Baseball Meets The Media

Feb. 3, 2009

CORVALLIS, Ore. - Just hours before their second practice of the season, head coach Pat Casey and players Kevin Rhoderick, Jorge Reyes and Ryan Ortiz met with the media Tuesday as part of Oregon State baseball's annual media day.

Casey and the trio of players spoke about the upcoming season and what their thoughts are on being successful in 2009. Coach Casey led off the media day press conference by answering about 20 questions. Each player followed up Casey by answering questions from the press conference crowd, which included multiple television stations, newspapers and radio stations.

Below is a partial transcript of what was said at Tuesday's media day.

In the meantime, note there are still tickets available to catch the Beavers this season.

Available now are a number of season tickets for the 2009 season. The season-ticket packages include 24 games at Goss Stadium and the three-game series against Missouri State go for $400 and can be obtained at the ticket office at legendary Gill Coliseum, by calling 1-800-GOBEAVS or by visiting osubeavers.com. Single-game tickets for the 2009 season will be made available to the public on Feb. 16.

Additionally, tickets to the 2009 Papé Grand Slam will go on sale on Feb. 11. The 2009 Slam will take place from March 13-15 and will feature Oregon State and perennial Midwest power Missouri State in a three-game series at PGE Park in Portland.

Tickets can be purchased at all Ticketmaster outlets, including www.ticketmaster.com, and by calling (503) 224-4400. Tickets will also be made available at the PGE Park box office beginning Monday February 23rd.

Single-game tickets for the Papé Grand Slam are $10 for adults and $5 for youths (ages 3-18), with each seat being general admission. Oregon State students who present their ID on game day can also get seats for $5. Those who have season tickets for the 2009 Oregon State baseball season will have a specific number of sections reserved for them on the Oregon State dugout side of PGE Park.

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

Oregon State head coach Pat Casey
Opening Statement ...'It's exciting to be able to start practicing at the beginning of the season. We were outside yesterday for the first time and enjoyed the 70 degree weather and blue skies. It was really fun to be outside when we opened up practice, I don't think we have ever done that before.'

On his expectations for this year's pitching staff ...
I think that if you look at our club, one of the strengths that we feel that we could have is our pitching staff. We think we have depth within the staff, and flexibility as far as people being starters or relievers, or even closing. So I think that that part of the staff we like. We are also aware that a lot of them are still sophomores. I think last year one of the issues is that we saw some really great performances from some kids one week and the next week wasn't quite as consistent. That's what happens when kids our young. We are anxious to see if those sophomores can make that jump. I think (Mark) Grbavac coming back helps us with leadership, as he is the only senior we have on the staff. We really have a lot of balance within our staff.'

On the expectations for catcher Ryan Ortiz ...
'Ryan was an All-Pac-10 player last year; we want him to get better defensively. We would like him to be as consistent offensively as he was last year. Obviously, we would like him to bring some leadership to the club. I think he was reluctant to do that last season for whatever reason. Maybe he didn't feel as if he had earned his stripes yet. Hopefully by the success he has had he will take that on.'

On the 2009 schedule ...
'We have never been accused of taking a light schedule. This might even be more difficult (than last year). You don't know how good certain clubs are going to be. Certainly, the series at Tennessee and following that up with games against Arizona State and Missouri as five of your first six is going to be very difficult. We have Missouri State at home; I think they have been picked to win their conference. The Pac-10 is always going to be as good as any conference in the country. So I think our schedule will probably be as difficult, maybe even a little more difficult, depending on how clubs are. We were talking about this the other day. Our full focus is on Tennessee and absolutely nothing else.'

On using last year as motivation ...
'For me it is. There is a difference between being able to rumble by yourself and being able to rumble with your whole crew. I take it personally and it is motivation for me, and I think and hope that it is motivation for our players and our team. That is something that everyone reaches down into their soul and figures out how they take certain things. I know for me, I felt bad for the guys, especially those who didn't return. I am well aware of the fact that there is nothing to be handed to you. We are not sitting back and feeling that we were the only team in the country that felt that way.'

On the level of expectations at Oregon State ...
'We were talking about that the other day, how you are disappointed about the season and you look back and talk about beating No. 1 seeds in Arizona State and Georgia. We beat Arizona when they were in the top 10. I think that that was something that we wanted to do all along, to get to a position where we were looked upon as a nationally recognized team in our sport. Our guys have an opportunity to do some things, and we are proud of that. We also realize that doesn't mean anything, other than what you did in the past is good and you have to step through the next door. We are excited to see this club take the field and play.'

On parts of the team that could form the identity of this year's club ...
'I hope that they create their own identity. Part of the thing that we had last year was that we had a couple of strong leaders left and they stepped up and took a leadership role. We played a very tough schedule and we played very well until the end. I thought that we played very poorly at USC. We had a tough schedule; we played USC for three and then Long Beach State on Monday. It was kind of getting knocked out in the 14th round and them telling you there is one more round to go. We just did not play well when we needed to play well, and lost some games we should have won.'

On the players feelings on the results of last season ...
'I would hope that they would (feel motivated by last year). I don't address that much, other than I tell them we were right where we wanted to be and didn't get in. Little things matter because little things win and lose big games. I don't want to micromanage their thoughts, but I certainly think they can respond to that question and hopefully they did take it personally.'

On the position battles in preseason practice ...
'We talked about it the other day; if we started the season tomorrow, I only know that (Ryan) Ortiz and (Joey) Wong would be starting offensively, and probably (John) Wallace depending on who was starting. Those two guys played last year and obviously proved that they could play in the Pac-10. Wallace has had success here over a three-year period, and he is a guy that has to play well for us. But we feel that every other spot we have is open.'

On outfielder Logan Lotti ...
'Logan is an offensive player and he has recovered really well from a broken leg. He is a guy that needs to be one of those offensive players for us. We need offensive players. I think he will really flourish and become a good player here at Oregon State.'

On how leadership will take form on this team ...'You do have to have some of those intangibles in you. I also think you have to be willing to get it out of yourself. Most guys are afraid to lead, because leaders are people who go places others won't go. (Andy) Jenkins was always a guy who had it in him, but he always asked `In order for me to be a leader, don't I have to have some success first?' He was a guy who is legendary around here for what he did for this program. I do think there are some guys on our club who have it in them. I also think there are some guys who are afraid to get up on that edge and stand up. If you are going to be a leader you are going to be out in front of the pack. You are going to be the most visible. It's a tough thing for some people, but hopefully we can find those guys and get them to emerge.'

Oregon State Catcher Ryan Ortiz
On the expectations for this season ...

'Our expectations are to get back to Omaha. Jorge (Reyes) and I were there our freshman year and that is the ultimate goal, to win a national championship.'

Oregon State RHP Kevin Rhoderick
On the team's motivation coming into this year ...
'I definitely think we could have made it in there (NCAA tournament) and made a run at the end. I think we just didn't work hard enough as a whole squad last year. Not making it kind of motivated everyone to get out there and get it done this year. I think it will be alright.'

Oregon State RHP Jorge Reyes
On last season and the goals for this year ...'I think the team just had a bad year, and we learned from what happened. In 2006, we were excited coming off of a national championship. I think this year after not making it we have more motivation. We have a little fire. We were pretty upset about what happened. I think we are way more motivated about playing hard and winning some more games.'

Support Oregon State University Athletics by making your tax deductible donation to the Beaver Athletic Student Fund. For more information follow this link or call 541-737-2370. You can make an 'everyday champion.'

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