Beavers Head For Another Big Series

May 1, 2002

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MAY 3, FRIDAYOregon State at Washington State, 6 p.m.RADIO: Live on KLOO-AM (1340)TV: Tape delayed on Fox Sports Net; shown May 5 at 1 p.m.MAY 4, SATURDAYOregon State at Washington State, 1 p.m.RADIO: Live on KLOO-AM (1340)MAY 5, SUNDAYOregon State at Washington State, 12 noonRADIO: Live on KLOO-AM (1340)

Coming off one of the biggest weekends for Beaver baseball in recent memory, Oregon State (27-15 overall, 6-6 Pacific-10) doesn't get a chance to rest on its laurels after taking a series from national power Stanford. OSU faces another test as it goes to the Palouse for a series against longtime rival Washington State (17-24, 4-11) this weekend, with games Friday at 6 p.m., Saturday at 1 p.m. and Sunday at 12 noon.

Last weekend, the Beavers took two of three games from then-No. 4 Stanford; one of those was a 3-1 victory in the first-ever night game at Goss Stadium at Coleman Field. The next day, OSU won 4-3 before a loud crowd of 1,838, the largest since the ballpark's 1999 renovation; the series drew over 4,200 fans.

People outside the Willamette Valley noticed what was going on, as well. On Monday, Oregon State received votes for the first time this season in the Baseball Weekly/ESPN coaches poll, pulling enough points for 40th place, and Ben Rowe was named the Pacific-10 Pitcher of the Week for his four-hitter Friday night.

And all of that won't be much more than a warm memory if the Beavers don't put those accomplishments behind them in a hurry.

'It was a great, great weekend,' OSU head coach Pat Casey said. 'I think we proved some things to a lot of people about what kind of a ballculb we have.

'But all it did was keep us in position to reach the goals this team has set for itself. We've got a long, long way to go and a lot of work to do if we're going to be in a regional somewhere and our guys have to realize that. We've got a big job this weekend, and we'd better be ready for it.'

The Beavers' rivalry with the Cougars dates back to 1910 and includes some battles that have become legendary in Pacific Northwest baseball. Earlier this season, the Beavers swept a three-game non-league series in Corvallis; however, two of those wins were by one run and one of those took extra innings.

'All of those were good, close games and we were very fortunate to come out of that series with three wins. And Washington State has been playing much, much better since then,' Casey said. 'They just went on the road last week and did something we weren't able to do at home.'

That would be taking a series from UCLA. The Cougars went to Los Angeles and dropped the opener to the Bruins 5-3 before winning 14-10 and 9-6; OSU had dropped two of three games to UCLA in Corvallis the week before.

'It just goes to show what will happen in this conference this season if you don't show up ready to play all the way through a weekend,' Casey said. 'Nobody can take anybody lightly; teams that have put together what looked like big wins in a series have given it back the next weekend a few times. We can't afford to do that with anyone, any time.

'We've said it before - we can be a handful for anybody when we focus on the task at hand and play to our capabilities. But we're not so physically-gifted that we can just show up and beat anyone. Now we're into that part of the season where we've really got to bear down and grind it out. Each weekend is tough, and every game means a lot to our chances of getting to a regional.'

Washington State, which plays host to Gonzaga in a non-league game on Wednesday, has won three of its last four games and the Cougars own wins over three teams ranked or receiving votes in this week's coaches poll - Cal State-Northridge, Texas A&M and Arizona State.

WSU's offense has been led by junior infielder Jeff LaRue (.373 batting average, 6 homers, 29 runs batted in), sophomore outfielder Justin Hart (.368, 2, 25), senior outfielder Evan Hecker (.368, 1, 25) and senior infielder Bookie Gates (.364, 2, 31). The Cougars' tentative rotation includes junior righthander Eddie Bonine (6-6 record, 5.80 earned run average), junior righthander Brandon Hundt (6-4, 4.97) and junior lefthander Garrett Alwert (2-3, 7.19) or freshman righthander Bryce Chamberlin (0-0, 9.14); Alwert did not pitch last week due to arm problems.


C - Paul Richie, so.; Kelso, Wash. (Kelso HS);.212, 0 HRs, 17 RBIsor - Wick Udy, jr.; Brigham City, Utah (Dixie JC);.347, 1 HR, 16 RBIs1B - Andy Jarvis, jr., Renton, Wash. (Liberty HS);.307, 7 HRs, 30 RBIsor - Levi Webber, so.; Glide, Ore. (Glide HS);.320, 2 HRs, 6 RBIs2B - Tom Creighton, sr.; Weldon, Calif. (Fresno State U.);.314, 3 HRs, 29 RBIsor - J.R. Runyon, jr.; The Dalles, Ore. (Chemeketa CC);.256, 2 HRs, 7 RBIsor - Kerisi Reynolds, so., Renton, Wash. (Liberty HS);.255, 1 HR, 22 RBIs3B - Brian Barden, jr., Bonita, Calif. (St. Augustine HS);.358, 8 HRs, 40 RBIsSS - Will Hudson, jr.; Fountain Valley, Calif. (Fountain Valley HS);.318, 1 HR, 19 RBIsLF - Seth Pietsch, so.; Wilderville, Ore. (Hidden Valley HS);.322, 4 HRs, 22 RBIsCF - Tom Creighton, sr.; Weldon, Calif. (Fresno State U.);.314, 3 HRs, 29 RBIsor - Aaron Mathews, fr.; John Day, Ore. (Grant Union HS);.333, 0 HRs, 15 RBIsRF - Chris Biles, so.; Tigard, Ore. (Tigard HS);.300, 5 HRs, 21 RBIsDH - Jason McBride, sr.; Bellingham, Wash. (Lower Columbia CC);.244, 0 HRs, 6 RBIsor - Wick Udy, jr.; Brigham City, Utah (Dixie JC);.347, 1 HR, 16 RBIsor - Aaron Fausett, jr.; Beaverton, Ore. (U. of Southern California);.200, 0 HRs, 3 RBIsor - Pat Stevens, sr.; Eugene, Ore. (Chapman U.);.238, 0 HRs, 5 RBIs(Tentative pitching rotation)Fri. RHP - Ben Rowe, so.;  Perth, Australia (Greenwood HS);6-3 record, 5.21 ERASat. RHP - Stephen Copeland, jr.; Keizer, Ore. (McNary HS);4-2 record, 5.53 ERASun. LHP - Mark McLemore, jr.; Granite Bay, Calif. (Del Oro HS);2-3 record, 4.93 ERA

