BSB: Led by its pitching staff, Oregon evens series with Hawaii after 3-1 win

Ryan Kostecka

One day after Oregon’s bullpen and defense let it down in the series-opening 7-6 loss, the Ducks responded with a dominating performance on the mound, earning the 3-1 win to even the season series with Hawaii.

It was a career-day for Cullen Kafka on the mound, throwing 7.0 innings and inducing 14 ground ball outs. He finished by striking out five and giving up six hits with only one run — a dominating performance to help restore balance after the Ducks used six pitchers the day before.

Kolby Somers got the save, his first of the season, by throwing the final two innings and giving up no runs and no hits with two strikeouts, facing the minimum six batters.

Once again, the Ducks jumped all over the Warriors when they scored two runs in the first inning. Sam Novitske started the game with a triple, and after Jonny DeLuca worked a walk, the stage was set for a perfectly executed double steal with Novitske scoring and DeLuca ending up at second. DeLuca would later come around to score when Gabe Mathews singled him home two batters later.

Kafka cruised through the first couple of innings before being touched for a run in the fourth when he gave up back-to-back hits — but that was all Hawaii would manage.

Novitske and DeLuca did more damage in the seventh when Novitske reached base on a single before coming around to score on DeLuca’s single through the right side of the infield.

Novitske led the offense by going 3-for-5 with two runs scored, totaling half of Oregon’s six hits. Matthews, DeLuca and Spencer Steer all had a hit in the game as well.

Oregon plays game three of the series on Saturday with first pitch set for 8:30 p.m.