Beavers On The Road - Goodbye From Gainesville

June 7, 2010

GAINEVSILLE, Fla. - After each of the games at McKethan Stadium, each of the four teams was required to bring two players and their head coach to a post-game press conference. After Sunday's game, I had head coach Pat Casey and seniors Adalberto Santos and Rob Folsom.

I felt that it would give those two a last chance at the spotlight after two spectacular careers. They should be recognized for what they did during their stints in Corvallis.

Anyway, during the press conference, Pat said the only way to be truly happy at one of the NCAA press conferences is to be at the final one after your team had won the national championship. He should know.

That got me thinking afterwards. Of the 64 teams in the postseason, 63 will have that bad feeling because they were just eliminated. It doesn't matter if your team is a No. 1 seed or a No. 4 seed. You could win 50 games or 29, and unless you get that final out in your favor, you're going to have sense of loss, of agonizing defeat, of a feeling that you could have done more but didn't.

There's almost like a decompression the team undergoes after the final out and you lose in the postseason. Everyone is certainly upset at having lost that last game, but you also begin to see what's in store for guys over the summer. Some will be drafted, others will be getting ready to play summer ball and a few will just get ready for summer school. It's the natural progression of college baseball, and you just have to understand that.

But you also realize that this is the last day this team will ever be together again. Just like last year, and the years before that, there will be shifts in the 2011 roster from 2010 and that's sad in a way since you get so attached to everyone over a year's time. But in that respect, I certainly want to wish any of the OSU players who will not be back with the Beavers next season, whether that's due to graduation, in Folsom's and Santos' cases, or because they signed after being drafted.

The team has just an hour left in Gainesville before they bus back to Jacksonville this afternoon for two separate flights. One group will be on a United flight to Chicago. The other goes through Phoenix via Phoenix. Either way, everyone should be back on a bus in Portland around 11:30 p.m. tonight en route to Corvallis. Then, everyone will split as normal, players will get ready to take finals and the rest of us will go about our business getting together materials to close out the season.

We will have some coverage of the MLB Draft over the next few days as the Beavers are expected to have a high number of players taken by professional organizations. We'll keep you updated there. And soon, we'll let you know where you can find your favorite Beavers this summer. What summer league organizations they'll play in, that is.

I've appreciated getting everyone's notes this weekend during our time in Gainesville, and am super thankful for everyone who started following us on Twitter. We had almost 200 people sign up over the last six days alone.

If you haven't followed us yet, go twitter.com/beaver_baseball. The Twitter page will still be active in the offseason, so make sure to do so and we'll keep you up-to-date with everything Oregon State baseball.

Before I sign off from Gainesville, we all want to thank Florida for such a great regional. The Gators and their fans were extremely cordial and the Beavers were treated incredibly well by the host institution. Good luck, Gators, as you guys advanced to the Super Regionals. We'll all be keeping an eye on the rest of your postseason.

With that, Go Beavs!
Hank Hager

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