Nickerson to Start Against Tulane

June 17, 2005

OMAHA, Neb. - Oregon State baseball coach Pat Casey announced on Friday that sophomore righthander Jonah Nickerson will make the start against Tulane in the Beavers' first game of the College World Series.

Nickerson, 9-1 with a 2.10 earned-run average, will face the nation's top-ranked team at 11 a.m. PDT on Saturday at Rosenblatt Stadium in Omaha, Neb. Sophomore All-American Dallas Buck was also being considered for the start.

'Dallas threw on Monday (at the Super Regionals) and it's normal rest for him to go a couple more days,' Casey said. 'The confidence we have with those guys, it doesn't make any difference who throws. If Jonah had thrown on Monday like Dallas did, then we would throw Dallas. We just want Dallas to get his normal rest. Jonah, Dallas and Maxwell have picked each other up all year long, so we're fine with anyone starting.'

Although Buck has typically been the first pitcher in the rotation, Nickerson has been getting himself ready to face the Green Wave.

'I've kind of been preparing for it the last couple of days, knowing there was a chance that I was going to throw, so it's not a surprise at all,' Nickerson said. 'I'm just going to go out there with a lot of confidence and do what I've been doing the entire year ... Yesterday the weather was perfect with conditions to throw. Because it's a little hotter, it will be easier to warm up ... I watched Tulane on TV in the Super Regional a little bit. I'll definitely go over (the scouting report) tonight with the coaches.'

The team practiced at Creighton University on Friday afternoon, and will head back to Rosenblatt on Friday evening to watch the Nebraska-Arizona State game.

The team has been thrilled with the College World Series experience thus far.

'It's started to sink in that we're here,' junior All-American outfielder Jacoby Ellsbury said. 'Yesterday's Opening Ceremonies were awesome. That was the best fireworks display I've ever seen. The fan support is exciting. It's an awesome atmosphere. We feel great. We feel that we're a team to beat and we'll be ready to play.'

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