Civil War

Oregon wins Civil War finale, avoid series sweep

Oregon wins Civil War finale, avoid series sweep

The Oregon baseball team is having an extra sunny Mother’s Day on a beautiful spring day in PK Park. The Ducks (25-24, 9-15 Pac-12) avoided a series sweep by beating the Beavers, 3-2, in game three.

Pitching and defense was the story of the day.

The Ducks had a remarkable day on the mound, especially considering UO has struggled to establish roles for their pitchers ever since losing their pitching ace, Kenyon Yovan, two innings into the season. The Ducks ranked last in the Pac-12 Conference with a 7.88 ERA.

Right-handed pitcher Ryne Nelson struck out a career-high 12 batters. Nelson came in for relief and threw the final 6.1 innings, holding the Beavers to eight hits and two runs with four walks.

The Ducks jumped out to an early lead offensively, Spencer Steer and Jonny DeLuca drove in two runs. UO added another run in the second inning with DeLuca’s second RBI of the day to extend the lead to 3-0. 

Coming off a game with a season high 14 batters left on base in game two of the Civil War, stranded batters continued to kill the Beavers into game three, leaving a total of 12 runners on base. 

Oregon held onto a 3-0 lead while Oregon State had a few chances to get on the board but were unable to capitalize until getting on the board in the sixth inning on a two-out single to right field by Jake Dukart.

Then OSU’ Alex McGarry ripped a home run, his seventh of the season, to lead off the eighth inning and close the Oregon State deficit to 3-2.

Oregon’s defense was stout and committed zero errors. 

The Ducks held on to the lead. The win moves Oregon to an above .500 record and snapped a five game losing streak in conference play. With postseason eligibility on the line, the Ducks will need to play perfect in their final eight games. While it is improbable, today’s solid performance against the defending national champions showed that it’s not impossible.

Oregon plays Gonzaga on Tuesday at home before traveling to USC for a three-game series this weekend.

Heart and soul isn't enough for Ducks baseball vs. OSU

Heart and soul isn't enough for Ducks baseball vs. OSU

EUGENE- Oregon (23-24 overall, 8-15) held it’s own against Oregon State in game two of the Civil War series before ultimately losing 8-5 to the Beavers in front of 4,130 at PK Park.

"They are pouring their hearts and souls into it and obviously they want to win very bad,” Oregon coach George Horton said. “Some guys are performing well and some guys are disappearing, quite frankly.”

The Beavers (33-14-1, 19-4 Pac-12) got off to an early 3-0 start in a first inning that featured four walks, three hits and 38 pitches. OSU never lost the lead and took sole possession of first place in the conference with the victory.

Oregon right fielder Tanner Smith answered with a homerun bomb hit over the right-center to make it 3-1. Smith led Oregon on offense, recording three hits and one RBI.

Besides Oregon’s first three batters (Sam Novitske, Smith, Spencer Steer), the Ducks struggled mightily at the plate against OSU right-handed pitcher Dylan Pearce. Novitske, Smith and Steer were the only Ducks to record hits off Pearce through five innings. 

Pearce held the Ducks to seven hits and four runs with five strikeouts and three walks through five innings.  

“We have to have more guys participate up and down the order,” said Horton.

Third baseman Steer was again a bright spot for the Ducks. Steer improved to 6-7 on the weekend with four RBIs. His team leading 44th RBI of the season cut the Ducks deficit to three in the third inning. Then, he scored two more in the fifth inning to make it 7-4 and tie the UO career RBI record(118). 

Oregon starting pitcher Cullen Kafka allowed eight hits, five runs with three strikeouts and five walks through two and one-third innings. Cole Stringer came out of the pen in the third inning with the bases loaded and retired two Beavers to get out of the inning. 

On the mound, Stringer allowed two unearned runs in the fifth inning and finished the day allowing three hits, two runs, with two strikeouts and three walks in three innings. Peyton Fuller and Nico Tellache closed out the game for Oregon.

