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Huskies, Ducks to square off in Pac-12 baseball semifinals

Oregon State knocked out by Arizona State

By The Associated Press
Published: May 25, 2023, 6:29pm

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Cam Clayton went 3 for 4 with two doubles, Coby Morales and Jeter Ybarra each drove in two runs and No. 3 seed Washington beat USC 8-3 on Thursday for its first Pac-12 Tournament victory.

Washington (34-17) advances to the semifinals on Friday against Oregon.

Johnny Olmstead singled in two runs in the sixth inning to pull USC within 3-2, but Clayton answered with an RBI single in the bottom half. The Huskies also responded to USC’s lone run in the eighth with a four-run inning.

Will Simpson and Morales had back-to-back run-scoring hits, and AJ Guerrero and Johnny Tincher followed with sacrifice flies for a five-run lead.

Starter Stu Flesland III earned his seventh win of the season after allowing just one hit over 5 2/3 innings for Washington. Case Matter picked up his fifth save.

Caden Aoki (4-3) allowed six hits and three earned runs in a five-inning start for USC (34-23-1).

OREGON 8, STANFORD 6, 10 INNINGS — Sabin Ceballos homered to center field leading off the top of the 10th inning to spark Oregon’s comeback win over top-seeded Stanford on Thursday night, wrapping up pool play in the Pac-12 Tournament.

Both teams advance to Friday’s semifinals with Oregon playing Washington and Stanford facing Arizona.

The Ducks (35-20) scored the last six runs, including one in the eighth and two in the ninth, to top the Cardinal (38-15). After Ceballos’ 14th home run, three-straight two-out walks and a wild pitch gave Oregon an insurance run.

Four different relievers limited Stanford to five hits after the Cardinal took a 6-2 lead after two innings.

Rikuu Nishida drove in two runs for the Ducks with a single in the fifth that made it 6-3 and a sacrifice fly in the ninth to make it 6-5.

After the Nishida sacrifice fly for the second out, Colby Shade tripled into right field and scored on a throwing error by second baseman Drew Bowser.

Logan Mercado, the second Oregon pitcher, ate up the bulk of the innings for the bullpen, going 4 1/3 innings. Josh Mollerus (2-2), the fifth pitcher, got the win, allowing two hits and three walks with two wild pitches in 2 2/3 innings. He gave up a leadoff single in the bottom of the 10th and hit a batter with two outs but got Alberto Rios to fly out to end the game.

Eddie Park had three hits for Stanford, Rios had had two doubles and Carter Graham had a home run and a double, driving in three runs. Brandt Pacer (2-1), the third of five Stanford pitchers, took the loss.

ARIZONA STATE 14, OREGON STATE 10 — Nu’u Contrades went 5 for 6 with a triple and three RBI, Luke Keaschall added three hits and four RBI and Arizona State beat Oregon State to eliminate the second-seeded Beavers.

Catcher Bronson Balholm also had three of Arizona State’s 20 hits.

Arizona State (32-23), which lost to rival Arizona to begin the tournament, scored two runs in three straight innings to take a 6-1 lead before Oregon State scored four runs in the fifth — two on passed balls. Nick Mclain answered with his second RBI triple in two innings and Contrades added an RBI single for another two-run inning.

The Beavers (39-18) rallied with three runs in the ninth before leaving the bases loaded.

Mason Guerra went 4 for 5, including his team-leading 11th homer of the year, for Oregon State (39-18). Garret Forrester blooped a two-run single to center to become the 12th Beaver in school history with 200 hits.

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