CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State rallied for four runs in the last of the eighth inning on Saturday night to defeat Oregon 4-2 at Goss Stadium, clinching the Civil War baseball series for the third year in a row and for the fifth time in the past six seasons.
Right fielder Dylan Davis smashed a bases-loaded, two-run double to right-center field with no outs to erase a 1-0 Oregon lead. Third baseman Caleb Hamilton added a two-out, two-run single to plate two insurance runs that proved decisive when the Ducks mounted a comeback in the ninth.
The Beavers’ (30-8 overall, 13-4 Pac-12 Conference) fourth consecutive win in the series over the past two seasons moved them further ahead of idle Washington in the Pacific-12 Conference title race. OSU leads the Huskies, whose Saturday game with Washington State was rained out, by .028 percentage points (.765-.737) in its quest to repeat as conference champions.
Sophomore Andrew Moore was stellar through eight-plus innings and earned his second win over the Ducks (31-12, 10-7) in the past two seasons. He struck out seven, did not give up a hit between the third and eighth innings, and allowed two runs on four hits before being relieved after a leadoff single in the ninth. A Eugene native, he is 2-0, 1.06 lifetime against his hometown team.
Stymied on four singles through seven innings by undefeated (9-0) Oregon starter Andrew Gold, the Beavers rocked reliever Garrett Cleavenger for four runs in the eighth to delight the crowd of 3,307, the second-largest regular-season gathering in school history. Leadoff batter Jeff Hendrix walked and advanced to second on Andy Peterson’s single; Cleavenger then walked Michael Conforto to load the bases for Davis, who was 1-for-3 to that point.
Davis lined Cleavenger’s first pitch to the gap in right-center and Hendrix and Peterson sprinted home with the tying and go-ahead runs. Cleavenger fanned the next two batters, but Hamilton then dropped a single into short center field to knock in Conforto and Davis.
Those final two runs proved crucial. Oregon rallied in the ninth for the second night in a row, only to be stopped again by reliever Scott Schultz, who earned his second save in as many nights and his fourth of the season.
Steven Packard’s leadoff single finished Moore. Zack Reser relieved and walked Austin Grebeck, bringing in Schultz. He quickly got two outs, but then hit a batter and walked a batter to make it 4-2 and to send the tying run to second base. However, he steadied himself and retired Tyler Baumgartner on a grounder to first baseman Jerad Casper for the final out.
Davis was 2-for-4 with a run and two RBIs that increased his team-leading total to 47. Hamilton now has three RBIs on the weekend; he hit a solo homer in Friday night’s 3-1 OSU win in the series opener.
The victory was the 700th at OSU for head coach Pat Casey, now in his 20th season as the Beavers’ mentor. Casey is 700-397-4 (.638) at OSU and 871-510-5 (.679) in 27 seasons overall.
The season-high crowd of 3,307 raised the season total to 42,953in 16 openings, an average of 2,685per date. The Beavers have drawn 2,032 or more fans to every game.
The series concludes at 1:03 p.m. Sunday. Junior lefty Jace Fry (7-1, 1.95) is the projected starter for the Beavers, opposed by Oregon’s Trent Paddon (1-1, 1.65).
Tickets can be purchased via BeaverTickets.com, by calling 1-800-GOBEAVS or visiting the ticket office at Goss Stadium, which opens at 11 a.m. on Saturday.
For more information on the Oregon State baseball team, follow the club’s official Twitter account at Twitter.com/Beaver_Baseball or by Facebook at Facebook.com/OregonStateBaseball.