Arizona needed just seven trips to the plate to finish off a sweep of Oregon with a 28-7 win on Sunday.
The game ended following the top of the eighth inning due to a curfew so that the Ducks could get to the airport for a flight to Portland followed by a bus ride that got them home around 3 a.m.
“Long travel day for sure,” UO pitcher Robert Ahlstrom said. “Especially getting beat like that, there was not a lot of energy.”
Arizona defeated Oregon 17-6 on Friday and rallied from a 5-0 deficit to win 9-8 in 11 innings on Saturday before blowing the Ducks away in the finale.
“That was obviously a rough weekend,” UO first baseman Gabe Matthews said. “Hopefully we learn from it and move on and come out with the same kind of swagger we had early in the year.”
The Ducks (23-22) were back at practice Monday to prepare for a nonconference game Tuesday night against Portland (23-21) at 6 p.m. at PK Park. No. 12 Oregon State (31-14-1) arrives for a three-game series beginning on Friday.
Three weeks ago, Oregon was 22-13 and considered an NCAA Tournament team with D1baseball.com listing the Ducks as a No. 2 seed. Then Stanford arrived at PK Park to sweep the Ducks and begin a run of nine losses in 10 games that sent UO down to ninth in the Pac-12 at 8-13.
“We are trying to hang on, but we keep digging the hole deeper and deeper and deeper,” Oregon coach George Horton said. “A lot of people are jumping off the bandwagon so we need to make sure we stay together, tough, and focused. … This slide, I didn’t see it coming. I thought we would get better at the end, but we kind of hit a flat spot.”
Oregon has dropped eight of its past nine conference games while allowing double digit runs in five of those games. Five of UO’s past seven conference losses have come by five runs or more.
“The accountability is on me if I can’t prepare a team to play more than one close, hard game a weekend,” Horton said. “Whether we like it or not, that has been the truth. We have one effort a weekend in conference recently. We let the others get away from us.”
Stanford defeated Oregon 20-5 on April 19 for the most runs scored against the Ducks since Horton restarted the program in 2009. Sixteen days later, Arizona scored 23 runs in the first four innings before finishing with 28.
“That’s the kind of stuff that can’t happen,” Oregon junior shortstop Spencer Steer said. “We got beat in everything this weekend, pitching and hitting and defense. The fact we let that happen needs to be addressed.”
Matthews said he “challenged the team in general” following a lost weekend in Arizona.
“Everyone needs to compete at another level so hopefully we can get there this weekend,” he said. “Hopefully that sparks some guys in the right direction. It sucked last weekend and the past couple weeks, but I think we should come out this weekend with a different level of intensity.”