Beavers Step Away From Pac-10 Play
April 10, 2002
APRIL 13, SATURDAY
Hawai'i-Hilo at Oregon State (2), 12 noon
RADIO: Live on KLOO-AM (1340)
APRIL 14, SUNDAY
Hawai'i-Hilo at Oregon State, 1 p.m.
RADIO: Live on KLOO-AM (1340)
APRIL 15, MONDAY
Hawai'i-Hilo at Oregon State, 2 p.m.
Oregon State (19-12 overall, 3-3 Pacific-10) steps away from Pacific-10 play but it's not an easy weekend for the Beavers. With Hawai'i-Hilo visiting, the workload includes an extra game as the Beavers and Vulcans (9-30-1) meet in a four-game series at Goss Stadium at Coleman Field. The teams will play OSU's only doubleheader of the year Saturday at 12 noon, then meet in single games Sunday at 1 p.m. and Monday at 2 p.m.
'These aren't Pac-10 games, but they're important games for us,' OSU head coach Pat Casey said. 'We've found out in the past that when it comes to qualifying for a regional, you've got to have as many wins as you can. Whether it's a conference opponent or not, we've got to come out and play good baseball, keep working at improving what we're doing and keep focusing on becoming a better ballclub.'
With a pair of victories, Casey will earn his 400th career win. Now in his 15th season of college coaching, Casey has a record of 398-277-5, which includes 7 years at George Fox University in Newberg before coming to OSU for the 1995 season.
'I guess that would be nice, but I'm more concerned with what this team is doing than any personal milestones,' Casey said. 'This group has put itself in position to accomplish some things that haven't happened at Oregon State in a while.'
OSU is trying to qualify for an NCAA Regional for the first time since 1986. The Beavers made a push for the postseason in 2001, but likely came up one Pac-10 win short of being selected.
'We've got a lot of guys on this team that remember how close we came and what it felt like to come up short,' Casey said. 'I think there are some areas this year where we might be a little better than we were a year ago.
'Probably the biggest thing is, we've got a lot deeper pitching staff. We've got three starters (Ben Rowe, Stephen Copeland and Mark McLemore) who have given us pretty even performances, and if they can keep us in a game into the middle innings our bullpen has given us a great chance to win. Some of these guys like Ty Kline, Jared Sanders, Jake Postlewait, Mike Ekstrom - they've been outstanding. They're a big reason we're in position to be thinking about the postseason right now.'
Oregon State's defense has also improved. The Beavers committed three or more errors in nine of their first 20 games, but have now gone 11 straight games without committing more than two errors.
'We've really picked it up there,' Casey said. 'And getting some guys healthy (like second baseman J.R. Runyon and outfielder/designated hitter Pat Stevens) has given us more options with what we can do with a lineup, so we've been moving a few guys around and they've responded to that challenge.'
All-America third base candidate Brian Barden is among those who have heated up at the plate in recent weeks, batting .417 in Pac-10 games, as the Beavers have continued to deliver enough timely hits to back their pitching.
Hawai'i-Hilo comes to Corvallis having won five of its last 10 games. The Vulcans, an NCAA Division I independent, haven't played since March 31 and this will be there first trip to the mainland this season.
'It looks like they've been playing some of their best ball of the year lately,' Casey said. 'They've got a number of players from the Northwest who will want to play well in front of their families and friends, and we know from experience that players from Hawai'i are solid ballplayers. This series is going to be a real test for us.'
Hawai'i-Hilo is led by junior outfielder Kaliko Oligo (.348 batting average, 0 homers, 14 RBIs), freshman utility player Ryan Hanohano (.293, 0, 6), senior utility player Keola Park (.287, 2, 15) and junior catcher Nalei Sooto (.262, 5, 15). On the mound, the Vulcans have relied on junior lefthander Jason Castro (3-4 record, 5.87 ERA), junior righthander Robert Shimabuku (1-6, 8.40) and junior lefthander Jeremiah Wolske (0-5, 8.60) in starting roles.
