NCAA Football

Late Homers Beat Ducks in Finale

May 28, 2016

Stanford, Calif. – Oregon couldn’t overcome back-to-back Stanford home runs in the seventh inning as the Cardinal won, 2-1, and completed the three-game sweep in the regular-season finale on Saturday.

How It Happened: Pitching dominated through the early stages for the third straight game, with Oregon’s Matt Mercer and Stanford’s Chris Castellanos matching zeros while combining to allow just three hits through the first five innings.

Oregon (29-26, 14-16 Pac-12) broke through in the sixth to take a 1-0 lead on an RBI single by senior Nick Catalano, who ripped one through the left side to score Jake Bennett after he and senior Steven Packard reached with back-to-back singles.

Stanford (31-23, 15-15 Pac-12) surged ahead in the seventh on consecutive home runs, a two-run shot by catcher Alex Dunlap and senior designated hitter Austin Barr. Both home runs came off of Mercer after the freshman right-hander had cruised through the first 6.1 innings.

The Ducks were kept quiet in the eighth inning, and a leadoff single by Tim Susnara in the ninth inning was quickly erased on a double play. Stanford’s Andrew Summerville got the final out to secure the Cardinal win and series sweep.

Packard Goes Out Swinging: Potentially playing in his final game as a Duck, Packard led the offensive effort with a 3-for-4 day and a double. Packard, who played for Oregon in 2010 and then again from 2013 to this season, is seventh in all-time Ducks history in doubles with 30, and 10th with 130 career starts and 494 at-bats. Packard’s three-hit day was his second this season, the seventh multi-hit game of the year and the 28th of his career. Packard hit .247 in his final season with 12 doubles, four home runs and 33 RBI.

Notable: Stephen Nogosek threw a scoreless eighth inning, capping a stellar junior season in which he racked up 16 saves and posted a 1.11 ERA … Catalano’s RBI in the sixth was his 17th this season and the 41st of his four-year career … Senior Jack Karraker threw 0.2 scoreless innings of relief in his final regular season game as a Duck … Carson Breshears finished 1-for-3 with a single … Mercer’s three runs allowed through 6.1 innings marks the fourth straight start in which he has allowed three runs or less in five-plus innings since moving to the weekend rotation.

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