Beavers Open Pacific-10 Season

March 27, 2002

MARCH 28, THURSDAY

Arizona at Oregon State, 2 p.m.

RADIO: Live on KLOO-AM (1340)

MARCH 29, FRIDAY

Arizona at Oregon State, 2 p.m.

RADIO: Live on KLOO-AM (1340)

MARCH 30, SATURDAY

Arizona at Oregon State, 1 p.m.

RADIO: Live on KLOO-AM (1340)

HEWLETT-PACKARD WEEKEND: For any of the games against Arizona,HP employees can purchase up to five general admission ticketsfor $1 each when they show their employee identification at theticket window.

The preliminaries are over, now it's time to get to the main event.

After 24 non-conference tuneups, Oregon State (15-9 overall, 0-0 Pacific-10) begins the Pacific-10 baseball season this weekend when the Beavers meet Arizona (20-10, 1-2) at Goss Stadium at Coleman Field.

OSU fans will notice something new at the ballpark during the series - the eight light standards erected this week, making it likely that the Beavers will play the first night game in their ballpark's 96-year history in April. While that new look surrounds the diamond, Oregon State is hoping to continue the same old things on the field that have helped it win 11 of its last 14 games.

'We've gotten tremendous pitching out of our bullpen and we've hit the ball when we had to,' Oregon State coach Pat Casey said. 'We've made some big plays at key times - both offensively and defensively - and that's helped us win some ballgames.

'But we've got to step things up in a big way this weekend. We start playing week-in and week-out in one of the best conferences in the country, and we're going to have to be better to reach the goals we've set.'

Oregon State just missed advancing to the NCAA Regionals a year ago, and the Beavers are again shooting for a trip to the postseason.

'This group has shown a lot of the things you need to keep playing past that last series in May,' Casey said. 'It's a good, hard-working bunch of guys we've got on this team, and we've got some talent. Right now, it's a matter of making sure we keep our focus for every single game, every single play, every single pitch.

'We know how close we were last year to making it to the NCAAs, and we've got a lot of those guys back with a year's worth of experience. I think we've seen the benefits of that in non-conference games, and it's been a big part of our getting some of those wins. Now we've got to start over again with a 0-0 record (in conference), and to keep being successful we've got to play at our highest level with more consistency.'

The Beavers meet an Arizona squad that began its Pac-10 schedule last weekend, losing 2 of 3 home games to arch-rival Arizona State. ASU won 9-7 and 10-6 before the Wildcats took the final game 10-1.

'This is a very, very good team coming in,' Casey said. 'They don't give up a lot of runs and they knock the ball around. We've got our work cut out.'

The Wildcats probable pitching rotation features sophomore righthander Sean Rierson (4-2 record, 3.71 ERA) on Thursday, sophomore lefthander Joe Little (5-2, 5.09) on Friday and sophomore righthander Marc Kaiser (5-1, 2.22) on Saturday. Arizona has a 3.82 team ERA and opponents are hitting .270 against the Wildcats.

At the plate, Arizona's leaders have been freshman catcher Richard Mercardo (.340 batting average, 1 homer, 19 RBIs), senior infielder Justyn St. Clair (.325, 0, 19) and freshman outfielder Jeff Van Houten (.303, 6, 25). UA is batting .288 as a team and opposing pitchers have an ERA of 7.30.

OREGON STATE LINEUP:

C - Paul Richie, so., Kelso, Wash. (Kelso HS),.212, 0 HRs, 11 RBIsor - Wick Udy, jr., Brigham City, Utah (Dixie JC),.364, 1 HR, 10 RBIs1B - Andy Jarvis, jr., Renton, Wash. (Liberty HS),.286, 2 HRs, 13 RBIsor - Levi Webber, so., Glide, Ore. (Glide HS),.267, 2 HRs, 5 RBIs2B - Kerisi Reynolds, so., Renton, Wash. (Liberty HS),.269, 1 HR, 19 RBIsor - Tom Creighton, sr., Weldon, Calif. (Fresno State U.),.323, 0 HRs, 13 RBIsor - J.R. Runyon, jr., The Dalles, Ore. (Chemeketa CC),.412, 2 HRs, 5 RBIs3B - Brian Barden, jr., Bonita, Calif. (St. Augustine HS),.333, 4 HRs, 23 RBIsSS - Will Hudson, jr., Fountain Valley, Calif. (Fountain Valley HS),.320, 0 HRs, 8 RBIsLF - Seth Pietsch, so., Wilderville, Ore. (Hidden Valley HS),.306, 2 HRs, 13 RBIsCF - Tom Creighton, sr., Weldon, Calif. (Fresno State U.),.323, 0 HRs, 13 RBIsor - Aaron Mathews, fr., John Day, Ore. (Grant Union HS),.211, 0 HRs, 1 RBIRF - Chris Biles, so., Tigard, Ore. (Tigard HS),.308, 3 HRs, 12 RBIsDH - Jason McBride, sr., Bellingham, Wash. (Lower Columbia CC),.310, 0 HRs, 5 RBIsor - Wick Udy, jr., Brigham City, Utah (Dixie JC),.364, 1 HR, 10 RBIsor - Aaron Fausett, jr., Beaverton, Ore. (U. of Southern California),.233, 0 HRs, 3 RBIsor - Pat Stevens, sr., Eugene, Ore. (Chapman U.),.429, 0 HRs, 4 RBIs(Tentative pitching rotation)Thu. RHP - Ben Rowe, so.,  Perth, Australia (Greenwood HS),4-1 record, 3.54 ERAFri. RHP - Stephen Copeland, jr., Keizer, Ore. (McNary HS),2-1 record, 6.63 ERASat. LHP - Mark McLemore, jr., Granite Bay, Calif. (Del Oro HS),1-1 record, 3.86 ERA

ALL-TIME VS. THIS WEEK'S OPPONENTS: Oregon State has an all-time record of 9-14 against Arizona in a series dating back to 1963. Last season, OSU lost 2 of 3 games in Tucson, losing 5-2, winning 8-0 and losing 13-6. The last time the teams met in Corvallis was 2000, when OSU took 2 of 3 games, winning 6-3 and 10-4 before losing 10-5.

OREGON STATE NOTES: After earning a save vs. Portland on March 25, Jared Sanders has 6 saves this season. That already gives him second place on OSU's all-time single-season list and a tie for third on the Beavers' career list ... OSU has 9 saves as a team already in 2002, that's the most since 11 in 1997 and it's tied for the fourth-most in school history ... Brian Barden is now on 5 of OSU's career leaders lists, tied for fourth in total bases (283), fifth in RBIs (127), tied for fifth in hits (185), ninth in runs (122) and 10th in home runs (20) ...

Jared Sanders leads the Pac-10 in 6 saves (6) and the Beavers have the team lead in saves (9) ... Seth Pietsch leads the Pac-10 in doubles (13) and is tied for the conference lead in triples (3) ...

Through 24 games, OSU already has 13 triples, that puts the Beavers on pace to hit 29 for the season, which would top the school record of 20 set in 1983 and tied in 1997 ... OSU is batting .292 as a team, but that improves to .331 with runners on base and .332 with runners in scoring position. Meanwhile, Beaver pitchers have limited opponents to a .262 batting average and that rises to just .288 with runners on and .270 with runners in scoring position ... OSU pinch-hitters are batting .344, while opponents' pinch-hitters are batting .250 ... as a team, the Beavers are batting .480 with the bases loaded ...

OSU had a winning record in 6 of the season's first 8 weeks, the only exceptions were splitting 4 games against Cal State-Northridge and Portland in Week 8 and being swept in a 3-game series at San Diego in Week 2 ... the Beavers' current 11-game homestand is OSU's longest since playing 12 in a row at home early in the 1958 season ... OSU is 4-2 in games decided by 1 run this season ... OSU is 3-0 in extra-inning games this season ... 4 times this season, the Beavers have rallied in the ninth inning to force extra innings or win games. They have a 4-0 record in those games, and in 3 of those games they came back from deficits of at least 3 runs ... the Beavers have outscored their opponents 19-8 in the first inning and 16-6 in the ninth inning ... the Beavers are 12-1 when they have 10 or more hits in a game, OSU's opponents are 7-4 when they have 10 or more hits in a game ... when leading after 6 innings, OSU is 9-1, when leading after 7 innings, OSU is 10-1, and when leading after 8 innings, OSU is 10-0 ...

