UPDATE: Tonight's game was rained out and a double header will begin at 1:00 tomorrow with game 2 starting 40 minutes after the conclusion of game 2 . . . until more rain ruins our fun again!
Today Tomorrow begins the toughest series of the series for the Bears. For a preview of the action CGB went to Building The Dam, which has some of the best college baseball coverage in the entire internets. You can read my answers to their questions about Cal here. Thanks to ConnorOSU for answering our questions!
What does Oregon St. need to do to wrap up a national seed, if they haven’t already?
The way I see it, there are five teams competing for the final three national seeds. Those teams are Oregon State, Florida State, Arizona State, Texas A&M and Georgia Tech. At this point, all Oregon State needs to do down the stretch is finish at 9-4 or better to be safely in. The way I see it, I think the Beavers take 2 of 3 from California, 1 of 1 against Portland, 3 of 3 against Washington, 2 of 3 against USC, and 2 of 3 against Oregon.
If the rest of the season played out exactly like that, the Beavers would finish 10-3. That would almost assure them of a 6 seed or better. A 9-4 record down the stretch would likely leave them at a 7 or 8 seed, while anything worse would keep them out and let a team like Texas A&M (Currently 30-15) in.
If the Beavers have a weakness, it seems like it might be an unsettled 3rd starter spot. Who’s going to pitch on Sunday, and how much confidence do Beavers fans have with the 3rd spot in the rotation?
My best guess is that Ben Wetzler will get the start on Sunday. Wetzler is 5-2 with a 4.12 ERA this season.
Going into the season, Wetzler was the original #2 starter for Oregon State and Cam Booser held the 3rd spot in the rotation. Josh Osich, who was coming off an injury that nearly sidelined him for two seasons, began the season as the #4 starter, but quickly grabbed the #2 role after some stellar pitching and a faster than expected recovery at the beginning of the season.
But after some inconsistent pitching by Wetzler (Who was then officially the #3 guy after Osich moved up) and an injury to Booser, James Nygren and Wetzler began to share the 3rd spot. Usually, it is as simple as a gut feeling by Coach Pat Casey on who to start on Sunday.
I think most Beaver fans have confidence in whoever takes the mound on Sunday. Sure, Wetzler and Nygren have been inconsistent, but outside of UCLA's Adam Plutko, who in the nation has an all-around solid Sunday starter?
Andrew Susac has been out with a hand injury. How badly does that hurt Oregon St. on offense and defense?
At the plate, the absence of Andrew Susac has hurt the most. It's not necessarily because we lack power, but when you trade Susac for Parker Berberet, a guy who consistently kills rallies, it hurts the most. Honestly, if our #2 catcher Jake Rodriguez (Who is out with the same injury as Susac) was in the lineup instead, I would hardly notice the lack of production at the plate.
However, Berberet has been great on the defensive side. I don't know much about the catcher position and what it takes to be a great one, but the thing I judge them the most on is stopping wild pitches and throwing out base runners. Berberet has done a great job in each of those things.
I keep seeing Oregon St. referred to as the ‘surprise team’ of the year. I have a hard time being surprised when former back-to-back champs play good baseball. How surprised have you been by OSU’s great play?
After sweeping Arizona State, I haven't been surprised at all, except for Osich's no-hitter last Saturday. After the ASU series, you could tell that this team was special. I don't remember the 2005-2007 teams ever playing at a level that these guys were during mid-April.You can tell that this team just has "it". From rallying from big deficits to putting teams away after getting ahead early, this team just seems to do everything right.
With that said, this team still does have some faults. But what baseball team doesn't? The most recent loss, a 7-2 defeat against Oregon on Tuesday, scared me a little bit, but I am sure that they will bounce back nicely this weekend. If not, then maybe we should begin to worry for the first time this season.
Did any of you get to watch Josh Osich’s no-hitter? If so, describe what that was like
Nobody on the BTD staff was in Los Angeles on Saturday, and because UCLA is the only team in the nation without a video feed, none of us got to see it. I did get to listen to all nine innings on the way back from Oregon State's Spring Game, and it sounded like a beauty. Osich was commanding the entire day and refused to be intimidated by his counter-part Trevor Bauer.
Friday's game should be a pitcher's duel with two of the best Friday-night guys in the Pac-10 going head to head. I do like Oregon State though because we always seem to win on Friday's in Corvallis.
On Saturday, it's impossible not to pick Josh Osich after the performance he turned in last weekend, but in the series finale, I'll take California. I think we will see a sense of desperation from the Golden Bears like we saw from UCLA last Sunday, and plus, Cal is just too talented not to get out of Corvallis with at least one win.