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Cesar Salazar homers twice, Arizona baseball blows out Oregon in Eugene

The Wildcats keep their NCAA Tournament hopes alive

Rachel Huston

The Arizona Wildcats probably need to sweep Oregon to have a shot at making the NCAA Tournament.

So far, so good.

Cody Deason threw six strong innings, and Cesar Salazar homered twice and drove in six runs as the Wildcats blew out the Ducks 10-2 in Thursday’s series-opener in Eugene.

Arizona is now 33-21 overall and 13-15 in the Pac-12.

The Wildcats scored one run in the first, another in the second, two in the third, one in the fourth, one in the seventh, and four in the ninth.

Oregon (25-28, 11-17) tallied a run in the second and sixth. The Ducks could have tacked on a couple more in the sixth had UA left fielder Ryan Haug not made this terrific diving catch in foul territory to end the inning.

Salazar had an RBI single in the first and a solo homer in the third. That bookended a double play by Haug that brought home a run in the second.

Cal Stevenson kept it going with an RBI single in the fourth. Stevenson and Rivas each had two hits. Salazar and Donta Williams had three.

Nick Quintana was 1-for-5 and knocked an RBI single to right to make it 7-2 in the ninth. Not too long after, Salazar ripped his second homer, this one of the three-run variety to push the Wildcats into double figures.

Deason allowed two runs on eight hits in six innings, striking out two and walking none. Juan Aguilera entered to start the seventh and recorded two outs and walked two Ducks.

That prompted Jay Johnson to insert Gil Luna but it turned out to be moot, as Salazar threw out Spencer Steer stealing third to end the frame.

Luna would stay in the game and pitch a scoreless eighth. Jason Seever logged a 1-2-3 ninth.

The second game of the series is Friday at 7 p.m. on the Pac-12 Networks.

D1Baseball.com recently listed Arizona as one of the first five teams out of the NCAA Tournament, meaning they are just on the outside looking in.

Three of D1Baseball’s “last five in” — Illinois, LSU, and Texas A&M — have won at least one game in their conference tournaments and are still alive. Kentucky lost its SEC Tournament opener, while Washington picked up a big win vs. No. 3 Stanford on Thursday.