Beavers Reach New Heights In Baseball As Portland Comes To Town

May. 2, 2005

CORVALLIS, Ore. - Oregon State attained its highest-ever place in a national baseball ranking on Monday when the Beavers were listed at No. 4 by Baseball America magazine. OSU (32-8 overall, 11-4 Pacific-10) is also ranked No. 10 in the USA Today/ESPN coaches poll and No. 9 in the Collegiate Baseball newspaper rankings.

Oregon State will finish a seven-game homestand when it greets Portland (14-28, 5-16 West Coast) for a non-conference game on Monday evening at 5 p.m. at Goss Stadium at Coleman Field. Freshman righthander Daniel Turpen is scheduled to be the starting pitcher for the Beavers, while the Pilots will go with sophomore righthander Given Kutz. The game can be heard on KEJO-AM (1240) and www.osubeavers.com.

OSU's previous best-ever ranking had been No. 5 in the Collegiate Baseball poll published March 29, 1963. After taking two of three games from nationally-ranked Arizona State last weekend, the Beavers moved up two places in the Baseball America rankings and one place in the coaches poll while retaining their place in the Collegiate Baseball rankings. The National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association poll will be released Tuesday; OSU was eighth in that poll last week.

The Beavers are alone in second place in the Pacific-10 standings, one game behind leader Arizona, one game ahead of third-place Arizona State and two games ahead of fourth-place Southern California.

Oregon State junior outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury continues to lead the Pacific-10 batting race with a .442 average through last weekend's games; he also leads the conference in on-base percentage at .533 and stolen bases with 19. Senior first baseman Andy Jenkins is fourth in the batting race at .383 and junior third baseman Shea McFeely is eighth at .361.

Beaver sophomore righthanders Jonah Nickerson and Dallas Buck kept hold of the top two spots in earned run average lead at 1.17 and 2.10, respectively, with OSU sophomore lefthander Kevin Gunderson fifth at 2.83. Buck is tied for the conference lead in victories with eight, while Nickerson and sophomore lefthander Anton Maxwell are tied for third with seven each. Gunderson's nine saves tie him for the Pac-10 lead in that department.

After taking on Portland, the Beavers go on the road for Pac-10 series at UCLA (10-30, 1-11) this weekend and then at Washington from May 13-15. After playing at Portland on May 17, Oregon State returns home to finish the Pacific-10 season against Southern California on May 20-22, and the Beavers still have a rained-out home game against Portland to reschedule.

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