May 23, 2016
EUGENE, Ore. – Oregon used strong pitching and situational hitting to beat Saint Mary’s, 2-1, in its final regular season home game on Monday night at PK Park.
How It Happened: The Ducks and Gaels locked in a pitching duel through five innings. UO starter Matt Krook gave the Ducks five strong innings, striking out six with no walks, and a pair of Saint Mary’s pitchers matched zeros while limiting the Ducks to just three hits going into the sixth.
Oregon (29-23) broke through in the bottom of the sixth with a pair of runs, with Jake Bennett driving in Austin Grebeck on a squeeze bunt. The ball was thrown away on the play allowing the runners to move to second and third, and Steven Packard extended the Oregon lead to 2-0 with a sacrifice fly to left.
Saint Mary’s (30-23) struggled to capitalize on its few scoring opportunities, leaving six runners on base while going 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position. Isaiah Carranza (2-1) tossed two scoreless innings in relief of Krook before turning it over to Brac Warren, who kept the Gaels off the board in the eighth. Saint Mary’s had its best opportunity in the ninth inning against Oregon closer Stephen Nogosek, putting the tying runs in scoring position with no outs after a single and a double. Nogosek got the first out of the inning with a strikeout, and a run came in to score on a groundout to cut the Oregon lead to one and put the go-ahead run in scoring position. Nogosek induced a groundball to second to preserve the Oregon win and claim his 16th save of the season.
Krook Finds His Groove: Krook, who has struggled with his command throughout the season, found the strike zone against the Gaels and was in control from the start. The left-hander struck out the side in the second and started the third with his fourth straight strikeout, and didn’t allow a free pass in his five innings. Krook allowed four hits and was able to work out of trouble, stranding four runners in scoring position including working his way out of a two-on, one-out situation in the fourth.
Notable: Grebeck’s sixth inning run moves him into a tie for eighth in Oregon history with 97 for his career … Carson Breshears went 2-for-3, registering his second multi-hit game of the year … With the win, the Ducks finished the regular season 19-10 at home … A.J. Balta reached base twice with a pair of walks … Nogosek’s team-leading 28th appearance of the game is tied for 10th in single-season history, while his 84 career appearances rank second all-time.
On Deck: The Ducks will travel to Palo Alto, Calif. to wrap up the regular season with a three-game Pac-12 series against Stanford from Thursday to Saturday. Thursday and Friday’s game will both begin at 7 p.m., and Saturday’s game will start at 1 p.m. All three games will be on Pac-12 Networks.