Beavers Set To Visit Southern California

April 3, 2002

APRIL 2, TUESDAY

at Oregon State 11, Portland 1

APRIL 5, FRIDAY

Oregon State at Southern California, 6 p.m.

RADIO: Live on KLOO-AM (1340)

APRIL 6, SATURDAY

Oregon State at Southern California, 1 p.m.

RADIO: Live on KLOO-AM (1340)

APRIL 7, SUNDAY

Oregon State at Southern California, 1 p.m.

RADIO: Live on KLOO-AM (1340)

NOTE: Live stats of all three games at USC will be available at www.usctrojans.com

Oregon State (18-10 overall, 2-1 Pacific-10) crosses the midway point of the 2002 baseball season this week, and the Beavers have been a mystery in a lot of ways but one - they're winning. Oregon State has won 14 of its last 18 games going into a Pac-10 series at conference leader Southern California (16-13, 3-0).

'Sometimes this season, we haven't played the best-looking baseball,' OSU head coach Pat Casey said. 'But this group has found ways to get the job done, and that's just as important. They've managed to come up with the right result, and that's the bottom line.'

Oregon State won its third straight game Tuesday, beating Portland 11-1 in non-league play to wrap up an 11-game homestand.

'We talked about being ready to play Tuesday, and we were,' Casey said. 'Obviously, USC is going to be a greater challenge.'

As OSU heads south to take on college baseball's most-storied program, the Beavers will be out to keep doing whatever it is that's been winning games.

The Beavers haven't been pounding opponents into submission - they're hitting .294 as a team, with four regulars batting over .310. The starting pitchers have averaged just over 4.1 innings per start and OSU hasn't thrown a complete game this spring. Oregon State has played errorless defense in six of 28 games.

But, every bit as importantly, the Beavers have come up with the big hits at the right time, gotten outstanding pitching from a deep bullpen, and turned in key defensive plays when they had to.

'We manage to stay in games, then a lot of times we've had some people find ways for us to win it at crunch time,' Casey said. 'And one of the key things is, it's been a lot of different guys doing that.'

Indeed, there's seldom been a Beaver with Player-of-the-Week-type numbers this spring. Instead, a variety of players have come through at the right time to help OSU climb eight games over .500 overall and win its first series in Pac-10 play over Arizona last weekend.

'You talk about a team effort, and that's exactly what these guys have given this season,' Casey said. 'When somebody is struggling a little bit, somebody else picks it up for them with a big hit or a big pitch or a big play. And then when that guy slumps, somebody else gets his opportunity and comes through.

'That's big in a couple of ways. First, everybody on this team has done something in a crucial situation that's helped us win a game. They all know they're capable of coming through in a big spot. Second, they know that if they're not going great, somebody else is going to pick up the team.'

The Beavers will need every bit of that as they battle the Trojans this weekend.

'You go to USC, and that's like going to play at Duke in basketball for three games,' Casey said. 'You'd better be clicking on all cylinders just to compete with those people.'

The Trojans jumped into the Pacific-10 lead last weekend, sweeping California in Los Angeles by scores of 11-3, 9-1 and 13-9. On Tuesday, USC won its fourth straight with a 13-5 home win over California-Irvine.

The Beavers will face junior righthander Anthony Reyes (0-0 record, 2.25 earned run average) on Friday and freshman lefthander Matt Chico (4-2, 4.22) on Saturday, with Sunday's starter to be announced.

Leading USC at the plate have been junior outfielder Nick Mosich (.414 batting average, 0 homers, 6 RBIs), freshman third baseman Joey Metropoulos (.377, 4, 20), junior catcher Alberto Concepcion (.360, 4, 15) and senior outfielder Brian Barre (.348, 7, 26). USC has six starters batting .325 or better.

The Trojans are batting .322 as a team and their opponents are hitting .297, USC has a team ERA of 5.72 and its opponents' mark is 6.77.

