Bryant (0-5-1) at #6 Oregon St. (11-0) / 1 PM PST / Goss Stadium / KEJO 1240 AM & KPOJ 620 AM
Having taken both games yesterday from Bryant, 6th ranked Oregon St. has now won their first 11 games of a season for only the 5th time ever. Today, the Beavers are looking for another weekend sweep, after successfully getting the 800th career win for Pat Casey yesterday, combining his wins as skipper at both George Fox and Oregon St.
Junior LHP Ben Wetzler will get the ball for the first time this season, after watching the start of the season while a stiff back healed. Getting Wetzler right will only further enhance what has been a dominating Oregon St. pitching staff, which has collectively amassed an ERA of 0.90.
Bryant will counter with senior RHP Joseph Michaud (0-0, 0.00 ERA). Michaud allowed only 1 hit, and struck out 3, in 3 innings in relief against Houston Baptist in the Bulldogs' second game of the season, a 3-2 loss. If Michaud can extend that performance more than one time through the roster, Oregon St. could be looking at another tight game.
Casey shook up the lineup Saturday, moving second baseman Andy Peterson up to the leadoff spot, and it paid immediate dividends, as Peterson had 2 hits and a walk, and converted all 3 base running opportunities into runs in the 7-2 double header opening win. Peterson is one of only 3 Beavers to start every game this season, and enters today's game hitting .333.
With the Beavers getting deep into the bullpen, some continued improvement offensively, especially in innings where Michael Conforto isn't in the middle of things, will be helpful. Bryant has proven tougher competition than the overall records might indicate, and how Oregon St. handles the matchup will be well worth watching closely.
And hopefully, the focus will be on furthering the accomplishments that earned that logo newly painted on the outfield wall, and not the program "down the road", which none the less still found a way to get some exposure in Corvallis!
Here's today's starting lineup: