#1 Oregon St. (41-11, 22-6) at USC (28-23, 15-13) / Rod Dedeaux Park, Los Angeles, OR / 4:00 PM PDT / Pac-12 Channel / KEJO 1240 AM / KPOJ 620 AM
Oregon St. continues their Southern California series this afternoon.
Yesterday, the Beavers' bats went to sleep when they had runners in scoring position time and again, and the Trojans took the 4-2 win that kept their post-season hopes alive, and assured they will avoid a losing season in the Pac-12.
Oregon St. took a 2-0 lead, but as is usually the case, big innings trump small ones, and USC fought back with 2 2 run at bats, and ensured that the Beavers will again not get the elusive sweep they've never had at Rod Dadeaux field.
The Beavers did get some good news after dinner, as UCLA upset Washington 3-0, clinching a share of first place, and the Pac-12's automatic bid into the NCAA Tourament for Oregon St., since they still have a 2 game lead with 2 games to go, and hold the tie-breaker over the Huskies.
Oregon St. will claim their second consecutive outright conference title with a win today or tomorrow, or another Washington loss either day.
The Beavers, having lost 2 in a row since ascending to #1 in all the polls, will turn to senior LHP Ben Wetzler (10-1, 0.84 ERA) today as they often have when they need a big pitching performance. Wetzler was named the Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week as well as the NCBWA National Pitcher of the week after last Sunday's complete game 2 hit, 9 strikeout shutout win over Washington.
The 2 game losing streak, the third such of the season, and just the 4th in 2 years, is the longest in either year; there hasn't been a 3rd consecutive loss for the Beavers since the Stanford game in the first game in May in 2012, a 3 game skid that started with consecutive losses to the Trojans.
The Trojans will send Junior RHP Wyatt Strahan (6-4 3.33 ERA) to the mound first. Strahan, who has the most starts for the Trojans, started last Monday, and got the 6-3 win against Grand Canyon that assured USC their first winning season since 2005. Strahan worked 2 outs into the 8th inning, allowing 7 hits and 3 walks, which resulted in all 3 of the Antelope's runs.