Behind The Dish - The Baseball Blog (October 19)

Oct. 19, 2009

October 19, 2009
5:15 p.m.

When I last wrote a blog entry, I started off by saying `Happy Monday' to everyone. Well, it is two weeks later and I'm sure everyone would like it to be Sunday. It obviously isn't, but this Monday is almost over. For the Oregon State baseball team,  that means it is just two days since the team worked out in a scrimmage in Medford.

On Saturday, the team played 10 innings in front of a great crowd at Harry and David Field. Not sure how many the place seats, but it was pretty much packed, and those in attendance got a great game to watch. The teams actually tied, 7-7, after a late rally from the black squad (I believe they scored five runs in the eighth to tie it up). Head coach Pat Casey and assistant coach Nate Yeskie were set to have the team play 10 innings regardless of the score, so it gave everyone a chance to see some extra baseball. And the best part was that weather in the area was bright and sunny until about the eighth inning, with temperatures in or near the 70s (it felt very warm at the least).

Medford native Rob Folsom was obviously was the star of the show and he didn't disappoint by getting a couple of hits for the orange squad. Sam Gaviglio, who is from nearby Ashland, did not pitch but spent a couple innings on the radio with play-by-play man Jay Reese, who broadcasted the game on KMED 1490-AM in Medford and on the Internet at tablerocksportsnetwork.com. Logan Boyd (undergraduate assistant coach) and Kurt Lupinksi (team manager) also got a chance to go home or get nearby it; Boyd is from Medford and Lupinski is from Klamath Falls.

A photo gallery with approximately 17 images is available on osubeavers.com.

Other action saw Andrew Susac hit a towering home run to left, and Kraig Sitton earned his first seven outs on strikeouts. Sitton looked sharp starting for the orange squad, but didn't pick up a decision in the tie game.

The scrimmage essentially served as one of the last chances for the team to play a full out scrimmage before the end of fall workouts. The team will be wrapping up its time shortly, and then players will be able to work out in individual groups before the Winter Break. They'll be able to get back to individuals in January, then official workouts come in February. Yes, we are that close. The coaching staff has been stressing to the team that they'll be back for spring in almost no time (at least it feels that way), so now is the time to close out the fall on a strong note.

Some Arizona Fall League News

While it has been established that former Beaver Mitch Canham has been selected for the Arizona Fall League, there have been two more OSU additions made that haven't been highly publicized. One involves Cole Gillespie going to the Scottsdale Scorpions as a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks organization. And making it even better, he will be joined by former Beaver teammate Daniel Turpen, who has also been assigned to the team while a member of San Francisco's organization. I actually found out about Turpen's assignment through Baseball America, in the printed version. Congratulations, of course, are due to both of them.

Gillespie has seen action in three games this season, going 4-for-12 with an RBI and a stolen base. Turpen, meanwhile, has pitched in two games, allowing one earned run and five hits in four innings (ERA of 2.25). They're teamed with Joe Martinez and Buster Posey from the Giants and Brandon Crawford, who is also in San Francisco's organization and once played at UCLA. The Saguaros (Canham's club) and Scottsdale play against each other next on Oct. 26, so make sure to check out the box score at mlb.com.

Canham, meanwhile, has seen action in two games thus far and is 0-for-4. He's on a team that also has Jason Castro, formerly of Stanford, on its roster, so there will be at bats that have to split between the two. There's no doubt that he will play a big part in San Diego's plans for the future, however. I could certainly see him starting out at Portland next season and then see how the Big Club does during the season.

Meanwhile, on osubeavers.com

We are constantly trying to add more and more to osubeavers.com, and in the past few days, have updated the OSU Baseball History page. The newest part of the history page is a link that takes the viewer to a page detailing the team's four trips to the College World Series. This page has a story on each of the trips, which occurred in 1952, 2005, 2006 and 2007. The best part, however, are photo galleries from the 2005, 2006 and 2007 seasons. There's a photo gallery for each of the games played in Omaha, totaling 15 in all, plus galleries for the team's championship celebrations in 2006 and 2007.

Make sure to visit the section when you get time. There are also sections devoted to opening day lineups, All-Pac-10 players and more at the OSU Baseball History page. To get there, visit osubeavers.com and click on the baseball page. Under the 'More' tab at the right, drag it down to read 'OSU Baseball History' and it will take you there.

Again, we're always in the process of adding more so keep an eye on it.

Go Beavs!

Hank Hager


October 5, 2009

Happy Monday, everyone. For the Oregon State baseball team, this Monday comes two days after a majority of the Beavers spent part of the weekend in Bend. This has become an annual tradition, with the club playing a preseason scrimmage in Central Oregon at Vince Genna Stadium. It started after the first national championship season and has become a real treat for the team and fans in the area to partake in every year.

I don't have a whole lot of writeup about the game, which featured the black and orange squads. I was in the dugout for most of the scrimmage taking photos, along with Ethan Erickson, a photographer from our office. Ethan was and has been a real trooper thus far, shooting volleyball's win Friday night and then braving the elements Saturday for some great images. Which, of course, you can see in the photo gallery on the page. Ethan also almost got drilled on an overthrow at first base, which narrowly missed hitting director of operations Ron Northcutt as well, who thankfully was behind a fence.

