Beavers Set For Big Baseball Weekend

May 15, 2001


No. 2 Southern California at Oregon State, 3 p.m.


No. 2 Southern California at Oregon State, 1 p.m.

RADIO: KLOO-AM (1340), live


No. 2 Southern California at Oregon State, 12 noon

RADIO: KLOO-AM (1340), live

LES SCHWAB TIRES YOUTH WEEKEND: All kids age 12 and under will be admitted free to any of this weekend's games courtesy of Les Schwab Tires, no coupons or advance purchase of tickets necessary. Kids could win a baseball or bat autographed by the Beavers during the weekend. There will also be a trip to the Inn at the Seventh Mountain or Salishan Lodge given away to adults during the Friday and Sunday games.

It's come down to the final weekend.

Oregon State's bid for postseason play will be determined in the last series of the regular season, as the Beavers (30-22 overall, 10-11 Pacific-10) play host to No. 2 Southern California in a three-game series at Goss Stadium at Coleman Field. OSU likely needs two wins to secure its first postseason berth since 1986, while one victory against the Trojans (36-16, 16-5) could leave the Beavers a longshot to make the NCAA regionals.

'This is one of those weekends that should really fire you up if you're a ballplayer,' OSU coach Pat Casey said. 'You've worked almost a full year to get to this point, you're on the verge of the goal you've set as a team, and you get to play one of the best programs in the country in your own ballpark.

'We've played well at home this year (a 17-5 record), our fans always give us a big lift, and we've even got a great weather forecast. It ought to be a great weekend.'

The series against USC will mark the final home appearances for seven OSU seniors: designated hitter Curtis Davis, infielder Zach Gordon, outfielder Josh Howard, pitcher Thad Johnson, pitcher Scott Nicholson, centerfielder Eric Stark and pitcher Corky Wray.

The NCAA will announce the 64-team field for its regionals on May 21, and OSU wants to strengthen its case for being included.

'We've played a top-flight schedule this year,' said Casey, whose team has four wins over teams ranked in this week's Baseball Weekly/ESPN coaches poll, and has won five more games against teams that received votes but didn't crack the top 25. 'We've gone head-to-head with some of the best teams in the country and held our own. What this team has done is very deserving of the selection committee's consideration, and what we have to do this weekend is go out and try to make an even better case for ourselves.'

The Beavers are coming off a key win in the final game of last weekend's series at UCLA. After dropping a pair of extra-inning games to begin the series, OSU managed to push aside the heartbreaking losses and take an 11-8 win in the finale. The Bruins brought the winning run to the plate with one out in the bottom of the ninth before Oregon State shut the door.

'Our guys really responded to a tough situation,' Casey said. 'I don't think I've ever been through a series like that at any level. We played 30 innings in three days, and I think there was only a half-inning where the teams were separated by more than three runs. It was unbelievable - every at-bat, every pitch for three days meant something.

'We went through a pair of tough losses and got ourselves in a situation where this team could have come out Sunday and rolled over. They wouldn't do it, they found a way to dig out a win in a pretty rough spot. That says a lot for these guys, and that's the same kind of determination we need this weekend.'

USC is already assured of hosting a four-team regional. The Trojans lead the Pacific-10 race by two games over Stanford and have the likely No. 1 choice in the upcoming Major League Baseball draft in pitcher Mark Prior.

'He's as good a pitcher as there has been at this level in a long, long time,' Casey said. 'And USC has another great ballclub.'

Prior, a junior righthander, is 13-1 with a 1.34 earned run average, while senior righthander Rik Currier is 10-1 with a 2.34 ERA and sophomore righthander Anthony Reyes is 3-3 with a 4.05 ERA.

Junior outfielder Brian Barre is batting .337 with 11 homers and 45 runs batted in, senior shortstop Seth Davidson is batting .320 with one homer and 23 RBIs and sophomore catcher Alberto Concepcion is batting .315 with three homers and 28 RBIs. As a team, USC is hitting .297 and its opponents are batting .250, the Trojans have a team ERA of 3.63 and their opponents are at 5.16.