The Ducks threatened in the sixth inning, getting two on base with zero outs. The Beavers replaced Pearce with Jake Pfennigs and escaped the inning with only giving up one run.

Oregon couldn’t perform in the clutch; the Ducks hit .000 (0-8) with two outs and left six runners on base. Oregon State left a season high 14 runners on base but with two outs the Beavers scored two runs and batted .231 (3-13) when they needed it most.

With postseason eligibility on the line, the Ducks will need to play perfect in their final nine games. While it is improbable, today’s solid performance against the defending national champions showed that it’s not impossible. 

Oregon looks to stop the OSU series sweep on Sunday at noon at PK Park in Eugene, Oregon.

OSU baseball beats Oregon, takes sole possession of 1st place

OSU baseball beats Oregon, takes sole possession of 1st place

EUGENE- Oregon State quieted any idea that Oregon would even the Civil War series from the jump in front of 4,130 at PK Park. The 8-5 victory got the Beavers one step closer to clinching a regular season Pac-12 championship, taking over sole possession of first place and securing a top-eight seed that would solidify regional home field advantage.

The Beavers (33-14-1, 19-4 Pac-12) got off to an early 3-0 start in a first inning that featured four walks, three hits and 38 pitches. OSU never lost the lead.

"The early lead was critical," said OSU interim coach Pat Bailey. "Teams that put up runs early, especially three run leads, right off the bat, it's going to make a difference in terms of the outcome of the game. And it did, we ended up winning by three runs."

Oregon right fielder Tanner Smith answered with a homerun bomb hit over right-center to make it 3-1. However, Oregon struggled mightily at the plate against OSU right-handed pitcher Dylan Pearce. Through five innings, Oregon’s first three batters (Sam Novitske, Smith and Spencer Steer) were the only Ducks to record hits off of Pearce. 

Pearce brought the heat in his first career Pac-12 start, holding the Ducks to seven hits and four runs with five strikeouts and three walks through five innings.  The devoted Oregon State fans gave him a standing ovation when Jake Pfennigs came in for relief in the sixth inning. The Ducks threatened in the sixth inning, getting two on base with zero outs but Pfennigs and escaped the inning only giving up one run. 

Within three innings, every Oregon State player in the lineup reached base on either a hit or a walk against Oregon’s pitcher Cullen Kafka. Right fielder Tyler Malone led the Beavers offensively; driving in three runs. Shortstop Beau Phillip also had a great day at bat with three hits. Adley Rutschman was intentionally walked four times.

Oregon State left a season high 14 runners on base but with two outs the Beavers were clutch; scoring two runs and batting .231 (3-13) when they needed it most. In comparison, the Ducks hit 0-9 with two outs.

The Beavers’ defense remained stout, making zero errors.

OSU looks to sweep the series on Sunday at noon at PK Park in Eugene, Oregon.

Ducks to face motivated Beavers in Civil War baseball series

Ducks to face motivated Beavers in Civil War baseball series

It’s no secret that after losing nine of the last 10 games, Oregon baseball needs to quickly change its momentum before the Civil War series against Oregon State this weekend in Eugene. However, the Beavers (31-14-1, 17-4 Pac-12) are also in desperate need of wins.

OSU plummeted from No. 4 to No. 12 in Baseball America’s Top 25 after losing four straight games. With nine games remaining, the Beavers are still tied for first with Stanford in conference play.

Oregon State needs more wins on its resume to keep alive its hopes of hosting a NCAA regional. The Beavers need to flush the losses to Gonzaga and Oklahoma State and get back to how they we playing last month.

Oregon State went 12-6 in the month of April, with much thanks to catcher Adley Rutschman who batted .455 with five doubles, seven home runs and 23 runs batted in over the 18 games. Rutschman was named the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association April Player of the Month.

Offensively during April, Rutschman reached base in 17 of 18 games. Defensively, Rutschman didn’t commit an error in April, and went 3-for-3 in throwing out runners trying steal a base.

Plenty of motivation exists for both teams entering the three-game rivalry series. For Oregon State, a national seed and a regular season Pac-12 championship are still within reach. While the Ducks must be perfect for a shot at the postseason.

Beavers sweep Ducks as time winds down for Oregon basketball

Beavers sweep Ducks as time winds down for Oregon basketball

There wasn’t a fan in orange and black without a smile after Oregon State beat rival Oregon, 72-57, in front of a sold out, frenzied 9,301 crowd and improved to second in the Pac-12 Conference.

Following the Beavers’ first Civil War sweep since the 2009-10 season, OSU players hooted in the locker room and fifth year coach Wayne Tinkle walked down the hallway of Gill Coliseum high-fiving everyone in sight.

There was no high fives on other side of hallway as the Ducks (15-10) fell to 6-6 in conference play.

Oregon coach Dana Altman and redshirt senior Paul White spoke to the media with heads bowed, laying out all the reasons why the Ducks’ didn’t find success. To name a few; committing 18 turnovers, allowing OSU(16-8, 8-4 Pac-12) to shoot 49 percent and a 9-0 run to open the second half.

In a game where long scoring droughts plagued the Ducks, White pointed to his team’s concentration and motivation.

“We lost this game because we lost focus,” White, who finished with 12 points and five rebounds, said. “First half we did a good job. The second half we gave them too many easy baskets and it bit us in the butt."

The loss was freshman Louis King’s first, and possibly last, game in Corvallis. King finished 5-of-7 from beyond the arc, with 20 points and added a team-high eight rebounds.

Oregon desperately needed more production from junior Payton Pritchard and sophomore Kenny Wooten. Coming off of back-to-back 20 point games, against the Beavers, Pritchard shot just four times and scored only four points.

“We didn’t get him enough shots and that’s my fault," Altman said of UO’s point guard. "We need to get him more shots. He’s got to shoot the ball more than four times, and that’s my fault. That’s poor coaching."

Wooten, who battled an illness this week, was a non-factor, scoring four points with two rebounds and zero blocks.

Time is running low for the Ducks and so are their chances at making the NCAA Tournament. Oregon has yet to find a formula to win on the road and four of its final six games are away games, starting on Thursday at USC.

The loss hurt Oregon’s standings in the Pac-12, pushing the Ducks further away from securing a top four spot, which provides a first-round bye in the conference tournament.

Like White, Altman also attributes Oregon’s inconsistency to its motivation. "I think we are talented enough (to win the Pac-12 Tournament) but we need to be much more disciplined," Altman said.

The more focused team won the Civil War series, but Oregon’s next six games and beyond are still up for grabs.

Keys to an Oregon victory over Oregon State

Keys to an Oregon victory over Oregon State

With nine teams in the Pac-12 Conference within two games of one another, it is crunch time for both the Ducks and Beavers.

Oregon is only one game out of second place and must beat Oregon State, another team fighting for a top four seed in the Pac-12 Tournament, to keep NCAA Tournament hopes alive.

The Beavers won the Pac-12 opener for both teams this season, 77-72, on Jan. 5 at Matthew Knight Arena, their first win in Eugene since 2012. If Oregon State defeats Oregon it will be the first time the Beavers sweep the Civil War since 2009-2010.

How can the Ducks walk out of Gill Colliseum with a victory?

Bri Amaranthus discusses Oregon's keys to victory on the Brian Noe Show. Hint... Get ready for a block party!

First sell out of the season goes to Oregon women's basketball

First sell out of the season goes to Oregon women's basketball

I hope you already bought your tickets to this weekend's Civil War, because it is officially sold out. 

No. 3 Oregon women's basketball owns the first sell out of the season (women or men) at Matthew Knight Arena in Eugene, Ore. for the upcoming game vs. No. 9 Oregon State. 

It will be second sellout in arena history for the women's program. The other was the Matthew Knight Arena debut against Oregon State during the 2010-11 season. 

The highest attendance for a men's game at home this season was also against Oregon State; 11,204 attendance on Jan. 5. 

The Oregon women look to extend the nation's longest active winning streak to 17 games vs. the Beavers on Friday. By the way, the Ducks are gaining national recognition after a dominant weekend in the Bay Area

Crucial Civil War: What you need to know about Oregon at Oregon State

Crucial Civil War: What you need to know about Oregon at Oregon State

The 352nd edition of the Civil War is a battle for Pac-12 conference standings. Oregon is only one game out of second place and must beat Oregon State, another team fighting for a top four seed in the Pac-12 Tournament, to keep NCAA Tournament hopes alive.  The importance of a first round Pac-12 Tournament bye cannot be overstated. And with nine teams in the conference all within two games of one another, it is crunch time for both the Ducks and Beavers.

Number to know: If Oregon State defeats Oregon it will be the first time the Beavers sweep the Civil War since 2009-2010.

Records: Oregon (15-9, 6-5 Pac-12), Oregon State (15-8, 7-4)

Last time: The Beavers won the Pac-12 opener for both teams this season, 77-72, on Jan. 5 at Matthew Knight Arena, their first win in Eugene since 2012. Tres Tinkle led OSU with a solid all-around game with 28 points, eight rebounds and four assists. The wounded Ducks were down to eight scholarship players with the loss of Bol Bol (season ending injury), Abu Kigab (transfer) and Kenny Wooten (broken jaw).

High Flying Ducks

Once riddled with injuries, the Ducks fly into Corvallis as healthy as they’ve been. UO is coming off a sweep of the Bay Area schools with much thanks to its defense, which held Stanford to 27.3 percent from the field. In conference play, the Ducks are second in the Pac-12 in scoring defense, a trend that must continue for Oregon to be victorious in its final seven regular season games, five of which are on the road.

Junior guard Payton Pritchard is heating up at the right time. After shooting 31.8 percent from the field in the first half of conference play, Pritchard came through for Oregon last week, improving to 15-for-29 and 7-of-13 from beyond the arc. He scored 20 points in each of those games.

Kenny Wooten (broken jaw) appears to be more comfortable wearing his face mask and continues to be the Ducks’ best rim protector. Against Stanford, he matched his career-high seven blocks to tie the fifth-best mark in UO single-game history.

Beavers to keep an eye on

In conference games, Tres Tinkle leads the Pac-12 in scoring (21.2) and is second in steals (2.1). The redshirt junior forward is only 13 points shy of 1,500 career points and has scored in double figures in 57 consecutive games, the second-longest streak in Oregon State history.

At home, Stephen Thompson Jr. is a huge threat. Thompson Jr. leads OSU with an average of 23.2 points per game in the six conference home games. Keep in mind, the senior guard holds the Oregon State record with 212 career 3-pointers.

Oregon will have its hands full with junior forward Kylor Kelley, who leads the Pac-12 and is second in the nation in blocked shots per game (3.48).

When it comes to free throws, Oregon State excels. The Beavers are shooting 74 percent from the free throw line, the best percentage in program history since 1976. 6'11" senior center Gligorije Rakocevic is shooting 83.3 percent from the free throw line in Pac-12 play. Also clutch, sophomore guard Zach Reichle is 12-for-12 from the free throw line in the final five minutes of games.

How and where to watch

Time: Saturday, Feb. 16, 7:30 p.m

Where: Gill Coliseum, Corvallis, Oregon

TV: Pac-12 Network

More Ducks:

Oregon’s sweep more significant than just two wins

Oregon women's basketball gain national recognition

The best invitation these four Ducks have ever received: NFL Combine

 

Only one thing could make Oregon's season a success

Only one thing could make Oregon's season a success

Oregon throttled Oregon State on Friday at Reser Stadium like the Beavers had stolen something and the only thought that came to mind was - so?

Win the upcoming bowl game. That's the only obstacle standing between Oregon and a what could be considered a successful season. Lose it and 2018 will be remembered as a big pile of disappointment with one oddly out-of-place moment of glory hidden in the middle. 

Saturday's 55-15 shellacking at Reser Stadium was never close, never interesting and instantly forgetful. The unfair contest only further defined just how much work remains for OSU coach Jonathan Smith to elevate the Beavers (2-10, 1-8 Pac-12) to respectability, a level the program hasn't experienced since the 2013 season when Oregon State went 7-6 and ended the year with a 38-23 victory over Boise State in the Hawaii Bowl.

That victory over the coach Chris Petersen-led Broncos put a happy face on an otherwise disappointing season for OSU, which had started the year 6-1 after having gone 9-4 the year before. 

That brings us back to the Ducks. They began this season 5-1 with a win over Washington that catapulted the Ducks to No. 12 in the nation and sparked hopes of a run at a conference championship. Then, reality sent in. The Ducks lost three of their next five games before landing in Corvallis to face the hapless Beavers. The win there brought the Ducks to 8-4 and 5-4 in conference. It's an improvement over last year's 7-5 regular season, sort of.  But only if we choose to forget that the Ducks went 1-4 in five games missed by quarterback Justin Herbert. 

In the end, the swagged out 2017 season that initially held promise went up in flames with Herbert's broken collarbone, coach Willie Taggart jetting off to Florida State and the Ducks losing badly to Boise State - sensing a theme - in the Las Vegas Bowl. 

No matter what Oregon's record states, this season -  which included a hideous non-conference field - was a regression under first-year coach Mario Cristobal. Heaven forbid that Herbert heads to the NFL because next season would have 5-7 written all over it.

Slap a bowl game loss onto the end of this season and the 2018 campaign would be be a real downer. 

This is not to say that Oregon shouldn't celebrate defeating its in-state rival. That's always important. That said, defeating the current version of the Beavers is next to meaningless when it comes to searching for a measuring stick. 

What happens next will tell everyone much more about the state of the Ducks' program. The bowl game opponent will certainly provide Oregon a shot at its second best victory of the season. 

Of the team's eight victories this year, only three have come against teams with winning records heading into Saturday's action: Washington (9-3, 7-2), California (6-5, 3-4) and Arizona State (6-5, 4-4). 

The other five wins came against teams (UCLA, San Jose State, Bowling Green, Portland State and OSU) that have a combined record of 13-44 with PSU (41-7) leading the way with four wins.

That's an ugly list. But a bowl victory would certainly dress up the season quite nicely. 

OSU's last bowl victory, as stated before, came following the 2013 season. Oregon's came only a year later, in the Rose Bowl/College Football Playoffs over Florida State. 

That was a whole two coaches ago. Last year was the first time Oregon had gone two years without a bowl game victory since losing the Rose Bowl following the 2009 season and then the national title game at the end of the 2010 season. No comparison, of course. The last time Oregon went three consecutive years without a bowl win was when the Ducks went through a five-year dry spell from 2003 through 2006. 

That run led to the greatest run of success in program history starting with the 2007 season. 

Maybe Cristobal and Oregon could start their own run at greatness with a bowl victory in December. Only such a win would make the 2018 season worth remembering.

What They're Saying: The Civil War is anything but civil

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What They're Saying: The Civil War is anything but civil

In Oregon football head coach’s words, this is the “most important game of the season” for both sides. Ducks vs. Beavers. Winner gets bragging rights and owns the state until the next Civil War. For Oregon State, the Beavers have nothing to lose in their final game of the season. For the Ducks, bowl game destination on the line. 

Let’s find out what the Oregon State football community, fans, and players are saying about this Civil War matchup in Corvallis, Oregon Friday at 1 PM (PT). Let's just say that these two fan bases do not like one another and the trolling on social media is all too good.

https://twitter.com/BarstoolBeavs/status/1064973487905755136

The last time the Civil War was played at Reser Stadium in Corvallis, the Beavers came out on top 34-24 in front of their home crowd. Former Oregon State running back Ryan Nall, who absolutely tore apart the Ducks' defense in that meeting, even jumped on Twitter:

To say the least, this will be an epic matchup. It always is. No records, no rankings, just pure rivalry football where anything could happen.