Ellsbury, Barden Open 2009 Season On Major League Rosters

April 6, 2009

CORVALLIS, Ore. - Former Oregon State players Jacoby Ellsbury and Brian Barden will open the 2009 season on the rosters of the Boston Red Sox and St. Louis Cardinals, respectively, when the Major League Baseball season gets underway on Monday.

The 2009 Major League season officially opened Sunday night when Atlanta played Philadelphia on ESPN2, but the first full slate of games takes place on Monday.

For Ellsbury, it will be his third season at the Major League level, and the second year he has made Boston's Opening Day roster. Last season, his first full year with the Red Sox, he hit .280 with 22 doubles, seven triples and nine home runs while driving in 47 in 145 games. He led the American League with 50 stolen bases and has 59 in 178 career Major League games.

Ellsbury, who played for the Beavers from 2003-05 and hails from Madras, Ore., batted .266 in 21 Spring Training games for the Red Sox this year. He belted two home runs with four doubles and a triple. He is expected to man center for the Red Sox and bat leadoff.

Barden, meanwhile, will make his second Opening Day roster and his first with the Cardinals. Oregon State's first Olympian in baseball - he played for the 2008 USA club that earned the bronze medal in Beijing - Barden batted .378 with five doubles and a triple for St. Louis this spring. MLB.com reported that Barden will be the team's Opening Day starter as the Cardinals host Pittsburgh on Monday.

He batted .222 in nine games last season and will be in his third Major League season. He originally broke in with Arizona in 2007, making the Diamondbacks' Opening Day roster, before being picked up by St. Louis later in the season. He has played in 32 Major League games with the two clubs.

Barden played for Oregon State from 2000-02 and compiled a .362 batting average. He hit 39 doubles, 25 home runs and five triples while driving in 154 during his stint with the Beavers.

Ellsbury and Barden will open the 2009 season on MLB rosters, but they are not the only players to play professionally this season. The 2009 Minor League season starts for most leagues this weekend and rosters for those clubs are being set in the days leading up to first pitch. Make sure to visit osubeavers.com to see where your favorite former players are slated to play this season.

Oregon State next plays at Arizona in a Thursday through Saturday series in Tucson, Ariz. First pitch at the series opener Thursday is slated for 7 p.m. PT. Catch each of the games live on the Beaver Sports Network and Beaver Nation Online (osubeavers.com).

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