OREGON STATE LINEUP:
C - Paul Richie, so., Kelso, Wash. (Kelso HS),.210, 0 HRs, 13 RBIsor - Wick Udy, jr., Brigham City, Utah (Dixie JC),.320, 1 HR, 10 RBIs1B - Andy Jarvis, jr., Renton, Wash. (Liberty HS),.284, 4 HRs, 21 RBIsor - Levi Webber, so., Glide, Ore. (Glide HS),.368, 2 HRs, 6 RBIs2B - Kerisi Reynolds, so., Renton, Wash. (Liberty HS),.264, 1 HR, 21 RBIsor - Tom Creighton, sr., Weldon, Calif. (Fresno State U.),.326, 2 HRs, 16 RBIsor - J.R. Runyon, jr., The Dalles, Ore. (Chemeketa CC),.320, 2 HRs, 5 RBIs3B - Brian Barden, jr., Bonita, Calif. (St. Augustine HS),.348, 5 HRs, 27 RBIsSS - Will Hudson, jr., Fountain Valley, Calif. (Fountain Valley HS),.300, 1 HR, 14 RBIsLF - Seth Pietsch, so., Wilderville, Ore. (Hidden Valley HS),.312, 2 HRs, 15 RBIsCF - Tom Creighton, sr., Weldon, Calif. (Fresno State U.),.326, 2 HRs, 16 RBIsor - Aaron Mathews, fr., John Day, Ore. (Grant Union HS),.268, 0 HRs, 5 RBIsRF - Chris Biles, so., Tigard, Ore. (Tigard HS),.306, 5 HRs, 19 RBIsDH - Jason McBride, sr., Bellingham, Wash. (Lower Columbia CC),.265, 0 HRs, 5 RBIsor - Wick Udy, jr., Brigham City, Utah (Dixie JC),.320, 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.),.278, 0 HRs, 4 RBIs(Tentative pitching rotation)Sat. RHP - Ben Rowe, so., Perth, Australia (Greenwood HS),4-3 record, 6.00 ERASat. RHP - Stephen Copeland, jr., Keizer, Ore. (McNary HS),3-1 record, 5.73 ERASun. LHP - Mark McLemore, jr., Granite Bay, Calif. (Del Oro HS),1-2 record, 4.13 ERAMon. RHP - Joshua Garcia, jr., Vacaville, Calif.. (Cosumnes River JC),1-2 record, 8.72 ERA
NIGHT GAMES DRAW NEAR: Within a week, Oregon State could announce the date and time of the first night game in the 96-year history of Goss Stadium at Coleman Field. OSU's coaches want to be sure the Beavers are able to get in some practice sessions beneath the new lights before making definite plans for night games.
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.
ALL-TIME VS. THIS WEEK'S OPPONENTS: Oregon State has an all-time record of 1-0-1 against Hawai'i-Hilo in a series dating back to 1996. In 1996, the Beavers beat the Vulcans 3-2 in the Hawai'i Easter Tournament in Honolulu, in 1997, the teams played to a 1-1 tie in Hilo in a game that was called to allow the Beavers to catch their flight back to the mainland. This will be Hawai'i-Hilo's first-ever baseball trip to Corvallis.
OREGON STATE NOTES: This weekend marks the first-ever visit to OSU by a baseball team from Hawai'i ... OSU is in the midst of playing 21 of 25 games at Goss Stadium at Coleman Field. The Beavers are 10-4 at home so far 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 had a losing record in just 1 of the season's first 10 weeks, that coming when the Beavers were swept in a 3-game series at San Diego in Week 2. That series accounts for one-quarter of OSU's losses this season ... when OSU lost 7-0 at Southern California on April 7, it was the first time this season the Beavers had been shut out ... OSU's 19-12 overall record is identical to the Beavers' mark after 31 games a year ago, OSU's 3-3 record in Pac-10 games is also identical to the 2001 Beavers' mark after 6 conference games ...