ALL-TIME VS. THIS WEEK'S OPPONENT: Oregon State has an all-time record of 173-211-2 against Washington State in a series dating back to 1910. Earlier this season, the Beavers swept a 3-game non-league series in Corvallis by scores of 9-1, 5-4 and 6-5 in 10 innings. Last season, OSU won 5 of 6 games between the teams. In a non-league series in March in Yakima, the Beavers won 6-3 and 11-10 before the Cougars won the finale 8-7; in a Pacific-10 series in Corvallis, OSU won 14-5, 10-9 and 8-7.

OREGON STATE NOTES: With last weekend's win over Stanford, Oregon State has won a Pacific-10 series from every conference school except Southern California since the conference went to its current format in 1999 ... the victories over Stanford were the first back-to-back losses of the season for the Cardinal ... the series win over No. 4 Stanford made this the second straight season that OSU has taken a series from a top-5 team; the Beavers had taken 2 of 3 games from No. 3 Arizona State in Corvallis in 2001 ... the crowd of 1,838 on Saturday was the biggest at Goss Stadium at Coleman Field since the ballpark's 1999 renovation; the total of 4,226 for the 3 games was the most for a series since the renovation ... OSU has drawn home crowds of 1,000 or more 8 times this season, including 5 of the last 6 home games ... the Beavers are 17-7 at home this season; they just concluded a stretch of playing 21 of 25 games at home, and they went 15-6 in that time ... the Beavers' 7-game home winning streak from March 29-April 19 was OSU's longest on the home diamond since taking 13 in a row at the end of 1997 (2 games) and the start of 1998 (11 games) ... OSU went 3-1 last week; the Beavers have had a losing record in just 2 of the season's first 13 weeks ... OSU's 27-15 overall record is 1 game better than the Beavers' mark after 42 games a year ago, and Oregon State's 6-6 Pac-10 record is 1 game better than its conference mark after 12 games in 2001 ... OSU has already set a school record with 25 triples this season; that broke the mark of 20 set in 1983 and tied in 1997. The Beavers lead the Pac-10 in triples, and are on pace to hit 32 triples this season ... OSU has 13 saves as a team already in 2002; that ties the school record set in 1990 ...

OSU is 7-2 in games decided by 1 run this season ... OSU is 3-0 in extra-inning games this season ... 4 times this season, the Beavers have come from behind in the ninth inning to force extra innings or win games. They have a 4-0 record in those games, and in 3 of those games they came back from deficits of at least 3 runs ... the Beavers have outscored their opponents 29-23 in the first inning and 21-10 in the ninth inning ... the Beavers are 20-2 when they have 10 or more hits in a game; OSU's opponents are 10-6 when they have 10 or more hits in a game ... when leading after 6 innings, OSU is 20-2; when leading after 7 innings, OSU is 19-2; and when leading after 8 innings, OSU is 19-0 ... when either ahead or tied after 6 innings, the Beavers are 24-3 ... not surprisingly, OSU is 21-1 this season when it has more hits than its opponent. On the other hand, OSU has also managed an 12-7 record when it commits more errors than its opponent ... OSU is 15-4 when it scores first this season ...

OSU has committed 3 or more errors in a game 11 times this season, but 9 of those were in the season's first 20 games ... a look at the Pac-10 statistics through April 28 shows OSU ninth in stolen bases with 39; however, OSU has stolen 4 more bases than its opponents ... OSU is batting .300 as a team, but that improves to .329 with runners on base and .337 with runners in scoring position. Meanwhile, Beaver pitchers have limited opponents to a .273 batting average and that rises to just .291 with runners on and .280 with runners in scoring position ... as a team, the Beavers are batting .422 with the bases loaded and opponents are hitting .296 ... with 2 out, OSU is batting .305 and its opponents are batting .242 ...

OSU has won 8 of its last 11 games ... in those 11 games, Aaron Mathews is batting .400 with 3 triples, 1 double and 10 RBIs and 3 stolen bases; Wick Udy is batting .400 with 4 doubles and 6 RBIs; Brian Barden is batting .386 with 3 homers, 3 doubles and 13 RBIs; Will Hudson is batting .375 with 4 doubles and 5 RBIs; Andy Jarvis is batting .359 with 3 homers, 1 triple, 2 doubles and 9 RBIs; Seth Pietsch is batting .351 with 2 homers, 2 triples, 4 doubles and 7 RBIs; and Tom Creighton has 13 RBIs ... on the mound in that time, Ben Rowe is 2-0 with a 3.26 ERA; Ty Kline is 2-0 with a 1.80 ERA; Joshua Garcia is 2-0 with a 4.50 ERA; and Jared Sanders has 3 saves ...

OSU has won 12 of its last 17 games ... in those 17 games, Brian Barden is batting .394 with 4 homers, 5 doubles and 15 RBIs; Aaron Mathews is batting .371 with 3 triples, 3 doubles, 14 RBIs and 4 stolen bases; Seth Pietsch is batting .361 with 2 homers, 3 triples, 4 doubles and 9 RBIs; Wick Udy is batting .345 with 4 doubles and 6 RBIs; Andy Jarvis is batting .339 with 5 homers, 1 triple, 3 doubles and 16 RBIs; Will Hudson is batting .321 with 1 triple, 5 doubles and 10 RBIs; and Tom Creighton has 15 RBIs ... on the mound, Ty Kline is 3-0 with 1 save and a 0.61 ERA and Joshua Garcia is 3-0 with a 3.00 ERA ...

OSU has won 23 of its last 32 games ... in those 32 games, OSU has a winning record at home (17-7), on the road (4-2) and at neutral sites (2-0) ... during those 32 games, the Beavers are batting .307 as a team and OSU pitchers are limiting opponents' to a .263 average; OSU's team ERA is 4.66 and its opponents' mark is 6.87 ... over the past 32 games, Brian Barden is batting .376 with 6 homers, 1 triple, 9 doubles and 31 RBIs; Aaron Mathews is batting .347 with 3 triples, 3 doubles, 15 RBIs and 5 stolen bases; Will Hudson is batting .347 with 1 homer, 2 triples, 7 doubles and 15 RBIs; Wick Udy is batting .333 with 1 homer, 7 doubles and 13 RBIs; Seth Pietsch is batting .312 with 2 homers, 5 triples, 11 doubles and 15 RBIs; Andy Jarvis is batting .309 with 7 homers, 1 triple, 4 doubles and 22 RBIs; and Tom Creighton is batting .305 with 3 homers, 2 triples, 5 doubles and 25 RBIs ... on the mound, Ty Kline is 5-0 with 1 save and a 2.00 ERA; Mike Ekstrom is 1-0 with 2 saves and a 2.81 ERA; Jared Sanders is 1-2 with 8 saves and a 3.12 ERA; Don Stykel is 2-0 with a 4.35 ERA; and Joshua Garcia is 3-0 with a 4.43 ERA ...

Brian Barden has set his first OSU career record, with the possibility of several more to follow. Barden became OSU's all-time hits leader on April 15 when he lined a single to centerfield in the bottom of the fourth inning against Hawai'i-Hilo; that gave him 207 hits and moved him past Ken Bowen, who had 206 from 1984-87. Barden has extended his record to 213 hits. Through April 28, Barden is also second in total bases (330); tied for second in RBIs (144); fourth in runs (136); fifth in at-bats (583); tied for fifth in doubles (35); and sixth in home runs (24) ... Jared Sanders has 9 saves this season, breaking the school record of 8 set by Mike Boire in 1997. The 9 saves also gives Sanders a tie for second place on OSU's all-time list of career leaders ...

Through April 21, Jared Sanders leads the Pacific-10 in saves (9) and the Beavers have the team lead in saves (13) ... Seth Pietsch leads the Pac-10 in doubles (17) and triples (6) ... OSU also has the team lead in triples (25) ... among the NCAA Division I national leaders, Seth Pietsch is 16th in triples per game (0.15); and Jared Sanders is tied for 10th in saves (9) ...

Brian Barden leads OSU in multi-hit games this season with 20, including a trio of 4-hit games. Tom Creighton and Seth Pietsch have 17 multi-hit games each; Chris Biles 13; Will Hudson 11; Andy Jarvis 10; and Aaron Mathews and Wick Udy 8 each ... Brian Barden leads OSU in multi-RBI games this season with 14; Andy Jarvis and Kerisi Reynolds have 7 each; Seth Pietsch 6; Aaron Mathews and Tom Creighton 5 each; and Chris Biles, Will Hudson and Paul Richie 4 each ... no Beaver currently has a hitting streak of more than 3 games. The Beavers' longest streak of the season has been Chris Biles' 16-gamer that included the final 5 games of 2001; Tom Creighton had a 15-game streak from March 24-April 20. Aaron Mathews has had a 12-game streak and Paul Richie, Andy Jarvis and Brian Barden have all had 10-game streaks.

LAST WEEK: Oregon State went 3-1, taking a non-league win at Portland and then beating No. 4 Stanford in 2 of 3 games in a Pacific-10 series in Corvallis.

On April 23, Oregon State broke a 2-game losing streak with an 11-4 win at Portland. Beaver outfielder Aaron Mathews extended his hitting streak to 12 games with a 2-for-4 day and drove in 3 runs. The win meant OSU captured the season series from its in-state rival, having beaten Portland in 3 of 4 meetings this season. The Beavers took control of Tuesday's game in the middle innings, jumping in front 7-2. Joshua Garcia earned the win, combining with Ben Rowe, Don Stykel, Jake Postlewait and Jared Sanders on a 7-hitter. Chris Biles was 2-for-2 with 2 doubles for the Beavers, while Udy was 2-for-3 with 1 double and Hudson was 2-for-3.

On April 26, Ben Rowe pitched a 4-hitter to earn Oregon State a 3-1 win over Stanford. A 3-run fourth inning off Stanford All-American Jeremy Guthrie made the Beavers winners in the first night game in the 96-year history of OSU's Goss Stadium at Coleman Field. Rowe pitched the first complete game of the year for OSU, walking 0 and striking out 4 in front of a crowd of 912 that turned out despite a rainy afternoon. The only run Rowe allowed was Ryan Garko's leadoff homer in the top of the fourth inning as he outdueled Guthrie, who is likely to be one of the top picks in this year's Major League Baseball draft. After Garko's homer, the Beavers responded immediately and sent Rowe back to the mound with the lead after scoring 3 times with 2 out in the bottom of the fourth. After Garko's homer, Rowe retired 13 hitters in a row and 15 of the next 16; Seth Pietsch's diving catch in the leftfield corner to start the bottom of the ninth inning helped preserve the win.

