Beavers Bring Baseball Season Home

March 3, 2003

CORVALLIS, Ore. - Oregon State brings the baseball season home on Tuesday afternoon, as the Beavers (7-7 overall) meet Portland at 3 p.m. for Opening Day 2003 at Goss Stadium at Coleman Field.

'We're looking forward to it,' OSU head coach Pat Casey said. 'We've been playing in other people's yards or on neutral fields, and our guys are really looking forward to playing some games in familiar surroundings. Playing on the road early gives us the opportunity to meet some great competition, get in a lot of games and take a look at a lot of people, and we've been able to do that. But it's tough on a club to leave every weekend, get back late on Sunday, and then take off again in a few days.

'Now we've got a chance to settle in for a little while, bring some people into our place and really try to establish a little bit of a playing rhythm. We've spent the last two weekends playing in conditions that aren't really common in the Willamette Valley this time of year; our guys get a chance now to play in the kind of climate they're used to.'

OSU spent the last two weekends playing tournaments in El Paso, Tex., and Lancaster, Calif.; the high desert provided cool temperatures and heavy winds for the most part. The Beavers managed to win two of four games at each stop, with high-scoring games being the norm.

'Our guys had to battle through some things we don't see too often,' Casey said. 'We did a pretty good job at times, and we let it get to us at times. We've got a lot of work to do in some areas, but we came away from four straight weeks on the road with a .500 record; that at least gives us some decent footing. Now it's up to us to start putting things together.'

The Beavers will play 12 of their next 14 games at home, taking them through the end of March. They don't leave the Pacific Northwest again until a trip to Stanford on April 17-19.

In a final look at last weekend, Oregon State had two players named to the all-tournament team at the Clash of the Conferences - leftfielder Seth Pietsch and third baseman Tony Calderon. Pietsch batted .526 with four doubles, two homes and four runs batted in during the four games, while Calderon batted .471 with three doubles, one homer and seven RBIs.

For the season, Pietsch leads the Beaver regulars at the plate with a .406 batting average, six doubles, two triples, four homers and 14 RBIs. First baseman Andy Jarvis is batting .400 with five doubles, one homer and 16 RBIs; and Calderon is batting .365 with six doubles, one triple, three homers and 15 RBIs.

The game marks the 94th home-opener for the Beavers at one of the nation's oldest college ballparks; Goss Stadium at Coleman Field has been the Beavers' home diamond since the school started varsity baseball in 1907. OSU head football coach Mike Riley will be throwing the ceremonial first pitch of the season prior to the game.

OSU's all-time record in home-openers is 75-18, and OSU has won its last 3 in a row after last season's 11-9 win over Gonzaga. Oregon State has won 14 of its last 15 home-openers and 29 of its last 32.

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