The Beavers and Bears go at it again this afternoon at 4 PM at Goss Stadium. 18th ranked Oregon St. (37-15-1, 18-9-1) took the series opener 4-0 last night, behind a 2 run home run by Caleb Hamilton, and a dominant pitching performance by Andrew Moore, who threw a complete game shutout, throwing 70 of his 99 pitches for strikes, which translated to 13 strikeout, only 2 hits, and no walks. Only 1 Bear batter made it as far as second base, and he was thrown out at third by Beaver right fielder Elliott Carey.
It was the 11th win in a row for Oregon St. over California, and maintained control of the battle for second place in the Pac-12 for the Beavers. If the Beavers win this afternoon and USC downs Arizona St., Oregon St. will lock up second place in the conference, after winning it the last 2 years, one last addition to their resume in their drive to claim a NCAA Tournament hosting site next week.
Even if Oregon St. doesn't secure a #1, its also possible they could host as a top #2 with UC-Santa Barbara the visiting 1-seed (Since the Gauchos facility lacks lights and can't host), a rare but not unheardof move.
25th ranked California (33-18, 17-11) shouldn't be counted out just yet, though. The Bears bounced back from series opening setbacks each of the last 3 weekends to claim series over Arizona St., Campbell, and USC.
Indeed, the Bears can still also claim second in the Pac-12 race, if they can take the remaining 2 games of the series and have the Trojans defeat the Sun Devils today or tomorrow.
Oregon St. will also be looking at taking their 4th series in a row against California, and 6th in a row at Goss.
The odds are against shutting out the team that leads the conference in home runs again, though. California hasn't scored less than 4 runs in the middle game of a series since UCLA, in mid-April.
The Pac-12 Network will have the tv coverage.
Another pitching duel could be in order, as tonight matches a pair of 6 game winners.
Oregon St. will send freshman RHP Drew Rasmussen (6-3, 2.72 ERA). The Beavers eventually defeated Stanford 7-5 last Saturday, after Rasmussen's 6 inning outing had staked them to a 5-1 lead.
California will counter with junior RHP Ryan Mason (6-2, 3.19 ERA). Mason only made it through 3 innings last Sunday against USC, allowing 8 hits, and a run in each inning, though the Bears went on to pull out a 7-5 win. Mason did have a complete game win at Campbell.
It's also senior day at Oregon St., as Clay Bauer, Michael Howard, Dane Lund, and Zach Reser are honored.
(Image via Oregon St. Athletics)