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Jacob Walsh, Logan Mercado help Oregon secure series win over Arizona State to open Pac-12 play

Jarrid Denneyby:Jarrid Denney03/10/24


The Oregon Ducks capped off their first weekend of Pac-12 play with a gutsy comeback win to secure a series win.

Oregon topped Arizona State, 8-5, at Phoenix Muni Stadium on Sunday. After dropping Friday’s opener and winning Saturday’s game, the Ducks overcame an early deficit thanks to some timely hitting in the middle innings.

With the win, Oregon improved to 11-4 on the year and 2-1 in Pac-12 play.

The Ducks trailed 2-0 early, but for the second day in a row, Jacob Walsh changed the game with one swing of the bat for UO. The junior first baseman launched a grand slam in the top of the fourth, and Oregon never looked back after that.

The Ducks tacked on another run in the fifth when Anson Aroz ripped a two-out RBI single. Then, in the sixth, Ryan Cooney and Mason Neville drew back-to-back bases-loaded walks to make it 7-2.

Arizona State struck back in the fifth when Harris Williams and Ryan Campos tagged right-handed reliever Micahel Freund for back-to-back solo homers. In the seventh, Campos lifted another solo shot that cut the Ducks’ lead to 7-5.

Campos had a chance to produce a game-defining moment in the bottom of the eighth. With veteran righty Logan Mercado on the bump for Oregon, Campos stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and two outs. He worked a full count before lifting a fly ball to deep right field.

But it died at the warning track for the third out of the inning, and Mercado escaped the jam.

The Ducks capitalized on the momentum immediately. With one out in the top of the ninth, Aroz lifted a solo homer — his second in as many days — to give Oregon an insurance run.

Mercado stayed on in the ninth inning and worked around a one-out walk to close out the game and complete a seven-out save.

Aroz finished the day 2-for-5 with a pair of RBI, and Jeffery Heard was 2-for-4 with two runs and a double.

Oregon starter Kevin Seitter tossed 3 2/3 innings and allowed two earned runs on five hits. he struck out one and walked two. Michael Freund tossed 2 1/3 innings and allowed two runs, and Grayson Grinsell threw 2/3 innings and allowed one run to bridge the gap to Mercado.

The Ducks will now set their sights on their March 12 matchup with Portland at PK Park in Eugene. First pitch is scheduled for 5:05 p.m. PT.

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