NCAA Baseball

Oregon beats Gonzaga, advance to the regional NCAA baseball final, OSU wins elimination game


Gabe Matthews crushed a two-run homer and Robert Ahlstrom got the win on the mound as the Ducks beat Gonzaga 7-3 Saturday night at the NCAA Eugene Regional. 

With the win, Oregon is now one game away from winning the regional and advancing to the Super Regionals. The Ducks take on the winner of a 3 p.m. game between Gonzaga and LSU at 7 p.m. Sunday.

“Real proud of the club, they came out today and didn’t play nervous,” Oregon head coach Mark Wasikowski said. “It was a well-rounded team win. I thought the tone was set right out of the chute.”

Oregon, the designated road team for the game, jumped out the gate in the top of the first as Tanner Smith hit a leadoff double on a 10 pitch at-bat for the Ducks. A couple of Gonzaga errors later and Oregon was off to a 4-0 start after one inning.

“I thought our kids battled, but the difference was four unearned runs in the first inning,” Gonzaga head coach Chad Carroll said. “They hit some balls hard no question, but we gave them some extra at-bats and they capitalized on it.”

Gonzaga pulled starter William Kempner after giving a hit to lead off the second inning.

Matthews’ homer came in the fourth inning after Aaron Zavala had smacked an RBI double off the wall. Zavala’s shot just missed clearing the fence before Matthews hit the moon shot into centerfield.

Matthews finished the day 2-for-4 at the plate with three RBIs, Sam Novitske went 3-for-4 with an RBI and Zavala went 1-for-5 with an RBI.

Earlier at the Eugene regional: Oregon Ducks hold on to win NCAA Regional opener

Robert Ahlstrom pitched eight innings and gave up three runs with six strikeouts and one walk. Wasikowski made the decision to have him start the second game of the regional rather than the opener, and he delivered.

“We used quite a few guys out of our pen yesterday (and) going into the game I was hoping I could go as long as I could,” Ahlstrom said. “I was hoping to go nine, but my pitch count didn’t allow me to do that.”

“He’s a good pitcher. We knew that coming in,” infielder Andrew Orzel said. “He was mixing four pitches for strikes (and) it’s tough for hitters.”

Alstrom gave up all three runs in the third inning. He struck out the side in the fourth inning and got out of a bases-loaded jam in the fifth with an inning-ending double play.

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“You could kind of feel the momentum switching sides kind of going over to their side,” Ahlstrom said. “I struck out the first batter, then got ahead on the second batter and felt like a punch out there would be good for momentum and getting in a grove. Once I got that second one, I knew I could get the third one. Once I got it, we felt the momentum come back to our side and we kept it the rest of the game.”

Somers pitched the ninth inning for the Ducks.

Dernedde powers Oregon State past McNeese 10-5

Kyle Dernedde hit two base-clearing doubles and No. 2 regional seed Oregon State beat fourth-seeded McNeese 10-5 in a Fort Worth Regional elimination game on Saturday.

Dernedde’s six RBIs tied Bill Rowe for the program record in a postseason game. His doubles powered five-run innings in both the fourth and eighth for the Beavers (35-23).

Oregon State reliever Chase Watkins (3-4) allowed one run, unearned, on one hit and no walks with three strikeouts in three innings. Starter Cooper Hjerpe struck out nine in 4 1/3 innings.

Jake Dickerson’s single to score Nate Fisbeck in the bottom of the seventh tied it at 5 for McNeese. Cameron Foster (1-5) took the loss for the Cowboys (32-30). He gave up two hits and a walk to the three batters he faced in the top of the eighth, and all three scored in the inning.

– The Associated Press

Contact reporter Luis Ramirez at lramirez@salem.gannett.com

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