Ducks take Civil War opener against Beavers

Riding Tyler Anderson's arm for possibly the last time, the Oregon Ducks (31-26-1, 9-16) knocked off the No. 6 ranked Oregon State Beavers (38-15, 17-8) 4-1 in the opener of the Civil War Series at PK Park.

Anderson was electric on the hill, keeping the Beavers bats at bay all night. The junior left-hander ran into trouble on a couple of occasions, but never faltered on his way to his eighth win of the season. He finished after 7-1/3 innings, giving up one run on four hits with two walks and 10 strikeouts.

"I was a little tired," Anderson said. "But I mean, I had enough adrenaline that I could throw another five innings if I was allowed to."

Working with a 2-0 lead in the seventh inning, Anderson gave up an RBI double to Beavers senior first baseman Parker Berberet that cut the Ducks lead in half. But, Anderson calmly retired the next two batters to get out of the inning.

"He's our horse and we could ride him all night long," Ducks junior shortstop KC Serna said. "I feel like he got the job done very well for us tonight."

Serna's seventh inning home run extended the Ducks lead to three runs. The two-run blast nearly cleared the Beavers bullpen in left field and gave the pitching staff some much-needed breathing room after Berberet's double.

"I was just trying to keep a rally going," Serna said.

Though he racked up a pitch count north of 120 pitches, Anderson trotted back out in the eighth inning to get pinch hitter Max Gordon to ground out to second base and was then relieved by junior reliever Madison Boer.

Boer closed out the game, securing the last out by striking out Beavers sophomore Danny Hayes. He had a couple strikeouts in getting the last five outs of the ballgame, earning his third save since returning to the bullpen a couple of weeks ago.

Anderson left to a standing ovation, possibly for the last time in an Oregon uniform as he is slated to enter the Major League Baseball Draft in a little over a week. The 10 strikeouts gave him 114 for the season, a new team record.

"The fans are awesome, the school is awesome and knowing that could possibly be my last start at PK, it means a lot to me," Anderson said. "I thought about that a lot of the time."

If his career is over, Anderson leaves behind a strong legacy in a Ducks uniform. He's already the Ducks all-time leader in strikeouts and has spent the better part of his three year career as the Ducks Friday night starter. Last season he was the first Duck in 39 years to make the Pac-10 All Conference Team and he has set a standard as a role model for the team.

"I had a little tear in my eye because I'm keeping my fingers crossed that maybe if we're lucky enough to get the next two games that we get to see him pitch again in a Ducks uniform," Horton said, adding later, "He's almost the perfect athlete."

Offensively, the Ducks only managed five hits, but managed to turn it into production. Though their playoff hopes are almost certainly dashed, Oregon has found new life on offense recently, an area where they've struggled all season.

The Ducks did enough to hand Beavers ace Sam Gaviglio only his second loss of the season. The junior right-hander had a stretch of dominance in the middle innings, retiring 11 straight Ducks, but had no run support to help his cause.

"He doesn't give you much to hit," Ducks Manager George Horton said. "So you kind of have to scrap it out and grind it out and do little things and then when you do get some opportunities against them you better take advantage of it."

After Serna's home run, Gaviglio only lasted two more batters before being pulled. He finished pitching 6-2/3 innings, giving up four runs on four hits with two walks and six strikeouts.

Freshman right fielder Aaron Jones was responsible for knocking in the Ducks first two runs. In the first, he knocked in junior second baseman Danny Pulfer with a sacrifice fly and followed that with a bases loaded fielder's choice in the third that scored sophomore third baseman J.J. Altobelli.

For now, the Ducks best chance to end the season is to play spoiler to their archrival. The Beavers are in position to lock up the conference crown and a high seed in the NCAA tournament, but those hopes took a hit with Friday's loss.

"I feel like we've been in some other big games before and a lot of us are comfortable in these spots," Serna said. "It's always fun to come and get a win versus the Beavers."

GAME NOTES –

Attendance at PK Park was 3052 with plenty of Oregon State fans making the trip.

Ducks freshman left fielder Stefan Sabol was injured on a play in the bottom of the second inning. As he attempted to advance to third base he slid head first into Beavers sophomore catcher Andrew Susac's shin guard as he was tagged out. He laid on the ground with an apparent neck injury before getting up and going back out to left field. Horton isn't sure if he will play on Saturday.

Ducks sophomore catcher Jack Marder appeared as a pinch runner for Sabol in the seventh and was the runner on base for Serna's home run. Marder had been out with a broken thumb.

Highlights and postgame interviews courtesy of Photographer Andrew Louie are available here (copy and paste the link): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m7CPeNTaNxc&feature=youtu.be


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