EUGENE, Ore. – Utah’s Parker Morin ended No. 24 Oregon’s hope of a sweep as he launched a two-run homer over the right field wall in the ninth, pushing the Utes to a 4-3 victory over the Ducks on Sunday at PK Park.
Oregon (15-6, 3-3) right fielder Aaron Jones backed all the way to the wall and watching the ball go in and out his glove as he collided with fence.
Reliever Jimmie Sherfy (3-1) took the loss after tossing one and 2/3 innings in relief. In the top of the eighth, Oregon reliever Jeff Gold got into trouble loading the bases with one out, sandwiching a hit batter between two walks. Sherfy came out of the bullpen and struck out Ryan Cooperstone before coaxing a fly out from James Brooks to get the Ducks out of the jam.
But in the top of the ninth as Oregon nursed a 3-2 lead, Sherfy issued a lead-off walk to Connor Eppard. Two batters later, Sherfy surrendered his first home run of the season as Morin took the 1-2 offering over the right field wall and put the Utes (7-15, 3-3) ahead 4-3.
Oregon had the game-tying run 90 feet away in the bottom of the ninth as Ryan Hambright drove a one-out triple into deep center field. Utah right-hander Mitch Watrous then plunked pinch-hitter Daniel Pardini to put runners on the corners, but J.J. Altobelli hit into a double play to end the game.
Watrous (1-0) was credited with the win after shutting out Oregon for two innings on one hit while striking out three.
For the first time this season, Oregon lost when Brando Tessar received the start. The sophomore was in line for the win as Oregon led 3-2 when he exited the game in the top of the seventh. In six and 1/3 innings pitched, Tessar allowed two runs on five hits while issuing three walks. The Simi Valley, Calif., native struck out seven and retired 10 consecutive batters at one point, and struck out the side in the third.
In the start for Utah, Kesley Kondo allowed three runs on five hits and two walks while striking out four in four innings of work. Josh Chapman also tossed three shutout innings for the Utes, surrendering just two hits to the Ducks.
Oregon took a 1-0 advantage in the first as Aaron Payne was plunked with one out, and then scored from first when he moved to third on Jones’ single, and scored as Jones was caught in a rundown at second.
The Ducks added a pair of runs in the fourth to take a 3-0 lead. Kondo issued a lead-off walk to Jones, who then scored from first as Ryon Healy drove a double into right field. Kyle Garlick then knocked a single through the left side as Healy was able to score.
Utah added a run in the top of the fifth as Tessar plunked Tyson Gonzalez, and scored as Brooks doubled to right center.
The Utes closed 3-2 in the sixth Trey Nielsen led off the inning with a single to center. Tessar then walked Tyler Relf, and Ethan Leiter’s sacrifice moved runners to second and third with one out. A sacrifice fly from Gonzalez plated Nielsen, but Tessar struck out Cooperstone to strand Relf at second.
Brooks and Morin led the Utes with two hits apiece, while Jones went 2-for-2 and was issued two walks. Healy posted a 2-for-4 day at the plate with a double, while Garlick also totaled two hits.