Washington took two of three games from the 12th ranked Oregon Ducks this weekend. The Husky offense looked alright against an excellent Oregon pitching staff, but the Husky staff dominated the Oregon bats and allowed just six runs in the three game series.
The Huskies sent their ace, Aaron West, to the mound on Friday night. He gave up a run in each of the first two innings, and the Washington offense could not create a base runner for the first three innings. However, Jayce Ray doubled and came around to score in the forth. Later in the inning, Chase Anselment hit an rbi single and another run came into score on a double play by Michael Camporeale. Washington added two runs of insurance in the sixth to take a 5-2 league. Aaron West, who had not allowed a single hit in the third, fourth, fifth, or sixth innings, allowed a leadoff homerun in the top of the seventh and was pulled from the game after allowing three runs on five hits in six innings of work. In the bottom of the frame, Joe Meggs plated a run with a sac fly before Ryan Wiggins hit a pinch-hit, two run homerun. Although Wiggins has played in just six games this year, he is tied for the team lead in homeruns with two. The Husky bullpen threw three scoreless innings to solidify the victory in game one of the series.
The Huskies didn’t wait to jump on the board in the first game on Saturday. They combined four singles and a walk to score four runs including an rbi by Camporeale, Andrew Ely, and two rbis by Jacob Lamb. While George Asmus did not get the start as scheduled, his replacement, Tyler Davis, threw six scoreless innings and allowed just three hits. The udub added an unearned run in the fifth inning, but it wouldn’t be needed as starter Tyler Davis and three separate relievers combined to deliver a six hit shutout.
With the series win ensured, Washington sent starter Austin Voth to the mound in search of the series sweep over a
highly ranked Oregon team. The Husky bats gave Voth a lead to work with as Trevor Mitsui led off the third inning with a double and scored on a single by Joe Meggs later in the inning. Voth, who had taken a no-hitter into the sixth, allowed a walk and hit by pitch with two outs in the sixth, followed by a double which drove in two runs and gave Oregon the 2-1 lead and broke up Voth’s no-hitter. Reliever Zach Wright kept the game within reach for Washington by throwing three scoreless innings, but the bats could not tie up the game in the seventh or eighth. With one out in the ninth, Caleb Browne singled and moved to third on a pass ball and groundout. Down to their final out, Husky coach Lindsay Meggs called upon pinch hitter Ryan Wiggins with the tying run on third. Wiggins came through in the clutch and singled in the tying run and sent the game to extra innings. Husky reliever Adam Cimber allowed no runs and just two base runners in 3.2 innings of work, but Washington could not score either. With two outs and a runner on second in the thirteenth inning, Jeff Brigham was brought into the game to get the final out of the inning to prevent a Duck run. He induced a groundball which was misplayed by left fielder Joe Meggs, who was playing second base, and the run came into score. Washington could not score in the bottom of the thirteenth and the Oregon Ducks evaded the series sweep.
This was the biggest test for the Huskies so far this year and they excelled. They showed that the can compete against a great team. This series victory over 12th ranked Oregon is just another sign of the quickly rising University of Washington baseball program. After this weekend, we could see Washington peaking into some national rankings. The offense in purple and gold faced some great pitching and scored when they needed to, and the udub pitching staff did exactly what they needed to do: control the Duck offense and keep games close. The Relievers, who were quite suspect early in the season, allowed no earned runs this entire series.
It was also great to see the Huskies continue to outplay their competition in the field. Washington committed just one error as opposed to the five allowed by Oregon in the series, although Washington’s only error was the difference in the game 3 loss. Only 15 errors have been committed by Washington this entire season while their opponents have allowed 26.
With the series win over Oregon, Washington fans have yet another reason to believe in the legitimacy of this program. Washington moves to 2-1 in conference play and 12-7 overall on the year. They will head down to Texas for games against Lamar and Houston before returning home for a three game series next weekend against Cal State Bakersfield.