Ducks win series opener with Utah


EUGENE, Ore. — Alex Keudell pitched seven strong innings and Aaron Jones delivered a key RBI triple to lead No. 24 Oregon (14-5, 2-2 Pac-12) past Utah (6-14, 2-2) in the Ducks’ conference home opener Friday night at PK Park.

Trailing 1-0 in the fifth, Jones lined a one-out triple to the gap in left-center field, bringing home J.J. Altobelli with the tying run. Ryon Healy followed with an RBI groundout to third, plating Jones with what proved to be the game-winning run.

After allowing a leadoff home run to Utah’s James Brooks in the top of the first inning, Keudell (2-3) scattered four hits and one walk the rest of the way, striking out five. The right-hander also picked off a pair of runners to help his own cause.

Oregon added an insurance run in the seventh on Healy’s base hit off Utah reliever Mitch Watrous, who had spelled starter Joe Pond (2-3).

Pond pitched six complete, allowing two runs on four hits and seven walks, while striking out seven.

Jones went 2 for 2 with an RBI and run scored. Aaron Payne also had a pair of hits, going 2 for 3 with a run scored.

Parker Morin led the Utes at the plate with a 2 for 4 effort.

The two teams will be back at it on Saturday with the first pitch scheduled for 2 p.m. Probable starters are RHP Jake Reed (1-2, 2.38) for the Ducks and RHP Brock Duke (2-0, 2.19) for the Utes.