May 15, 2016
Corvallis, Ore. – Oregon took a five-run lead in the middle innings and held on behind a gutty performance by closer Stephen Nogosek to beat Oregon State, 6-3, and win the Civil War series on Sunday at Goss Stadium.
How It Happened: After both teams were held hitless through the first three innings, Oregon (24-22, 12-12 Pac-12) jumped on OSU starter Jake Thompson for five runs across the next three. A.J. Balta drove in Austin Grebeck with an RBI double down the right-field line in the fourth, and Steven Packard brought him around to score with a single through the right side. The Ducks extended their lead to 3-0 in the fifth, with Grebeck picking up an RBI on a safety-squeeze play after Carson Breshears reached on a fielder’s choice, stole second and reached third on a throwing error. In the sixth, Balta struck again with a solo home run to right field, and Susnara brought the Ducks’ lead to 5-0 with an RBI double, scoring Jake Bennett after he reached with a double of his own.
Oregon State (30-18, 11-13 Pac-12) cut the deficit to two with a three-spot in the bottom of the sixth. Back-to-back hits to open the inning put runners on second and third, and an RBI groundout got the Beavers on the board. K.J. Harrison then cut the Oregon lead to 5-3 with his second home run in as many days, a two-run shot to left field.
The Beavers opened the seventh inning with a single to chase UO starter Matt Mercer (2-0), and got the go-ahead run to the plate with one out. The bullpen combination of Brac Warren and Cole Stringer got the Ducks through the seventh unscathed, and the offense tacked on an insurance run in the eighth on an RBI bunt single by Susnara after a Bennett walk and a single by Steven Packard.
Leading 6-3, Nogosek came on for the Ducks in the eighth to try for a six-out save. The junior right-hander threw a scoreless eighth, surrendering a harmless walk to Logan Ice. The Beavers brought the tying run to the plate in the ninth with one out after a base hit and a walk, but Nogosek got a lineout and struck out Donahue to secure the win and the series for the Ducks, their first Pac-12 series-win at Goss Stadium.
Six Strong For Mercer: Making his second start as a part of the weekend rotation, Mercer allowed three runs on five hits with three strikeouts over six-plus innings. The freshman right-hander did not give up a base hit until the fourth inning, and didn’t allow many hard-hit balls outside of the Harrison home run. The Ducks turned a pair of double plays behind Mercer as he earned his second win with his second straight quality start.
Record Book Watch: Grebeck’s run in the fourth moved his season total to 47, tying him for third in single-season history … Balta finished with two RBI to move into second in single-season history with 14 multiple-RBI games and a tie for fourth with 20 for his career. Balta’s 42 RBI this season is tied for seventh in single-season history … Nogosek moved into a tie for second with his 13th career save, and a tie for third on the single-season list. His 81 career-appearances are second in Oregon history.
Notable: Balta’s home run was his team-leading ninth of the season and the 12th of his career … Packard went 2-for-3 to continue his recent success against Oregon State. In four games against the Beavers this season, Packard was 8-for-15 with a home run, a triple, three doubles and five RBI … Nogosek lowered his ERA to 1.01 with his two scoreless innings … Susnara finished 2-for-4 with two RBI, marking his team-leading 12th multiple-hit game and his sixth multiple-RBI game.
On Deck: The Ducks host Portland at PK Park on Tuesday, and will finish their halted game with the Pilots from April 13 before playing their regularly scheduled game. Oregon leads the halted game, 3-1, heading into the top of the ninth inning, and that game will be resumed at 5:30 p.m.