopper to the first baseman. Drew Cowley led Smith with a hit to left center field for a 1-0 lead.

Josh Kasevitch followed Cowley’s RBI with one of his own, scoring Shade from the second. ASU catcher Ryan Campos let the ball go to the backstop in an attempt to bring Shade to the plate, allowing Cowley to advance to third and Kasevich to second.

Oregon took advantage when Anthony Hall picked by right side scoring Cowley, while Kasevich was ejected at home plate trying to score.

ASU answered with one in their half, but Oregon came right back with three more runs in the second. Gavin Grant started second with a walk and moved to third on a Smith double to left center field. After a strikeout and a walk loaded with bases, Cowley clinched the game’s number two RBI with only one Grant. Kasevich made it 6-1 with a single two-RBI tackle Brennan Milone who was walking.

The Ducks added a run in the top of the third with a two-out trade. Smith led off with a single before stealing the second. After Shade walked, Milone delivered a two-out RBI single scoring Smith for a 7-1 lead.

Oregon had a chance to open it in the fourth, but left the bases loaded after scoring a run. Kasevich started the inning with a walk, moved to second on a Sam Novitske single and third on a Grant step before scoring on a Smith step. Shade was eliminated to end the round.

After failing to score a point in fifth, Anthony Hall ensured that there were not two consecutive runs without points. The Ducks right fielder hit his 12th homer of the season leading the team on the first pitch he saw starting the inning.

ASU (24-26, 12-13 Pac-12) cut the lead to 9-2 late in the sixth, but Oregon (30-20, 14-11 Pac-12) responded with a pair seventh inning points. Shade picked to start the inning and stole second before Milone and Cowley both walked to charge the bases. Kasevich hit in a double play, but Shade scored on the play. Hall finished the Ducks’ scoring by singling Milone at home.

Box Score Notes: Five Ducks finished with multiple hits, led by three from Smith and Hall…Seven Ducks finished with hits, another hitting three times on steps…Three Ducks drove in multiple runs, while three also scored multiple runs … Smith (3-for-5, RBI, 3 R, BB) had his 24th multi-hit game of the season and 61st of his career (second all-time – 5 behind Game Matthews) … Smith is ranked second all-time in hits, passing JJ Altobelli with 212 hits… He took his school high to 148 runs scored… Smith recorded his 48th career double in the second inning, putting him in sole possession of second all-time at Oregon… The three runs scored by Smith rank him fourth all-time in a single season with 51… Cowley (2 for 5, 2 RBI, R, BB) finished with his 15th multi-hit season and his sixth multi-RBI… Josh Kasevitch (2-for-5, 3 RBI, R, BB) had his 16th multi-hit game of the season and 40th of his career… Kasevich also had his ninth multi-RBI game of the season, and 26th of his career to move into sole possession of sixth all-time at Oregon … Hall (3 for 5, HR, 3 RBI, R) finished with his 17th multi-hit game of the season and 32nd of his career, while totaling his 13th multi-RBI game of the year and 24th of his career… His 12th home run of the season put Hall in a tie for fifth in Oregon history, while his run in a tie for eighth in career home runs with 19… Novitske (2-for-4) had his ninth all-time game of the season and 41st of his career… Gordon (6.1 PI, 5 H, 2 R , 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 BB) picked up his third win of the season, pitching a career-high 6.1 innings.

Following: The teams meet in Game 2 of the series on Saturday at 6:05 p.m.

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