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 24-17 in the first inning and 19-6 in the ninth inning ... the Beavers are 14-1 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 12-1, when leading after 7 innings, OSU is 13-1, and when leading after 8 innings, OSU is 13-0 ... when either ahead or tied after 6 innings, the Beavers are 16-2 ... not surprisingly, OSU is 16-0 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 committed 3 or more errors in a game 9 times this season, but it's been 11 games since the Beavers had as many as 3 errors. In fact, OSU has played errorless defense in 3 of its last 5 games ... a look at the Pac-10 statistics shows OSU last in stolen bases with 28, which could lead to thinking the Beavers are at a disadvantage in the running game. However, OSU has stolen 4 more bases than its opponents ...
OSU has 10 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 third-most in school history ... through 31 games, OSU already has 17 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 17 triples this season is already the third-most for a Beaver team since 1967, the first year for which complete year-by-year stats are currently available ...
OSU is batting .294 as a team, but that improves to .325 with runners on base and .323 with runners in scoring position. Meanwhile, Beaver pitchers have limited opponents to a .272 batting average and that rises to just .290 with runners on and drops to .271 with runners in scoring position ... OSU pinch-hitters are batting .317, while opponents' pinch-hitters are batting .286 ... as a team, the Beavers are batting .441 with the bases loaded and opponents are hitting .289 ... of OSU's RBIs this season, 42 percent have come with 2 out, only 35 percent of opponents' RBIs have come with 2 out ...
In the past 21 games, OSU has a winning record at home (10-4), on the road (3-2) and at neutral sites (2-0) ... during that time, the Beavers are batting .302 as a team and OSU pitchers are limiting opponents' to a .255 average, OSU's team ERA is 4.55 and its opponents' mark is 6.36 ... over the past 21 games, Brian Barden is batting .371 with 6 doubles, 1 triple, 3 homers and 18 RBIs, Will Hudson is batting .333 with 3 doubles, 2 triples, 1 homer and 10 RBIs, J.R. Runyon is batting .320 with 2 doubles, 2 homers and 5 RBIs, Tom Creighton is batting .318 with 3 doubles, 1 triple, 2 homers and 12 RBIs, and Kerisi Reynolds is batting .314 with 4 doubles, 1 homer and 20 RBIs ... coming out of the bullpen in that time, Jared Sanders has a 1-1 record, 5 saves and a 0.69 ERA, Ty Kline is 3-0 with 1 save and a 2.05 ERA, Mike Ekstrom is 1-0 with 2 saves and a 2.42 ERA ...
Last week, the Beavers batted .309 to their opponents' .224, and OSU had a 4.76 ERA to its opponents' 6.69 ... in those 4 games against Portland and Southern California, Levi Webber batted .750 (2-for-4) with 1 double and 1 RBI, Seth Pietsch batted .438 (7-for-16) with 1 triple and 2 RBIs, and Tom Creighton batted .389 (7-for-18) with 1 triple ... on the mound, Joshua Garcia didn't allow an earned run in 4.0 innings of work and picked up his first collegiate win by beating Portland on April 2, Ty Kline pitched 3.2 scoreless innings of relief to earn a save at Southern California on April 6, and Jared Sanders didn't allow an earned run in 2.1 innings of work ...
Brian Barden continues to climb Oregon State's lists of career leaders in a number of categories. Through April 7, Barden is third in hits (196) and total bases (301), tied for third in RBIs (131), tied for sixth in home runs (21), tied for seventh in doubles (32), and ninth in runs (127) ... 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 April 7, Jared Sanders leads the Pac-10 in saves (6) and the Beavers have the team lead in saves (10) ... Ty Kline leads the Pac-10 in ERA (1.85) and opponents' batting average (.214) ... Seth Pietsch leads the Pac-10 in triples (4) and is second in the conference in doubles (13) ... OSU also has the team lead in triples (17) ... among the NCAA Division I national leaders, Sanders is tied for 11th in saves (6) and Ty Kline is 26th in ERA (1.85) ...