C - Bryan Ingram, jr., Everett, Wash. (Cascade HS),

.313, 2 HRs, 27 RBIs

1B - Andy Jarvis, so., Renton, Wash. (Liberty HS),

.291, 12 HRs, 48 RBIs

2B - Zach Gordon, sr., Simi Valley, Calif. (Moorpark JC),

.221, 3 HRs, 16 RBIs

or - Kerisi Reynolds, fr., Renton, Wash. (Liberty HS),

.286, 0 HRs, 0 RBIs

or - Stephen Copeland, so., Keizer, Ore. (McNary HS),

.214, 0 HRs, 4 RBIs

3B - Brian Barden, so., Bonita, Calif. (St. Augustine HS),

.367, 8 HRs, 55 RBIs

SS - Will Hudson, so., Fountain Valley, Calif. (Fountain Valley HS),

.289, 2 HRs, 22 RBIs

LF - Chris Biles, so., Tigard, Ore. (Tigard HS),

.394, 7 HRs, 46 RBIs

or - Josh Howard, sr., Prineville, Ore. (Abilene Christian U.),

.292, 2 HRs, 9 RBIs

or-Seth Pietsch, fr., Wilderville, Ore. (Hidden Valley HS),

.273, 2 HRs, 5 RBIs

CF - Eric Stark, sr., Sumner, Wash. (Sumner HS),

.271, 1 HR, 23 RBIs

RF - Josh Carter, jr., Fallbrook, Calif. (Fallbrook HS),

.351, 6 HRs, 51 RBIs

DH - Curtis Davis, sr., Corvallis, Ore. (Corvallis HS),

.406, 2 HRs, 26 RBIs

or-Jason McBride, jr., Bellingham, Wash. (Lower Columbia CC),

.333, 3 HRs, 14 RBIs

or-Pat Stevens, jr., Eugene, Ore. (Chapman U.),

.355, 0 HRs, 8 RBIs

(Rotation to be determined, possible starting pitchers)

RHP-Stephen Copeland, so., Keizer, Ore. (McNary HS),

3-3, 7.36 ERA

LHP-Scott Nicholson, sr., Longview, Wash. (Lower Columbia CC),

10-2, 3.85 ERA

RHP - Thad Johnson, sr., Santa Rosa, Calif. (Santa Rosa JC),

6-8, 4.91 ERA

ALL-TIME VS. THIS WEEK'S OPPONENT: Oregon State has an all-time record of 6-25 against Southern California in a series dating back to 1951. Last season, the Trojans swept a series in Los Angeles by scores of 12-1, 16-7 and 16-3. The last time the teams met in Corvallis was in 1999, when USC swept the series by scores of 5-2, 12-10 and 4-1. OSU's last win over the Trojans was in the final game of a 1998 series in Los Angeles, 13-6.

LAST WEEK: Oregon State suffered a pair of heartbreaking losses, then got a heartstopping win at UCLA in a series May 11-13. The Beavers lost a ninth-inning lead in a 5-3, 10-inning loss May 11, lost ninth-inning and 10th-inning leads in an 11-inning loss May 12, and saw the Bruins bring the winning run to the plate in the ninth inning of an 11-8 win on May 13.

On May 11, Oregon State saw UCLA tie the game with a pair of runs in the ninth inning and win it on Eric Reece's 2-run homer in the bottom of the 10th. Oregon State got a strong starting pitching performance from Stephen Copeland as it built a 3-1 lead going into the bottom of the eighth inning. Thad Johnson, making a rare relief appearance, then worked his way out of one jam in the bottom of the eighth and was an instant away from securing the win in the bottom of the ninth. However, the Bruins scored the tying run on a play that could have ended the game. With OSU leading 3-2, 2 out and pinch runner Randall Shelley at third base, Johnson coaxed a chopper over the mound off the bat of Josh Canales. Beaver shortstop Will Hudson raced across, grabbed the ball and made a strong throw to first with the ball arriving in what appeared to be a dead heat with Canales, Canales was called safe and Shelley had scored the tying run.