Bill Bigelow of the Bend Bulletin has a writeup of the trip there and it is available at www.bendbulletin.com. He tried keeping track of the game as much as possible, but realistically, the score mattered little. The game did make it six or seven innings - I'm not totally sure as the stadium doesn't have its main scoreboard working and was using one that was not visible by the first-base dugout. At that point, the cold weather got worse and started dumping hail and snow on Vince Genna Stadium. Coach Casey decided that that point that it was best to end it without getting anyone hurt and off to a BBQ everyone went. The team was back safely in Corvallis by 7 p.m. and the players used Sunday as a day off. For those who have never been on a team bus, it can be relatively uneventful, with most of the team getting some sleep in on the drive home. The rest were glued to watching the afternoon's movie, which was 'Happy Gilmore' or listening to an ipod or something similar. This trip did offer the chance to see some nice snowfall on one of the passes coming over from Bend. It didn't last long, and most every player has seen snow before, if not all of them, but it's not too common to see it when coming back from a game so you could say it was a nice surprise. It certainly turned a few heads.

Before the scrimmage on Saturday, the team put on an hour-long free baseball clinic with local youths. About 80 showed up in attendance and got pointers from the team's coaches and players. It was a great opportunity for the team to interact with the little guys. And since most players on the team are 18, 19 and 20 years old, it wasn't too long ago that some of the current Beavers were learning from former Beavers at camps and clinics at Goss Stadium. You just never know who the next great Beaver will be.

Meanwhile, in the Majors

We promised a week or two ago that we would touch base about Jacoby Ellsbury and Jamie Burke, who both saw their regular seasons come to an end on Sunday. Burke's season is over as his Nationals ended the 2009 MLB campaign with the worst record in the bigs. He played in 19 games with Seattle and Washington, batting .118 with two RBI.

Ellsbury, meanwhile, is going back to his third consecutive postseason as the Red Sox claimed the American League's Wild Card. He played in 153 games for Boston this season, batting .301 with a Major League leading 70 stolen bases. We reported it about a month ago that he broke Boston's single-season stolen base record. The 70 swipes this season gives him 129 for his career, which already ties him for the seventh-most in team history. Harry Hooper holds the team record with 300 from 1909-1920, so assuming Ellsbury doesn't go to another club in the next two-to-three years, he is one pace for that mark as well.

And here's a stat for you stat-heads out there. In nearly three full seasons with the Red Sox, Ellsbury has 129 steals to just 169 strikeouts. That is a pretty impressive ratio.

The team is pretty much practicing on a daily basis at Goss Stadium, so if you are in the area, go ahead and stop over.

Go Beavs!

Hank Hager

 


September 30, 2009

Yes, we are about two weeks out from our last blog here on 'Behind The Dish' but there has been a whirlwind amount of news with baseball in the last couple of weeks, so I felt it would be better serve to let those stories stay at the forefront. The team actually scrimmaged yesterday under some not so friendly weather. The Beavers got patches of good, blue sky, and then would get a five minute rain cloud. And so on and so forth. But they fought through it for what turned out to be a pretty productive afternoon.

A few of the guys will be getting together with one of our photographers on Thursday night to take photos for the 'I Am Orange' materials that will be used to help promote the season. Not going to divulge those names; it's no fun that way. Just make sure to keep an eye out for some of these things over the next few months, such as posters and ticket information brochures. They'll be used on the Web site as well, just like has been the case with football, men's and women's basketball and other sports.

On the newsworthy front, Rivals.com has been doing a conference-by-conference breakdown of fall practices and the Pac-10 had its go-around on Wednesday. Here's what the site's main writer, Kendall Rogers, had to say about the Beavers.

Kendall wrote: 'The Beavers returned to NCAA regional play last season and hopes to return to the College World Series in '10. The Beavers need to improve at the plate this fall to accomplish that goal. OSU finished last season with an unimpressive .278 batting average and must replace leading hitter and catcher Ryan Ortiz. The Beavers do welcome back Jared Norris and Adalberto Santos. Offense is a question mark this fall, but the pitching is in great shape with the return of Sam Gaviglio, Josh Osich, Ryan Gorton, Kraig Sitton, Kevin Rhoderick and Tyler Waldron. The Beavers have a good chance to return to Omaha if the offense rises to the occasion.'

Kendall certainly was correct that Ryan will be missed. He was a great player on the field and someone who displayed great character off it. He was definitely a great ambassador for Oregon State. Now, of course, we wish him the best of luck in his career with the Oakland organization.

Kendall can only list so many names and in doing so missed listing guys like Stefen Romero, Tanner Robles and Carter Bell, amongst other returners who will play a key role for the Beavers in 2010.

Elsewhere, Jacoby Ellsbury and the Red Sox are gearing up for the playoffs with just a few days left in the regular season. Ellsbury has 67 stolen bases this season, which is easily a Boston record. But it's also the Major League leading mark, seven in front of Tampa Bay's Carl Crawford. I think it's pretty safe to say Jacoby will be next year's reigning stolen base king. He's also tied for fourth in all of baseball with 10 triples, which actually gives him the lead in the American League. Not a bad way for your second full season in the Major Leagues.

Last but not least, we mentioned having some baseball players on live chats. That obviously has not come to fruition yet, especially with football doing one on a typically weekly basis. Stay tuned for baseball. We'll get some guys in to talk to the fans, but not sure when just yet.

Go Beavs!

Hank Hager

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