The opportunities were there, but the Ducks came a few inches short of winning game one of their NCAA Super Regional matchup with Kent State Saturday night at PK Park in Eugene.
Evan Campbell's diving catch of a deep shot off the bat of J.J. Altobelli with two outs and the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth preserved a 7-6 win for the Golden Flashes from Kent, Ohio.
The story of this game for Oregon was equal parts missed opportunities and gifts to Kent State. The Ducks drew 11 walks in addition to their 7 hits, the first of which didn't come until the bottom of the fifth on a single by Ryon Healy.
However, it was the errors that gave Kent State a lead and ultimately the win. The most critical came in the top of the eighth inning when right fielder Aaron Jones misjudged a liner from Alex Miklos that bounced in front of him. As the ball rolled to the warning track, T.J. Sutton and Sawyer Polen scored to give the Golden Flashes a 7-4 lead. The Ducks finished with three errors in the game.
Alex Keudell pitched 7.1 innings for Oregon and earned the loss. Kent State's David Starn pitched 6.1 innings and earned the win.
Both teams will play game two Sunday night at 7pm at PK Park. A coin flip has Oregon playing as the visitor in game two and and game three if necessary.