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Eugene, Ore. -- Oregon baseball fought tooth and nail with the no. 2 team in the country but ultimately fell just short, losing the series opener to Stanford 5-4. The Ducks fell behind 2-0 in the first two innings, but managed to make it a 2-2 game heading into the fifth inning.
In the top of the fifth, a solo homerun put the Cardinal up 3-2 before Duke Kinamon took a change-up from Cullen Kafka to the opposite field with a runner on base. Oregon immediately got a run back but were held off by Stanford's bullpen until the seventh inning.
Spencer Steer's RBI off a fielder's choice narrowed the margin to 1, as Oregon's relievers, headlined by Ryne Nelson in the 9th inning, managed to keep Stanford from extending their lead any further. The Ducks chances to tie, or even lead, in the 8th and 9th inning with runners on base, evaporated behind pop-outs and strikeouts. Cardinal closer Jake Little finished the job, handing Oregon their 14th loss of the year.
The second game of the series starts at 4:00 p.m. at PK Park on Friday.