OREGON STATE LINEUP:

C - Paul Richie, so., Kelso, Wash. (Kelso HS),.203, 0 HRs, 11 RBIsor - Wick Udy, jr., Brigham City, Utah (Dixie JC),.340, 1 HR, 10 RBIs1B - Andy Jarvis, jr., Renton, Wash. (Liberty HS),.300, 4 HRs, 20 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.),.322, 2 HRs, 16 RBIsor - J.R. Runyon, jr., The Dalles, Ore. (Chemeketa CC),.350, 2 HRs, 5 RBIs3B - Brian Barden, jr., Bonita, Calif. (St. Augustine HS),.353, 5 HRs, 27 RBIsSS - Will Hudson, jr., Fountain Valley, Calif. (Fountain Valley HS),.311, 1 HR, 12 RBIsLF - Seth Pietsch, so., Wilderville, Ore. (Hidden Valley HS),.286, 2 HRs, 13 RBIsCF - Tom Creighton, sr., Weldon, Calif. (Fresno State U.),.322, 2 HRs, 16 RBIsor - Aaron Mathews, fr., John Day, Ore. (Grant Union HS),.241, 0 HRs, 1 RBIRF - Chris Biles, so., Tigard, Ore. (Tigard HS),.305, 5 HRs, 18 RBIsDH - Jason McBride, sr., Bellingham, Wash. (Lower Columbia CC),.265, 0 HRs, 5 RBIsor - Wick Udy, jr., Brigham City, Utah (Dixie JC),.340, 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.),.333, 0 HRs, 4 RBIs(Tentative pitching rotation)Fri. RHP - Ben Rowe, so.,  Perth, Australia (Greenwood HS),4-2 record, 5.19 ERASat. RHP - Stephen Copeland, jr., Keizer, Ore. (McNary HS),2-1 record, 6.02 ERASun. LHP - Mark McLemore, jr., Granite Bay, Calif. (Del Oro HS),1-1 record, 3.13 ERA

BALLPARK LIGHTS INSTALLED, TESTED: On March 26 and March 27, the light standards were raised at Goss Stadium at Coleman Field. As darkness fell on the evening of April 1, the lights were tested and the OSU diamond was illuminated at night for the first time in its history.

The project was made possible by a gift from Bert and Shirley Babb. It includes over 150 fixtures - at 1,500 watts each - mounted on 8 poles surrounding the field, and the lighting meets the standards for Triple-A professional baseball.

After a few final adjustments, it's likely the Beavers will play the first night game in their ballpark's 96-year history this month. An announcement is expected soon on the exact date and time.

ALL-TIME VS. THIS WEEK'S OPPONENTS: Oregon State has an all-time record of 126-57 against Portland in a series dating back to 1909. So far this season, Portland won 5-4 in Portland on Feb. 19, OSU won 5-2 in Corvallis on March 25 and OSU won 11-1 in Corvallis on April 2. Last season, the Beavers won all 3 games.

Oregon State has an all-time record of 7-27 against Southern California in a series dating back to 1951. Last season, OSU took 1 of 3 games in Corvallis, losing 7-3 in 10 innings, winning 6-0, and losing 1-0. The last time the teams met in Los Angeles was 2000, when USC swept by scores of 12-1, 16-7 and 16-3.

OREGON STATE NOTES: OSU's series win over Arizona last weekend kept the Wildcats without a series win in Corvallis. The Beavers swept 3 games in 1998 and took 2 of 3 in 2000 and 2002 ... OSU had a winning record in 7 of the season's first 9 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 11-game homestand OSU just completed was the Beavers' longest since playing 12 in a row at home early in the 1958 season. Oregon State went 8-3 during the homestand and is now 10-4 at home this season ... the Beavers have drawn 3 home crowds of 1,000 or more this season, that matches the number of 4-figure home crowds in all of 2001 ...

OSU is 5-2 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 come from behind 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 24-11 in the first inning and 19-6 in the ninth inning ... the Beavers are 13-1 when they have 10 or more hits in a game, OSU's opponents are 8-4 when they have 10 or more hits in a game ... when leading after 6 innings, OSU is 11-1, when leading after 7 innings, OSU is 12-1, and when leading after 8 innings, OSU is 12-0 ... when either ahead or tied after 6 innings this season, the Beavers are 15-2 ... not surprisingly, OSU is 15-0 this season when it has more hits than its opponent. On the other hand, OSU has also managed a 10-6 record when it commits more errors than its opponent ... OSU is 10-4 when it scores first this season ...

OSU has 9 saves as a team already in 2002, that's the most for OSU since it had 11 in 1997 and it's tied for the fourth-most in school history ... through 28 games, OSU already has 15 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. The 15 triples this season already matches the number OSU hit in all of 2001 ...

OSU is batting .294 as a team, but that improves to .326 with runners on base and .324 with runners in scoring position. Meanwhile, Beaver pitchers have limited opponents to a .274 batting average and that rises to just .285 with runners on and drops to .266 with runners in scoring position ... OSU pinch-hitters are batting .353, while opponents' pinch-hitters are batting .250 ... as a team, the Beavers are batting .519 with the bases loaded and opponents are hitting .273 ... of OSU's RBIs this season, 43 percent have come with 2 out, only 31 percent of opponents' RBIs have come with 2 out ...

In the past 18 games, OSU has batted .304 as a team and OSU pitchers have limited opponents to a .256 average. The Beavers' team batting average has gone from .276 to .294 in that time ... in the past 18 games, OSU's team ERA has been 4.25 and its opponents' has been 6.60, the Beavers' team ERA has dropped from 6.99 to 5.19 in that time ... in that 18-game span, Brian Barden is batting .382 (29-for-76) with 5 doubles, 1 triple, 3 homers and 18 RBIs, Will Hudson is batting .356 (21-for-59) with 2 doubles, 2 triples, 1 homer and 8 RBIs, Jared Sanders has a 1-1 record and 5 saves with a 0.77 ERA, Mike Ekstrom has a 1-0 record, 2 saves and a 1.42 ERA, and Ty Kline has a 3-0 record and a 2.45 ERA ...

Chris Biles' grand slam against Arizona on March 28 was the Beavers' first grand slam of the year, and the first of Biles' career ... OSU had just 8 hits in each of its games against Arizona, the Beavers batted .247 for the series and Arizona batted .255 ... in 2 relief appearances against Arizona, Ty Kline pitched 6 scoreless and he earned a win on March 30, he gave up just 2 hits and 2 walks while striking out 5 ... In OSU's current 3-game win streak, Beaver pitchers have allowed just 2 runs (1 earned) on 16 hits over 27 innings ...

Brian Barden continues to climb Oregon State's lists of career leaders in a number of categories. Through April 2, Barden is third in hits (192) and total bases (296), tied for third in RBIs (131), tied for sixth in home runs (21), tied for eighth in doubles (31), and 10th in runs (125) ... 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 ...

Through March 31, Jared Sanders led the Pac-10 in saves (6) and the Beavers had the team lead in saves (9) ... Seth Pietsch led the Pac-10 in doubles (13) and was tied for the conference lead in triples (3) ...

Brian Barden leads OSU in multi-hit games this season with 14, followed by Tom Creighton with 13, Seth Pietsch with 9, Chris Biles with 8, Will Hudson with 7, and Andy Jarvis, Wick Udy and Kerisi Reynolds with 5 each ... Brian Barden leads OSU in multi-RBI games this season with 9, followed by Kerisi Reynolds with 6, Chris Biles and Andy Jarvis with 4 each, and Seth Pietsch with 3 ... OSU's longest current hitting streak belongs to Andy Jarvis, at 10 games, Tom Creighton and Brian Barden are working on 6-game streaks. 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 opened its Pacific-10 schedule by taking 2 of 3 games from Arizona at Goss Stadium at Coleman Field. The Beavers fell behind early in the opening game and lost 13-9 on March 28, then came back to win 2-1 on March 29 and 5-0 on March 30. OSU then finished its homestand with an 11-1 non-league win over Portland on April 2.

