Peterson, Ducks Handcuff Wildcats 4-2

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOregon has picked the perfect time to play its best baseball of the season.

The Ducks are winners of four in a row after a 4-2 win over Arizona Saturday afternoon at PK Park. The victory sealed the series win over the Wildcats and Oregon will go for the sweep Sunday.

And with a possible NCAA tournament invite still on the line, the Ducks have no choice but to continue their winning ways. With the second straight win over Arizona, Oregon has moved into a tie for third place with Arizona State. Both teams are 14-12 in conference play and 2.5 games behind the leader, Utah.

The Ducks are also quickly improving their overall record to 28-22. There’s still five games to go, but receiving an invite to the NCAA tourney for the fifth season in a row is becoming a bigger possibility with each late-season win.

David Peterson was on the hill for the Ducks and like Cole Irvin the night before, the southpaw was dazzling. He was perfect through five innings before the Wildcats broke through with two runs in the sixth the tie the game 2-2.

Oregon was able to retake the lead in the seventh on Tim Susnara’s two-out, two-run double that scored Jake Bennett and Nick Catalano for the 4-2 lead. It was up to the Duck bullpen to preserve the lead and it did, but not without some stressful moments.

Brac Warren managed to get one out in the eighth, but not before Arizona put runners on second and third. After Warren coaxed a pop out, Oregon coach George Horton brought in the closer Stephen Nogosek and it was the right call.

Nogosek struck out Bobby Dalbec to end the threat and then pitched a scoreless ninth for his 15th save of the season.

Oregon scored in the second inning on a squeeze play that was executed to success by Travis Moniot. Bennett made it 2-0 with an RBI single in the fifth that scored Kyle Kasser.

The Ducks will look to go for the sweep Sunday afternoon at noon with Matt Mercer (2-0, 4.55 ERA) scheduled to start on the mound.

   ~ Don Smalley