After doing almost everything imaginable to lose the opening game of the Civil War series, and finally succeeding, Oregon St. (22-10, 5-5) will attempt to bounce back tonight at 7:35 PM at PK Park against Oregon (20-15, 3-7).
The Beavers out-hit the Ducks 11-2, and took a 1 run lead into the bottom of the 9th, but still found a way to blow a great opportunity to open the road series with a win, squandering yet another stellar pitching performance by Andrew Moore in the process.
4 free passes and 2 errors, all after getting the first out of the final frame, capped a colossal comedy of errors that included 3 other errors (a generously low number that didn't include recording one for dropping the ball when what should have been an out at the plate instead allowed the game tieing run in the 5th), stranding an unacceptable 8 runners, 3 times running into unforced outs on the base paths, one at home, all on bone-head mistakes when there was absolutely nothing to gain from reckless running, and 2 hit batters all contributed to the doggedly determined Ducks finally winning the game 3-2 on a full count, bases loaded 2 out walk off walk.
The game will rightly be recalled as one of Oregon's greatest Civil War wins in any sport for their hanging in and pulling out an improbable win, and also rightly recalled as one of the worst Oregon St. CW losses in any sport (quite the accomplishment given some of the recent Rileyisms) due to the multitude of fundamental mistakes made.
To make matters worse, the Beavers' 3rd loss in a row, and 5th. in their last 7 games squandered a chance to claw upwards in the Pac-12 race, as front running UCLA, who is starting to open some space in the standings, was the only team in the top half of the conference to win last night. Oregon St. sits in 6th place, and now trails UCLA by 4 1/2 games, though they still lead Oregon, who is tied with Washington, Washington St., (pending today's Apple Cup action) and Utah 1 spot back, by 2 games.
It's conference rivalry week, as all 5 of the natural rivals are meeting this weekend, and the Bruins were the only favorite to win, downing USC 9-3 to open a 1 1/2 game lead. (Arizona and Arizona St. started the Territorial Cup series today, for tv scheduling purposes.)
Tonight's game, as well as tomorrow afternoon's series finale will be on the Pac-12 Network (Oregon and Mt. channels to start tonight, and a wider distribution of channels tomorrow).
After an experiment last night with Gabe Clark in the 3 slot and KJ Harrison hitting cleanup last night, Oregon St. coach Pat Casey reversed that order back to the norm for tonight. OSU released an incorrect lineup, showing Harrison at 2nd base, not 1st; Christian Donahue is back at 2nd base tonight.
The Beavers will go with freshman RHP Drew Rasmussen (3-2, 2.39 ERA), while the Ducks will counter with freshman LHP David Peterson (2-4, 4.91 ERA), as Oregon continues to adapt to injuries to their pitching staff.