Northern Illinois (1-9-1) vs. #5 Oregon St. (11-3) / Goss Stadium / 12:35 PM PST / No TV / KTHH 990 AM / KPOJ 620 AM
Oregon St. and Northern Illinois play a double header today to continue their weekend series. It's the second long Saturday in a row as the Beavers load up on Saturday ball instead of as many mid-week contests as most teams dot their season schedule with.
Like last week against Wright St., the second game will begin 30-45 minutes following the conclusion of the first game. Last week, that was at 3:57 PM.
Note also that in the mid-valley, the radio coverage is shifted from 1240 KEJO radio to sister station KTHH 990, due to the Oregon St. basketball Senior Day contest at 1:30, which will be carried on the usual "Joe Radio" channel.
Last night, the Beavers, and especially Ben Wetzler, dominated the Huskies. Wetzler, who started in place of Andrew Moore, after Moore came down with the flu, handcuffed Northern Illinois with a career high dozen strikeouts.
Meanwhile, Michael Conforto was alternating between drawing walks and delivering RBI producing hits, supplying 3 of each, making him the nation's leader in walks as well as RBIs, as the Beavers rolled to a 6-0 win, their second consecutive shutout, and 4th of the season.
The Beavers plan to go with junior LHP Jace Fry (2-0. 2.82 ERA) in the opener, but between the weather and the flu, everything is "TBA" as far as Oregon St. pitching goes at this point. Fry worked an out into the 9th inning in the Beavers' 6-4 win over Wright St. last Saturday, but only game up 2 runs, only 1 of which was earned. Fry allowed 7 hits, and only struck out 2, but walked just 1.
The Huskies will counter with sophomore LHP Jordan Ruckman (0-3, 6.75 ERA). Ruckman took the 2-1 loss last Saturday afternoon against Southern Illinois, after allowing 8 hits and 2 walks in 6 innings. Both runs came in the 4th inning, when he allowed an RBI double and a sacrifice fly.
Oregon St. is scheduled to start senior RHP Scott Schultz (2-1, 1.99 ERA) in the second game, but Schultz was out with the same flu bug as Moore last night.
Schultz took the loss in the 6-2 second game decision in the second game last Saturday, after picking up the save in the first game. Schultz allowed 5 hits and issued 3 walks, while striking out 3, and allowed 3 runs, though only 1 was earned.
If Schultz can't go, its possible that Moore may pick up the start, if healthy enough. One or the other, or freshman Jake Thompson, will probably have to pick up what would have been Wetzler's start on Sunday as well, so coach Pat Casey could be hoping for the heavy rain forcast to come on towards later in the day today, and last through tomorrow.
Northern Illinois will make a game day decision about their game 2 starter.