'Thursday Night Baseball' preview: No. 1 Oregon State at Washington
Who: No. 1 Oregon State Beavers vs. Washington Huskies
On the call: Roxy Bernstein and Kevin Stocker on Pac-12 Network, Pac-12 Oregon, and Pac-12 Washington
Where: Seattle, Washington
Oregon State is looking to make history – can they pull it off on Washington's home turf?
After their game against Gonzaga was rained out on Tuesday, the No. 1 Beavers head to Seattle in search of their 24th-straight win, which would tie the Pac-12 record (Arizona State won 24 consecutive games in 2010). But the Huskies, who sit in second place behind the Beavs, look to gain ground in the conference standings when they host the Beavers on Thursday night in Game 1.
In the visitor's dugout: Oregon State (28-1, 12-0 Pac-12)
The Beavers are on a mission this season to return to the College World Series, and their nationally top-rated staff (in terms of ERA) has them well on their way. Their lone loss on the year so far came way back on Feb. 24 (against Ohio State), and they've been dominant ever since. Longtime manager Pat Casey currently sits at 988 career wins and OSU's sizzling pace could help reach the 1,000th victory plateau.
Players to watch
Nick Madrigal, INF, Sophomore
Madigral has been the key to OSU's offense this season, leading his team in batting average (.392), runs (28), hits (47), and doubles (11). He was also named Pac-12 Baseball Player of the Week March 27-April 3, and he's only got five strikeouts for the entire season.
Luke Heimlich, P, Junior
Heimlich, who's helped the Beavers rotation lead the nation with a 1.81 ERA, was named this week to the Golden Spikes Award Midseason watchlist. The lefty is 5-0 with a 0.77 ERA with 63 strikeouts to just 12 walks.
Jake Mulholland, P, Freshman
The reigning Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week, Mulholland is first on the team and second in the nation with a 0.56 ERA. He's also added three saves and has issued just five walks in his impressive rookie season.
He went 2-0 last week with a save in 10 2/3 innings of relief.
For that, Jake Mulholland has been named the Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week. pic.twitter.com/gwZTAYZ0Rw
— Oregon St. Baseball (@BeaverBaseball) April 10, 2017
In the home dugout: Washington (19-12, 6-3 Pac-12)
The Huskies are coming off a big weekend, taking two of three from UCLA on the road, and finishing up their SoCal roadtrip with a win over Loyola Marymount on Monday. UW looks to carry that momentum into the big matchup against No. 1 Oregon State and hopes to gain ground in the standings.
Players to watch
Joey Morgan, C, Junior
Morgan has been solid behind the plate for the Huskies, boasting a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage with 18 assists. He also helps UW on the other side of the ball and is second on the team with a .490 slugging percentage
MJ Hubbs, OF, Senior
Hubbs has been an offensive powerhouse for Washington, and comes into Thursday's game having reached base in 24-straight games. He also leads the team in batting average (.350.), home runs (five), and slugging percentage (.590).
BALL DESTORYED! MJ Hubbs crushes a pitch from Salzman over the CF fence for a 2-run shot, his team-high 5th HR of the season. Tie game, 6-6. pic.twitter.com/FUU9m3KZ9e
— UW Baseball (@UW_Baseball) April 11, 2017
Noah Bremer, P, Junior
The right-hander is seventh in the conference with a 2.19 ERA and has an impressive 59 strikeouts in 53 1-3 innings pitched this season. Bremer has also surrendered just five extra base hits this year (three doubles and two home runs).