Last week, Pat Stevens showed he's coming back from preseason arthroscopic knee surgery. He doubled home 2 runs to end the Beavers' 14-3 win over Cal State-Northridge on March 24, then went 2-for-4 with a triple and 2 RBIs in a 5-2 win over Portland on March 25 ... J.R. Runyon, sidelined early in the season with back problems, made it 2 homers in 2 starts when he drilled a 3-run shot against Cal State-Northridge on March 25. After hitting a double the next day against Portland, Runyon has an extra-base hit in all 3 of his starts ... OSU's leaders at the plate last week were Pat Stevens, who hit .600 (3-for-5) with 1 double, 1 triple and 4 RBIs, Will Hudson, who hit .462 (6-for-13), Andy Jarvis, who hit .417 (5-for-12) with 1 homer, and J.R. Runyon, who hit .400 (4-for-10) with 1 double, 1 homer and 3 RBIs ...

Tom Creighton leads OSU in multi-hit games this season with 12, followed by Brian Barden with 11, Seth Pietsch with 9, Chris Biles with 7, Will Hudson with 6, and Kerisi Reynolds and Wick Udy with 5 each ... Biran Barden leads OSU in multi-RBI games this season with 8, followed by Kerisi Reynolds with 6 and Seth Pietsch with 3 ... OSU's longest current hitting streak belongs to Andy Jarvis, at 6 games, Will Hudson is working on a 5-game streak. The Beavers' longest streak of the season has been Chris Biles' 16-gamer that included the final 5 games of 2001.

LAST WEEK: Oregon State split 4 games as it continued its 11-game homestand. The Beavers lost to Cal State-Northridge 4-3 on March 22 and 10-4 in a game begun March 23 and completed March 24, OSU then beat the Matadors 14-3 on March 24. The Beavers finished their extended weekend with a 5-2 win over Portland on March 25.

On March 22, Oregon State's 5-game winning streak came to an end with a 4-3 loss to Cal State-Northridge. OSU jumped in front 3-0 in the first inning, but the Matadors (17-8, 0-0 Big West) scored twice in the eighth to take the lead for good. OSU gained its 3-0 lead on just one hit - an infield single by Jason McBride - and took advantage of a pair of CSUN errors, 2 wild pitches and a passed ball. But Matador lefthander Bill Murphy retired the next 16 Beaver hitters, eventually finishing with a 3-hitter and striking out 14. Murphy, expected to be a high-round selection in this year's Major League Baseball draft, improved his record to 6-1 and lowered his earned run average to 2.68. Still, it looked like the Beavers might hand him his second loss of the season until the top of the eighth inning, when Adam Nikolic punched a 2-out, 2-run double down the leftfield line for a 4-3 Matador lead. Paul Richie had a career-best 10-game hitting streak snapped.

On March 23, Cal State-Northridge took a 3-2 lead before the game was suspended in the top of the fourth inning. When the game resumed on March 24, CSUN broke it open when Rudy Simpson drove a 3-run homer to left in the top of the fifth inning. The Beavers got back within 6-4 with a pair of unearned runs in the bottom of the fifth, but the Matadors got a solo homer from Simpson in the top of the eighth and added 3 runs in the top of the ninth to put the game away. Andy Jarvis was 2-for-3 with his second homer of the season for OSU and Hudson was 2-for-3.

On March 24, Oregon State finished the series with a 14-3 win over Cal State-Northridge. Pat Stevens' 2-run double ended the game due to a 10-run rule being used to allow Cal State-Northridge to leave Corvallis in time to catch its flight home. Stevens' hit capped an 8-run eighth inning that included J.R. Runyon's 3-run homer to left-center. Mark McLemore earned the first pitching win of his Oregon State career, going 5 innings and allowing 1 run on 5 hits and 1 walk while striking out 4. In his first 2-plus seasons, the junior lefthander had lost his first 5 decisions as a Beaver. The Beavers also got a big day from Runyon, a junior college transfer making just his second start at second base after back problems had sidelined him early in the season. Runyon was 3-for-4 at the plate, and in the field he made three leaping stabs of line drives that appeared headed into right-centerfield. The last of those came in the top of the fifth and started an inning-ending double play with OSU clinging to a 3-1 lead. Brian Barden was 3-for-5 for and drove in 3 runs, while Tom Creighton was 2-for-2 with a double and 3 runs scored, Will Hudson was 2-for-4 and scored twice, and Wick Udy had his first home run as a Beaver. Jake Postlewait earned his first career save.