Brian Barden and Tom Creighton lead OSU in multi-hit games this season with 15 each. Seth Pietsch has 12, Chris Biles 9, Will Hudson 7, and Andy Jarvis, Wick Udy and Kerisi Reynolds 5 each ... Brian Barden leads the Beavers in multi-RBI games with 9, while Kerisi Reynolds has 7 and Andy Jarvis, Seth Pietsch and Chris Biles 4 each ... Tom Creighton has OSU's longest current hitting streak with a 9-gamer, while Aaron Mathews has a 4-game streak going. 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 its 4 games from April 2-April 7. The Beavers closed out an 11-game homestand by beating Portland 11-1 on April 2, OSU then took 1 of 3 games at Southern California, losing 9-2 on April 5, winning 13-3 on April 6 and losing 7-0 on April 7.
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.
On April 5, Oregon State's 3-game winning streak came to an end with a 9-2 loss at Southern California. Seth Pietsch moved into a tie for eighth place on OSU's single-season leaders list in triples, hitting his fourth of the spring. Oregon State fell behind 3-0 in the first inning when Bill Peavey homered off Beaver starting pitcher Ben Rowe. Rowe, who lasted only until the third inning a week ago against Arizona, righted himself this time and allowed just 1 hit over the next 4 innings to keep OSU in the game. The Beavers, going against preseason All-America pick Anthony Reyes, managed to get runners in scoring position in the early innings. But Reyes, in his finest outing since coming back from early-season elbow problems, stranded OSU runners at third base in the second inning, at second and third in the third inning, and at third in the fifth inning. With Reyes out of the game in the top of the seventh, the Beavers got on the scoreboard. Singles by Pietsch and Paul Richie put runners at first and second with 2 out, then Aaron Mathews slashed a double just inside third base to pull OSU within 7-2. Pietsch was 2-for-4 with his fourth triple of the season, Mathews was 2-for-4 with a double and Creighton was 2-for-4 for OSU.
On April 6, Stephen Copeland and Ty Kline combined to pitch a 5-hitter and every Oregon State starter had at least 1 hit as the Beavers took a 13-3 win at Southern California. Eleven different Beavers delivered hits and 8 Beavers drove in a run. Brian Barden was 4-for-5 with a double and Chris Biles, Seth Pietsch and Levi Webber had 2 hits each, Kerisi Reynolds, Pietsch, Will Hudson, Paul Richie and Aaron Mathews all drove in 2 runs each. Copeland turned in his second straight strong start to improve to 3-1 this season. He gave up a run on a bloop 2-out double by the Trojans' Bill Peavey in the first inning, but OSU tied the game on Aaron Mathews' run-scoring single in the top of the second and then scored 5 times in the third for a 6-1 lead. Copeland allowed just 2 earned runs on 4 hits in 5 1/3 innings of work, walking 1 and striking out 2. Kline came on after Matt Bonovich singled with one out in the sixth inning and promptly induced a double-play ball to end the inning, starting a string of 9 straight hitters he would retire. Kline's 3.2 innings earned him his first save, as he gave up just a 2-out single in the ninth inning.
On April 7, Oregon State was shut out for the first time this season in a 7-0 loss at Southern California. The Trojans took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first and added 2 more runs in the fourth and sixth innings. They scored their final run in the seventh inning. The Beavers had a number of scoring chances. In the second inning, OSU put runners at first and second with 0 out but an ill-fated hit-and-run play doomed that inning, in the fifth, the Beavers loaded the bases with 0 out but were again denied. Tom Creighton extended his hitting streak to 9 games with a 2-for-4 performance. Seth Pietsch was the only other Beaver with more than 1 hit, going 3-for-4.
