No. 10 Oregon rallies to force extra innings, tops Arizona in 10th
EUGENE, Ore. -- Putting a four-game collective slump behind them, the meat of the Oregon lineup put together a four-run rally to tie Saturday's game with Arizona in the seventh inning, before Austin Grebeck's game-winning single in the 10th won it for the Ducks, 7-6. Cleanup hitter Kyle Garlick's two-run triple got Oregon within 6-4 in the seventh, and Steven Packard followed with a two-run homer just inside the right-field foul pole.
"It was a great one -- probably on the short list of as good a comeback as we've had late in the ballgame," said head coach George Horton.
After a rough go during a three-game sweep by OSU last week, Oregon's top four batters managed a single hit in Friday's series-opening win over the Wildcats. On Saturday, the Ducks got six hits out of the top four spots in the lineup, two more than in the previous four games combined.
Tyler Baumgartner had RBI singles in the third and fifth innings as Oregon (33-13, 12-8 Pac-12) built a 2-1 lead. His one-out single started the seventh-inning rally after Arizona (18-27, 7-16) had gone back ahead 6-2.
"This is definitely a big one for us, just shows our resiliency," said Baumgartner. "Last weekend was rough, almost like we folded, it seemed like. It was good to be able to come back."
Shaun Chase reached to open the bottom of the 10th, his second hit of the day in raising his average in Pac-12 play to .391. A.J. Balta showed bunt, then slapped a single between first and second, with pinch runner Desmond Santos taking third, and Grebeck followed with the walk-off winner.
Closer Jake Reed pitched two scoreless inning for the win. He was the sixth reliever of the day, picking up Jeff Gold after the UO senior suffered through both the flu and -- perhaps not coincidentally -- his worst start of the spring.
Gold was touched for a first-inning run, but unlike Friday the Ducks were ready to go from the outset at the plate. Aaron Payne singled and Baumgartner walked before being stranded in the first, and Baumgartner tied the game with a single that scored Mark Karaviotis in the third.
Again in the fifth, Baumgartner singled and Karaviotis crossed the plate, for a 2-1 lead.
The Wildcats strung together five hits in six at-bats to rally for four runs in the sixth, and added another in the seventh. There were two out in the bottom of the seventh when Baumgartner singled and Mitchell Tolman was hit by a pitch, bringing Garlick to the plate looking to avoid a four-strikeout night.
Instead, he lined a triple into right-center, his school-record 12th career three-base hit.
"Baseball's a tough game; you just really have to stick with it," said Garlick. "You take the good when you can, and the bad, you've just got to grind through it. You're going to have your ups and downs, and we really came out of our shell today in a big way."
Garlick entered the game tied for the UO triples record with George Shaw, who doubled as a quarterback and was the No. 1 overall pick in the 1955 NFL draft.
"I try to live in that right-center-field gap," said Garlick. "That's the biggest part of the field, and it's the longest throw to third.
"And I know coaches joke that I'm 'Gramps,'" added Garlick, who sports a bald pate, "but I've got some speed and I think that helps."
Baumgartner enjoyed his team-best 18th multi-hit game, but also broke an 0-for-16 slump with his first hit since April 19. He spent time studying video with UO hitting coach Mark Wasikowski earlier in the week, and again prior to Saturday's game.
"It helped me get the bat path to where I'm not missing pitches I should be hitting," said Baumgartner. "It was really good. Everybody stepped up tonight."
The win was Oregon's 15th in a row at home.