Tyler Baumgartner hit a home run and scored three runs to back freshman pitcher Cole Irvin’s sensational postseason debut and Oregon kept its season alive with a 6-1 victory against USF on Sunday in the Eugene Regional.
Irvin (12-3) gave up a leadoff homer to USF’s Justin Maffei in the top of the first inning, then settled down to pitch a six-hitter with nine strikeouts and no walks.
The Ducks tied the score in the third inning when Baumgartner opened with a single off USF starter Alex Balog (3-4) and later scored on a sacrifice fly by Mitchell Tolman.
Oregon went up 2-1 in the fourth on a homer by Shaun Case and then added another run in the fifth on Baumgartner’s solo shot to right field, marking just the fifth time this season the Ducks had two or more home runs in the same game.
Balog lasted 6¹?³ innings, allowing five runs total, but just two earned, on five hits.
“Alex gave us the chance to win early in the game but we just didn’t take it,” USF coach Nino Giarratano said.
The Ducks scored twice in the seventh and once again in the ninth to ice the win.
Baumgartner finished 3-for-4 with two RBIs, needing just a triple to complete the cycle. Oregon had nine hits after getting just two in each of its first two NCAA regional games. Maffei and Bob Cruikshank each went 2-for-3 for the Dons in defeat.
The Dons were coming off back-to-back extra inning games. In the regional opener, USF lost to Rice 3-2 in 11 after a Dons outfielder lost a seemingly routine fly ball in the sun. On Saturday, USF knocked off South Dakota State 4-3 in 13 innings to set up Sunday’s game against Oregon.
— Staff, wire report