Beavers and Ducks put Pac-12 focus on Oregon

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 16, 2013 at 7:19 pm •  Published: May 16, 2013

CORVALLIS, Ore. (AP) — There's a certain civility to the Civil War baseball rivalry between Oregon and Oregon State.

Since the Ducks brought back baseball in 2009, the rivalry with the Beavers has been growing. But this season both teams are nationally ranked in the top 10 and sit 1-2 in the Pac-12 standings.

The outcome of this weekend's Civil War series between the two teams could lead to the league championship and have postseason implications.

Yet there's no trash talk between the Beavers and the Ducks. Oregon coach George Horton and Oregon State coach Pat Casey agree: This rivalry is really about mutual respect.

"It's just kind of cool that it happens to be that we're both up here in the Pacific Northwest, and not too long ago, even as recently as 10 years ago, people didn't think this was a place you could find big baseball games," Casey said. "I think it's great for the state of Oregon and we're excited about playing a big series."

Oregon State, which became just the fifth college program to win back-to-back College World Series titles in 2006 and 2007, is the wily veteran of the rivalry. Casey, in his 19th season in Corvallis, is vying to take his team to the postseason for a school-record fifth year in a row.

The Beavers are 41-8 overall and 20-4 for the Pac-12 lead after opening the season with a 15-game winning streak. Coming off a series sweep at Stanford last weekend, Oregon State — ranked No. 6 by Baseball America — heads into the Civil War with a 12-game winning streak.

On the other side, the Ducks are the upstart newcomers.

When Oregon reinstated its baseball program four seasons ago after a 28-year hiatus, the Ducks brought in Horton, a proven veteran who led Call State Fullerton to the College World Series championship in 2004.

After holding open tryouts for the team in his first season, the Ducks surprisingly went all the way to the postseason the very next year. Last year, Oregon advanced to a Super Regional but dropped the three-game series to Kent State.

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