Oregon evened the year's baseball Civil War at a non-conference game apiece with a 3-2 win over Oregon St. in what was a stellar pitching duel, backed up with solid defense by both teams.
With 2 out in the bottom of the first, Oregon's Ryon Healy tripled, and scored on Brett Thomas' double. Kyle Garlick walked, and both Thomas and Garlick advanced on a double steal, and both scored when Ryan Hambright singled up the middle. Those 3 runs were the extent of the Oregon offense, as Oregon St. starter Taylor Starr and 5 Beaver relievers allowed Oregon only 3 more hits the rest of the night. And 2 of those were erased from the base paths by the Oregon St. defense.
Meanwhile, Oregon's Thomas Thorpe, who made his first start, and the first 2 of 3 other Ducks out of the bull pen, allowed Oregon St. only 3 base runners, and just 2 hits, until the 8th inning, when the Beavers mounted their first offensive threat of the game. A Duck double play did away with one of those runners.
Kavin Keyes and Jake Rodriguez singled, and both moved up on Max Gordon's pinch hit sacrifice bunt. Danny Hays, pinch hitting for John Tommasini, drove in Keyes with a sacrifice fly, and Ryan Barnes drove in Rodriguez to pull the Beavers within 3-2.
But Oregon closer Jimmie Sherfy, who had come in after Rodriguez's single, got Tyler Smith to fly out, and the game came down to the top of the 9th inning.
Sherfy is the most dominant closer in the conference, but also the most thrilling one, and alternated between strikeouts and walks in the Beavers' last at bat, which resulted in the tieing run being in scoring position before he finally ended the game, when Rodriguez went down swinging.
Starr, who had turned in a 7 inning masterpiece in Oregon St.'s win over Oregon 2 weeks ago, went only 2 2/3 innings this time, and took the loss that dropped him to 4-2, but the bullpen was stellar. Scott Schultz allowed 1 walk in 2 1/3 hitless innings, Dylan Davis threw an inning, and got a double play ball to negate a hit and a walk, and the killer Bs, Matt Boyd, Cole Brocker, and Tony Bryant combined to no hit Oregon over the last 2 innings.
But Thorpe and Joey Housey, who got the win to improve to 3-0, and improve on the 1.93 ERA he entered the game with, were even better for the first 6 innings, and Oregon St. couldn't capitalize enough on Jordan Spencer before Sherfy showed up.
Ninth ranked and Pac-12 leading Oregon (35-14, 16-8) will continue their 7 game home stand with a weekend series against USC.
#23 Oregon St. (34-15, 16-8) heads for Salt Lake City this weekend, for 3 games against Utah. All of which will be at noon MDT (11 AM PDT), as the Utes share a stadium with the AAA Pacific Coast League's Salt Lake Bees, who will be playing the night half of unorthodox day-night double headers.