#2 Oregon St. (21-2, 4-1) at San Diego (16-9, 4-2 in the West Coast Conference) / 6 PM PDT / Fowler Park / Pac-12 Channel / KEJO 1240 AM & KPOJ 620 AM
Oregon St. starts their Pac-12 bye week non-conference series at San Diego tonight, with additional games tomorrow evening and Saturday afternoon.
The second ranked Beavers took 2 of 3 from Arizona St. last weekend, while the Toreros dropped the first 2 of 3 at Gonzaga, which dropped them out of the top 25.
San Diego did bounce back with a 6-3 win over UNLV on Monday, but that was followed by an 8-4 loss at Cal-St. Northridge Tuesday afternoon.
Oregon St. wrapped a 1 hitter for a 5-0 win Friday night and a tense 4-3 win, in which Arizona St. had the tieing run in scoring position 5 consecutive innings Sunday afternoon, around a Sun Devil no hitter for a 4-0 win Saturday.
The top offensive threat for the Toreros is junior All-American Kris Bryant, who enters the series hitting .364, including 12 home runs, which leads the nation, and 28 RBIs. Bryant is also the most versatile Torero, and plays multiple outfield and infield positions as circumstances dictate.
The Beavers had hoped to have Tyler Smith back at short and in the batting order this weekend. Smith was hit by a pitch in the first game against San Francisco, and played the next night, and in the Arizona series, but sat out the Sun Devil series when his left hand continued to bother him. However, Smith was not even taken on the trip this weekend, a move that's really puzzling, as he can't even be used as a pinch runner.
The obvious thing for Oregon St. to do with the rotation would be to simply move up a day, and send senior LHP Matt Boyd (5-0, 1.26) to the mound.
San Diego will go with junior RHP Michael Wagner (1-2, 3.19).
Both are the usual Friday starters for their teams, and moving things up 1 day to preserve the bullpen rotations makes the most sense, as the starers have had 5 days of rest.
However, Thursday starts to series have been known to prompt managers, Oregon St.'s Pat Casey included, to shift things in order to keep their Friday starter on a regular schedule, and that's the case tonight, as Casey will send junior RHP Dan Child (3-1, 3.15) out tonight. Child faced 1 batter in last Sunday's game, but was ineffective, walking in a run on 4 pitches. Casey should have Child on a short leash, should he encounter trouble.
Without Smith, the lineup is another new one not used before, one that doesn't include Ryan Barnes: