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Eugene, OR. -- Junior reliever Ryne Nelson took the mound in the third inning against No. 12 Oregon State and never looked back, striking out a career-high 12 batters as the Ducks beat the Beavers 3-2 in Sunday’s Civil War finale.
Projected as a potential first-round pick himself, Nelson struck out the projected No. 1 overall pick, Oregon State catcher Adley Rutschman, twice with runners in scoring position Sunday. But there was no bigger moment than in the top of the eighth, when Nelson rung Rutschman up on a check swing with the bases loaded. That defensive play gave the Ducks the necessary momentum to take the series finale against OSU.
"It was our best guy against their best guy. Nelly got them this time,” said Oregon head coach George Horton. “We had an opportunity to win the game and Nelly fortunately had enough pitches to win the game.”
Nelson’s adrenaline was pumping extra during the last three innings.
“I was just trying to seal the deal for the boys and just get that win we deserve,” said Nelson.
Nelson’s teammates have nothing but confidence when he takes the mound, no matter who the opponent is.
“He's got some of the best stuff in the country,” said Oregon infielder Spencer Steer. “So when we have a lead and we have Nelly on the mound, we know he can help us get a win.”
The Ducks will play Tuesday night at 6:00 against Gonzaga at PK Park. And the Beavers will host on Portland Tuesday night at 5:35.