Eugene, Ore—True Freshman Kyle Robeniol was thrown into the fire tonight in 2016’s first installment of the Civil War Series against the #12 Oregon State Beavers (23-9). George Horton decided to give the youngster a true start in the Ducks’ (17-12) biggest game of the season so far. Horton needed Robeniol to go deep in today’s game after a series sweep of the USC Trojans that saw the bullpen come out the other side with a fair amount of work under their belts.
Robeniol allowed a leadoff double early in the count to Beavers leadoff man Cchristian Donahue who was moved over and then sac flied in by catcher Logan Ice to give the Beavers an early 1-0 lead. Robeniol was able to get out of the inning without any further damage.
The Ducks just missed tying the game up when DH, Steven Packard, hit a ball to deep right center with one out that went over the wall but was tracked down and dropped back into play by Beaver’s center fielder Kyle Nobach. Packard made it to third on the play but never advanced to home after OSU starter Bryce Femel managed to get out if the inning with a strikeout and a groundout.
The Beavers turned in a big third inning against the young Robeniol by scoring four more runs before an out was recorded in the inning. Horton had seen enough apparently and pulled Robeniol in favor of pitcher/infielder Parker Kelly. But Kelly hit his first batter to load the bases back up and then two consecutive batters knocked in RBIs without recording hits to put the Beavers up 7-0 before the inning ended.
Steven Packard got his revenge in the fourth in his second at bat by blasting a pitch just a little bit farther and over the fence this time to the same exact spot he did in the second. Packard’s home run also scored Jake Bennett who had walked in the previous at bat to lead off the inning. The Ducks were able to load the bases after Fehmel was chased from the game but couldn’t muster a much-needed hit with runners in scoring position.
It wasn’t until the sixth inning when the Ducks bats finally broke through. Tim Susnara got the hit parade started with a leadoff double against reliever Jordan Britton who came in for Fehmel. Two singles later Susnara scored on a Phil Craig-St. Louis single and that brought a red-hot Travis Moniot came to the plate. With runners on first and second Moniot took Mitch Hickey deep to right field and into the Ducks’ bullpen for his third home run in four games. Austin Grebeck and Jake Bennett were able to work two walks over the next four batters before Steven Packard—who already had the two hardest legs of the cycle in ink—came to the plate and knocked a single up the middle to score Grebeck from second and move the Ducks to within one at 8-7. Two consecutive walks by relievers Scotland Church and Austin Kelly plated the tying run for the Ducks before the inning ended. By the end of the inning OSU skipper, Pat Casey cycled through five relievers.
The seventh and eighth frames went by quietly until the Beavers worked a leadoff single by DH Billy King into a run with the help of a sac bunt, sac fly and an RBI double by nine hole hitter Caleb Hamilton and a double Christian Donahue that could have easily been ruled an error that ricocheted off of Ducks second baseman Daniel Patzlaff and into left field to put the Beavers up 10-8. The Beavers added one more run and went up 11-8 heading into the bottom of the ninth.
The Ducks came out swinging though as Travis Moniot hit a leadoff double to get Oregon off to a good start. But two quick outs moved Moniot to third not leaving the Ducks with much wiggle room in the inning. Nick Catalano skied a ball to shallow left and it dropped when there was a miscommunication between the shortstop and the left fielder that allowed two runs to score—Moniot and A.J. Balta who walked and stole second before Catalano came to the plate. George Horton couldn’t have asked for a better next batter in the hot Steven Packard who had 3 RBIs and a home run in the game. But Packard popped out harmlessly to first to seal the game for the Beavers at 11-10.
The Ducks go on the road to UCLA this Thursday through Saturday and will return to PK Park on April 27th to face off with the Beavers for round two of the Civil War.