EUGENE, Oregon— Staff Ace David Peterson suffered through his shortest stint since Opening Day, and the Punchless Oregon offense was, well, Punchless again as the Oregon Ducks bumbled and stumbled to their fifth straight loss, dropping the second game of the Civil War Series with the Oregon State Beavers 5-4 Friday at PK Park.
Peterson (10-3), the junior left hander was without his normal pinpoint control on Friday, amassing a season-high four walks and a wild pitch in his five innings of work. He also had a costly throwing error, one of five errors incurred by the Ducks on the evening, on a failed pick-off attempt in the third, which led to an unearned run later in the inning. For the game, Peterson gave up five runs (four earned) on four hits while striking out five and allowing the aforementioned four walks. Peterson was lifted to start the sixth for reliever junior righty Brac Warren, who, along with fellow righty freshman Ryne Nelson managed to shutdown the high-octane OSU offense over the final four innings, holding the Beavers to a single hit while striking out seven, with six of those KO’s courtesy of Nelson.
In addition to Peterson’s woes, Oregon’s offense failed to capitalize on OSU head coach Pat Casey’s decision to start little-used Drew Rasmussen, as the Punch-and-Judy Ducks managed but one extra base hit— a double off the bat of freshman right fielder Matthew Dyer— out of seven total for the game. Oregon (26-20, 9-14) also left nine base runners stranded in a one-run game, including three in the bottom of the ninth, when reliever Nelson was forced to bat and struck out with the bases loaded to end the game. Rasmussen pitched well in his brief stint, allowing only one unearned run and one hit while striking out five and walking two in his three innings of work. A quartet of relievers took it from there for Oregon State (40-4, 23-3), with Max Engelbrekt (3-0) picking up the win, and Mitchell Verberg pitching the final two outs to pick up his second save of the season.
With the win, not only did the Beavers clinch the Civil War series, but the PAC-12 Conference Championship, as well as Casey’s 1,000th win as the Beavers’ head coach.
The Ducks have one last chance to salvage a win in the series, as the two teams take to the diamond once more Saturday at PK Park, with first pitch scheduled for 7:00 pm.