Beavers go 1-2 against the Ducks

Joshua Lucas Daily Barometer
Baseball vs Ducks

Brian Rathbone Senior Beat Reporter

Head coach Pat Casey had a simple assessment following the Beavers’ 6-3 loss to the Oregon Ducks (24-22) in Game 3 of the Civil War.

“You gotta pitch,” he said.

In Sunday’s rubber match, three Beaver pitchers gave up six runs in the final six innings as the Beavers (30-18) dropped their second straight Pac-12 series and six of their last 10 overall.

“A lot of disappointment losing a big series,” said sophomore first baseman KJ Harrison. “It sucks, but you gotta keep moving on.

“I just don’t think we are playing the best of baseball,” he added.

Junior right-hander Jake Thompson got the starting nod and was effective early on, facing the minimum through the first three innings.

“He had plenty good enough stuff to get (Duck batters) out,” said Casey. “He just wasn’t anywhere near the zone.”

Once the fourth inning hit Thompson’s command declined and the Oregon hitters took advantage. The Ducks had a trio of hits in the inning resulting in two runs. The Ducks then added another run in the fifth inning to end Thompson’s day.

Thompson finished the outing giving up three runs (two earned) on three hits over five innings. Thompson also issued three walks while only striking out two.

“We walked people and didn’t execute pitches it makes it difficult,” said Casey. “We didn’t do anything offensively in the first half of the game. Made it tough chasing runs all day.

The Ducks would add two more runs in the sixth inning when sophomore left fielder A.J. Balta hit a solo home run off OSU’s freshman righty Tommy Paul. Then a pair of doubles from junior outfielder Jake Bennett and sophomore catcher Tim Susnara pushed the Ducks’ lead to 5-0.

The Beavers would have to play catch up the rest of the way. And they would make a run at the Ducks in the sixth inning.

A perfectly-placed bunt from junior second baseman Caleb Hamilton started the rally. Sophomore designated hitter Christian Donahue followed up Hamilton’s bunt with a double to left field.

Hamilton came home to score on a ground ball hit by freshman centerfielder Steven Kwan. Then with a runner on third, Harrison hit his 10th home run of the year (2nd of the series) on a line drive over the left field fence.

“It doesn’t really mean anything to me,” said Harrison on his productive weekend at the plate. “All that matters to me is getting wins every weekend.”

That was all the offense was able to manufacture. Five times the Beavers were able to get their leadoff runners on to start an inning. Once OSU got a baserunner on, the bats went cold. As a team the Beavers hit 2-of-16 (.125) with runners on base.

In the ninth inning, the Beavers once again got a pair of runners on base, when freshman Trevor Larnach came into pinch hit. He hit a ball hard into the left center gap, but the Oregon outfield was positioned perfectly to catch the ball and end the rally.

“They battled,” said Casey. “The problem is you have to battle for nine innings and you can’t just battle late in the game.”

With only six guaranteed games left on the schedule against USC and UCLA, and a postseason berth on the line, the Beavers will try and right the ship as they enter the final stretch to strengthen their postseason resume.

“We are just going to need to compete on both sides of the ball, pitching and defense,” said Harrison. “Just play with a swagger about us and a lot of confidence. We are better than what we are playing with now.”