EUGENE, Ore. – No. 23 Oregon completed its sweep of No. 14 Arizona State as closer Jimmie Sherfy struck out Nathaniel Causey with the bases loaded in the top of the ninth to preserve the Ducks’ 4-3 victory.
Sherfy earned his sixth save of the season, but Oregon (18-8, 6-3) needed its three-run cushion entering the ninth as UO’s closer surrendered two runs on four hits and one walk in one inning of relief.
The Ducks were put in solid position for the win by sophomore Brando Tessar (4-0), as the right-hander tossed six and 1/3 shutout innings, holding the Sun Devils (16-12, 3-6) to two hits while striking out five. He managed to hold ASU scoreless despite issuing six walks.
Arizona State starter Darin Gillies (0-3) took the loss after allowing one run on four hits and one walk in four innings of work. Four ASU relievers also saw action for the Sun Devils.
Oregon took a 1-0 lead in the third as Jones’ sacrifice fly plated Connor Hofmann from third. Hofmann was hit by a pitch to lead off the bottom of the inning.
The Ducks expanded their lead to 3-0 in the fifth as Jones drove in a pair of runs with a double to right as Hofmann and J.J. Altobelli came around to score with Alex Blackford on the hill. Hofmann was issued a leadoff walk by Blackford, while Altobelli recorded a one-out single to put runners on second and third for Jones’ two-out double.
With Tommy Thorpe on the hill in relief in the seventh, Arizona State finally broke through as Kasey Coffman drove a one-out double down the right field line, and scored on Andrew Aplin’s RBI single to left.
Oregon added an insurance run, which proved to be the game winner in the eighth, as Jones laced his second double of the day down the left field line, and scored as Healy slipped a RBI-single through the left side.
The Ducks got into trouble in the top of the ninth with Sherfy on the hill as he surrendered three singles to load the bases with two outs, setting up Joey DeMichele’s two-run single into left field as the Sun Devils closed 4-3. Sherfy then walked Abe Ruiz to load the bases, but the right-hander struck out Causey looking to end the game.
For Oregon, it was the Ducks first-ever sweep of the Sun Devils.
Oregon returns to action on Thursday at UCLA in a three-game series.
Notes: Oregon swept its third opponent of the year and its second ranked opponent of 2012…the Ducks also swept their first Pac-12 opponent since ending the 2011 season with a sweep of then sixth-ranked Oregon State…Aaron Jones leads the Ducks with 23 RBIs and seven multiple-RBI games…Oregon is now 8-4 in one-run games…the Ducks are also now 6-1 when Brando Tessar starts…UO’s starting pitching tossed 22 and 2/3 shutout innings and went 3-0 on this hill, totaling 11 strikeouts in the series…Oregon swept ASU for the first time in program history.