BEAVERS AMONG 2002 NCAA LEADERS: Where Oregon State ranks among the NCAA Division I national leaders through April 7:
INDIVIDUAL EARNED RUN AVERAGE26. Ty Kline, Oregon State 1.83INDIVIDUAL SAVES11. (tie) Jared Sanders, Oregon State 6
BEAVERS AMONG 2002 PACIFIC-10 LEADERS: Where Oregon State ranks among the Pacific-10 leaders through April 7:
TEAM BATTING AVERAGE7. Oregon State .296TEAM RUNS8. Oregon State 203TEAM HITS9. Oregon State 316TEAM RUNS BATTED IN8. Oregon State 186TEAM DOUBLES6. (tie) Oregon State 59TEAM TRIPLES1. Oregon State 17TEAM HOME RUNS7. (tie) Oregon State 25TEAM TOTAL BASES8. Oregon State 484TEAM AT-BATS7. Oregon State 1,074TEAM SLUGGING PERCENTAGE5. Oregon State .451TEAM ON-BASE PERCENTAGE6. Oregon State .375TEAM STOLEN BASES9. Oregon State 28TEAM EARNED RUN AVERAGE5. Oregon State 5.31TEAM OPPONENT BATTING AVERAGE3. Oregon State .272TEAM INNINGS PITCHED6. Oregon State 273.0TEAM STRIKEOUTS (PITCHING)9. Oregon State 154TEAM WINS5. Oregon State 19TEAM SAVES1. Oregon State 10TEAM FIELDING PERCENTAGE6. (tie) Oregon State .958TEAM DOUBLE PLAYS TURNED5. (tie) Oregon State 32INDIVIDUAL HITS9. (tie) Brian Barden, Oregon State 46INDIVIDUAL DOUBLES2. Seth Pietsch, Oregon State 13INDIVIDUAL TRIPLES1. Seth Pietsch, Oregon State 4INDIVIDUAL TOTAL BASES10. Brian Barden, Oregon State 71INDIVIDUAL WALKS8. (tie) Will Hudson, Oregon State 19INDIVIDUAL SACRIFICE BUNTS3. (tie) Kerisi Reynolds, Oregon State 510. (tie) Paul Richie 3INDIVIDUAL AT-BATS7. Brian Barden, Oregon State 1328. Tom Creighton, Oregon State 129INDIVIDUAL EARNED RUN AVERAGE1. Ty Kline, Oregon State 1.83INDIVIDUAL OPP. BATTING AVERAGE1. Ty Kline, Oregon State .214INDIVIDUAL SAVES1. Jared Sanders, Oregon State 68. (tie) Mike Ekstrom, Oregon State 2INDIVIDUAL APPEARANCES2. Jake Postlewait, Oregon State 183. (tie) Don Stykel, Oregon State 163. (tie) Jared Sanders, Oregon State 168. (tie) Mike Ekstrom 15INDIVIDUAL STARTS3. (tie) Stephen Copeland, Oregon State 103. (tie) Ben Rowe, Oregon State 10
2002 BEAVERS ON OREGON STATE'S LEADER LISTS: Where Oregon State players rank among or near the school's all-time leaders through April 7:
CAREER AT-BATS10. Bryan Ganter, 1984-87 557> Brian Barden, 2000-present 539
3. Brian Barden, 2000-present 196 9. Brian Barden, 2000-present 127 Will Hudson, 2000-present 107 (tie) Brian Barden, 2000-pres.32 Andy Jarvis, 2000-present 26 Chris Biles, 2000-present 21 Brian Barden, 2000-present 5 Chris Biles, 2000-present 4 Seth Pietsch, 2001-present 4 (tie) Brian Barden, 2000-pres.21 Andy Jarvis, 2000-present 20 Chris Biles, 2000-present 16 (tie) Brian Barden, 2000-pres.131 Andy Jarvis, 2000-present 101 Chris Biles, 2000-present 84 Will Hudson, 2000-present 79 3. Brian Barden, 2000-present 301 Andy Jarvis, 2000-present 213 Chris Biles, 2000-present 204 (tie) Jared Sanders, present 6 (tie) Stephen Copeland, 2000-pres.5 Seth Pietsch, 2001 4SEASON SAVES1. Mike Boire, 1997 8> 2. Jared Sanders, 2002 6 Stephen Copeland, 2001 55. Tim Lambert, 1986 4(tie) Jeff Post, 1990 47. Many players 3> Mike Ekstrom 2
OREGON STATE HEAD COACH PAT CASEY: Pat Casey, now in his eighth season at OSU, has a record of 227-164-4 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 398-277-5, 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 .348 with 8 doubles, 1 triple, 5 homers and 27 RBIs this spring. In Pacific-10 play, Barden is batting .417 with 4 doubles, 1 homer and 4 RBIs.