On March 28, Oregon State gave up 10 runs in the first 3 innings, then had its comeback fall short in a 13-9 loss to Arizona. The Beavers outscored the Wildcats 9-3 over the final 5 innings. OSU starting pitcher Ben Rowe was charged with all 10 of Arizona's runs in the first 3 frames. Then freshman righthander Mike Ekstrom turned in his longest outing of the season, allowing just 3 runs (2 earned) over the final 6.1 innings, allowing 6 hits and 2 walks while striking out 2. Trailing 11-0 by the bottom of the fifth inning, the Beavers looked to make a game of it after Tom Creighton's 2-out single drove home OSU's first run. Two hitters later, Chris Biles followed with his first career grand slam to make it 11-5. Brian Barden doubled, then Andy Jarvis singled to center and it was 11-6 with nearly half the game to go. Will Hudson would add his first homer of the season for OSU and the Beavers plated their final runs on Barden's 2-run double in the bottom of the ninth, but OSU couldn't overcome the early deficit. Barden was 2-for-5 with 2 doubles and Chris Biles was 2-for-3. The game marked 50 years to the day since OSU started its 1952 season with a 22-5 win over Pacific (Ore.), a season which ended with the Beavers reaching the College World Series. Oregon State is commemorating the 50th anniversary of that team this spring, and the ceremonial first pitch of the conference season was thrown by Paul Valenti, an assistant coach on the 1952 team who still works as an administrator in the OSU athletic department.

On March 29, Tom Creighton homered on the first pitch of the bottom of the ninth inning to give Oregon State a 2-1 win over Arizona. The Beavers had tied the game at 1-1 on Brian Barden's fifth homer of the year in the bottom of the sixth inning. The Beavers and Wildcats combined to score only 3 runs just a day after they had scored 22 in similar conditions. Starters Stephen Copeland of OSU and Joe Little of Arizona set the tone for a pitching duel that saw each team manage 8 hits. Copeland, Ty Kline and Jake Postlewait combined on the victory for OSU, with Postlewait going the final 1.2 innings and being credited with the win. The trio combined to walk 2 and strike out 6. The Beavers also got big plays from outfielders Aaron Mathews, Chris Biles and Seth Pietsch to shut off Arizona rallies. Mathews was also 2-for-4 with a double, while Barden was 2-for-3.

On March 30, 4 Oregon State pitchers combined on a 3-hitter as the Beavers beat Arizona 5-0. Andy Jarvis' 2-run homer capped a 3-run first inning for OSU and Tom Creighton homered for the second straight day.Mark McLemore, Ty Kline, Jake Postlewait and Jared Sanders teamed up for the shutout in front of a crowd of 1,184. Kline was credited with the win after relieving McLemore in the fifth inning, he allowed just 1 hit in 4 scoreless innings while walking 2 and striking out 4. Brian Barden was 2-for-3 for the Beavers.

On April 2, Andy Jarvis doubled, homered and drove in 4 runs to lead Oregon State past Portland 11-1. Five Oregon State pitchers combined to throw a 5-hitter. Junior righthander Joshua Garcia went the first 3 innings to earn his first win as a Beaver as the OSU quintet combined to walk 2 and strike out 9. At the plate, OSU knocked out 11 hits, with 5 of those going for extra bases. Jarvis extended his hitting streak to 10 games as he went 3-for-5 with his homer, double and 4 RBIs, Will Hudson was 2-for-4 with a triple and 3 RBIs, Tom Creighton was 2-for-4 with a triple, and Chris Biles had a 2-run homer in the first inning that put the Beavers in front for good.

