Bryce Fehmel wasn’t leaving his last Civil War.
The Oregon State senior allowed eight hits and one earned run during a complete game as the 12th-ranked Beavers defeated Oregon 4-1 on Friday night in front of 3,671 at PK Park.
“He’s a guy that adds, subtracts and competes his arm off,” OSU coach Pat Bailey said. “He’s 87 to 90 (miles per hour) on a good night and is now 33-7 for us in his career. I can’t say enough about how competitive he is.”
Fehmel is 2-0 with a 1.12 ERA in 24 innings during five career appearances against the Ducks. He beat Oregon in conference play during each of the past two seasons while allowing one run in 16 1/3 innings during those games.
“He’s had a great career,” Oregon coach George Horton said. “We thought we had him softened up there and obviously he got the complete game. He pitched his best when it was most important.”
Oregon’s Evan Williams and Jakob Goldfarb hit back-to-back singles with one out in the bottom of the ninth before pinch-hitter Taylor Adams grounded out. Fehmel finished off the Ducks by striking out Kyle Froemke.
Spencer Steer had three hits for Oregon (24-23, 8-14), which had one more hit than the Beavers (32-14-1), who remain tied for first place in the Pac-12 with Stanford at 18-4.
“We took good at-bats all night,” Steer said. “We hit balls hard that were going right at guys and that was the difference. They were finding holes and getting clutch hits and we weren’t. (Fehmel) doesn’t miss over the middle of the plate. He was able to mix three or four pitches, all for strikes, whenever he wanted to throw them.”
Oregon starter Robert Ahlstrom also appeared headed for a complete game before he walked Zack Zalesky with one out in the ninth inning and was replaced by Brett Walker for the final two outs. Ahlstrom allowed seven hits and four runs, including one unearned, with six strikeouts.
OSU shortstop Beau Philip hit the second pitch of the game to left field for a home run.
“You want to get ahead of the leadoff hitter and I should have done that on the first pitch,” Ahlstrom said. “I tried to go in on him and left it too much in the middle.”
Ahlstrom retired the first two batters of the second inning before Preston Jones and Kyler McMahan hit back-to-back doubles. Andy Armstrong followed with a single that scored McMahan to put the Beavers ahead 3-0.
Jake Harvey reached second on an error by Ahlstrom to open the third inning before reaching third on a single by Adley Rutschman. Ryan Ober grounded into a double play that scored Harvey to put OSU ahead 4-0.
“My adrenaline was kind of pumping, this was an amazing opportunity to pitch in front of the home crowd in the Civil War,” said Ahlstrom, a North Eugene graduate. “I let the nerves get to me too much and tried to do too much. I made a couple mistakes and they capitalized on them. I settled in as the game went on and felt good.”
Fehmel hit Sam Novitske to open the bottom of the sixth before Tanner Smith singled to center. Steer singled in Novitske to get Oregon within 4-1 before Fehmel retired three straight Ducks.
Bailey said he wasn’t sure pitching coach Nate Yeskie was going to send Fehmel back out for the ninth inning, but he beat the Ducks with 112 pitches to save the bullpen during a weekend when OSU is dealing with multiple injuries to its pitching staff. Fehmel was moved up one day in the rotation when regular Friday starter Brandon Eisert was held out due to injury.
“It was an outstanding job on Bryce’s part and we needed that,” Bailey said.