Ducks (26-24) drop Civil War series, splitting their last four as Oregon heads down the home-stretch of their regular season schedule. Just weeks before regionals, Oregon looks to be on the outside looking in with little time left to make-up ground.
Ducks 4 - Pilots 1
Late-game heroics got us back on track tonight in a 4-1 win vs. Portland. @Snovitske55 highlighted a 3-run rally in the 8th with a go-ahead 2-run single as he finished 2-for-3 with 2 runs scored. Six Oregon pitchers combined for 8 Ks while giving up just five hits. #GoDucks pic.twitter.com/5c0dqm08rx— Oregon Duck Baseball (@OregonBaseball) May 8, 2019
Oregon snaps four-game losing streak in their first game back in Eugene following a lengthy road trip. Freshman led the Ducks to victory in a much-needed win against the Portland Pilots.
Head coach, George Horton gave the lineup a well-deserved shake-up after the gruesome series against Arizona. Freshman Kyle Froemke got his first career start at shortstop, moving Spencer Steer to third where he played primarily as an underclassman. Fellow freshman James Bell made his first career start at catcher and Vinny Tosti was inserted as DH. Whether it’s a scare tactic by Horton to wake up his team, or not, five freshman started against the Pilots and the results were beneficial.
It took late inning heroics to come out of PK Park with the win, but it was Oregon’s pitching that kept their offense in the game. Six Ducks pitchers kept Portland nearly scoreless. Righty sophomore Brett Walker got the start on the mound. Walker wasn’t out very long, getting replaced by redshirt junior, Cole Stringer after 3.0 innings of scoreless baseball. The lone run allowed in the game was by Stringer in the 5th, on an RBI ground-out. He also contributed this little beauty, flashing the leather to end the inning.
T6 | No luck, all skill on this no-looker to end the inning by Cole Stringer. #SCTop10 #GoDucks pic.twitter.com/omY7FzMM62— Oregon Duck Baseball (@OregonBaseball) May 8, 2019
Freshman right-fielder Tanner Smith gave Oregon their first run of the day hitting a single to left field in the third, scoring second baseman and fellow freshman, Sam Novitske.
B3 | @tannerr_smith puts the Ducks on the board with a 2-out RBI single to left scoring @Snovitske55. Ducks lead 1-0 after three with Cole Stringer headed to the mound. #GoDucks pic.twitter.com/OhgOXiR9PG— Oregon Duck Baseball (@OregonBaseball) May 8, 2019
Portland tied up the game in the 5th, but Novitske came through in the bottom of the 8th to take the lead back for the Ducks. With men in scoring position thanks to an error by Portland’s catcher, Dutton Elske, Novitske singled up the left side bringing both runners across the plate.
Ducks take the lead!@Snovitske55 drops a single into left to score both @aj_miller33 and @kylefroemke to make it 3-1 with 1 out in the 8th. #GoDucks pic.twitter.com/3pciZhQmka— Oregon Duck Baseball (@OregonBaseball) May 8, 2019
Ducks’ first baseman Gabe Matthews later followed up Oregon’s leadoff batter with a single up the middle to center, scoring Novitske for the second time.
And now @Gabe_Matthews3 makes it a 3-run lead with a 2-out RBI single to center scoring @Snovitske55! 4-1 Ducks with 2 outs in B8. #GoDucks pic.twitter.com/r1jbWb1vqD— Oregon Duck Baseball (@OregonBaseball) May 8, 2019
Novitske led Oregon’s offense finishing his night 2-3 with 2 RBI’s, a walk and 2 runs scored. Smith (1-3) and Matthews (1-4) both added an RBI, while many of Oregon’s bats fell silent in the single-game matchup. The win at home snaps a four-game losing skid before facing Oregon State at home in a three-game conference series at PK Park.
Chase, K. (W, 4-1) 1.0 IP, O ER, 0 H, 1 BB, 1 K
Tellache, N. (S, 6) 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 1 H, 1 BB, 2 K
#12 Oregon State
Ducks 1 - Beavers 4
Final: Oregon State 4, Oregon 1— Oregon Duck Baseball (@OregonBaseball) May 11, 2019
Ducks get the tying run to the plate but come up short. @Robby22Ahlstrom with a great effort on the mound while @spenc__er had an awesome day on both sides of the ball. #GoDucks pic.twitter.com/sZGplupG0p
The boxscore got flipped around following the win against Portland earlier in the week. Game 1 of the Civil War matchup against #12 Oregon State Beavers didn’t go in favor of the Ducks as third baseman Spencer Steer shines back at his old position.
OSU got out to a fairly large lead early. Beavers’ shortstop, Beau Philip was impatient at the plate, putting Oregon State on the board with a lead off home run to left on the second pitch of the game.
The bottom of Oregon State’s order put up two runs on back-to-back-to-back hits in the 2nd inning. OSU’s Preston Jones doubled down the left field line. Center-fielder, Kyler McMahan followed up with a double of his own to left-center scoring Jones. Third baseman Andy Armstrong drove in the second run of the inning with a single to center field, pushing their lead to 3-0 heading into the bottom of the inning.
Beavers’ first baseman Ryan Ober added the fourth run after Spencer Steer made a phenomenal play at third, holding OSU to just a run and grounding Ober into a double-play.
T3 | OSU adds another run in the inning but this gem of a double play started by @spenc__er helps minimize the damage. Ducks trail 4-0. #SCTop10 #GoDucks pic.twitter.com/6kkmgBT8gG— Oregon Duck Baseball (@OregonBaseball) May 11, 2019
The four runs by the end of the 3rd inning were enough for the Beavers however, as the Ducks could only muster up a single run in the game. The lone run came off the bat of Steer who played phenomenal at his former position.
Spencer Steer's RBI brings home Sam Novitske, and the Ducks are on the board. #GoDucks pic.twitter.com/RG8Yb8mo9U— Oregon Duck Baseball (@OregonBaseball) May 11, 2019
Steer finished the game 3-4 including a double, RBI single and a couple of ESPN’s Top 10 worthy web-gem.
Yeah, don't hit it at @spenc__er. #SCTop10 #GoDucks pic.twitter.com/I9Jovt4oLd— Oregon Duck Baseball (@OregonBaseball) May 11, 2019
Don't say we didn't warn you to stop hitting it to that guy. @spenc__er. #SCTop10 #GoDucks pic.twitter.com/awkp0LF5Mg— Oregon Duck Baseball (@OregonBaseball) May 11, 2019
Redshirt senior Jakob Goldfarb, 2-3 with a walk, was the only other Duck to accumulate multiple hits on the night.
Lefty sophomore, Robert Ahlstrom, perhaps Oregon’s most consistent threat on the mound, struggled through the first three innings, but found his grove shortly there-after. The hurler put together the longest outing by a UO pitcher this season throwing 8.1 innings of work. Sophomore, Brett Walker replaced Ahlstrom with two outs remaining in the top of the 9th. Walker shut the door on the Beavers giving Oregon one final, yet unsuccessful attempt to put a rally together falling to Oregon State.
Ahlstrom, B. (L, 5-5) 8.1 IP, 3 ER, 4 R, 7 H, 2 BB, 6 K
#12 Oregon State
Ducks 5 - Beavers 8
Final: Oregon State 8, Oregon 5— Oregon Duck Baseball (@OregonBaseball) May 12, 2019
Ducks leave the tying run in the on-deck circle as a double play ends the game. @spenc__er drives in three runs while @tannerr_smith goes 3-for-5 with a homer and two runs scored. Series finale tomorrow at noon. #GoDucks pic.twitter.com/QjyVbb99Y6
Oregon’s top of the order carried the Ducks in game 2 of the Civil War, just not far enough to get them past the #12 ranked Beavers. Novitske, Smith and Steer, Oregon’s 1-2-3 hitters combined for 7 hits, 4 RBI’s and 3 runs scored in the loss at PK Park that hosted 4,130 fans. The third largest attendance record in the Park’s history.
OSU took an early lead once again in the series. With runners at first and second OSU’s Ober doubled to right-center scoring DH Alex McGarry for the first run of the game. Right-fielder, Tyler Malone added the last two runs of the inning with a single up the middle bringing home both runners in scoring position.
Right-fielder, Tanner Smith responded quickly in the bottom of the 1st with the only home run of the game; a solo shot to give the game a 3-1 score.
That's one way to get those bats going. @tannerr_smith puts one out to right center to make a 3-1 game. #GoDucks pic.twitter.com/q3Eskt1gMP— Oregon Duck Baseball (@OregonBaseball) May 11, 2019
Steer tightened-up the margin for the first time in game 2 during the 3rd with a single to left, scoring Novitske from second for a 5-2 game.
Spencer Steer doing what he does best. Sam Novitske scores and an RBI single by Steer. #GoDucks pic.twitter.com/MyJW8zHvOZ— Oregon Duck Baseball (@OregonBaseball) May 11, 2019
Starting pitching struggled to begin the game for Oregon. Right-hander, Cullen Kafka was pulled after giving up 5 runs, on 8 hits and 5 walks in just 2.1 innings of work. Junior left-hander, Cole Stringer replaced Kafka in the 3rd and allowed only 1 earned run. OSU scored 2 unearned runs in the 5th due to an error by shortstop Kyle Froemke that scored a runner and left a man on 3rd.
Steer closed the margin once again with a double down the left field line scoring both Smith and Froemke to make it 7-4 OSU.
Spencer Steer does it again! This time Steer brings home two ducks on this RBI Double. Ducks trail 7-4. #GoDucks pic.twitter.com/aBddFljcs9— Oregon Duck Baseball (@OregonBaseball) May 11, 2019
The renewed third baseman continues his ascent into the UO record books. Steer tied Ryon Healy for second all-time in OU history with 118 RBI’s. The 34th multi-RBI game of his career gives him the school record for most multi-RBI games in a career. In addition, first baseman Gabe Matthews made his 136th straight starts, most in school history.
Smith and Novitske had solid nights of their own, even in the loss. Novitske went 2-4 with a run scored, while Smith went 3-5 with a HR and 2 runs scored. Unfortunately, the effort by the top of the Ducks’ order wasn’t enough to bring home the victory for the nearly record-setting number of fans in attendance for Saturday’s game.
Kafka, C. (L, 5-5) 2.1 IP, 5 ER, 8 H, 5 BB, 3 K, 1 WP
#12 Oregon State
Ducks 3 - Beavers 2
Highlights from our win in the Civil War series finale. #GoDucks pic.twitter.com/XFT4p6pVPC— Oregon Duck Baseball (@OregonBaseball) May 12, 2019
Ducks steal the last game of the Civil War series to avoid the sweep at home against OSU on some rather backwards pitching.
With Oregon’s bullpen depleted from the heavy workload over the past couple weeks, head coach, George Horton sent a text to junior right-hander Ryne Nelson the night before; saying, he was going to go to him early and ride it out with the junior right-hander as long as possible. Luckily for Horton, Nelson answered his call.
Horton was true to his word and went to Nelson after just 2.2 innings between sophomores Brett Walker and Kolby Somers. Neither pitcher gave up a run throughout their time on the mound, but it was evident that Horton had a plan and he was sticking to it.
Nelson entered in the 3rd with a 3-0 lead behind him and never looked back. The junior closed out the game allowing an RBI single in the 6th and a solo homer from OSU’s McGarry. Other than the two blemishes on his day, Nelson was lights-out, striking out 12 OSU batter. Things got a little heated when Oregon State asked umpires to check a dark spot on Nelson’s hat for a possible illegal substance, but found nothing. That didn’t shake the junior’s confidence as he would go on to strike out the side, including potential first-overall pick in the draft, Adley Rutschman.
T8 | HUGE. @ry_nelly29 strikes out Rutschman with the bases loaded to keep the Ducks in front. OSU get a run though on a solo homer to make it a 3-2 game. #GoDucks pic.twitter.com/xDjccijcXr— Oregon Duck Baseball (@OregonBaseball) May 12, 2019
The Duck’s batting order were able to help Nelson early with the aforementioned, and uncommon as of late, 3-0 lead. The heart of the Ducks’ order produced and this time, it was enough to carry them across the finish-line. Steer put the first runs on the board with an RBI double in the 1st to left-center. Scoring Smith from first in the process.
Stay hot @spenc__er! He puts one in the gap in left center to score @tannerr_smith all the way from first to make it 1-0 with 1 out in B1. #GoDucks pic.twitter.com/4xzNGgTcRg— Oregon Duck Baseball (@OregonBaseball) May 12, 2019
Center-fielder, Jonny DeLuca, who’s been dead-silent all series going 0-8 in the first two games, came to play in game 3. Immediately following Steer’s double in the first, DeLuca hits a single of his own through the left side, scoring Steer.
Jonny gets in on the fun now. He hits one through the 6-hole to easily score @spenc__er from 2nd and make it 2-0 with 1 out in B1.— Oregon Duck Baseball (@OregonBaseball) May 12, 2019
Tune in now to @Pac12Network. #GoDucks pic.twitter.com/t5y5Kr8mrL
With two outs in the 2nd inning the top of the Ducks’ order clutched-up. Smith singled up the right side. Steer followed up with a walk advancing Smith into scoring position for the Ducks’ center-fielder. DeLuca, like Nelson, answered the call, driving a single to right-center scoring Smith from second. Giving Nelson the cushion needed to seal the final game of the series.
Jonny = Clutch.— Oregon Duck Baseball (@OregonBaseball) May 12, 2019
His second RBI single of the day plates @tannerr_smith with two outs in the inning to make it a 3-0 lead! #GoDucks pic.twitter.com/w5MtqsalTW
Nelson, R. (W, 3-4) 6.1 IP, 2 ER, 8 H, 4 BB, 12 K, 1 IBB
STATE OF THE PAC
#1 UCLA (41-8-0) / Conf. (19-5-0)
#3 Stanford (37-9-0) / Conf. (19-5-0)
#11 Oregon State (33-15-1) / Conf. (19-5-0)
Arizona State (35-14-0) / Conf. (14-10-0)
California (29-17-0) / Conf. (14-10-0)
Washington (27-19-0) / Conf. (12-12-0)
Arizona (24-24-0) / Conf. (12-14-0)
USC (20-26-1) / Conf. (9-13-1)
Oregon (26-24-0) / Conf. (9-15-0)
Utah (12-31-0) / Conf. (4-23-0)
Washington State (10-36-1) / Conf. (2-21-1)
*Rankings determined by Pac-12.com and D1Baseball.com Top 25
DUCK OF THE WEEK
Is it too obvious that it’s Spencer Steer again?
After moving back to his former position at third base, Steer seems even more comfortable and settled in on the field and at the dish. Besides showing off his glove and defensive prowess, Steer finished the weekend 7-14 (.500) with 3 doubles, 5 RBI’s, a run scored. Steer strung together 3 multi-hit games against the #12 ranked Beavers and is well on his way to finish his junior year as one of the greatest hitters in the school’s history.