BEAVERS AMONG 2002 PACIFIC-10 LEADERS: Where Oregon State ranks among the Pacific-10 leaders through March 31:

TEAM BATTING AVERAGE7. Oregon State         	.292TEAM RUNS8. Oregon State            	177TEAM HITS8. Oregon State             	273TEAM RUNS BATTED IN8. Oregon State             	161TEAM DOUBLES7. Oregon State           	52TEAM TRIPLES3. Oregon State           	13TEAM HOME RUNS7. Oregon State             	23TEAM TOTAL BASES8. Oregon State           	420TEAM AT-BATS7. Oregon State            	935TEAM SLUGGING PERCENTAGE5. Oregon State            	.449TEAM ON-BASE PERCENTAGE8. Oregon State           	.368TEAM STOLEN BASES9. Oregon State            	24TEAM EARNED RUN AVERAGE5. Oregon State         	5.38TEAM OPPONENT BATTING AVERAGE5. Oregon State          	.278TEAM INNINGS PITCHED7. Oregon State         	239.0TEAM STRIKEOUTS (PITCHING)9. Oregon State         	135TEAM WINS5. Oregon State          	17TEAM SAVES1. Oregon State             	9TEAM FIELDING PERCENTAGE8. (tie) Oregon State       	.955TEAM DOUBLE PLAYS TURNED4. (tie) Oregon State       	28INDIVIDUAL HITS7. (tie) Brian Barden, Oregon State	41INDIVIDUAL DOUBLES1. Seth Pietsch, Oregon State     	13INDIVIDUAL TRIPLES1. (tie) Seth Pietsch, Oregon State	37. (tie) Chris Biles, Oregon State	27. (tie) Tom Creighton, Oregon State	27. (tie) Aaron Fausett, Oregon State	2INDIVIDUAL RUNS BATTED IN8. (tie) Brian Barden, Oregon State	27INDIVIDUAL TOTAL BASES9. Brian Barden, Oregon State        	65INDIVIDUAL WALKS10. (tie) Will Hudson, Oregon State	15INDIVIDUAL SACRIFICE BUNTS2. Kerisi Reynolds, Oregon State	5INDIVIDUAL AT-BATS6. Brian Barden, Oregon State      	116INDIVIDUAL EARNED RUN AVERAGE2. Ty Kline, Oregon State       	2.05INDIVIDUAL OPP. BATTING AVERAGE5. Ty Kline, Oregon State        	.226INDIVIDUAL SAVES1. Jared Sanders, Oregon State        	67. (tie) Mike Ekstrom, Oregon State	2INDIVIDUAL APPEARANCES2. Jake Postlewait, Oregon State	163. (tie) Don Stykel, Oregon State	143. (tie) Jared Sanders, Oregon State	14INDIVIDUAL STARTS3. (tie) Stephen Copeland, Oregon State	93. (tie) Ben Rowe, Oregon State 	9

You just made the list 2002 BEAVERS ON OREGON STATE'S LEADER LISTS: Where Oregon State players rank among the school's all-time leaders through April 2:

CAREER HITS1. Ken Bowen, 1984-87              	2062. Joe Gerber, 1997-2000        	201> 3. Brian Barden, 2000-present 	192  10. Brian Barden, 2000-present	125  (tie) Brian Barden, 2000-present	31  (tie) Brian Barden, 2000-present	21  Andy Jarvis, 2000-present       	20  (tie) Brian Barden, 2000-present	131  3. Brian Barden, 2000-present 	296  (tie) Jared Sanders, present        	6  (tie) Stephen Copeland, 2000-present	5  2. Jared Sanders, 2002        	6  Mike Ekstrom                    	2 

OREGON STATE HEAD COACH PAT CASEY: Pat Casey, now in his eighth season at OSU, has a record of 226-162-4 with the Beavers for a winning percentage of .582. 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 397-275-5, which includes 7 years at George Fox University in Newberg, for a winning percentage of .590.