On May 12, Brian Barden set Oregon State's single-season hit record but the Beavers suffered their second straight extra-inning loss. Barden had his 76th and 77th hits of the season for OSU, breaking the old mark of 75 set by R.A. Neitzel in 1990. OSU took a 4-3 lead when Eric Stark scored on a wild pitch in the top of the ninth inning, but UCLA managed a run with 2 out to tie. OSU then scored twice in the top of the 10th, but UCLA again rallied to tie with 2 out. The Bruins scored in the bottom of the 11th to win.

On May 13, OSU scored 3 runs over the final 2 innings and held on in the bottom of the ninth for the win. Ben Rowe induced double-play balls in the seventh and eighth innings but allowed the first 2 UCLA hitters to reach base in the ninth. Mark McLemore recorded an out and walked a hitter to bring the winning run to the plate, but Craig Hays entered the game and got a strikeout and a flyout to wrap up the win for OSU.

OREGON STATE NOTES: Oregon State set 3 school records last weekend at UCLA ... third baseman Brian Barden set the mark for hits in a season when he delivered his 76th of the year on May 12, by the end of the series, he had extended the record to 79 hits. The old record was 75 hits by R.A. Neitzel in 1990 ... Barden also set the record for at-bats in a season as he now has 215, that surpassed the 211 by Troy Schader in 1999 and Neitzel in 1990 ... Scott Nicholson set the OSU mark for innings pitched in a season as he reached 121.2 on May 12, that surpassed the 120.2 innings by Mason Smith in 1994 ... the Beavers have also set a team record for hits in a season with 592, beating the 586 of the 2000 team ...

Oregon State has reached the 30-win plateau for the fourth time in the last 6 seasons ... OSU's 10 wins in Pacific-10 play are the most for the Beavers since the conference unified its Northern and Southern divisions prior to the 1999 season ... OSU has won 9 of its last 15 games and 22 of its last 36 ... OSU is 3 games ahead of its pace from last season, when the Beavers were 27-25 after 52 games, OSU is 2 games ahead of its 2000 pace in Pacific-10 play, when the Beavers were 8-13 after 21 games ... OSU has pitched 15 complete games this season, that's the most for a Beaver team since the 1994 squad pitched a school-record 24 complete games. OSU's opponents have pitched just 5 complete games ... Scott Nicholson's 9 complete games are the most in a season by a Beaver pitcher since Mason Smith and Mike Thurman (now with the Montreal Expos) pitched 10 each in 1994 ... OSU has pitched 3 shutouts this season, that's the most for the Beavers since they tossed 3 shutouts in 1998. The last time OSU pitched more shutouts in a season was 1994, when the Beavers had 5 ... OSU has 15 triples as a team, the Beavers had 13 all of last season ...

This spring, Oregon State is 14-6 in games decided by 1 or 2 runs, including an 11-4 mark in 1-run games ... OSU is 2-2 in extra-inning games this season ... OSU has had 10 or more hits in 33 of its 52 games ... OSU has 15 or more hits in 14 games this season ... Oregon State is 17-5 at home this season ... as a team, OSU's pinch-hitters are batting .405 (32-for-79) and opponents' pinch-hitters are batting .239 (11-for-46) ... the Beavers began the season being outhomered 15-1 in a series at Cal State-Northridge. Since then, OSU has outhomered its opponents 50-39 ... 13 different Beavers have homered this season. When OSU tied a school record with 7 home runs against Washington on March 7, 7 different Beavers homered ...

