Smith shines in Ducks win - University of Oregon Athletics

EUGENE, Ore. — Tanner Smith stole the show in Oregon's 8-3 win over California in Pac-12 Conference play on Saturday at PK Park.
 
The Ducks' left fielder had four hits, drove in a pair of runs and scored twice, but it was his leaping catch in left field that robbed Cal's Dylan Beavers of a two-run home run that may have been his biggest contribution. With a runner on first, Smith snatched the ball from over the left-field wall to prevent Cal from cutting the lead to one in the seventh inning.
 
How It Happened: Isaac Ayon battled out of first inning trouble, holding the Golden Bears (20-22, 10-13 Pac-12) to a single run in the frame despite giving up a home run and a double to the first two batters. Ayon struck out the three-hole hitter, before getting a ground out and a pop out to keep the Ducks (28-14, 13-7) within a run early.
 
Oregon snatched the lead in its half of the inning, scoring five runs off Cal starter Joseph King (3-3). Smith reached on an infield hit to lead off the Ducks' half of an inning, before moving to third on a Drew Cowley double into the right-field corner. Smith tied the game scoring on a Brennan Milone ground out.
 
Jacob Walsh gave Oregon the lead driving in Cowley with a RBI single to right field. Oregon then got back-to-back doubles from Anthony Hall and Colby Shade to give Oregon a three-run lead. Josiah Cromwick made it 5-1 with a RBI single scoring Shade.
 
The teams traded runs in the second inning. Smith sparked the rally doubling with one out. He moved to third on a Cowley infield single before Milone picked up his second RBI in as many innings scoring Smith.
 
The Golden Bears added a run in the third, before the pitching took over. Neither team was able to bring a run across the plate in the fourth, fifth or sixth innings.
 
Cal had its chance in the seventh. Nathan Martorella walked with one out bringing Beavers, the Pac-12's leader in home runs with 14, to the plate. Beavers lifted the ball into the air in left-center field, but Smith timed it perfectly snagging the ball as it crossed over the outfield wall for the second out. Andrew Mosiello got another fly ball to Smith to end the inning.

Smith Robs HR no ball vs. Cal
 
The Ducks put the game away in the bottom of the seventh, and again Smith got the hit when it mattered. Hall led off the inning with a single, stole second and moved to third on a Shade comebacker. After Cromwick grounded out to short for the second out, Gavin Grant walked and moved to second on a wild pitch putting two runners in scoring position.

Smith worked the count full, and then slapped one between the shortstop and third baseman scoring both Hall and Grant to make the lead five.
 
Caleb Sloan pitched the final two innings, allowing just one base runner to clinch the series for Oregon.
 
Box Score Notes: Ayon (3-1) picked up the win allowing just two earned runs in 6.0 innings pitched … He tied a career high with seven strikeouts and had his sixth quality start of the season, and third in a row at home … The Ducks finished with 16 hits, with all nine starters contributing at least one … Smith's two-RBI single in the seventh was his 200th career hit … His two RBI were numbers 100 and 101 of his career … Smith (4-for-5, 2 RBI, 2 R) had his 57th career multi-hit game, moving him into a tie for third all-time at Oregon with Ryon Healy (2011-130 … Cowley (3-for-5, R) has multiple hits in both games of the series and now has multiple hits in 11 of the 21 games he has played in this year … Hall (2-for-5, RBI, 2 R) also has multiple hits in both Cal games … The Ducks did not homer for the fourth consecutive game, the club's longest long-ball drought.
 
Up Next: The Ducks will look for the series sweep tomorrow against Cal. First pitch is at 12:05 p.m.
 

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