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Ducks beat Arizona 5-4 to win Pac-12 title

Walsh hits go-ahead homer to get Oregon automatic bid to NCAA regionals

By The Associated Press
Published: May 27, 2023, 10:21pm

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — Jacob Walsh hit the go-ahead home run in the bottom of the sixth inning and Oregon held on to beat Arizona 5-4 Saturday night and win the Pac-12 Conference Tournament.

No. 6 seed Oregon (36-20) has won six games in a row and clinched the program’s first conference title in nearly 50 years. The Ducks have advanced to the regionals in three consecutive seasons following coach Mark Wasikowski’s first season at the helm — the 2020 campaign that was shortened by the COVID pandemic.

Walsh’s solo shot gave Arizona a one-run lead and, after Drew Cowley and Sabin Ceballos were each hit by a pitch, Cowley scored on a single to right by Tanner Smith to make it 5-3 in the seventh.

No. 8 seed Arizona (33-23) trimmed its deficit to 5-4 on Tony Bullard’s two-out solo homer in the eighth inning but the Ducks held on from there.

Oregon took a 3-1 when Gavin Grant and Rikuu Nishida hit back-to-back RBI singles in the bottom of the fourth. Arizona got a run back when Tommy Splaine, who reached on a error to lead off the inning, scored on a single Mac Bingham in the fifth and then tied it in the sixth on Kiko Romero’s inside-the-park homer.

Romero, a transfer from Central Arizona College in his first season with the Wildcats, tied the program single-season RBI record with 86 (Ron Hassey, 1974).