photo credit to Steve Coburn
EUGENE, Ore. --- UC Irvine's offense woke up late in Saturday game at PK Park amidst the constantly changing weather conditions, but it could not sustain it dropping to Oregon, 6-3.
The Ducks (20-8) got the scoring going early once again with a single run in the first, and were helped by an error in the second inning that allowed three unearned runs come around punctuated by a two-run Spencer Steer triple to give Oregon the 4-0 lead through two innings.
Louis Raymond was able to restore order shutting the Oregon bats down into the seventh inning, and his counterpart, Matt Mercer, was dealing alongside him until the sixth inning.
Mercer retired the first nine batters of the game and wiggled out of a couple jams to keep the stagnant Anteater offense down through five innings, but he allowed the first five batters to reach in the sixth including an RBI single from Keston Hiura and bases loaded walk to Adrian Damla to spell an exit for the starter.
Connor Zwetsch masterfully limited the UCI (12-15) attack getting all three batters he faced while allowing just one run on a sacrifice fly to preserve the lead at 4-3.
The Ducks added a little cushion with a Tim Susnara two-run home run in the seventh to get the lead up to 6-3 for closer Kenyon Yovan to close the door and get the final five outs to drop the 'Eaters.
Raymond suffers his third loss of the season despite only two earned runs of the five he allowed. Mercer went five innings for his fifth win allowing four hits and walks with help from four perfect innings of relief by his bullpen.
Steer and Susnara led all players with a pair of RBI. Jake Bennett had another three-hit game, and Kyle Kasser crossed home plate twice to lead all players. Keston Hiura put up the only multi-hit game for the 'Eaters along with an RBI. Evan Cassolato and Devin Pettengill each singled and scored as the 'Eaters managed just four hits on the afternoon.
The series wraps up on Sunday, April 8 with a 12:00 p.m. start with fans able to watch online via the Pac-12 Network as well as live on Twitter.