May 20, 2016
by Rob Moseley
EUGENE, Ore. — Juniors Cole Irvin and Stephen Nogosek combined on the shutout as the Oregon baseball team beat Arizona 3-0 before 1,491 in PK Park on Friday, keeping the Ducks alive in the race for the postseason.
How It Happened: Irvin (6-4) was dominant from the outset, striking out six of the first seven batters he faced. The left-hander allowed four hits and a walk over 7 1/3 innings, leaving with two on and one out in the eighth.
Nogosek took over and loaded the bases with a walk, before coaxing an inning ending double play. He earned his 14th save by pitching around a single in the ninth.
The Ducks (27-22, 13-12 Pac-12) took a 1-0 lead on a two-out single in the third inning by Daniel Patzlaff that scored Carson Breshears. Oregon added on in the fourth when a throwing error by the Wildcats (32-19, 15-13) allowed two more runs.
Stayin’ Alive: The Ducks entered the day three games behind first-place Utah, which doesn’t open its series this weekend at California until Saturday. Oregon was one of 10 teams within four games of first entering the final two weeks of the regular season.
“We needed a win; now we need five more,” Irvin said. “Any way we can get a win, it’s big at this point of the season.”
Riding The Workhorse: The Ducks had usual setup man Brac Warren warming up in the eighth, but asked Nogosek to get hot in a hurry when the Wildcats began to threaten. By recording five outs, Nogosek lowered his ERA on the season to 0.96.
“I didn’t want to mess around,” UO coach George Horton said. “Cole had done a great job. Not that we’ve lost confidence in Brac, but he hasn’t been as automatic as he was. Heck if you’ve got a fresh Nogo, I wouldn’t sleep at night if I went the other way and it didn’t work out.”
Warren allowed two runs a week earlier in an appearance at Oregon State. He recorded two outs in a scoreless appearance against the Beavers on Sunday, then struck out the side in an inning of work Tuesday against Portland.
Notable: The Wildcats didn’t use typical Friday starter Nathan Bannister, presumably due to an injury concern. Bannister entered the weekend first in the Pac-12 in innings (97), tied for fourth in wins (seven), fifth in batting average against (.199) and strikeouts (76) and ninth in ERA (2.69). … Irvin recorded his eighth quality start of the season, twice as many as anyone else on the staff. Over his last three appearances at home, Irvin had thrown 17 1/3 scoreless innings, with 19 strikeouts and one walk. … The win was the 20th of Irvin’s career, tied for fourth in UO history, and his 294 career innings pitched are third. … Nogosek’s 14 saves are second on the UO career list behind Jimmie Sherfy. Patzlaff moved up to second in the order for Friday’s game, with Kyle Kasser hitting out of the No. 9 hole.
Up Next: The Ducks will send David Peterson (3-4, 3.50) to the mound on Saturday against the Wildcats at 4 p.m. The game will be televised by Pac-12 Networks.