Matt Boyd, the Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week, will be making his first start at Goss Stadium tonight. - (Photo by RVM)
Bryant (0-2-1) at #6 Oregon St. (8-0) / 5:35 PM PST / Goss Stadium / KEJO 1240 AM & KPOJ 620 AM
After getting off to their best start since 1962 over the last weekend in games in Palm Springs and San Diego, Oregon St. finally gets to play their home opener for the 2013 season, beginning a 4 game weekend series with Bryant University, from Smithfield, Rhode Island, and the Northeast Conference.
The Bulldogs are the defending Northeast Conference champions, and also claimed the conference championship in 2010, but this is the first year Bryant is eligible for the post-season, having served a 4 year "transition process" to Division I.
Bryant posted a 24-8 Northeast Conference record last season, and went 33-21 overall. This is the first time Oregon St. has met any team from the Northeast Conference.
Bryant got their season started a week later than most, and then had a tough weekend in Houston, losing 2 1 run games to Houston Baptist before playing to a 4-4 tie Sunday. (The game was called after 8 innings due to a 3 PM curfew, set in order for the Bulldogs to catch their flight.)
The Beavers had a dominant weekend against San Diego St., book-ending a pair of shutout wins with a pair of wins in which the Aztecs were held to just 1 run. Senior LHP Matt Boyd had his second stellar start of the season in one of the shutouts, working 8 1/3 innings Friday night to get the win with only 2 runs of support, striking out a career high 9 Aztecs in the process.
As a result, Boyd (2-0, 1.17 ERA) was named the Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week, and was also promoted to the #1 starter spot, at least for now.
The Bulldogs are planning to counter with senior RHP Peter Kelich (0-1, 11.25 ERA). Kelich was the Northeast Conference Pitcher of the Year and a First Team All-NEC selection after going 8-3 with a 1.81 ERA over 94 1/3 innings last year, allowing just 74 hits, with 74 strike outs against only 26 walks. Kelich is 23-8 in his career.
Kelich got roughed up by Houston Baptist in the Bulldog's season opener, as the Huskies got to him for 4 runs in the 3rd inning, even though all he gave up were singles. Trouble was there were 5 of them, and also a pair of bases loaded walks. Houston Baptist added another run in the 4th inning, which would be Kelich's last, following up a leadoff hit by pitch with a sacrifice, a single, and an RBI double. In all, Kelich gave up 8 hits and 3 walks, and only struck out 3.
Bryant is a light-hitting team, with shortstop Dan Muscatello, the Bulldogs' leadoff hitter, carrying the highest batting average from last year into the season, and its only .290. However, Muscatello was held to 1 hit last weekend. The team overall is hitting just .202 coming into the season.
Sophomore Daniel St. George had the best opening weekend, hitting .625 on 5 of 8 hitting, with 2 doubles, 2 RBIs, and 2 runs scored.
A win tonight will produce only the 6th. 9-0 start the Beavers have had all-time.
Tonight's lineup for Oregon St.: