CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State coach Pat Casey said on Friday that the key to beating arch rival Oregon was beating the Ducks’ pitching.
On Saturday night, Casey and the Beavers needed eight innings to prove him correct, again. OSU broke through for four hits and four runs in the bottom of the eighth to wrap up the Pac-12 series win and gain a percentage-points lead over Washington in the race for the conference title.
Oregon starter Jeff Gold nursed a 1-0 lead through the seventh, but the Ducks chose to bring in reliever Garrett Cleavinger in the eighth. Gold had thrown 94 pitches and struggled all game with the rain-drenched mound.
Gold’s repeated requests to have drying agents applied and the use of a pair of scissors to clear his cleats of dirt extended the playing time of a game that featured just 11 hits and nine walks.
“Maybe (it messed with the hitters) a little bit, but you have to fight through that,” said Dylan Davis, who’s two-run double in the eighth ended OSU’s scoreless drought. “It’s raining nonstop, our pitchers had to deal with it, too. But that’s baseball, you have to deal with whatever is thrown your way.
“Growing up in the Northwest, playing like this is nothing new.”
It was hardly new that Casey picked up another win with the Beavers, either, though it was his 700th career victory. The win also secured the conference series for the third straight year for OSU, the longest streak since Oregon brought baseball back from extinction in 2009.