Parker Morin had two hits for Utah against Oregon.
March 24, 2012
EUGENE, Ore. - The Utah baseball team couldn't hold on to a late lead, falling to Oregon, 5-3, on Saturday afternoon.
With the game tied at 2-2 after seven innings, the Utes took a 3-2 lead in the eighth. James Brooks was issued a one-out walk, followed by an infield single by Connor Eppard. After a pitching change by the Ducks, Shaun Cooper singled through the left side to give the Utes the lead.
Oregon (15-5, 3-2 Pac-12) would pull ahead in the bottom of the inning, leading off the inning with three-straight hits to score two runs. A third run would score on a sacrifice fly later in the inning, giving the Ducks a 5-3 lead.
The Utes (6-15, 3-2 Pac-12) failed to put anything together in the ninth inning. Parker Morin went 2-for-4 to lead the Utes at the plate, driving in two of Utah's three runs.
Brock Duke pitched five innings, allowing two runs on three hits with three walks and two strikeouts. Tyler Wagner pitched the final three innings, surrendering three runs on five hits with three strikeouts. He earned the loss to fall to 1-4 on the year.
"We were where we wanted to be with a one-run lead, and they battled back and got some big hits and ultimately beat us," Utah head coach Bill Kinneberg said.
Both teams scored in the first inning. Morin had an RBI single for the Utes to drive in Connor Eppard with two outs. The Ducks Aaron Payne hit a one-out triple to deep right field and scored on a sacrifice fly.
The Utes tied the game at two in the sixth inning. Cooper was hit by the pitch with two outs, and Morin hit a double deep into the left field corner to score Cooper from first.
Oregon tried for the equalizer in the sixth by putting two on with one out, but Wagner got out of the inning.
Several good defensive plays by Oregon thwarted the Utes throughout the game. "Their shortstop (J.J. Altobelli) made a few really outstanding plays," Kinneberg said. "They are a very athletic team, and they did a good job minimizing our opportunities."
The Utes and Ducks close out their three-game series on Sunday, March 25, at noon PT.