On April 27, Seth Pietsch homered and doubled to drive in 2 runs, then Oregon State scored the game-winner on an error in the bottom of the eighth inning for a 4-3 win over Stanford. Jared Sanders got the final out for OSU with the tying run on base, earning his ninth save of the season to set a school record in front of 1,838. Mike Ekstrom had put Sanders in position for the 1-batter save, entering the game to start the ninth and retiring Jason Cooper and Danny Putnam before giving up Andy Topham's single to center. OSU had taken the lead with a run in the bottom of the eighth after Aaron Mathews walked and Brian Barden singled with one out. Pinch-hitter J.R. Runyon struck out, but the third strike bounced past catcher Ryan Garko and the runners moved up a base; when Garko's throw trying to get Barden glanced past second baseman Chris O'Riordan and into short centerfield, Mathews scrambled home for the winning run. The Beavers were outhit 7-6 by the Cardinal, but Pietsch continued his season-long extra-base barrage to keep OSU in the game. The sophomore leftfielder tied the game at 2-2 with two out in the bottom of the fourth with a solo homer to center; then doubled down the leftfield line to drive in a run and give OSU a 3-2 lead in the sixth. Barden was 3-for-4 for OSU and Ty Kline earned the win in relief.

On April 28, Oregon State couldn't complete the sweep, losing 13-0 to Stanford in front of 1,476. The Beavers saw the Cardinal take a 1-0 first-inning lead it never relinquished. Stanford pushed its advantage to 4-0 in the third inning, added single runs in the fourth and fifth, and then broke the game open with a 4-run sixth inning that made it 10-0. Hudgins limited the Beavers to 4 hits as he improved to 7-0 this season, walking 3 and striking out 5. Aaron Mathews finished the day 2-for-4 for the Beavers.

BEAVERS AMONG 2002 NCAA LEADERS: Where Oregon State ranks among the NCAA Division I national leaders through April 28:

TRIPLES PER GAME(Minimum 4 triples)16. Seth Pietsch, Oregon State	0.15INDIVIDUAL SAVES10. (tie) Jared Sanders, Oregon State	9

BEAVERS AMONG 2002 PACIFIC-10 LEADERS: Where Oregon State ranks among the Pacific-10 leaders through April 28:

TEAM BATTING AVERAGE5. Oregon State	.300TEAM RUNS6. Oregon State	291TEAM HITS8. Oregon State	430TEAM RUNS BATTED IN6. Oregon State	263TEAM DOUBLES4. Oregon State	74TEAM TRIPLES1. Oregon State	25TEAM HOME RUNS7. Oregon State	34TEAM TOTAL BASES7. Oregon State	666TEAM AT-BATS9. Oregon State	1,435TEAM SLUGGING PERCENTAGE4. Oregon State	.464TEAM ON-BASE PERCENTAGE6. Oregon State	.384TEAM STOLEN BASES9. Oregon State	39TEAM EARNED RUN AVERAGE5. Oregon State	5.20TEAM OPPONENT BATTING AVERAGE3. Oregon State	.273TEAM INNINGS PITCHED7. Oregon State	369.0TEAM STRIKEOUTS (PITCHING)9. Oregon State	210TEAM WINS4. Oregon State	27TEAM SAVES1. Oregon State	13TEAM FIELDING PERCENTAGE5. (tie) Oregon State	.962TEAM DOUBLE PLAYS TURNED6. Oregon State	41(For Individual Categories, Hitting Minimumsof 75 Percent Of Games, 2.0 At-Bats Per Game;Pitching Minimums Of 1.0 Inning Per Game)INDIVIDUAL RUNS8. (tie) Seth Pietsch, Oregon State	42INDIVIDUAL HITS6. Brian Barden, Oregon State	63INDIVIDUAL RUNS BATTED IN10. Brian Barden, Oregon State	40INDIVIDUAL DOUBLES1. Seth Pietsch, Oregon State	17INDIVIDUAL TRIPLES1. Seth Pietsch, Oregon State	63. (tie) Tom Creighton, Oregon State	46. (tie) Chris Biles, Oregon State	36. (tie) Aaron Mathews, Oregon State	3INDIVIDUAL HOME RUNS10. (tie) Brian Barden, Oregon State	8INDIVIDUAL TOTAL BASES6. (tie) Brian Barden, Oregon State	100INDIVIDUAL SLUGGING PERCENTAGE9. Seth Pietsch, Oregon State	.597INDIVIDUAL WALKS5. (tie) Will Hudson, Oregon State	26INDIVIDUAL SACRIFICE BUNTS8. Kerisi Reynolds, Oregon State	59. (tie) Tom Creighton, Oregon State	4INDIVIDUAL SACRIFICE FLIES9. (tie) Tom Creighton, Oregon State	4INDIVIDUAL AT-BATS7. Brian Barden, Oregon State	176INDIVIDUAL OPP. BATTING AVERAGE9. Mark McLemore, Oregon State	.25010. Ben Rowe, Oregon State	.256INDIVIDUAL WINS6. (tie) Ben Rowe, Oregon State	6INDIVIDUAL SAVES1. Jared Sanders, Oregon State	9INDIVIDUAL APPEARANCES2. Jake Postlewait, Oregon State	244. Jared Sanders, Oregon State	225. (tie) Don Stykel, Oregon State	215. (tie) Mike Ekstrom, Oregon State	21INDIVIDUAL STARTS1. (tie) Ben Rowe, Oregon State	144. (tie) Stephen Copeland, Oregon State	13

2002 BEAVERS ON OREGON STATE'S LEADER LISTS: Where Oregon State players rank among or near the school's all-time leaders through April 28:

CAREER AT-BATS1. Jon Yonemitsu, 1990-93	6482. Ken Bowen, 1984-87	6433. Aaron Anderson, 1989-92	6134. Pete Rowe, 1974-77	593> 5. Brian Barden, 2000-present	583  1. Brian Barden, 2000-present	213  4. Brian Barden, 2000-present	136  Will Hudson, 2000-present	117  (tie) Brian Barden, 2000-present	35  Andy Jarvis, 2000-present	28  Chris Biles, 2000-present	25 Seth Pietsch, 2001-present	6  Brian Barden, 2000-present	5  Chris Biles, 2000-present	4  6. Brian Barden, 2000-present	24  7. Andy Jarvis, 2000-present	23  Chris Biles, 2000-present	16  (tie) Brian Barden, 2000-present	144  (tie) Andy Jarvis, 2000-present	110 Will Hudson, 2000-present	86  2. Brian Barden, 2000-present	330  Andy Jarvis, 2000-present	240  Chris Biles, 2000-present	216  (tie) Jared Sanders, present	9  (tie) Stephen Copeland, 2000-present	5 Chris Biles, 2001	70> Brian Barden, 2002	63 Seth Pietsch, 2002	42  (tie) Seth Pietsch, 2002	17  (tie) Seth Pietsch, 2002	6  Chris Biles, 2002	3  Tom Creighton, 2002	3  Aaron Mathews, 2002	3 Brian Barden, 2002	100  1. Jared Sanders, 2002	9 Stephen Copeland, 2001	55. Tim Lambert, 1986	4(tie) Jeff Post, 1990	47. Many players	3> Mike Ekstrom	2 

OREGON STATE HEAD COACH PAT CASEY: Pat Casey, now in his eighth season at OSU, celebrated the 400th victory of his head coaching career on April 14 when the Beavers completed an 11-9 win over Hawai'i-Hilo. Casey's career record is 406-280-5, which includes 7 years at George Fox in Newberg, for a winning percentage of .591.

Casey has a record of 235-167-4 with the Beavers for a winning percentage of .584. Of the 19 head coaches in OSU baseball history, only Ralph Coleman (1923-28, 1930-31, 1938-66) and Jack Riley (1973-94) have coached more wins for the Beavers.

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, 16 Beavers have been drafted by Major League Baseball teams and 4 more players have signed 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.

ALL-AMERICA CANDIDATE BRIAN BARDEN: Oregon State junior third baseman Brian Barden (Bonita, Calif./St. Augustine HS) has been putting up some of the best numbers in the nation in the past month. In OSU's last 20 games, Barden is batting .412 (33-for-80) with 8 doubles, 4 homers, 20 RBIs and 16 runs. For the season, Barden is hitting .358 with 11 doubles, 1 triple, 8 homers, 40 RBIs and 35 runs.

Barden set the first of what could be several OSU career records on April 15, when he delivered his 206th and 207th hits to move past Ken Bowen, who had 206 hits from 1984-87; Barden's record now stands at 213. On the Beavers' lists of career leaders, Barden is also second in total bases (330); tied for second in RBIs (144); fourth in runs (136); fifth in at-bats (583); tied for fifth in doubles (35); and sixth in home runs (24). He homered in both OSU's season-opener and home-opener.

Barden entered the spring having proven himself one of the Pacific-10's top players over the past 2 seasons, and he continues to improve as an all-around player.

Baseball America magazine's 2002 preseason picks rated Barden as the best defensive third baseman in the Pacific-10 Conference, and Barden was an all-conference selection in both his freshman and sophomore years. Last season, the 5-foot-11, 195-pounder set the OSU school record for hits (83) while batting .367 with 8 homers, 2 triples, 11 doubles and 55 runs batted in.

PIETSCH'S POWER: Sophomore leftfielder Seth Pietsch (Wilderville, Ore./Hidden Valley HS) is seeing double and triple this spring. Pietsch has 48 hits this season, and 27 of those have gone for extra bases - 17 doubles, 6 triples and 4 homers. Through April 28, Pietsch leads the Pac-10 in doubles and triples; he's 16th in the nation in triples per game (0.15). The last conference leader in doubles and triples was California's Matt Luke, who tied for the Southern Division title in both categories in 1992.

Pietsch's next triple will tie the OSU single-season record of 7 set by Abino Vazquez in 1997. He's just two away from matching OSU's single-season record for doubles, which is 19 set by A.J. Marquardt in 1993 and tied by Joe Gerber in 2000. Three times this season, Pietsch has doubled and tripled in the same game. In Pietsch's career, he has 57 hits and 32 of them have gone for extra bases - 20 doubles, 6 triples and 6 homers.

OREGON STATE TRIPLES: The triple has been called the most exciting play in baseball, and this spring OSU is hitting 3-baggers like never before. The Beavers have already set a school record with 25 triples this season; that broke the mark of 20 set in 1983 and tied in 1997. OSU leads the Pac-10 in triples, and is on pace to hit 32 triples this season.

The Beavers broke the school record in a series with Hawai'i-Hilo from April 13-April 15, in which OSU hit 7 triples in 4 games; that included 3 by Aaron Mathews. Seth Pietsch leads the Pac-10 with 6 triples, and his next triple will tie the OSU single-season record of 7 set by Abino Vazquez in 1997. OSU has had 11 different players triple, with Tom Creighton delivering 4 and Chris Biles having 3 along with Mathews.

OREGON STATE BULLPEN: One of Oregon State's strengths this season has been its bullpen. The Beavers are 20-2 this season in games they've led after 6 innings, and they're 24-3 in games in which they've led or been tied after 6 innings. Through April 28, OSU's relievers have combined to go 13-5 with 13 saves and a 4.88 ERA and were averaging 4.0 innings, 4.4 hits, 1.7 walks and 2.5 strikeouts per game. Throw out a single inning - a 14-run torching by California-Riverside in the eighth inning on Feb. 23 - and the bullpen's ERA drops to 4.16. OSU's relievers have allowed more than 2 earned runs in just 6 of the last 25 games. OSU's 13 saves have tied the school record set in 1990, and the Beavers lead the Pac-10 in that category.

