Washington pulls off dramatic baseball comeback over Oregon
Junior second baseman Andrew Ely ripped a bases-loaded double down the right-field line to drive in three and give the Huskies a dramatic 5-4 come-from-behind win in front of 1,777.
Special to The Seattle Times
The scene Sunday afternoon at Husky Ballpark: Tight game, two regional rivals, a pair of top-20 teams going to extra innings.
Oregon scores twice in the top of the 10th, goes up 4-2. Washington, eager to show it deserves to be ranked No. 14 (its first appearance in Baseball America’s top 25 since 2006), is on the verge of losing its second game in what is seen as a prove-it, three-game series against the No. 19 Ducks.
Washington’s dugout mood: grim.
So UW coach Lindsay Meggs offered his version of Russell Wilson’s why-not-us? speech.
“I told the guys, ‘Hey, it’s been a great college baseball game so far — let’s make it one of the greatest college baseball games,’ ” Meggs said.
Junior second baseman Andrew Ely made the dream come true, ripping a bases-loaded double down the right-field line to drive in three and give the Huskies a dramatic 5-4 come-from-behind win in front of 1,777.
The victory keeps Washington (22-6) in first place in the Pac-12 (at 10-2), one game ahead of Oregon State and three ahead of Oregon (22-10, 7-5).
“You dream to be in those situations,” a smiling Ely said, splatters of shaving-cream pie still on his face. “I’m glad it could happen.”
It happened this way: Oregon went ahead 2-0 in the second, scoring twice on errant pitches. Meanwhile, Oregon starter Jeff Gold (7-0, second in the nation in wins) did not allow hit through five innings.
With two out in the bottom of the sixth, Washington — a 1-0 winner Saturday despite managing just two hits — had gone hitless in 11 innings. But UW bats suddenly came alive.
Braden Bishop singled to left, breaking up Gold’s no-hitter. Ely followed with a single to center, extending his hitting streak to 19 games.
Robert Pehl drove in Bishop with a single to left, and Brian Wolfe tie the score at 2-2 with an RBI double.
After a two-on, one-out UW threat in the ninth ended on a double play, Oregon scored twice in the top of the 10th on RBI singles by Steven Packard and A.J. Balta.
“I don’t think one fan in this place, even in our dugout, could see us coming back,” Ely said.
Yet the Huskies loaded the bases in the bottom of the 10th on a walk to Alex Schmidt, a single by Austin Rei and a walk by Erik Forgione – UW’s 7-8-9 hitters.
Bishop forced Schmidt at home on a grounder to third. But that put Bishop, UW’s swiftest runner, on and when Ely’s double headed to right, Bishop entered sprinter mode and sped home from first.
His head-first slide ignited a giddy celebration.
“Once we got those first few guys on, you could feel the energy picking up,” Ely said. “You could feel the resiliency of this team.”
Meggs also liked what he saw.
“If you can win a game like this against a team like this, you can win anywhere under any circumstances,” Meggs said.