It comes down to this. Civil War Series, baseball style.
This weekend the Oregon State Beavers (41-8 overall, 20-4 league) travel to Eugene to take on the Oregon Ducks (42-11, 19-5 respectively). With only a one game edge in the loss column, the Beavers need to keep their twelve game winning streak going to win the conference title. And a possible national seed for the NCAA Tournament. More on that later.
Fortunately, the Beavs took care of business last weekend down in Palo Alto, sweeping the Stanford Cardinal in a three game set. Furthermore, OSU improved to 21-5 on the road this year. If they ever needed the good fortunes of playing away from home, it will be this weekend. In the last two seasons, the home team has swept their opponent in the Civil War three game series.
Looking at last weekend, Stanford actually put up 11 runs in three games. Other than the debacle at Washington, that is the most runs scored against the Beavers in conference play for any weekend match up this season. Pitchers Andrew Moore and Ben Wetzler each only gave up two runs in their starting pitching performances against the Cardinal (final scores in games two and three being 10-4 and 5-4). Matt Boyd only gave up three runs in Game 1 (Beavers winning, 7-3). The team ERA now stands at 2.06.
After scoring 22 runs in three games and collecting 28 hits, the Oregon State offense appears to be in a good flow. And the love is spread out. Danny Hayes hit a two-run homer in game three and Dylan Davis gathered eight RBI’s between the first two games combined. After Davis (.342 batting average) is Michael Conforto (.328) and Andy Peterson (.324) as everyday players sparking the offense. They are going to need any momentum possible because Oregon held Ohio State to just one run in three games. Good hitting versus good pitching. Let the show begin.
Should the Beavers lose all three games to the Ducks, only a miracle of biblical proportions will assure them a Top 8 seed (and home field advantage up to the College World Series should they continue to win). With each having one weekend series remaining (Ducks at Utah, Beavers at home vs. Washington State), Oregon likely has the inside track for the league title. OSU taking two out of three would put the Beavs in an extremely favorable position. It would have Oregon State two games up on the Ducks for the final weekend and their record would do the talking.