Brian Barden leads the Beavers with 27 multi-hit games this season, Josh Carter has 26, Chris Biles 21, Curtis Davis and Bryan Ingram 17 each, Will Hudson and Andy Jarvis 15 each, and Eric Stark 12 ... Barden leads the Beavers with 15 multi-RBI games this season, Josh Carter and Andy Jarvis have 12 each, Chris Biles 11, Curtis Davis 7, Bryan Ingram 6 and Will Hudson 5 ...

In the Pacific-10 through May 13, Oregon State is first in home runs (51), slugging percentage (.472) and double plays turned (63), second in batting average (.318), total bases (879) and on-base percentage (.394), third in runs scored (391), hits (592), RBIs (357) and hit by pitch (64), and tied for third in triples (15) ...

Among the Pacific-10 individual batting leaders through May 13, Curtis Davis is first in on-base percentage (.506), and second in batting average (.406) and hit by pitch (14), Chris Biles is fourth in batting average (.394), and fifth in slugging percentage (.582), Brian Barden is tied for fifth in hits (79), RBIs (55) and runs (50), ninth in batting average (.367) and total bases (117), and tied for ninth in home runs (8), Josh Carter is tied for sixth in doubles (17), tied for seventh in RBIs (51), ninth in hits (73), 10th in total bases (112), and tied for 10th in sacrifice flies (4), Will Hudson is tied for second in sacrifice bunts (8), tied for seventh in walks (80), and tied for eighth in runs (46), Andy Jarvis is third in homers (12), and tied for 10th in sacrifice flies (4), Eric Stark is tied for fourth in walks (31), and tied for fifth in triples (4), Bryan Ingram is tied for seventh in sacrifice bunts (7), and tied for 10th in hit by pitch (10), and Zach Gordon is tied for ninth in sacrifice bunts (6) ... Among the Pacific-10 individual pitching leaders through May 13, Scott Nicholson is first in innings pitched (121.2), tied for third in wins (10) and runners picked off (4), and tied for seventh in starts (14), Thad Johnson is second in innings pitched (113.2), tied for fourth in starts (15), ninth in strikeouts (83), and tied for ninth in wins (6), Stephen Copeland is tied for fourth in saves (5), and Craig Hays is tied for 10th in appearances (22).

HEAD COACH PAT CASEY: Pat Casey earned his 200th win as Oregon State's baseball coach when the Beavers beat Washington State 14-5 on April 20. Casey, in his seventh season at OSU, has a record of 207-150-4 with the Beavers for a winning percentage of .579, only Ralph Coleman (1923-28, 1930-31, 1938-66) and Jack Riley (1973-94) coached more baseball wins at OSU. Casey's career record is 378-263-5, which includes 7 years at George Fox University in Newberg, for a winning percentage of .589.

Casey was named the Pacific-10 Northern Division Coach of the Year in 1997 after leading the Beavers to a 38-12-1 mark, a school record for wins in a regular season. During Casey's time at OSU, the Beavers have had 13 players drafted by Major League Baseball teams and had 3 more players sign as free agents.

Casey came to OSU from his alma mater, George Fox, after leading the Bruins to a 171-113-1 record and winning 3 NAIA District 2 titles at the school in Newberg, Ore.

OREGON STATE IN NATIONAL POLLS: Oregon State began earning national notice on March 12, when the Beavers broke into the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association top 35. On March 19, the Beavers began earning votes in the Baseball Weekly/ESPN coaches poll. A summary of OSU's national rankings this season:

	  Baseball Weekly/  Natl.Coll.	   Baseball  CollegiateDate	  ESPN coaches	    Bsbll.Writers  America   BaseballMarch 12  NR	            33rd	   NR	     NRMarch 19  NR (votes, 44th)  32nd	   NR	     NRMarch 26  NR (votes, 44th)  34th	   NR	     NRApril 2	  NR (votes, 38th)  31st	   NR	     NRApril 9	  NR (votes, 38th)  29th	   NR	     NRApril 16  NR	            NR	           NR	     NRApril23	  NR	            NR	           NR	     NRApril 30  NR	            28th	   NR	     NRMay 7	  NR	            35th	   NR	     NRMay 14	  NR	            NR	           NR	     NR