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 .353 with team-highs of 5 homers and 27 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 hits (third with 192), total bases (third with 296), RBIs (tied for third with 121), home runs (tied for sixth with 21), doubles (tied for eighth with 31) and runs (10th with 125). 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: Sophomore leftfielder Seth Pietsch (Wilderville, Ore./Hidden Valley HS) is seeing double and triple this spring. Pietsch has 28 hits this season, and 18 of those have gone for extra bases - 13 doubles, 3 triples and 2 homers. Through March 31, 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 25 this season. Twice this season, Pietsch has doubled and tripled in the same game. In Pietsch's career, he has 37 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 its bullpen. The Beavers are 11-1 this season in games they've led after 6 innings, and they're 15-2 in games in which they've led or been tied after 6 innings. Through April 2, OSU's relievers have combined to go 10-4 with 9 saves and a 4.78 ERA and were averaging 4.1 innings, 4.5 hits, 1.8 walks and 2.5 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 3.79. OSU's relievers have allowed more than 2 earned runs in just 2 of the last 11 games.

OREGON STATE SCHEDULE: Oregon State's 2002 schedule includes 7 games against teams in the USA Today/Baseball Weekly coaches poll of April 1: No. 2 Stanford (3 games) and No. 14 Arizona State (4 games). The Beavers' schedule includes another 12 games against teams receiving votes in the poll - San Diego (3 games), Cal State-Northridge (3 games), Southern California (3 games) and Arizona (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.

THE BRONZE BEAVER RETURNS: Balki wasn't the answer. The Bronze Beaver might be.

Midway through the 2001 season, Oregon State shortstop Will Hudson was given a beaver skull mounted on a base. He named the skull Balki and, hoping for luck, he brought it into the OSU dugout for a series at Stanford. The result was bad luck, as the Beavers were swept in a 3-game series.

'Balki didn't cut it,' Hudson said. 'I figured we had to get a bigger statue. I was thinking about getting a stuffed beaver or something and putting it on the top step of our dugout near the on-deck circle.'

Hudson mentioned his search to an OSU athletic staff member after a win over Portland on March 25, and he was told there was such an object - The Bronze Beaver, which had been obtained by former football coach Jerry Pettibone during his stay in Corvallis from 1991-96. It had been mounted at the player's entrance to the football field, but was removed when Pettibone resigned.

For several years, it had been stored in the athletic department maintenance office, it surfaced briefly to make an appearance on the cover of OSU's 2000 baseball guide. Hudson and first baseman Andy Jarvis got permission to take the statue to Goss Stadium at Coleman Field.

The Bronze Beaver is on a base about 3 feet square and stands about 2� feet high, so it was a little too large to put near the bat rack. Instead, it was placed on the center of OSU's dugout roof for the first game of a series against Arizona on March 28, the Beavers were beaten 13-9.

The next day, Hudson and pitcher Joshua Garcia moved The Bronze Beaver to the end of the dugout roof over the bat rack. On March 29, Tom Creighton's homer leading off the bottom of the ninth gave OSU a 2-1 win, on March 30, 4 Beaver pitchers teamed on a 3-hitter for a 5-0 win.

'We found the perfect spot for it,' Hudson said of The Bronze Beaver. 'He's here for good.'

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.

Oregon State also scored 1 run in the bottom of the ninth to tie Washington State on March 17, then won the game 6-5 in 10 innings. And on March 29, the Beavers picked up another ninth-inning win when Tom Creighton's solo homer gave OSU a 2-1 win over Arizona.

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 1,709-1,175-15, a winning percentage of .592. OSU's all-time record in conference games is now 762-547, a winning percentage of .582.

To break the numbers down a step further, since starting varsity baseball in 1907, the Beavers have scored 18,928 runs and allowed 14,574 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 10-4 in its own ballpark and is averaging 598 fans per home date.

Now in their 93rd season at Goss Stadium at Coleman Field, the Beavers are 893-382-1 at home for a winning percentage of .700. Since the start of the 1993 season, OSU is 143-53 at Goss Stadium at Coleman Field for a winning percentage of .730.

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 in March 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. On March 28 (50 years to the day after the 1952 season-opener), the first pitch of the Pacific-10 season was thrown out by Paul Valenti, an assistant coach on the 1952 team who still works as an administrator in the OSU athletic department.

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 Southern California 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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