On March 25, Pat Stevens tripled home the tying run and then scored the go-ahead run on Seth Pietsch's double in the sixth inning as Oregon State beat Portland 5-2. Stevens finished Monday's game 2-for-3, adding a run-scoring single in the seventh inning as the Beavers scored a pair of insurance runs. OSU was trailing 2-1 going into the bottom of the sixth against Portland. With 1 out, Andy Jarvis singled to right, Stevens followed with a line-drive triple to left-centerfield to drive in the tying run. One out later, Seth Pietsch yanked his 13th double of the season down the leftfield line to score Stevens for a 3-2 lead. Mike Ekstrom, Ty Kline, Don Stykel and Jared Sanders combined to pitch a 7-hitter for the Beavers. Kline earned the win for his 4 1/3 innings in relief, allowing 1 run on 4 hits and striking out 4. Sanders earned his sixth save of the season. Barden added a 2-for-4 day for OSU.

BEAVERS AMONG 2002 PACIFIC-10 LEADERS: Where Oregon State ranks among the Pacific-10 leaders through March 25:

TEAM BATTING AVERAGE5. Oregon State             	.297TEAM RUNS6. Oregon State           	161TEAM HITS7. Oregon State            	249TEAM RUNS BATTED IN7. Oregon State          	146TEAM DOUBLES7. Oregon State           	48TEAM TRIPLES2. Oregon State          	13TEAM HOME RUNS7. Oregon State         	17TEAM TOTAL BASES7. Oregon State         	374TEAM AT-BATS7. Oregon State              	838TEAM SLUGGING PERCENTAGE5. Oregon State           	.446TEAM ON-BASE PERCENTAGE7. Oregon State           	.374TEAM STOLEN BASES9. Oregon State          	21TEAM EARNED RUN AVERAGE6. Oregon State            	5.56TEAM OPPONENT BATTING AVERAGE5. Oregon State         	.281TEAM INNINGS PITCHED6. Oregon State         	212.0TEAM STRIKEOUTS (PITCHING)9. Oregon State         	119TEAM WINS5. Oregon State         	15TEAM SAVES1. Oregon State         	9TEAM FIELDING PERCENTAGE9. Oregon State         	.954TEAM DOUBLE PLAYS TURNED5. (tie) Oregon State   	25INDIVIDUAL HITS7. (tie) Brian Barden, Oregon State	35INDIVIDUAL DOUBLES1. Seth Pietsch, Oregon State   	13INDIVIDUAL TRIPLES1. (tie) Seth Pietsch, Oregon State	36. (tie) Chris Biles, Oregon State	26. (tie) Tom Creighton, Oregon State	26. (tie) Aaron Fausett, Oregon State	2INDIVIDUAL WALKS9. (tie) Will Hudson, Oregon State	149. (tie) Seth Pietsch, Oregon State	14INDIVIDUAL SACRIFICE BUNTS2. Kerisi Reynolds, Oregon State	5INDIVIDUAL AT-BATS7. (tie) Brian Barden, Oregon State	105INDIVIDUAL EARNED RUN AVERAGE4. Ty Kline, Oregon State       	2.55INDIVIDUAL OPP. BATTING AVERAGE9. Ben Rowe, Oregon State	        .245INDIVIDUAL WINS9.(tie) Ben Rowe, Oregon State	        4 (4-1)INDIVIDUAL SAVES1. Jared Sanders, Oregon State	        67. (tie) Mike Ekstrom, Oregon State	2INDIVIDUAL APPEARANCES2. (tie) Jake Postlewait, Oregon State	142. (tie) Don Stykel, Oregon State	144. Jared Sanders, Oregon State	        13INDIVIDUAL STARTS3. (tie) Stephen Copeland, Oregon State	83. (tie) Ben Rowe, Oregon State	        8

2002 BEAVERS ON OREGON STATE'S LEADER LISTS: Where Oregon State players rank among the school's all-time leaders through March 25:

CAREER HITS1. Ken Bowen, 1984-87	                2062. Joe Gerber, 1997-2000	        2013. Drew Hedges, 1997-2000	        1874. Pete Rowe, 1974-77	                1865. Aaron Anderson, 1988-92	        185> (tie) Brian Barden, 2000-present	185  10. Brian Barden, 2000-present	122 Brian Barden, 2000-present	        28  10. Brian Barden, 2000-present	20  Andy Jarvis, 2000-present      	18  5. Brian Barden, 2000-present 	127  (tie) Brian Barden, 2000-present	283  (tie) Jared Sanders, present        	6  (tie) Stephen Copeland, 2000-present	5  2. Jared Sanders, 2002        	6 

OREGON STATE HEAD COACH PAT CASEY: Pat Casey, now in his eighth season at OSU, has a record of 223-161-4 with the Beavers for a winning percentage of .580. Only Ralph Coleman (1923-28, 1930-31, 1938-66) and Jack Riley (1973-94) have coached more baseball wins at OSU.

