The win gives Oregon State
back sole possession of first place in the Pac-12 conference standings, setting the stage for a big rubber match on Sunday between the two teams with four conference games remaining.
Oregon relievers gave up seven earned runs over the final two innings total to allow the Beavers to open up the game, allowing ten batters to the plate alone in an eighth inning rife with bullpen miscues. Beavers second baseman Andy Peterson had a fantastic day offensively, going 4-for-5 with two runs batted in. First baseman Danny Hayes also had a couple of RBI along with two hits.
However, the bigger story for Oregon State was Moore (11-1), who threw a complete game two-hit shutout, striking out two and walking one. Moore, who pitched for nearby North Eugene in high school, frustrated Ducks hitters all afternoon by hitting his spots, allowing only a one-out double to Ryon Healy in the fourth inning and a leadoff single to J.J. Altobelli in the sixth.
"Those are the toughest pitchers sometimes, that just hit their spots and throw a couple pitches for strikes" Altobelli said. "He did a great job with that today."
The game started out as a pitcher's duel until Beavers left fielder Michael Conforto broke a scoreless tie with two-outs in the sixth inning with a solo home run to left field off of Ducks left-hander Cole Irvin. Ryan Barnes added his own solo home run the following inning, and from there the floodgates opened on Oregon.
Irvin (10-3) did his best to match Moore while pitching with a fever. Utilizing the strong command he had on his breaking ball and fastball, Irvin kept the Beavers at bay, giving up only three hits through the first five innings. He lasted seven innings, giving up two runs on six hits, striking out three and walking one.
"I was actually very surprised with me being sick to have that amount of control with all of my pitches," Irvin said. "I was happy that I was able to pitch well."
Despite their paltry performance on offense, the Ducks still had opportunities to score when it mattered, putting runners on third base in the fourth and sixth innings, but they walked away empty.
"I know my warriors will be disappointed with the way they played, but that's baseball," Ducks head coach George Horton said. "The real silver lining is an opportunity to come back."
Now the focus turns to what could be the biggest game of the season for both teams, on Sunday. Horton even said that tomorrow's atmosphere will have a "Super Regional feel" to it. A ceremony to honor seven Oregon seniors before the game will no doubt add the excitement in their final regular season contest at home.
"It's a big game," Altobelli, a senior, said. "There's no hiding it. You can't shy away from it. It's a big game for both teams, so it will be a good battle."
First pitch is set for just after noon on Sunday.
Game Notes -
Attendance at PK Park was 3,892.
Ducks left fielder Brett Thomas was absent from the lineup today with an undisclosed injury. Horton would not get into specifics after the game, but did note that he would likely be "doubtful" for tomorrow.
Despite being pinch-hit for in the ninth inning, Ducks first baseman Ryon Healy (back) is expected to play tomorrow.
Oregon State's win means that for the first time in four seasons, a sweep will not happen during the Civil War series for either side.
The Ducks are now 19-9 against ranked opponents at PK Park.
Using a five-run eighth inning and a dominant pitching performance from freshman Andrew Moore, the No. 6 ranked Oregon State Beavers (42-9, 21-5) shut out rival No. 10 ranked Oregon (43-12, 20-6) at PK Park, 9-0 on Saturday afternoon at PK Park.