Oregon St. baseball returns to action tonight. The Beavers need a good weekend in LA in order to stay in the thick of the crowded Pac-12 race. (Photo by Andy Wooldridge)
Oregon State (27-12, 8-7) at USC (20-16, 5-9) at 6:00 PM PDT at Dedeaux Field - KEJO 1240 AM & KPOJ 620 AM - Audio Stream (no Video) on Beaver Nation Online, for a fee
Oregon St. visits USC for the opener of this weekend's Pac-12 series.
The Beavers are coming off a 7-1 non-conference win over Oregon Tuesday night at PK Park, and a pair of wins last weekend at Goss Stadium over UCLA before that. Oregon St. has won 9 of their last 10.
The Trojans had their bye in the odd-team Pac-11/12ths schedule last weekend, but lost to Long Beach St. 1-0 Tuesday night. In their last outing before that, USC suffered another narrow setback, falling 5-4 to UC-Santa Barbara in 12 innings. USC has lost 6 of their last 7 games.
Sophomore LHP Ben Wetzler (4-2, 3.23 ERA) will start on the mound for Oregon St., while USC's usual Friday starter has been Senior RHP Andrew Triggs (3-4, 3.19 ERA)
Wetzler went well into the 7th inning in his last outing, but lost the pitching duel with UCLA ace Adam Plutko last Friday night. The Bruins shut out the Beavers 4-0, with all 4 runs and the loss charged to Wetzler, but he allowed only 6 hits and 4 walks in the 114 pitch outing, and pitched well enough to win most nights had there been any run support.
Triggs worked 6 2/3 innings in the first game of USC's last Pac-12 series, giving up all 5 runs in the Trojans' lost at Arizona St. The Sun Devils had 9 hits against Triggs, who also gave up 2 walks, and all 5 runs were earned. Triggs did strike out 5.
However, USC coach Frank Cruz opted to start Senior LHP Brandon Garcia (3-3, 4.18 ERA), who usually sees action as a designated hitter. Garcia has started 6 games previously this season, and appeared as a pitcher in 12.
USC is in 10th place in the conference, but enters the weekend only 5 games back in the ultra-log-jammed Pac-12 race. Oregon St. is tied with Stanford in 4th place, 2 1/2 games back.