Barden has also moved into OSU's career top-10 lists in hits (third with 196), total bases (third with 301), RBIs (tied for third with 131), home runs (tied for sixth with 21), doubles (tied for seventh with 32) and runs (ninth with 127). 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 35 hits this season, and 19 of those have gone for extra bases - 13 doubles, 4 triples and 2 homers. Through April 7, Pietsch leads the Pac-10 in triples and he's second in the conference in doubles. 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 22 this season. Twice this season, Pietsch has doubled and tripled in the same game. In Pietsch's career, he has 44 hits and 24 of them have gone for extra bases - 16 doubles, 4 triples and 4 homers.
OREGON STATE BULLPEN: One of Oregon State's strengths this season has been its bullpen. The Beavers are 12-1 this season in games they've led after 6 innings, and they're 16-2 in games in which they've led or been tied after 6 innings. Through April 7, OSU's relievers have combined to go 10-4 with 10 saves and a 4.70 ERA and were averaging 4.1 innings, 4.1 hits, 1.7 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 3.76. OSU's relievers have allowed more than 2 earned runs in just 2 of the last 14 games.
RELIEVERS KLINE, SANDERS AMONG LEADERS: While the work of Oregon State's bullpen has been a team effort, two Beaver relievers in particular have worked their way up the list of conference and national leaders. Junior righthander Ty Kline leads the Pac-10 in earned run average (1.83, minimum of 1.0 inning per game required) and opponents' batting average (.214) while sophomore righthander Jared Sanders is the conference leader in saves (6). Among the national leaders, Sanders is 11th in saves and Kline is 26th in ERA.
OREGON STATE SCHEDULE: Oregon State's 2002 schedule includes 7 games against teams in the USA Today/Baseball Weekly Top 25 coaches poll of April 8: No. 2 Stanford (3 games) and No. 16 Arizona State (4 games). The Beavers' schedule includes another 14 games against teams receiving votes in the poll - Cal State-Northridge (3 games), San Diego (3 games), Southern California (3 games), San Diego State (1 game), Arizona (3 games) and Western Kentucky (1 game).
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.
THREE-GAME PITCHING POWER: When Oregon State won 3 straight games against Arizona and Portland from March 29-April 2, pitching was the big reason. In 27 innings, Beaver pitchers allowed just 2 runs (1 earned) on 16 hits, walking 9 and striking out 21. Throw in the final 6 innings of a 13-9 loss to Arizona on March 28, and in 33 innings OSU pitchers allowed just 5 runs (3 earned) on 22 hits, walking 11 and striking out 23.
BEAVERS ENJOY LENGTHY HOMESTAND: When Oregon State stayed home from March 15-April 2, the 11-game homestand was the Beavers' longest since playing 12 in a row at home early in the 1958 season. Oregon State went 8-3 during this year's lengthy homestand.
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 2ï¿½ 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 1,710-1,177-15, a winning percentage of .592. OSU's all-time record in conference games is now 763-549, a winning percentage of .582.
To break the numbers down a step further, since starting varsity baseball in 1907, the Beavers have scored 18,943 runs and allowed 14,593 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, the Saturday doubleheader and Sunday single game against Hawai'i-Hilo 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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