FULLERTON, Calif.- Entering the third game of a three game series with Cal-State Fullerton third baseman Ryan Hambright was a disastrous 2-for-36 on the season. Sunday Hambright and the Ducks, who had lost the first two games of the series, broke out of that slump.
Hambright was 3-for-4 with three RBIs and Oregon (8-3) won easily 9-1.
When head coach George Horton spoke to the media Wednesday, he singled Hambright’s struggles.
“One of the coaches mentioned [to Hambright], ‘I hope you’re not feeling the pressure of coming out of the lineup because you’re going to stay in there,’” Horton said. “The only way to get out of a slump is to try to get better and go up there and break out of a slump. It’s hard to break out when on the bench.”
The Ducks batters as a whole could’ve used similar insurance, as they had brought just seven runs across in the past three games, but the Ducks were able to get nine home Sunday.
Oregon got it started early, picking up two runs in the top of the second, when the Ducks were the beneficiary of a Titan throwing error that put two runners in scoring position. It was then Hambright knocking in his first RBI of the day.
Hambright brought Kyle Garlick in in the fourth, when Garlick once again was able to reach third base off of a failed pick-off move that landed in right field. His third RBI came in the sixth with a single that scored Brett Thomas.
Thomas, Garlick and J.J. Altobelli reached home twice a piece to pace the Ducks scoring.
Cole Irvin was 2-0 with two quality starts entering Sunday and both his record and quality start streak remained intact following his seven-inning start Sunday. Irvin allowed just one run over seven, and struck out three.
The freshman faced his only trouble in the fourth inning, when CSF’s Jake Jeffries hit a double off of the southpaw.
The nine runs were the tied for the most scored by the Ducks this season, matching a 9-5 win in the third game versus Hawaii.
The loss was Cal-State Fullerton’s first of the season.
Oregon won’t have time to bask in their victory, as they begin a two-game home stand versus Cal-State Northridge tomorrow. Monday’s first pitch will be 6 p.m., followed by a noon start Tuesday.