RELIEVERS KLINE, SANDERS AMONG LEADERS: While the work of Oregon State's bullpen has been a team effort, 2 Beaver relievers in particular have worked their way up the list of conference and national leaders. Sophomore righthander Jared Sanders (Bend, Ore./Mt. Hood CC) is the Pacific-10 leader in saves (9) and junior righthander Ty Kline (West Linn, Ore./Mt. Hood CC) has been among the the Pac-10 leaders in earned run average and opponents' batting average much of the season. Among the national leaders, Sanders is tied for 10th in saves and Kline was among the ERA leaders in April; he is 2.2 innings short of the minimum for being considered in that category this week or he'd rank 13th in the nation (1.83).

OREGON STATE IN THE NATIONAL POLLS: Oregon State began receiving votes in the Baseball Weekly/ESPN coaches poll on April 29, after the Beavers had beaten then-No. 4 Stanford in a Pacific-10 series. OSU received 10 votes in that poll, enough for 40th place.

OREGON STATE SCHEDULE: Oregon State's 2002 schedule includes 13 games against teams in the USA Today/Baseball Weekly Top 25 coaches poll of April 29: No. 8 Stanford (3 games), No. 19 Arizona State (4 games), No. 20 Cal State-Northridge (3 games) and No. 24 Southern California (3 games). The Beavers' schedule includes another 8 games against teams receiving votes in the poll - San Diego (3 games), Arizona (3 games), San Diego State (1 game, rained out) and Western Kentucky (1 game).

RAIN ON THE ROAD: When Oregon State's game at Nevada was called on account of cold, windy conditions on March 10, it continued a weather role reversal that's been going on for the past 5-plus seasons.

Since the start of the 1997 season, the Beavers have had 26 games either canceled or rescheduled due to rain. Of those, only 6 have been games at OSU's Goss Stadium at Coleman Field; 14 were at ballparks in California, Nevada, Hawai'i, Texas or Florida. Another 6 were at ballparks elsewhere in the Pacific Northwest.

OSU has lost just 2 home games to rain during that time, while having 11 games canceled at sites outside the region and 3 called off at other Pacific Northwest ballparks. The Beavers have had to postpone 4 home games, 3 games at sites outside the region and 3 at other Pacific Northwest ballparks.

ANOTHER TOP-FIVE TRIUMPH: OSU's series win over then-No. 4 Stanford from April 26-28 at Goss Stadium at Coleman Field gave the Beavers series wins over top-five teams in back-to-back seasons. OSU had taken a series from No. 3 Arizona State in 2001 in Corvallis.

ROWE SHINES IN FIRST HOME NIGHT GAME: Oregon State started the age of night baseball at Goss Stadium at Coleman Field in style, beating No. 4 Stanford 3-1 on April 26 in the first night game in the ballpark's 96-year history. Ben Rowe pitched a 4-hitter against the Cardinal, walking 0 and striking out 4 in his first career complete game and OSU's first complete game of the season; he earned Pacific-10 Pitcher of the Week honors for the effort. He surrendered the only run on a homer by Stanford's Ryan Garko to start the fourth inning, then retired the next 13 hitters and 15 of the next 16. Meanwhile, the Beavers got to Cardinal ace Jeremy Guthrie for 3 runs with 2 out in the bottom of the fourth inning. Seth Pietsch made a key play to start the ninth, diving to snag a ball in the leftfield corner; the Cardinal eventually came up with 2 hits in the inning but were denied any runs.

FIRST FOUR-GAME SWEEP IN FOUR YEARS: OSU's sweep of Hawai'i-Hilo from April 13-April 15 was the Beavers' first 4-game sweep since taking 4 straight from Portland State from April 17-April 19, 1998. OSU did go 4-0 on a weekend since then, though - from Feb. 15-18, 2001 in the San Diego Classic as the Beavers beat San Diego State, Texas Tech, California-Riverside and Oklahoma.

McMULLEN DRIVES 'EM IN - SORT OF: Through April 13, OSU reserve catcher Ian McMullen made the most of his scarce trips to the plate. The first 3 times McMullen batted this season, he drove in a run - all without ever receiving an official at-bat. He was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded vs. Oral Roberts on Feb. 1, then delivered sacrifice flies vs. Portland on April 2 and vs. Hawai'i-Hilo on April 13. McMullen's run of perhaps the best RBI-to-at-bat ratio in Beaver baseball history ended on April 20 when he struck out against UCLA.

BEAVERS GIVE, GET 14 RUNS IN AN INNING: Oregon State's highest-scoring inning of the season came in the sixth inning of a 21-3 win over Hawai'i-Hilo on April 14 at Goss Stadium at Coleman Field. The Beavers broke the game open by using 8 hits - including a grand slam by Tom Creighton and a solo homer by Brian Barden - and 7 walks. But, as OSU head coach Pat Casey noted at game's end, 'We know what that's like - we were on the other end of one of those at Riverside, where we gave up 2 touchdowns (in California-Riverside's 14-run eighth inning during a 21-4 OSU loss on Feb. 23).'

ONE HIT, SIX RUNS BATTED IN: Tom Creighton got a lot of mileage out of a solitary hit on April 14 in a 21-3 win over Hawai'i-Hilo - in more ways than one. The senior utility player drove in a career-high 6 runs with just 1 hit. His hit was a grand slam driven high over the rightfield fence during the Beavers' 14-run sixth inning. Earlier, Creighton had hit a pair of sacrifice flies.

