UC-Irvine (37-23, 15-9 in the Big West) at #1 Oregon St. (45-13, 23-7 in the PAC-12) Goss Stadium / 8:00 PM PDT / ESPNU / KEJO 1240 AM / KPOJ 620 AM
NCAA Tournament top overall seed Oregon St. and UC-Irvine meet tonight in the deciding game of the Corvallis Regional.
The winner earns a Super Regional series date with Oklahoma St. (48-16), after the Cowboys won the Stillwater Regional they hosted in 3 games, with an 8-0 win over Binghamton, and a pair of wins over Irvine's Big West Conference rival Fullerton St., by scores of 13-7 Saturday and 6-4 Sunday.
If Oregon St. wins tonight, the Beavers will host the Super Regional; if UC-Irvine wins, the Anteaters will travel to Stillwater.
The Anteaters blew the Beavers out Saturday night 14-2. It was the worst loss a "National Seed" had ever suffered.
Oregon St. bounced back yesterday, starting with a 6-1 win over UNLV in the afternoon elimination game, as they got a complete game 10 strikeout performance from All-American Ben Wetzler. The Beavers then evened the weekend against UC-Irvine, with a 4-0 win behind another complete game, this one by Scott Schultz.
As a result, the Beaver bullpen is in relatively good shape, as Wetzler and Schultz maximized coach Pat Casey's options for tonight's winner take all contest.
Regardless of who he chooses to start, there's a good chance that both junior right fielder turned RHP Dylan Davis (0-0, but with a 1.12 ERA in 5 starts) and freshman RHP Jake Thompson (3-1, 4.11 ERA, with 5 starts and 13 appearances) will be in action. Casey ultimately decided to go with Thompson to start.
UC-Irvine was expected to counter with junior LHP Evan Manarino (3-3 2.94 ERA), but head coach Mike Gillespie ultimately decided to go with his Friday starter, Big West Pitcher of the year senior RHP Andrew Morales (10-2, 1.62 ERA), who is coming back on 2 days rest.
In the continuing injustice of the non-sense of the NCAA seed de-emphasizing coin flip rules, the Anteaters will be the home team tonight. The continuing near-capacity crowds the Corvallis regional has drawn should counter that advantage though.