Once again, the Ducks lose the lead in the Civil War rivalry against the Beavers. They drop the series, but more importantly, they likely lose the potential to host in the regional round.
In the top of the ninth inning, Aaron Payne got his first hit of the day with a lead-off double, then went to third after the J.J. Altobelli sacrifice hit. Ryon Healy then launched what looked like a sacrifice RBI to left field, but Michael Conforto just got there for the out and then made a perfect pass to the catcher, easily knocking out Payne for the final out of the game.
It was a heartbreak for Oregon (42-16, 19-10) who drops their second straight game after a nine-game winning streak that bolted them to ninth in the National Collegiate Baseball Writers’ Poll and the top 10 in many college baseball polls. Oregon State (37-18, 17-12) has now won three of the four meetings in the Civil War.
Normally, Conforto is known for helping the Beavers win on his RBIs. They are 24-5 when he scores at least one RBI in their games. He hasn’t hit a single RBI in this series, yet Oregon State will win this rivalry series. Oregon will drop only their third series of the season.
The Ducks took the lead in the third inning, getting two runs from Kyle Garlick bringing in Altobelli on a single and Brett Hambright hitting a double to bring in Aaron Jones. Jones had three hits on the day.
Oregon’s starting pitcher, Jake Reed (6-4), only gave up three hits until Conforto singled with one out in the bottom of the sixth and the Beavers designated hitter, Danny Hayes, homered to tie it all up at two runs. Thanks to pinch hitting in the next inning, Oregon State would take the lead after Kevin Keyes walked and Nick Rulli later bringing him in on a double. All three runs would be tagged and earned on Reed in 6.1 innings of work.
Arizona remains tied with Oregon after dropping their game today as well, 9-7, against Arizona State. UCLA won their game against USC, 6-5, bringing in a three-way tie for first place in the Pac-12 conference on the final day of the regular season on Sunday.
The Civil War concludes tomorrow at 3:05 p.m. (PT). If the Ducks can salvage a game in this series, they may still have hope on hosting a regional next weekend.
Topics: Aaron Jones, Arizona, Arizona State, Brett Hambright, Civil War Rivalry, College Baseball, Danny Hayes, J.J. Altobelli, Jake Reed, Kevin Keyes, Kyle Garlick, Michael Conforto, National Collegiate Baseball Writers, Nick Rulli, Oregon State, Pac-12 Baseball, Ryon Healy, UCLA, USC