Eugene, Ore. -
No. 15 Oregon used a five-run eighth inning to rally by No. 2 Vanderbilt 7-5 to salvage the series finale on Sunday at PK Park.
The Commodores (15-2) took a 5-2 lead into the bottom of the eighth inning after Mike Yastrzemski doubled in Connor Harrell in the top half of the inning. The Ducks' (11-5) winning rally started when a Philip Pfeifer pitch hit Aaron Payne to open the frame. Payne was erased on a fielder's choice but a walk put runners on first and second and ended Pfeifer's day. The Dores' bullpen was not up to the task. Carson Fulmer struck out the first batter he faced for the second out of the inning but the freshman plunked the next batter to load the bases. Jared Miller came into the game and quickly pushed a run across with a wild pitch before walking pinch hitter Tyler Baumgartner on five pitches. Steven Rice was the next VU arm into the game and the lefty did his job getting Steven Packard to hit a weak ground ball to Vince Conde at third. But Conde's throw was rushed and sailed high to first baseman Conrad Gregor, allowing the tying runs to score. Brian Miller came into stop the bleeding but after a walk, Scott Heineman delivered the game-winning, two-run single through the left side of the infield. The Ducks' winning inning saw five runs score on only one hit as the Dores' pitching walked three batters and hit two more.
Vanderbilt took control of the game in the fifth inning with two runs to reclaim the lead. Back-to-back doubles from Spencer Navin and John Norwood scored the first run and a sacrifice fly from Tony Kemp put the Dores in front. Yastrzemski added a mammoth solo home run in the sixth before his double in the eighth gave VU a three-run cushion. Kemp finished the day 2-for-4 and wrapped up the weekend with seven hits.
Jared Miller (0-1) took the loss with his walk crossing the plate as the go-ahead run in the eighth. The bullpen's implosion cost Pfeifer, who tossed 7.1 innings of solid ball. The lefty allowed four runs, three earned, on six hits with four strikeouts for a no decision. Oregon closer Jimmie Sherfy (1-0) picked up the win in relief allowing one run on two hits in 1.2 innings. Ducks' starter Cole Irvin gave up four runs on nine hits in 7.1 innings.
The loss snaps the Commodores' 13-game winning streak and gives the team its second loss of the year on a Sunday.
Vanderbilt returns to action on Wednesday at 4 p.m. against Buffalo at Hawkins Field. The Commodores open Southeastern Conference play next weekend traveling to Auburn for a three-game series with the Tigers.