I've had the chance to see both of these teams play this weekend so I'll give you my scouting report on this weekend's series between Oregon St. and Washington in Seattle.
Washington came into the season with very, very questionable pitching and while they haven't been good, they've been better than expected. Andrew Kittredge is a freshman who opened the season in the bullpen, but has since been moved into the rotation and carries a 2.98 ERA into this weekend. He doesn't have overpowering stuff, but he has great movement on his fastball. That movement not only creates a lot of swing and misses, but makes it difficult for batters to square a ball up so when they swing early in the count, they pound the ball into the ground. Jason Erickson is a less than stellar pitcher, coming off of a strong weekend last weekend when he held USC scoreless in three innings on only six hits, all singles. The right-hander was unimpressive when I saw him because his stuff isn't great. He keeps the ball over the plate and won't give away any free passes, but is very hittable, especially early in the count. If the Beavers are to succeed this weekend, they need to make sure they don't get behind late in games like they did versus Arizona St. because Brian Pearl will not let OSU make a comeback. Pearl uses a very live fastball and one of the better sliders in the Pac-10 that has netted him seven saves this year.
The Washington offense is truly a sight to behold and for all the wrong reasons. The Huskies swing through pitch after pitch after pitch. Washington enters the weekend with 403 strikeouts on the year, 70 more than the next closest Pac-10 club. The OSU pitchers shouldn't feel the need to throw balls over the plate either because the Husky batters will chase. If Reyes can command his fastball, he'll find himself in a lot of favorable counts and be able to punch out the Washington hitters. I'm not as confident in the ability of the rest of the OSU pitchers this weekend though because they lack the pure power fastball, especially on the innter half, to play to the Huskies' weaknesses. Kyle Conley is the only real threat in the Washington lineup and the Beavers' pitchers better be careful of him. He leads the Pac-10 in homers and is a threat every time he steps to the plate, but he is vulnerable to the inside fastball so if the OSU pitchers can hit the inside black, they'll have some success.
Washington should be riding high after sweeping USC last weekend so it will be important that the Beavers get off to a quick start and kill the Huskies' confidence early on. Realistically, Washington has no shot at the postseason so falling behind early on Friday could cause them to toss in the towel. Washington is a less than impressive team that the Beavers should handle. Outside of Kittredge, their pitching isn't much and their bullpen is horrid outside of Pearl. The only concern I have about the Beavers is that their pitching (except for Reyes) isn't ready-made to exploit the Washington hitters' weaknesses, but even so, the Beavers shouldn't have too much trouble taking two of three on the road this weekend.