Late Oregon rally sinks Jacks
EUGENE, Ore. – Ryon Healy’s two-run double in the bottom of the eighth inning lifted No. 8 national seed Oregon to a 3-2, come-from-behind victory over South Dakota State in the first round of the NCAA Eugene Regional Friday night at PK Park.
Oregon, which improved to 46-14 overall, will face Rice (Texas) at 6 p.m. Pacific Time on Saturday in the winners-bracket game. The Jackrabbits will meet San Francisco (Calif.) in an elimination game at 2 p.m. PT Saturday.
Oregon’s winning rally in the eighth began when J.J. Altobelli drew a leadoff walk against Jackrabbit starter Layne Somsen. Altobelli advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt against SDSU closer J.D. Moore by Brett Thomas. Aaron Payne was hit by a pitch to put runners at first and second before Healy cleared the bases with his game-winning double, which was only the second hit of the game for the Ducks.
The Jackrabbits broke into the scoring column first with three hits in the second inning. Daniel Telford led off with a sharp single, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Paul Jacobson and scored on Aaron Machbitz’s base hit through the middle.
Telford opened the fourth inning for SDSU with his second consecutive single up the middle. Jacobson followed with another sacrifice bunt and Telford moved up another 90 feet on a groundout. Telford then scored when Machbitz’s ground ball to third was booted.
Oregon cut the deficit in half with an unearned run in the bottom of the fifth. Connor Hofmann reached on a two-base error to open the frame, stole third and scored on a wild pitch.
SDSU put the tying run in scoring position in the top of the ninth against All-America closer Jimmie Sherfy, but could not plate the tying run.
Somsen allowed only one hit in seven-plus innings, striking out six and walking three. Moore took the loss for the Jackrabbits, falling to 0-2 on the season.
Garrett Cleavinger, who worked a perfect eighth inning, earned his ninth victory of the season for Oregon. Duck starter Jake Reed gave up five hits and struck out three in seven innings.
OREGON 3, SOUTH DAKOTA STATE 2
SDSU 010 100 000 2-5-2
ORE 000 010 02X 3-2-1
SDSU: Layne Somsen, J.D. Moore (8) and Reid Clary. ORE: Jake Reed, Garrett Cleavinger (8), Jimmie Sherfy (9) and Josh Graham.
W-Cleavinger (9-0). L. Moore (0-2). Save-Sherfy (21).