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Oregon completes two-game sweep of Grand Canyon

Jarrid Denneyby:Jarrid Denney03/06/24


After a rocky series loss to No. 25 UC Santa Barbara over the weekend, the Oregon Ducks bounced back and notched a couple of quality wins in Phoenix this week.

Oregon topped Grand Canyon, 13-5, Wednesday at GCU Ballpark. With the win, the Ducks improved to 9-3 on the season and completed a two-game sweep of the Antelopes.

Justin Cassella went 4-for-4 with a home run, a double, and four RBI for Oregon. Chase Meggers was 4-for-5, and Anson Aroz — who started in right field after making starts at catcher, first base, and left field earlier this season — went 3-for-3 with two RBI.

For the third day in a row, both Mason Neville homered for the Ducks, and Jacob Walsh went yard for the second day in a row.

By the time the dust settled, Oregon racked up 21 hits and put 28 runners on base.

Cassela smashed the first pitch of the game over the left-field fence to put Oregon on the board immediately. But GCU answered back quickly when Zach Yorke launched a two-run home off Oregon starter Collin Clarke in the bottom of the first to give the Antelopes a 2-1 lead.

The Ducks leveled the score one inning later when freshman Ryan Cooney smashed his second homer of the season. But, once again, the Antelopes produced a rapid response. Tyler Wilson lifted a two-run homer off Clarke in the bottom of the third to make it 4-2.

From there, though, the Ducks put on an offensive fireworks show. Walsh lifted a two-run homer in the top of the fourth to tie the ballgame. One inning later, Jeffery Heard lifted a sacrifice fly to plate Cassella and give Oregon a 5-4 lead. The next batter, Aroz, ripped a single up the middle to double the Ducks’ advantage.

Oregon took control of the game for good in the sixth inning when Meggers led off the inning with a single to center and Carter Garate followed with a double to put runners in the corners. The Antelopes lifted starting pitcher Bryan Webb for Brock Toney and the Ducks proceeded to ambush him for five runs.

The highlight of the frame came when Neville, an Arkansas transfer, lifted a towering three-run homer.

On the mound, Clarke tossed 3.0 innings and allowed 7 hits, 4 earned runs, and two strikeouts.

Sophomore lefty Ian Umlandt came on in relief and threw 4.0 shutdown innings to earn the win. He did not allow a runner to reach base and struck out one batter on the day.

Oregon turned to Cole Stokes for the final two innings and he closed out the game by liming GCU to one run on two hits in 2.0 innings.

The Ducks will remain in Phoenix for the week and kickoff Pac-12 play on Friday when they face Arizona State (6-6) at 5:35 p.m.

Junior righty RJ Gordon is expected to get the starting nod for Oregon on Friday.

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