BEAVERS FACE TOP-FLIGHT SCHEDULE: Oregon State again faces one of the nation's most challenging schedules. The Beavers slate includes 16 games against teams ranked in the top 25 of the Baseball Weekly/ESPN coaches poll of May 7, facing No. 2 Southern California (3 games), No. 3 Stanford (3 games), No. 18 Clemson (3 games), No. 19 Arizona State (3 games), No. 21 Texas Tech (1 game) and No. 22 Cal-Santa Barbara (3 games, rained out). OSU's schedule includes another 6 games against teams that received votes in the poll but didn't make the top 25: California (3 games) and Minnesota (3 games).

OREGON STATE RECORD BOOK ENTRIES IN 2001: Here are the records OSU has set, and where the Beavers rank on or near the school's career and single-season leaders lists through May 13:

INDIVIDUAL AT-BATSSeason: 215, Brian Barden(old record 211, Troy Schader in 1999, R.A. Neitzel in 1990).INDIVIDUAL HITSSeason: 79, Brian Barden(old record 75, R.A. Neitzel in 1990).INDIVIDUAL HOME RUNSGame: (tied) 3, Andy Jarvis vs. Washington State.INDIVIDUAL HIT BY PITCHSeason: 14, Curtis Davis(old record 12, Ben Bertrand in 1997, Stacey Ayers in 1991).INDIVIDUAL INNINGS PITCHEDSeason: 121.2, Scott Nicholson(old record 120.2, Mason Smith, 1994).TEAM HOME RUNSGame: (tied) 7, vs. Washington.TEAM HITSSeason: 592 (old record 586 in 2000)SEASON AT-BATS LEADERS1. R.A. Neitzel, 1990	211(tie) Troy Schader, 1999	2113. Joe Gerber, 2000	2104. Jeff Brauning, 1989	2065. Scott Hardin, 1994	205(tie) Corrie Willkie, 1999	2057. Dave Brundage, 1986	202> (tie) Brian Barden	202  Andy Jarvis	193  Josh Carter	192  1. Brian Barden	79  (tie) Josh Carter	738. Ryan McDonald, 1996	719. Jeff Brauning, 1989	7010. Ken Bowen, 1987	69(tie) Ryan Lipe, 1997	69(tie) Jason Stranberg, 1997	69SEASON RUNS LEADERS1. Jason Stranberg, 1997	672. Dave Brundage, 1986	553. Ben Bertrand, 1997	524. Chris Wakeland, 1996	515. Ken Bowen, 1987	50(tie) Brian Barden, 2000	50> (tie) Brian Barden	50  Will Hudson	46  Josh Carter	42  (tie) Josh Carter	17  Andy Jarvis	12  (tie) Eric Stark	4  (tie) Andy Jarvis	12  6. Brian Barden	55  (tie) Josh Carter	51  Andy Jarvis	48 (tie) Brian Barden	117  Josh Carter	112  Andy Jarvis	109  (tie) Scott Nicholson	10 (10-2)  (tie) Stephen Copeland	5  1. Scott Nicholson	121.2  5. Thad Johnson	113.2  (tie) Scott Nicholson	9  (tie) Scott Nicholson	2  Josh Carter	539  Bryan Ingram	512  9. Josh Carter	171  10. Eric Stark	120  2. Josh Carter	39  (tie) Eric Stark	9  7. Josh Carter	117  Brian Barden	104  Eric Stark	95  6. Josh Carter	256  Brian Barden	225  Eric Stark	28  (tie) Stephen Copeland	 5  (tie) Scott Nicholson	14  (tie) Scott Nicholson	2 
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