Beavers Climb In Baseball Polls, Host Portland Tuesday

April 11, 2005

CORVALLIS, Ore. - Oregon State moved up in the three national baseball polls released Monday, including climbing eight spots to No. 15 in the USA Today/ESPN coaches poll after winning a series at nationally-ranked Stanford over the weekend. The Beavers were also ranked 11th by both Baseball America magazine and Collegiate Baseball newspaper, giving OSU (26-5 overall, 5-1 Pacific-10) its highest national rankings in over 30 years and some of the highest in its 96-season baseball history.

The Beavers will host Portland (12-20, 3-9 West Coast) on Tuesday at 5 p.m. at Goss Stadium at Coleman Field, and the game can be heard on KEJO-AM (1240) and OSU then goes on the road for a matchup of Pac-10 leaders when it visits first-place Arizona (24-10, 8-1) this weekend; the Wildcats are ranked eighth in the coaches poll and sixth by both Baseball America and Collegiate Baseball.

OSU's No. 11 national ranking is the Beavers' highest since Oregon State finished the 1963 season ranked 10th by Collegiate Baseball, which was the only college baseball poll at that time. OSU ranked as high as No. 6 during that season, finishing 23-12 and taking eventual national champion Southern California the distance in a best-of-three NCAA regional series.The National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association poll will be released Tuesday. OSU was ranked 16th in that poll last week.

Oregon State outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury continues to lead the Pac-10 batting race with a .461 batting average. He also leads the conference in on-base percentage (.549) and stolen bases (17); is second in hits (59); and is tied for second in slugging percentage (.703).

The Beavers also continued to hold the two top spots in earned run average, with Dallas Buck leading at 1.19 and Jonah Nickerson second at 1.21. Nickerson leads the Pac-10 in opponents' batting average at .169 and teammate Kevin Gunderson is second at .185.

OSU's team earned run average of 2.99 is the top mark in the conference, and the Beavers' team batting average of .342 is second.

Oregon State and Portland have met twice previously this season, with OSU winning 6-4 in Corvallis on Feb. 15 and 7-5 in Portland on March 22. The series between the state's NCAA Division I programs dates back to 1909, with OSU holding a 136-59 lead.

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