UO's Bartz continues to hustle as Ducks drop 11th consecutive game.
It's the rarest hit in baseball. It's also the most exciting.
There's no easing up on a triple, as there often is with a double. No stroll around the bases as home-run hitters enjoy after their accomplishment.
A triple is a sprint out of the batter's box until the slide into third, as it was for Oregon freshman Kenny Bartz with his second-inning hit to right-center on Friday at PK Park as the Ducks dropped a 3-1 decision to Arizona, their 11th consecutive defeat.
"You've got to run as hard as you can and so do the fielders," Bartz said. "Typically coaches bang it in our heads that we go hard no matter where the ball's hit. If you hit a single, you're thinking double and if you hit a double you're thinking triple."
How rare are triples? The national college leader, Arizona's Bobby Coyle, has seven, and 44 players have at least 20 doubles and 100 NCAA players have 14 or more home runs.
In the Pac-10, only 10 players have as many as four triples, while Bartz has three this week in as many games. That's also half of his hits in a season in which he started for only the seventh time Friday, though his three triples are as many as any Oregon player has this season
Why such limited action for the junior? Ironically, some of it was related to a lack of the hustle that Bartz has shown on his recent triples. UO coach George Horton offered a couple of examples why Bartz didn't get in a game for over a month until he started a nonconference game at Oregon State on Tuesday, and hit the first of his triples in now three consecutive games.
"The criteria for us is play hard and hustle and you get opportunities," Horton said. "We had a talk and he kind of apologized and asked for another opportunity."
In his three starts this week, Bartz is 3-for-10 with three runs batted in.
"I figured why not prove myself in a positive way," he said. "It's kind of worked out."
Bartz's triple to drive in Danny Pulfer was about the extent of Oregon's offense against Arizona starter Preston Guilmet (6-5), who struck out 12 in 72 3 innings and retired 16 consecutive batters after the RBI by Oregon's No. 9 hitter.
"I was leery of what he might do to us," Horton said.
Guilmet, Arizona's all-time leader in starts (61) and innings pitched who was also the Pac-10 pitcher of the year in 2007, was simply too much for the Ducks (14-40 overall, 4-21 in the Pac-10). Other than Bartz's RBI triple with one out in the second, Oregon's strongest threats came in the first inning when the Ducks loaded the bases with two outs before Guilmet fanned Mitch Karraker and in the eighth when Cory Burns relieved with two on and two outs and fanned Eddy Rodriguez.
Oregon starter Erik Stavert (5-6) almost matched Guilmet, holding the Pac-10's top hitting team by average to six hits over eight innings, but one of those was a two-run double by Jett Bandy with two out in the third and the final run for Arizona (28-25, 11-14) came in the sixth inning on freshman Steve Selsky's seventh homer of the season.
Still, it was an impressive outing as Stavert matched his season high with 10 strikeouts and walked one. With professional scouts again watching and Stavert a draft-eligible junior, it might well have been his final college game.
"We'll see how that plays out," Stavert said. "I love these guys and it would be nice to come back and play one more year, but it's hard to pass up the opportunity to go play (professionally) and do what you've wanted to do since you were a child."
Oregon State 5, Stanford 0: Freshman Sam Gaviglio threw a complete-game shutout to lead the Beavers (34-16 overall, 14-11 Pac-10) to the road win in the series opener against the Cardinal (29-24, 12-13).
Gaviglio, who improved to 9-1, gave up three hits and turned in OSU's first complete-game shutout since Jonah Nickerson on March 4, 2006. He improved his season ERA to 2.84, including 1.88 in Pac-10 play.
Michael Miller had three hits, including a triple to start the game, and scored two runs for OSU.
Kellen Kiilsgaard had two of Stanford's three hits.
Arizona State 4, UCLA 0: The Sun Devils clinched the Pac-10 Conference title for the third year in a row behind Mike Leake's second consecutive complete-game shutout.
Leake, who was named a finalist for the national pitcher of the year award earlier in teh day, improved to 14-1 after giving up four hits with 12 strikeouts and no walks as Sun Devils (43-11 overall, 20-5 Pac-10) beat the Bruins (26-28, 14-11) at home.
USC 4, California 2: Junior right-hander Robert Stock threw seven innings of shutout ball, giving up four hits and striking out seven to lead the Trojans (27-27 overall, 12-13 Pac-10) to the road win over the Bears (23-28, 8-17).
Washington State 6, Washington 5: Brian Pearl walked Michael Weber with two outs and the bases loaded in the 10th inning to give the Cougars (29-23 overall, 17-8 Pac-10) a home victory over the Huskies (25-28, 13-12).
Arizona 3, Oregon 1
Turning point: With two on and two outs in the top of the third inning, Arizona's Jett Bandy doubled in two runs to give the Wildcats a 2-1 lead.
Noteworthy: The 12 strikeouts by Arizona pitcher Preston Guilmet gave him 419 for his career, fifth on the Pac-10 list and one out of fourth place. Two Arizona relievers added three strikeouts as the Ducks fanned a season-high 15 times. a The youth baseball clinic usually held after Sunday games will be today instead because of postgame festivities on Sunday, including a concert and groundbreaking for the second phase of construction at PK Park. a Friday's game was the first meeting between the Wildcats and Ducks since 1966. Arizona leads the series 9-0-1, including a win in the 1954 College World Series.
Next: Ducks play Arizona today at PK Park at 1 p.m.
Boxscore: Scoreboard, Page C2.