Casey's career record is 394-274-5, which includes 7 years at George Fox University in Newberg, for a winning percentage of .589.

Casey was named the Pacific-10 Northern Division Coach of the Year in 1997 after leading the Beavers to a 38-12-1 mark, a school record for wins in a regular season.

During Casey's time at OSU, 16 Beavers have been drafted by Major League Baseball teams and 4 more players have signed as free agents.

Casey came to OSU from his alma mater, George Fox, after leading the Bruins to a 171-113-1 record and winning 3 NAIA District 2 titles at the school in Newberg, Ore.

ALL-AMERICA CANDIDATE BRIAN BARDEN: Oregon State junior third baseman Brian Barden (Bonita, Calif./St. Augustine HS) got off to a quick start this spring, homering in each of OSU's first 2 games. He's currently batting .333 with team-highs of 4 homers and 23 RBIs this spring, and he has a hit or a run batted in in all but 4 of OSU's games.

Barden has also moved into OSU's career top-10 lists in total bases (tied for fourth with 283), RBIs (fifth with 127), hits (tied for fifth with 185), runs (ninth with 122) and homers (10th with 20). He homered in both OSU's season-opener and the Beavers' home-opener.

Barden entered the spring having proven himself one of the Pacific-10's top players over the past 2 seasons, and he continues to improve as an all-around player.

Baseball America magazine's 2002 preseason picks rated Barden as the best defensive third baseman in the Pacific-10 Conference, and Barden was an all-conference selection in both his freshman and sophomore years. Last season, the 5-foot-11, 195-pounder set the OSU school record for hits (83) while batting .367 with 8 homers, 2 triples, 11 doubles and 55 runs batted in.

PIETSCH'S POWER: When sophomore leftfielder Seth Pietsch (Wilderville, Ore./Hidden Valley HS) doubled against Portland on March 25, he was just keeping in character. Pietsch has 26 hits this season, and 18 of those have gone for extra bases - 13 doubles, 3 triples and 2 homers. Through March 25, Pietsch leads the Pac-10 in doubles and he's tied for the conference lead in triples. OSU's single-season record for doubles is 19, set by A.J. Marquardt in 1993 and tied by Joe Gerber in 2000, Pietsch is on pace to hit 29 this season. Twice this season, Pietsch has doubled and tripled in the same game. In Pietsch's career, he has 35 hits and 23 of them have gone for extra bases - 16 doubles, 3 triples and 4 homers.

OREGON STATE BULLPEN: One of Oregon State's strengths this season has been the Beaver bullpen. The Beavers are 9-1 this season in games they've led after 6 innings. Through March 25, OSU's relievers had combined to go 8-4 with 9 saves and a 5.56 ERA and were averaging 4.1 innings, 4.8 hits, 1.8 walks and 2.3 strikeouts per game. Throw out just a single inning - a 14-run torching by California-Riverside in the eighth inning on Feb. 23 - and the bullpen's ERA drops to 4.34. OSU's relievers have allowed more than 2 earned runs in just 2 of the last 9 games.

OREGON STATE SCHEDULE: Oregon State's 2002 schedule includes 10 games against teams in the USA Today/Baseball Weekly coaches poll of March 25: No. 2 Stanford (3 games), No. 15 Arizona State (4 games) and No. 24 San Diego. The Beavers' schedule includes another 10 games against teams receiving votes in the poll - Cal State-Northridge (3 games), Arizona (3 games), San Diego State (1 game) and Southern California (3 games).

RAIN ON THE ROAD: When Oregon State's game at Nevada was called on account of cold, windy conditions on March 10, it continued a weather role reversal that's been going on for the past 5-plus seasons.

Since the start of the 1997 season, the Beavers have had 26 games either canceled or rescheduled due to rain. Of those, only 6 have been games at OSU's Goss Stadium at Coleman Field, 14 were at ballparks in California, Nevada, Hawai'i, Texas or Florida. Another 6 were at ballparks elsewhere in the Pacific Northwest.

