Joe Pond had seven strikeouts in the loss to Oregon.
March 23, 2012
EUGENE, Ore. - Despite a solid start, the Utah baseball team couldn't keep its momentum going against Oregon in a 3-1 loss on Friday evening.
The Utes had a strong first inning, with James Brooks leading off the game with a home run over the left field fence. Shaun Cooper and Parker Morin also singled in the inning, but Oregon got out of the inning with a double play ground out.
Oregon had three hits in the first inning and stranded two on in the third and fourth innings but couldn't get on the board until the fifth inning. J.J. Altobelli was hit by the pitch and scored when Aaron Jones tripled to deep left center. Jones would score on a ground out, giving the Ducks a 2-1 lead.
Oregon added to its lead in the seventh off singles from Aaron Payne and Ryon Healy, pulling ahead 3-1.
The Utes struggled after the first inning, putting together just three hits over the remaining eight innings. The Ducks had three pickoffs in the contest. Morin led Utah at the plate, going 2-for-4, including a one-out hit in the ninth inning in an attempt to put together a late rally.
Joe Pond threw six innings on the mound, allowing two runs on four hits with seven strikeouts. He earns the loss to fall to 2-3 on the year. Mitch Watrous threw the final two innings, allowing one run on four hits with a strikeout.
"We had some opportunities to score runs, but we squandered some of those opportunities," Utah head coach Bill Kinneberg said. "After starting off with the home run, we had runners on first and third with one out and we really needed to score that run. Joe Pond walked a few too many batters, but he also got some really big outs for us. It was a hard-fought ball game, but we didn't get it done when we needed to."
The Utes and Ducks play game two of their three-game series on Saturday, March 24, beginning at 2:00 p.m. PT.