May 5, 2012 12:48 AM
TUCSON, Ariz. -- Alex Keudell tossed a complete-game seven-hitter and No. 10 Oregon capitalized on four two-out runs batted in to defeat No. 10 Arizona, 6-1, in the first game of a three-game Pac-12 Conference series on Friday night at Hi Corbett Field.
The victory pushed league-leading Oregon (33-13, 15-7 Pac-12) a full game-and-a-half in front of second-place Arizona (29-14, 12-7 Pac-12).
Keudell (W, 8-3) stifled the conference's top hitting team, surrendering just seven hits and one run. The right-hander shut out the Wildcats over the first six innings and collected seven strikeouts against two walks in his third complete game of the year.
Oregon set the tone in the second inning. After consecutive singles by Ryan Hambright and Brett Hambright, UA starter Kurt Heyer quickly picked up a pair of outs. However, he was unable to escape the jam as Aaron Payne delivered a clutch two-out, two-run single to spot the Ducks a 2-0 lead.
It was all the visitors would need. Arizona scored just one run the rest of the way as it was unable to find an extra two-out hit of its own.
Trailing 5-0 in the seventh, Bobby Brown hit a two-out double and scored on Riley Moore's single back up the middle. Trent Gilbert followed with a single of his own and an error allowed him to advance to second as Riley Moore moved to third. But a groundout by Joseph Maggi ended the threat and preserved a comfortable lead for Keudell.
The Ducks scored four of their six runs with two outs. The Wildcats meanwhile, batted just 1-for-5 with runners in scoring position and stranded six runners in the game, while Oregon was 4-for-12 with runners in scoring position.
Heyer (L, 8-2) lacked his best stuff early in the game. After scoring the two runs in the second, the Ducks added another run in the third. Then in the sixth, a two-out error by shortstop Alex Mejia led to a pair of unearned insurance runs and gave Oregon its five-run advantage.
Heyer pitched through the eighth inning but gave up five runs - three earned - on 12 hits. He struck out five and walked just one.
The Ducks tacked on an extra run for good measure in the top of the ninth. Ryon Healy hit a leadoff solo home run to left field off reliever Mathew Troupe to set the score at its final, 6-1.
Arizona will try to even the series on Saturday. First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m. at Hi Corbett Field.