#6 Oregon St. (42-9, 21-5) at #10 Oregon (43-12, 20-6) / 12 Noon / PK Park, Eugene, OR / Pac-12 Channel / KEJO 1240 AM & KPOJ 620 AM
Oregon and Oregon St. meet at midday today to decide this season's Pac-12 Civil War series, and in the process, probably the Pac-12 Championship. After yesterday's 9-0 win, the most lop-sided loss the Ducks have suffered in nearly 3 years, the Beavers hold a 1 game lead over Oregon, and are 2 games up on UCLA. Oregon St. also has the tie-breaker over the Bruins, so a win today means the Beavers would need only to win once next week in their season ending series at home against Washington St., or have UCLA lose today or any of their games next week at Stanford AND have Oregon fail to sweep Utah in Salt Lake City in order to claim the conference championship.
Oregon has a tougher road even if they win, because they would then need to match Oregon St. and if they don't sweep Utah, have UCLA lose once in their final 4 conference games to gain the Pac-12 title. UCLA has the tie-breaker against Oregon.
Looking deeper into possibilities, any 3 way tie favors Oregon St.. If the Beavers win today, they would have the tie-breaker over both the Ducks and Bruins if a 3 way tie still results. Even if Oregon wins today, if a 3 way tie arises, Oregon St. has the advantage, because while that would result in no advantage amongst the 3 contenders, the Beavers won their series against Arizona St., who would finish next in the standings, but the Sun Devils took 2 of 3 against both UCLA and Oregon.
Barring a complete collapse in the last week, losing all 4 games, including a 5th Civil War contest on Tuesday, today's winner seems almost assured of a National seed in the NCAA postseason as well, while the loser might need a very strong last week to claim one. And since about 3/4 of the teams to make it to Omaha under the current post-season format hosted in the Superregional round, its a very big deal to secure one.
Oregon will start sophomore RHP Jake Reed (6-3, 3.00) in their quest for the win that would serve both goals, and would also clinch the overall season Civil War series.
Oregon St. will counter with junior LHP Ben Wetzler (6-1, 1.46). Wetzler has won the last 6 Sundays in a row.
One advantage Oregon St. has today is a totally intact and rested bullpen, after Matt Boyd and Andrew Moore both went the distance in the first 2 games, the first time the Beavers have had back to back complete games in 7 years.
A disadvantage the Ducks will have to try to overcome is the absence of left fielder Brett Thomas, who missed yesterday's game, and is "doubtful" for today, according to Oregon coach George Horton.
For today, Oregon St. coach Pat Casey has dropped Ryan Barnes down another spot in the order. Today's OSU lineup: