OSU baseball drops game three of Civil War

OSU baseball drops game three of Civil War

The Civil War finale went to Oregon. The Ducks avoided the series sweep with a 3-2 victory over the Beavers in Eugene at PK Park.

For the third straight season, Oregon State claimed the series after winning game one, 4-1, and game two, 8-5.

OSU had a solid day on the mound featuring Joey Mundt and Jake Mulholland, who combined for seven innings of scoreless relief. Mundt struck out five in 3.2 innings, while Mulholland struck out three in 2.1 innings.

Coming off Civil War game two, in which the Beavers stranded 14 batters on base, leaving runners on base continued to kill the Beavers into game three. OSU stranded a season-high total 15 runners on base in game three.

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. 

Oregon State had a few chances to get on the board but were unable to capitalize until 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 State’s defense remained stout and committed zero errors but the Ducks held on to the victory.

Oregon State returns to Goss Stadium for the Beavers' final non-conference game of the regular season vs. Portland on Tuesday before traveling to Stanford for a crucial series to determine Pac-12 standings.

Oregon State wins the Preseason WNIT

Oregon State wins the Preseason WNIT

CORVALLIS - The No. 7 Oregon State Beavers are the 2019 Preseason WNIT champions. But it wasn’t easy.

A few nights after blitzing No. 18 Depaul 98-77 in the semifinals of the tournament, they got to host the Missouri State Lady Bears at Gill Coliseum. The Lady Bears had won 13 consecutive road games dating back to last season heading into the contest and upset Oklahoma earlier this week. 

Junior Aleah Goodman felt the win will help the Beavers in the long run:

To play in a tournament like this in November is huge for our team, huge for our confidence.

The Lady Bears led by four points at halftime, 39-35, and then extended that lead to as high as eight in the third quarter. In response, Beavers head coach Scott Rueck changed up the Beavers defense away from man-to-man to a 2-3 zone, which worked to great effect limiting the Lady Bears to 26.7% shooting in the third quarter. 

The Beavers went on to double the Lady Bears in the third quarter, 20-10. Redshirt junior guard Destiny Slocum hit a three pointer to close the third and give the Beavers a six-point advantage. In the fourth, the Beavers continued to push the pace for open three-pointers and came away victorious.

After the game, Slocum felt proud of her team:

We talk about championship mindset here a lot of the time, and [this] is the first net I’ve got to cut down...it feels good to start the season this way.

You can watch Aleah Goodman and Destiny Slocum react to the win in the video above.

Jonathan Smith is growing a program on Gary Andersen's scorched earth

Jonathan Smith is growing a program on Gary Andersen's scorched earth

I cannot say enough about the coaching job Jonathan Smith and his staff have done at Oregon State this season.

Gary Andersen left scorched earth when he pulled up stakes and headed south out of Corvallis two seasons ago. And already, Smith is growing a promising crop of players within a system that has kept his team in just about every game this season.

The Beavers have been competitive within the North Division of the Pac=12. And it’s been a while.

And making that climb from hopeless to hopeful is a long and arduous journey that Smith has accomplished a lot quicker than anybody had a real right to expect.

But what about the rest of this season? Oregon State is just one win away from being bowl eligible. Can it happen?

Obviously, it’s possible. After watching this bunch win conference road games, it’s easy to give them a fighting chance at a couple of games in which they will be underdogs. Next week, in Pullman against Washington State, I think OSU can pull it off if all goes well. And there’s always a chance when your team has a veteran quarterback and an offense that doesn’t turn the ball over frequently – which has been a hallmark of this season’s team.

The final game of the season will be in Eugene against the Ducks. And I’ve seen enough Civil War games to know that even though anything can happen, the favorite usually wins. And the Ducks will likely have so much at stake they should be at their very best.

But, come on! Would we have ever guessed we would see this much out of Oregon State this season? No way.

So, it probably wouldn’t be wise to totally count them out now.

Which college football team should Duck fans be rooting for now?

Which college football team should Duck fans be rooting for now?

The Oregon Ducks may hold their College Football Playoff fate in their own hands right now. A lot of people believe if they win out, whip Utah in the Pac-12 championship game, they will punch their ticket to the national playoff.

But I’m not sure Auburn – the only team to have beaten the Ducks this season -- doesn’t still own a big piece of Oregon’s postseason fate. That’s because the Tigers meet Alabama on 11/30 in a crucial SEC game. The Crimson Tide, of course, will be playing without its All-America quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who is out for the season. If ‘Bama can somehow figure out a way to win at Auburn without Tagovailoa, I would guess it has a real shot at finishing ahead of the Ducks in the rankings.

Oregon lost 29-21 to Auburn on a neutral field with nine seconds to go, after leading all the way. But the Ducks had an edge in that game, playing the Tigers in the very first college game for Auburn’s true-freshman  starting quarterback Bo Nix. And although Nix was terrific late in the game, he was shaky early and Oregon didn’t take full advantage of that. If Alabama can beat the Tigers on the road, that would certainly make it easier for the committee to pick the Tide over the Ducks.

And I think the big problem for the Ducks is that Alabama is, well, Alabama. That game a week ago vs. LSU drew a terrific television rating and that counts for something, I would guess. Even though it’s not supposed to count.

Oregon must overcome the Alabama aura and also hope that Georgia doesn’t knock off LSU in the SEC championship game, which would probably push both those teams into the final four. along with Clemson and Ohio State.

Can the Ducks get into the final four? Yes, I think so. But remember, the final four is a football’s version of a dog show. It’s all about appearances. You better be ready to look charming, cute, adorable, etc. when the judges are looking.

You must not only be the best team, you have to look good doing it. And that’s not going to be easy, especially coming out of the Pac-12, where I believe it’s difficult for teams to improve throughout the long season because the caliber of opposition is often not going to be challenging. Just last week, Oregon wasn’t at its best but Arizona wasn’t good enough to even make the game close.

A lot still has to go Oregon’s way -- including Auburn putting a good beating on Alabama next week.

Injury updates to Mycah Pittman, CJ Verdell from Mario Cristobal

Injury updates to Mycah Pittman, CJ Verdell from Mario Cristobal

No. 6 Oregon (9-1, 7-0 Pac-12) defeated Arizona 34-6 on Saturday night to officially claim the Pac-12 North crown and lock in a spot in the Pac-12 title game in December.

Before the Ducks can think that far ahead, they must also take care of business with their remaining schedule: at Arizona State and vs. Oregon State. 

Oregon Coach Mario Cristobal gave an injury update to true freshman wide receiver Mycah Pittman as well as sophomore running back CJ Verdell, who both left the game in the first half.

Mycah Pittman - right wrist

“Mycah hurt his arm. The severity of it, we’ll know but it’s a pretty good shot, everyone saw it on film. He took a pretty good hit there when he had his hand planted in the ground.”

Pittman tweeted the following this morning, further details have not been released:

CJ Verdell - arm

“CJ was more of a stinger. He got hyper-extended so he just wanted to get full strength back in his arm by the end of the game. He was back to full strength,” said Cristobal.

Sophomore running back Travis Dye finished with 14 attempts for 71 yards, but it was Darrian Felix, the back that has battled injury throughout his Oregon career, who made an appearance on Saturday and recorded 11 attempts for 49 yards.

More to come from Cristobal on the progress of these players when he gets a report.

MORE ON THE DUCKS

In search of his own legacy, Justin Herbert has one of his biggest nights with Marcus Mariota in the house 

What they're saying: Oregon claims the North crown, clinches spot in Pac-12 title game

Talkin' Blazers with Channing Frye: Ranking the nightlife on the current road trip

Talkin' Blazers with Channing Frye: Ranking the nightlife on the current road trip

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to be on the road in the NBA? Numerous days on airplanes, numerous nights in hotels, all the best food from around the country, and more!

Sure, it can be exhausting, but it’s not without its moments of relaxation and fun.

In the latest edition of the Talkin’ Blazers Podcast, Channing Frye ranks the nightlife on the Blazers' current six-game road trip.

San Antonio. Houston. New Orleans. Milwaukee. Cleveland. Chicago. Who wins this race?

Which city ranks as a negative on a scale of 1 to 10?

Which city is middle of the road, but easy to get in trouble in?

Which city ramps up the “creepy” factor?

We won’t spoil it, but you can take a listen for yourself in the latest episode of Talkin’ Blazers with Channing Frye. The discussion starts around the 19 minute mark. 

But don’t forget, Utah nightlife is undefeated. Nothing beats Salt Lake City on the road.

Back to Basics: CJ McCollum got it going in San Antonio

Back to Basics: CJ McCollum got it going in San Antonio

SAN ANTONIO – The Trail Blazers needed every bit of CJ McCollum’s 32 points on Saturday night along with some key stops down the stretch to defeat the Spurs.

Even though McCollum struggled in the final period, his scoring early helped boost the Blazers.

It also helped boost McCollum overall.

However, don’t think for a second that he didn’t feel confident that he would turn things around offensively.

“I knew I’m going to make shots eventually,” McCollum said. “I ain’t going to go 80 games and shoot 33 percent from three. That’s impossible based on how I work and the shots I get, and the type of player I am. It was just a matter of time – watch the film, breaking it down, get to my spots… I had some good looks that I didn’t make, I should’ve made about eight or nine of those threes, but you can’t make every one.”    

In Saturday’s win, McCollum went 13-of-25 from the field, including 6-of-11 from three-point range. Through the first three quarters McCollum shot 66.7 percent from the floor.

Blazer head coach Terry Stotts mentioned postgame how McCollum didn’t shoot well down the stretch, but added, “CJ had a terrific offensive night for the first three quarters… CJ probably got a little fatigued, but he had it going.”

On the season, McCollum is now shooting 40.7 percent overall and 31.3 percent from long distance.

It has been hard for Trail Blazer fans to not think about his 21.1% shooting night against the Nets or his 16.7% shooting night from three against the Clippers.

For McCollum though, he got back to the basics, and now his jumpers are falling.

“Just getting to my spots and raising up is the biggest thing. I’ve been getting the same shots all season, they’re just starting to go in,” McCollum said.

Trail Blazers rookie Nassir Little enjoyed watching the McCollum show on Saturday. Little also noted that he is one of the biggest cheerleaders on the team.

Well, he didn’t use that word.

“If you look closely, I’m a gasser,” Little said. “So, I’m gassing him up all game, telling him to keep killing, keep going… It was really fun to watch.”

McCollum and the Blazers will look to keep the momentum going when they visit Houston on Monday.

 

Listen to the latest Talkin' Blazers Podcast below:

In his last chance, Jake Luton leaves Reser Stadium victorious

In his last chance, Jake Luton leaves Reser Stadium victorious

CORVALLIS - Senior Day was special for all the Beavers (5-5, 4-3 Pac-12) who defeated Arizona State (5-5, 2-5 Pac-12) for their first Pac-12 win at home since 2016. But starting quarterback Jake Luton wasn’t around the program in 2016.

The former JUCO transfer became the Beavers’ starting quarterback entering his redshirt junior season in 2017. Due to injuries, he got a sixth year of eligibility and a second year under head coach Jonathan Smith.

Luton has gone on the record saying that in his second season the playbook has been opened up for him and it shows. Luton has lead the Beavers to a 5-5 record which is double the amount of wins Vegas books had the Beavers winning. Luton and his favorite receiving target, Isaiah Hodgns, moved into second place in Oregon State history for most scoring connections between passer and receiver. 

But besides the success on the field, some things were still missing for Luton: a home victory over a conference opponent and a bowl game.

On Saturday, he accomplished that first goal, and inched towards the second. The Beavers are one win away from going bowling, surpassing nearly everyone’s expectations heading into the season.

Going into the game, Luton said he shed some tears for his last home game as a Beaver. After the game, the quarterback gave his thoughts on the win:

It’s a sweet feeling being able to come in, our last game in Reser Stadium as seniors and get a win against a good football team.

You can hear his full thoughts on the victory in the video above.

Morning After: Everything you may have missed from the Blazers win over the Spurs

Morning After: Everything you may have missed from the Blazers win over the Spurs

Talk about a roller coaster of emotion, because that is what Blazer fans dealt with in San Antonio on Saturday night.

The Blazers, without Carmelo Anthony and in desperate need of a win, jumped on the Spurs early. Portland held the 41-23 lead at the end of the first, and the lead ballooned to 23 just minutes into the second quarter.

It looked like the type of game the Blazers would pull away and coast to victory. But the Spurs wouldn’t have it.

In the second half, Gregg Popovich earned two quick techs and was ejected, jolting a little life back into the Spurs. San Antonio went on a 32-13 run following the ejection and had a double-digit lead in the fourth and final quarter.

Just when it looked like the Spurs had flipped the script, Portland flipped it right back. The Blazers clawed back and ended the game on a 17-6 run to grab the lead, and the victory over the Spurs.

Final score in San Antonio: Blazers 121 – Spurs 116.

 

QUOTABLES:

Nassir Little on the key to winning:

I mean, down the stretch we got key stops, and I think honestly the biggest play of the game was when I tipped it off of Rudy (Gay) and got the extra possession and Rodney (Hood) got the and-one to put us up three.

CJ McCollum on importance of the victory:

Super important. We took a loss to Sacramento then another loss at home. We got another long road trip, four games under .500, it was huge for us to not only get a win on the road to begin the trip, but just to start the trip the right way. 

Coach Stotts on what the win means:

Well, to win it in the fourth quarter, you know our defense, we had held them to 20 (points) in the fourth quarter, that's big for us. I think defensively in the fourth quarter, that was really important for us. It's been our Achilles heel lately, so hopefully, that will reinforce them.

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In search of his own legacy, Justin Herbert has one of his biggest nights with Marcus Mariota in the house

In search of his own legacy, Justin Herbert has one of his biggest nights with Marcus Mariota in the house

The No. 6 Oregon Ducks are Pac-12 Conference North Division Champions, contenders for the College Football Playoff, on a nine-game winning streak and have their first 7-0 start to Pac-12 Conference play since 2012.

In a 34-6 victory over Arizona, official King of the North quarterback Justin Herbert demonstrated how he helped lead Oregon (9-1, 7-0 Pac-12) to those massive accomplishments.

“Magical” is how teammate senior linebacker Troy Dye described Herbert’s performance.

“You get the ball in (number)10’s hands and it’s ridiculous, anything can happen,” Dye continued. “He’s a magician with the ball…I’ll tell you what, he makes throws even crazier in practice.”

Herbert’s 333 passing yards marks his most this season and fourth most in his Oregon career. He became just the second player in Oregon history to surpass 10,000 total career yards and 100 total career touchdowns, sharing the milestone with former Oregon quarterback and Heisman Trophy winner Marcus Mariota.  

Witnessing from the sideline donning an Oregon-clad baseball hat pulled down, was Mariota. Despite his efforts to remain incognito, the camera found him, which brought 54,219 Ducks fans to their feet in a standing ovation. He took his hat off and bowed to the crowd in appreciation.

“I can always tell when he’s in town because it’s the loudest the crowd ever gets,” Oregon Coach Mario Cristobal said of Mariota. “There is nothing like being a player and seeing not only all the greats, former Oregon Ducks coming back and being around the program…I love it, will continue to invite them and want to see it happen much more.”

Cristobal stressed the top priority to bring the “Men of Oregon” back to strengthen the Duck legacy and “Oregon family.” He continued to share that when he was a player at Miami, meeting alumni was one of his favorite aspects of the game. Crisobal emphasized that it brings a perspective that the current Ducks are “borrowing the jerseys” and apart of something bigger.

The attention shifted back to the other sneaky-quick quarterback with an elite arm.

Herbert’s show started right away. On the second play of the game, he launched a 73-yard touchdown pass to Johnny Johnson III, the longest pass play of his season. The highlights continued with a reverse flea flicker 53-yard touchdown toss to an extended Juwan Johnson, worthy of a SportsCenter Top 10 nod. Herbert whipped his third touchdown with a back-shoulder bullet to Spencer Webb for 24 yards. Herbert’s fourth touchdown went to Travis Dye on a perfectly-timed 33-yard screen pass, extending Oregon’s comfortable lead before turning the reins over to back-up quarterback Tyler Shough.

Picking the best moment would be challenging. Good thing it’s not necessary. What is mandatory, however, is keeping the offensive momentum as the Ducks finish their two remaining Pac-12 games and beyond. Arizona’s defense is the worst in the conference and looming is a title game against the stout No. 7 Utah Utes.

It'll be the first time Oregon competes for the conference title since 2014 during Mariota's final season. When Mariota is in town, his legacy is loud enough to hurt an eardrum. Now, it’s Herbert’s opportunity to establish his own.