Ducks Need Just One Run to Win

Ducks Need Just One Run to Win

EUGENE - The Ducks and Utes combined for one run, seven hits and another Duck victory in Friday night's series opener at PK Park.

EUGENE - The Ducks and Utes combined for one run, seven hits and another Duck victory in Friday night's series opener at PK Park.

Neither side was able to score until the bottom of the eighth inning, when pinch runner Nick Catalano scored from second base on a Mitch Watrous wild pitch. The ball bounced near the Ute dugout, beat Catalano to home plate on the throw only to be dropped by catcher Konnor Armijo.

"I was running hard, but the ball beat me. I was lucky that the catcher dropped it," Catalano said of his game-winning sprint to home.

Shaun Chase opened the eighth with a single to left field before being removed for the speedier Catalano.

"I'm glad I got pinch run ran for. I knew as soon as I got to first my day was over, so I'm glad that that happened," said Chase, who admitted who wouldn't have beaten a throw home.

Catalano won the Ducks' series opener against Hawaii in similar fashion, scoring from second on a wild pitch to break a 2-2 tie.

The win, the Ducks third of four in Pac-12 play, was also Tommy Thorpe's third of the season, improving him to 3-2.

Oregon coach George Horton said the late game heroics were fortunate as closer Jake Reed would've replaced him regardless of if the Ducks scored in the eighth.

"I think the game rewarded him for how well he pitched," Horton said.

Reed sent down the side in order in the ninth to complete the win.

Thorpe tossed eight shutout innings, allowing just three hits, while sending five down on strikes.

He sent down the first 14 Ute batters he faced before Wyler Smith bunted safely in the fifth.

"That doesn't happen very often," Thorpe said of a no-hitter or perfect game. "So you've just got to take it and roll with it."

Utah's Mitch Watrous's stalwart performance completed the pitcher's duel of Friday night starters. Watrous struck out nine and allowed just five base runners to reach.

"His stuff was tremendous," Chase said of Watrous. "His slider was never a consistent speed. He flipped in a curveball every once in a while. He was really good."

Oregon advance runners to second base just prior to the go-ahead run, Tyler Baumgartner on both occasions, but never advanced any further.

Baumgartner finished 2-for-4 and has now has 10 multiple hit games this season.

The official time of the game was two hours and one minute, the fastest game of the season by nine minutes.

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