THREE-GAME PITCHING POWER: When Oregon State won 3 straight games against Arizona and Portland from March 29-April 2, pitching was the big reason. In 27 innings, Beaver pitchers allowed just 2 runs (1 earned) on 16 hits, walking 9 and striking out 21. Throw in the final 6 innings of a 13-9 loss to Arizona on March 28, and in a 33-inning span OSU pitchers allowed just 5 runs (3 earned) on 22 hits, walking 11 and striking out 23.

BEAVERS ENJOY LENGTHY HOMESTAND: When Oregon State stayed home from March 15-April 2, the 11-game homestand was the Beavers' longest since playing 12 in a row at home early in the 1958 season. Oregon State went 8-3 during this year's lengthy homestand.

THE BRONZE BEAVER RETURNS: Balki wasn't the answer. The Bronze Beaver might be.

Midway through the 2001 season, Oregon State shortstop Will Hudson was given a beaver skull mounted on a base. He named the skull Balki and, hoping for luck, he brought it into the OSU dugout for a series at Stanford. The result was bad luck, as the Beavers were swept in a 3-game series.

'Balki didn't cut it,' Hudson said. 'I figured we had to get a bigger statue. I was thinking about getting a stuffed beaver or something and putting it on the top step of our dugout near the on-deck circle.'

Hudson mentioned his search to an OSU athletic staff member after a win over Portland on March 25, and he was told there was such an object - The Bronze Beaver, which had been obtained by former football coach Jerry Pettibone during his stay in Corvallis from 1991-96. It had been mounted at the player's entrance to the football field, but was removed when Pettibone resigned.

For several years, it had been stored in the athletic department maintenance office; it surfaced briefly to make an appearance on the cover of OSU's 2000 baseball guide. Hudson and first baseman Andy Jarvis got permission to take the statue to Goss Stadium at Coleman Field.

The Bronze Beaver is on a base about 3 feet square and stands about 2� feet high, so it was a little too large to put near the bat rack. Instead, it was placed on the center of OSU's dugout roof for the first game of a series against Arizona on March 28; the Beavers were beaten 13-9.

The next day, Hudson and pitcher Joshua Garcia moved The Bronze Beaver to the end of the roof over the bat rack. On March 29, Tom Creighton's homer leading off the bottom of the ninth gave OSU a 2-1 win; on March 30, 4 Beaver pitchers teamed on a 3-hitter for a 5-0 win.

The Bronze Beaver is apparently not nocturnal, as he didn't appear for OSU's first-ever night game against Stanford on April 26; the Beavers still managed a 3-1 win. However, he was back in position the next day - now sporting an OSU baseball cap and a glove on his right paw - for a 4-3 win over the Cardinal.

Since The Bronze Beaver took up his position over the bat rack, OSU is 10-3 at home.

'We found the perfect spot for it,' Hudson said of The Bronze Beaver. 'He's here for good.'

SAINT PAT: A St. Patrick's Day win has become something of an annual present for Oregon State head coach Pat Casey, whose birthday is March 17. When OSU beat Washington State 6-5 in 10 innings earlier this season, it was OSU's fourth March 17 win in the last 4 years; last season, the Beavers swept a doubleheader from Minnesota 2-0 and 8-4 while in 1999, OSU beat Portland 8-7.

CREIGHTON VS. THE ABOMINABLE SNOWBANK: Just proving the old adage, 'Keep going to the ballpark, and you'll see something you've never seen ...'

When Oregon State visited Nevada from March 8-10, the start of the 3-game series was threatened by a March 7 snowstorm. The field was cleared for the start of the series, but snow was still piled 12 to 18 inches high around the base of the outfield fence. That set the stage for a bizarre play in the bottom of the fifth inning on March 9.

Nevada's Chris Dickerson lofted a flyball to the wall in centerfield, where ice still covered a good portion of the warning track, and OSU centerfielder Tom Creighton got himself under the ball but couldn't make the catch. The ball plopped into the snow and, after a quick look around without discovering the ball, Creighton put his arms up to signal it had gone out of play.

Dickerson rounded the bases, but third base umpire Dave Fry ran to centerfield to assess the situation. Finding that the ball had plugged in the snow, Fry conferred with his fellow umpires and they ruled that Dickerson must return to second base; the ground rules for the day had declared any ball going into the snow was worth two bases. Creighton was charged with a two-base error.

NINTH-INNING COMEBACKS: Three times this season, Oregon State has gone into the ninth inning trailing by at least 3 runs and rallied to win the game. The Beavers did it on back-to-back days March 8-9 at Nevada. On March 8, OSU trailed 5-2 going into the ninth inning but scored 3 runs in the ninth and 2 in the 10th for a 7-5 win; on March 9, OSU was down 8-4 going into the ninth but scored seven runs in the inning for an 11-8 win. The Beavers also came from 3 runs down in the ninth to beat Oral Roberts 10-9 in 10 innings on Feb. 1.

Oregon State also scored 1 run in the bottom of the ninth to tie Washington State on March 17, then won the game 6-5 in 10 innings. And on March 29, the Beavers picked up another ninth-inning win when Tom Creighton's solo homer gave OSU a 2-1 win over Arizona.

McBRIDE FINDS OLDER BAT IS BETTER: Oregon State designated hitter Jason McBride was forced to change bats in the Beavers' series at Nevada on March 8, and it turned out for the best. McBride took a swing at a ninth-inning pitch and missed; he heard something break loose and rattle around inside the bat. He sprinted to OSU's dugout and returned with his old bat, then promptly delivered a double down the rightfield line to spur the Beavers' 3-run rally that turned into a 7-5, 10-inning win. The next day, McBride used the same bat to deliver a single that drove in the tying and go-ahead runs as OSU scored 7 runs in the ninth inning for an 11-8 win.

STYKEL GOES FROM GROUNDSKEEPER TO MOUNDSMAN: In 2001, Don Stykel's pitching career appeared over due to arm problems and he was working on the grounds crew at OSU's Goss Stadium at Coleman Field. But on Feb. 1, he was credited with the pitching win as OSU earned its first win of 2002, a 10-9, 10-inning victory over Oral Roberts.