OSU has lost just 2 home games to rain during that time, while having 11 games canceled at sites outside the region and 3 called off at other Pacific Northwest ballparks. The Beavers have had to postpone 4 home games, 3 games at sites outside the region and 3 at other Pacific Northwest ballparks.

SAINT PAT: A St. Patrick's Day win has become something of an annual present for Oregon State head coach Pat Casey, whose birthday is March 17. When OSU beat Washington State 6-5 in 10 innings earlier this season, it was OSU's fourth March 17 win in the last 4 years, last season, the Beavers swept a doubleheader from Minnesota 2-0 and 8-4 while in 1999, OSU beat Portland 8-7.

CREIGHTON VS. THE ABOMINABLE SNOWBANK: Just proving the old adage, 'Keep going to the ballpark, and you'll see something you've never seen ...'

When Oregon State visited Nevada from March 8-10, the start of the 3-game series was threatened by a March 7 snowstorm. The field was cleared for the start of the series, but snow was still piled 12 to 18 inches high around the base of the outfield fence. That set the stage for a bizarre play in the bottom of the fifth inning on March 9.

Nevada's Chris Dickerson lofted a flyball to the wall in centerfield, where ice still covered a good portion of the warning track, and OSU centerfielder Tom Creighton got himself under the ball but couldn't make the catch. The ball plopped into the snow and, after a quick look around without discovering the ball, Creighton put his arms up to signal it had gone out of play.

Dickerson rounded the bases, but third base umpire Dave Fry ran to centerfield to assess the situation. Finding that the ball had plugged in the snow, Fry conferred with his fellow umpires and they ruled that Dickerson must return to second base, the ground rules for the day had declared any ball going into the snow was worth two bases. Creighton was charged with a two-base error.

NINTH-INNING COMEBACKS: Three times this season, Oregon State has gone into the ninth inning trailing by at least 3 runs and rallied to win the game. The Beavers did it on back-to-back days March 8-9 at Nevada. On March 8, OSU trailed 5-2 going into the ninth inning but scored 3 runs in the ninth and 2 in the 10th for a 7-5 win, on March 9, OSU was down 8-4 going into the ninth but scored seven runs in the inning for an 11-8 win. The Beavers also came from 3 runs down in the ninth to beat Oral Roberts 10-9 in 10 innings on Feb. 1.

McBRIDE FINDS OLDER BAT IS BETTER: Oregon State designated hitter Jason McBride was forced to change bats in the Beavers' series at Nevada on March 8, and it turned out for the best. McBride took a swing at a ninth-inning pitch and missed, he heard something break loose and rattle around inside the bat. He sprinted to OSU's dugout and returned with his old bat, then promptly delivered a double down the rightfield line to spur the Beavers' 3-run rally that turned into a 7-5, 10-inning win. The next day, McBride used the same bat to deliver a single that drove in the tying and go-ahead runs as OSU scored 7 runs in the ninth inning for an 11-8 win.

STYKEL GOES FROM GROUNDSKEEPER TO MOUNDSMAN: In 2001, Don Stykel's pitching career appeared over due to arm problems and he was working on the grounds crew at OSU's Goss Stadium at Coleman Field. But on Feb. 1, he was credited with the pitching win as OSU earned its first win of 2002, a 10-9, 10-inning victory over Oral Roberts.

It was Stykel's first win since beating Portland on April 6, 1999 and his first appearance since going 1/3 of an inning against Washington on April 29, 2000.

'It was great to get back out here, even though I vultured the win from Postlewait - he deserved it, the way he threw,' said Stykel (Portland, Ore./Centennial HS), who spent last spring grooming the Beavers' home diamond while still going to school on a baseball scholarship. Starting late in the spring of 2000, he went a year without throwing a baseball.

'I missed the game so much - that was probably the longest year of my life,' Stykel said. 'But I just kept believing in myself, believing that I could do it.'

Last summer, after his workdays were done, Stykel would step onto a Coleman Field mound with a bag of baseballs and throw about 50 pitches into a net. OSU's coaches saw him and knew he wanted to come back, after doing some pitching in the fall, Stykel was invited to return to the roster this spring. He has since run his record in 2002 to 3-0 with wins in relief over Gonzaga and Nevada.

OREGON STATE'S ALL-TIME RECORD: Oregon State's all-time record in varsity baseball is now 1,706-1,174-15, a winning percentage of .592. OSU's all-time record in conference games is now 760-546, a winning percentage of .582.

