Baseball Selected 24th By Rivals.com

Jan. 10, 2009

CORVALLIS, Ore. - The Oregon State baseball team has been selected by Rivals.com to open the 2009 season as the nation's No. 24 team, the site published Saturday.

The Beavers, 28-24 a year ago, are expected to be a tournament team this season, according to the site, after narrowly missing out on the 64-team field a year ago.

'The Beavers certainly will be an interesting team to watch this season,' Rivals.com wrote. 'OSU welcomes back offensive key cogs Ryan Ortiz and John Wallace, but must get more production from its returnees and newcomers. While the offense definitely is a question mark, the pitching staff is deep and in great shape with Jorge Reyes, Greg Peavey, Kevin Rhoderick and others leading the charge. The Beavers aren't going to dazzle anyone with their hitting this season, but the pitching staff will lead this program back to an NCAA regional.'

Oregon State is slated to field a formidable lineup with a potent group of pitchers this season. Among the returners on the infield are catcher Ryan Ortiz, who was an All-Pac-10 performer last season, and two defensive wizards up the middle in Joey Wong and John Tommasini.

In the outfield, senior John Wallace returns for his final season in an Oregon State uniform, as does Koa Kahalehoe.

Pitching-wise, Oregon State's strong freshman class last season returns as sophomores, and could help form one of the top pitching staffs on the West Coast. The likes of Kevin Rhoderick, a Freshman All-America last season, Taylor Starr, Josh Osich, Tanner Robles, James Nygren and Greg Peavey will combine with junior Jorge Reyes and newcomer Tyler Waldron to comprise a powerful group of arms. Kraig Sitton, an impressive reliever last season, will also help bolster the staff.

Pat Casey and his coaching staff hit the recruiting trail hard in the offseason, bringing in junior college transfers Stefen Romero, Logan Lotti, Adalberto Santos, Mike Chiarelli and Jared Norris, among others, to help balance out the lineup this season. Freshmen outfielders Brent Warren, Ryan Gorton and Blake Gibbs are much heralded, as are infielder Carter Bell and pitcher Sam Gaviglio.

The poll is one of many to be released during the preseason. Make sure to check osubeavers.com to see where the Beavers rank among other publications.

The 2009 season officially opens Feb. 20 when the Beavers start a three-game series against Tennessee in Knoxville.

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