It was Stykel's first win since beating Portland on April 6, 1999 and his first appearance since going 1/3 of an inning against Washington on April 29, 2000.

'It was great to get back out here, even though I vultured the win from Postlewait - he deserved it, the way he threw,' said Stykel (Portland, Ore./Centennial HS), who spent last spring grooming the Beavers' home diamond while still going to school on a baseball scholarship. Starting late in the spring of 2000, he went a year without throwing a baseball.

'I missed the game so much - that was probably the longest year of my life,' Stykel said. 'But I just kept believing in myself, believing that I could do it.'

Last summer, after his workdays were done, Stykel would step onto a Coleman Field mound with a bag of baseballs and throw about 50 pitches into a net. OSU's coaches saw him and knew he wanted to come back; after doing some pitching in the fall, Stykel was invited to return to the roster this spring. He has since run his record in 2002 to 3-0 with wins in relief over Gonzaga and Nevada.

OREGON STATE'S ALL-TIME RECORD: Oregon State's all-time record in varsity baseball is now 1,718-1,180-15, a winning percentage of .592. OSU's all-time record in conference games is now 766-552, a winning percentage of .581.

To break the numbers down a step further, since starting varsity baseball in 1907, the Beavers have scored 19,031 runs and allowed 14,651 runs. That's an average score of 6.53-5.03.

GOSS STADIUM AT COLEMAN FIELD: Oregon State has been playing on the same site since starting varsity baseball in 1907, making Goss Stadium at Coleman Field the oldest diamond in the Pacific-10 and one of the oldest in the country. So far this season, OSU is 17-7 in its own ballpark and is averaging 748 fans per home date.

OSU's series against fourth-ranked Stanford from April 26-April 28 drew 4,226 fans, the most for a series since the ballpark was renovated in 1999. A crowd of 1,838 on April 27 was the largest single-game throng since the renovation; after OSU's 4-3 win, the Beaver players went outside their clubhouse behind the third-base side of the ballpark and thanked exiting fans for being part of the victory.

Now in their 93rd season at Goss Stadium at Coleman Field, the Beavers are 900-385-1 at home for a winning percentage of .700. Since the start of the 1993 season, OSU is 150-56 at Goss Stadium at Coleman Field for a winning percentage of .728.

Goss Stadium was added to Coleman Field over the winter of 1998-99. The ballpark holds 2,000 fans, with the main grandstand seating 1,500 of those. The structure includes a press box, concession/lobby area, dugouts, locker rooms, restrooms and storage areas.The playing surface has been completely rebuilt recently, with the infield undergoing renovation in 1996 and the outfield in 1998.

A reminder to fans that the expansion of OSU's Dixon Recreation Center and Stevens Natatorium has closed the walkway between Dixon and Goss Stadium at Coleman Field. The ballpark's main gates must now be reached by walking down Waldo Place, either from central campus to the north or the Benton Place parking lot to the east (behind leftfield).

1952 COLLEGE WORLD SERIES TEAM: This spring, Oregon State is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Beavers' 1952 College World Series team. That season, Oregon State won the Northern Division title, defeated Southern California for the Pacific Coast Conference title, and beat Fresno State for the West Regional title and a trip to Omaha.

Incidentally, it was in 1952 that Bernard Malamud - then an instructor in Oregon State's English Department - published his first novel, The Natural, dealing with baseball star Roy Hobbs' return to the game.

To commemorate the start of the 50th anniversary season, 1952 Oregon State team captain Pete Goodbrod threw out the first pitch of OSU's home-opener against Gonzaga on March 1. On March 28 (50 years to the day after the 1952 season-opener), the first pitch of the Pacific-10 season was thrown out by Paul Valenti, an assistant coach on the 1952 team who still works as an administrator in the OSU athletic department.

The 1952 Beavers will hold a reunion and be honored during the final home series of the season, May 17-May 19 against Washington.

OREGON STATE DUGOUT CLUB: The Oregon State Dugout Club is an organization devoted to supporting Beaver Baseball. The group is open to the general public; dues are $75 per year.

Also, anyone entering the OSU Dugout Club Golf Tournament automatically gains membership. This year's tournament will be held June 24 at Tokatee Golf Club in Blue River.

For more information on the OSU Dugout Club, call (541) 737-2825.

OREGON STATE BASEBALL TICKETS: For OSU home games, single-game reserved tickets are $6. General admission is $5 for adults and $3 for seniors and students; OSU students are admitted free with their OSU identification.

For groups of 10 or more wanting to spend a day at the ballpark, there is a group rate of $2 per person for general admission tickets; those wishing to take advantage of this offer must make arrangements in advance with the OSU athletic ticket office.

For more information, call the OSU athletic ticket office at 1-800-GO BEAVS.

OREGON STATE RADIO BROADCASTS: Oregon State baseball will again be broadcast, with most of the Beaver schedule on KLOO-AM (1340). This week, all 3 games at Washington State will be broadcast and can also be heard on the internet at Mike Parker, the voice of the Beavers, will handle play-by-play duties.

TELEVISION BRINGS OUT BEST IN BEAVERS: Oregon State game at California on May 11 will be televised nationally on Fox Sports Net cable. Oregon State has played on national cable television each of the last 4 seasons, and the Beavers were 3-1 in those games - including a 3-0 mark at home. Since Fox Sports Net (formerly Prime Sports) began televising games in 1990, Oregon State has a 28-14 record in televised games, including 8-2 in national TV games.

OSU's game at Washington State on May 3 will also be televised on a tape-delay basis by Fox Sports Net; it can be seen in the Pacific Northwest on May 5 at 1 p.m.

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