To break the numbers down a step further, since starting varsity baseball in 1907, the Beavers have scored 18,901 runs and allowed 14,559 runs. That's an average score of 6.53-5.03.

GOSS STADIUM AT COLEMAN FIELD: Oregon State has been playing on the same site since starting varsity baseball in 1907, making Goss Stadium at Coleman Field the oldest diamond in the Pacific-10 and one of the oldest in the country. So far this season, OSU is 7-3 in its own ballpark and is averaging 525 fans per home date.

Now in their 93rd season at Goss Stadium at Coleman Field, the Beavers are 890-381-1 at home for a winning percentage of .700. Since the start of the 1993 season, OSU is 139-52 at Goss Stadium at Coleman Field for a winning percentage of .728.

Soon, the Beavers will be able to play night games at the ballpark for the first time ever. A donation this spring by longtime OSU boosters Bert and Shirley Babb has allowed OSU to erect lights at Goss Stadium at Coleman Field. The system, which will meet the standards for Triple-A professional teams, was installed this week and the first night game in the ballpark's history is likely to be played in April.

Goss Stadium was added to Coleman Field over the winter of 1998-99. The ballpark holds 2,000 fans, with the main grandstand seating 1,500 of those. The structure includes a press box, concession/lobby area, dugouts, locker rooms, restrooms and storage areas.The playing surface has been completely rebuilt recently, with the infield undergoing renovation in 1996 and the outfield in 1998.

A reminder to fans that the expansion of OSU's Dixon Recreation Center and Stevens Natatorium has closed the walkway between Dixon and Goss Stadium at Coleman Field. The ballpark's main gates must now be reached by walking down Waldo Place, either from central campus to the north or the Benton Place parking lot to the east (behind leftfield).

1952 COLLEGE WORLD SERIES TEAM: This spring, Oregon State is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Beavers' 1952 College World Series team. That season, Oregon State won the Northern Division title, defeated Southern California for the Pacific Coast Conference title, and beat Fresno State for the West Regional title and a trip to Omaha.

Incidentally, it was in 1952 that Bernard Malamud - then an instructor in Oregon State's English Department - published his first novel, The Natural, dealing with baseball star Roy Hobbs' return to the game.

To commemorate the start of the 50th anniversary season, 1952 Oregon State team captain Pete Goodbrod threw out the first pitch of OSU's home-opener against Gonzaga on March 1. The 1952 Beavers will hold a reunion and be honored during the final home series of the season, May 17-19 against Washington.

OREGON STATE DUGOUT CLUB: The Oregon State Dugout Club is an organization devoted to supporting Beaver Baseball. The group is open to the general public, dues are $75 per year.

Also, anyone entering the OSU Dugout Club Golf Tournament automatically gains membership. This year's tournament will be held June 24 at Tokatee Golf Club in Blue River.

For more information on the OSU Dugout Club, call (541) 737-2825.

OREGON STATE BASEBALL TICKETS: Season tickets for Oregon State baseball are $121 and guarantee ticketholders the same seat for all 27 Beaver home games in 2002. The Family Plan is good for general admission for 2 adults and 2 students to all 27 home games, and the cost is $121. There are also several partial season-ticket plans available.

Single-game reserved tickets are $6. General admission is $5 for adults and $3 for seniors and students, OSU students are admitted free with their OSU identification.

For groups of 10 or more wanting to spend a day at the ballpark, there is a group rate of $2 per person for general admission tickets, those wishing to take advantage of this offer must make arrangements in advance with the OSU athletic ticket office.

For more information, call the OSU athletic ticket office at 1-800-GO BEAVS.

OREGON STATE RADIO BROADCASTS: Oregon State baseball will again be broadcast, with most of the Beaver schedule on KLOO-AM (1340). This week, all 3 games against Arizona will be broadcast and can also be heard on the internet at www.osubeavers.com. Mike Parker, the voice of the Beavers, will handle play-by-play duties.

TELEVISION BRINGS OUT BEST IN BEAVERS: Oregon State game at California on May 11 will be televised nationally on Fox Sports Net cable. The TV schedule for regional games has yet to be announced.

Oregon State has played on national cable television each of the last 4 seasons, and the Beavers were 3-1 in those games - including a 3-0 mark at home. Since Fox Sports Net (formerly Prime Sports) began televising games in 1990, Oregon State has a 28-14 record in televised games, including 8-2 in national TV games.

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