Oregon exacted a measure of revenge on Oregon State for last week's 11-10 win in the first battle of the season in the Civil War tonight in the second and final non-conference confrontation of the season series at P.K. Park in Eugene.
And the Ducks did it all in the 2nd inning, at least offensively, plating all 7 of their runs in the 7-6 win.
After a solid first inning, red-shirt freshman Christian Martinek, making his first collegiate start, got in trouble early, as Steven Packard doubled and Martinek then hit Nick Catalano, which ended his outing.
Oregon State pitching coach Nate Yeski opted for lightly used Austin Kelly, and it was a big mistake, one that ultimately lost the game. Kelly couldn't locate anything, and wrapped a pair of walks around a pair of Oregon singles, and an error by third baseman Cadyn Greiner, and left the bases loaded, as the first 7 Duck batters to come up all reached base.
Scotland Church was Yeski's next move, and should have been his first one. Though Church gave up 3 unearned runs to runners Kelly left behind, he proceeded to turn in his career best and longest outing. Church set Oregon down in order in the 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 7th innings, and allowed 1 base runner in the 6th and 8th before giving way to Bryce Fehmel who finished the game out, striking out 6 against 1 walk and 2 hits, and setting down 17 of 18 Ducks over one stretch.
Head Coach Pat Casey didn't want to extend Fehmel or Max Engelbrekt, given he might have to extend either, or maybe both, as soon as Friday, and maybe more than once over the weekend. But if Oregon State is one of the top 2 seeds instead of hosting a regional, this will be one of the reasons why,
Meanwhile, in the same vein as Oregon's rally from 8 runs down last week, when the Ducks erased an early 8 run Oregon State lead, the Beavers chipped away at the deficit, getting 3 runs back in the 4th inning, and 2 more in the 6th.
The Beavers might have been even closer, but for a running error where Christian Donahue ran himself into an unforced out at 3rd in the 4th.
But then the Ducks should have had an 8th run in the 2nd, but made the mistake of challenging Logan Ice, who recovered a wild pitch and cut down Tim Susnara at the plate.
Oregon State finally pulled to within 1 run in the top of the 9th, when pinch runner Caleb Hamilton scored when Donahue's single was mis-played by Oregon right fielder Jakob Goldfarb. Donahue got to 3rd as a result of the error, but Oregon closer Stephen Nogosek, the 8th Duck pitcher of the night, got both Nick Madrigal and Ice, stranding Donahue and picking up his 10th save of the season, and Oregon ducked out with the win.
Martinek got the loss, dropping to 0-1, while Oregon's Cole Stringer, an old high school rival of Martinek's, got his first start for Oregon, and got the win, to go to 1-0. Martinek hails from Jesuit High in Beaverton, while Stringer is a product of Portland's Central Catholic, and fans familiar with high school sports in Oregon are familiar with the "Holy Wars", a rivalry between the 2 large Portland area private schools that is every bit as heated as the Civil War the 2 pitchers have stepped into.
Oregon was looking to square accounts, after suffering last week's 1 run loss that not only snapped a 5 game winning streak, but also started a 4 game tailspin, as the Ducks proceeded to drop all 3 games last weekend at UCLA, while Oregon State went on to take their weekend series at Pac-12 Conference leading Utah.
The Ducks avoided falling to .500, improving to 18-16 before hosting conference last place Washington State this weekend.
10th ranked Oregon State slipped to 26-11, and will be at home as well, after 8 consecutive road games, hosting Stanford. It will be a classic matchup of offense vs. defense, as the Beavers are the Pac-12's best hitting team, while the Cardinal lead the conference in pitching, and the country in fielding percentage.