When Oregon visits 18th ranked Oregon St. tonight at 7 PM at Goss Stadium, a lot will be at stake. Although Oregon claimed the Pac-12 portion of the Civil War rivalry, taking 2 of 3 conference games at PK Park, Oregon St. evened the season series at 2 game apiece with a 10-2 victory in the first meeting at Goss 2 weeks ago.
In addition to rivalry bragging rights, postseason prospects are also at stake. Oregon (34-22, 14-13), which is in 6th place in the Pac-12, still appears to be on the outside looking in at the NCAA Tournament, but the Ducks have won 6 in a row, and finish with a 3 game home series against UCLA, which claimed the Pac-12 Championship last weekend with a sweep of Arizona. The Ducks could still play their way into the field by beating the Beavers and then sweeping the Bruins.
Oregon St. (36-14-1, 17-9-1) is in second place in the Pac-12, and is still in the running for one of the final NCAA Regional hosting sites. Because those will be chosen after Friday night's games, a loss or two over the weekend against California won't have any affect on that, a loss tonight to Oregon will almost surely eliminate the Beavers, unless there are other crash and burn events between now and Saturday morning.
A 2 seed seems almost assured if Oregon St. can get 3, or maybe even 2 more wins, but where the rest of the field of 48 goes won't be settled until Sunday evening, and the Beavers can most help their interests there as well with a win tonight.
Oregon took a sweep in Salt Lake City this past weekend, taking wins over Utah by scores of 8-3, 8-5, & 5-1.
In any scenario there's plenty to watch, and as a result, the Pac-12 Network will be on hand to televise the action.
Oregon St.'s mid-week starter since early in the season has been freshman RHP Sam Tweedt (8-1, 2.85 ERA, and most of the season, he has been one of the stalwarts of the staff. But he was completely ineffective in a relief appearance Saturday, and was lifted after walking 2 batters and throwing 2 more balls to the next one.
Oregon will go with junior RHP Conor Harber (4-2, 5.32 ERA). Harber whent 2 1/3 innings as the first reliever into the game last Wednesday in the Ducks 2-1 win over Gonzaga, giving up only 1 hit on his way to picking up the win in his last outing.