EUGENE, Ore. – Junior starting pitcher Mark Anderson overcame a rough first inning, and finished the night throwing a brilliant game to earn his first win of the season. The Gaels bats remained silent until the top of the eighth when they busted through with a three run inning, the Gaels held on to a 3-2 victory over No. 15 Oregon on Friday night at PK Park.
The evening started out rough for Anderson (1-0) who found himself in a bases loaded situation with no outs. After a fielder’s choice and a sacrifice fly the Ducks (2-3) took the early 2-0 lead, that is all Oregon would score.
After the first inning Anderson was brilliant. He finished the night throwing 7.0 complete innings pitched, scattering five hits, allowing two earned runs, with three walks and two strike outs. Anderson and two other pitchers combined to throw eight scoreless innings against an Oregon team that came into the game averaging 5.25 runs per game.
“Tonight’s game was about the perseverance and tenacity of our guys,” said head coach Jedd Soto. “We had a couple guys have some really clutch AB’s working long counts and drawing walks. Defensively, I thought we could have tidied things up a little bit, but Mark Anderson was very good, got out of some tough jams. He was really tough all night long, he was spectacular. Mills was impressive again, coming in and throwing a 3-1 changeup to get out of the inning. Really proud of Dorsey Ek, he came in and once again kept his composure to nail down the save. Once again DeMello was a stud defensively, he threw a runner out at second backing up Channing and back-picked a runner at third that would have resulted in a run.”
In the top of the eighth, the Gaels (2-2) patient bats were rewarded, as five walks netted three runs. Justin Fazio got thing started with a base hit up the middle, his second hit of the game. Troy Channing and Brenden Kalfus drew walks to load the bases. Patrick Wisdom got an easy RBI when he drew the third walk of the inning. Channing scored the tying run on a wild pitch, Toby DeMello drew the fifth walk of the inning that scored Kalfus to give the Gaels a 3-2 lead.
The excitement didn’t end there, in the bottom of the ninth the Ducks made things interesting. Closer Dorsey Ek took the mound for the Gaels, looking for his second save in two games. Oregon’s Stefan Sabol led off the inning with a base hit up the middle, he moved over to second on a single from Danny Pulfer. Marcus Piazzi moved the runners to third and second on a sac bunt. Aaron Jones loaded the bases with a one out walk. Ek didn’t give in, he got his pitch, getting J.J. Antobelli to hit into a game ending 4-6-3 double play to earn his second save of the season.
Facing Saint Mary's was Preseason All-American Tyler Anderson. Anderson was extremely tough on the Gaels, going 7.1 innings, scattering three hits, two earned runs, three walks while striking out 12. When the Gaels tagged Anderson for two runs in the top of the eighth they turned the ball over to reliever Kellen Moen (0-1), Moen was unable to stop the SMC rally and took the loss after issuing the walk to Wisdom.
Freshman reliever Jordan Mills took the ball for the Gaels in the bottom of the eighth and threw a perfect inning, while earning a strike out.
Saint Mary’s and Oregon will square off for game two of the series at PK Park tomorrow, Saturday, February 26, the game is slated for a noon first pitch.