Courtesy: University of Oregon Athletics
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Pounding out a season-high 20 hits — including two homers, three triples and four doubles — the No. 2-seeded Oregon Ducks rolled to an 18-1 win over No. 3-seeded Clemson on Friday afternoon in the opening game of the Nashville Regional at Hawkins Field.
Oregon (43-18) advances to face the winner of Friday night’s Vanderbilt-Xavier game on Saturday at 7 p.m. Clemson (36-24) will face the Vanderbilt-Xavier loser in an elimination game on Saturday at 1 p.m.
Oregon’s Tyler Baumgartner finished 3-for-6 with a homer, two RBIs and three runs scored in Friday’s win, and Shaun Chase was 2-for-5 with a three-run homer. Nick Catalano added three hits and drove in three runs.
Oregon starter Tommy Thorpe (11-4) earned the win, working seven innings of one-run ball and limiting Clemson to five hits. He allowed four walks and had four strikeouts.
Chase and Baumgartner hit back-to-back homers to fuel a five-run fourth inning that set the tone for the Ducks. The Oregon duo, who are the No. 4 and 5 hitters in the Ducks’ lineup, combined for five hits, five RBIs and five runs scored in the route.
Oregon scored three runs in the second inning to build a 3-1 lead, and then exploded for 15 runs over a three-inning stretch — five in the fourth, three in the fifth and seventh in the sixth — to break the game wide open.
The outburst began with a five-run, 11-batter rally in the fifth. Chase delivered the big blow of the inning with a three-run homer into the bleachers in left field. The blast, his 13th of the season, was followed by Baumgartner’s shot into the right-field stands.
The Ducks continued to pound away from there, and by game’s end, eight players had multiple hits for Oregon.
No player had more than than one hit for Clemson, which suffered its most lopsided NCAA tournament defeat since dropping a 23-5 decision to Missouri State in 1999.