It's hard to believe, but it's already baseball season again.
After losing several players from last year's National Championship team, the Beavers are a young group who are trying to get to Omaha for the fourth straight year. Since we don't know the players all that well yet, we'll refrain from posting player previews until we get closer to Pac-10 play.
No. 7 Oregon State lost their season opener on Friday to the No. 3 Vanderbilt Commodores by the score of 8-1 in the first game of the DeMarini Invitational. Mike Stutes started on the mound for the Beavers, going four innings and striking out three. He gave up four runs on seven hits, which is obviously not the start Mike was hoping for. Stutes was relieved in the fifth inning by Tanner Robles, who ended up throwing for 4 2/3 innings. Robles struck out five, but gave up four runs on three hits. Reed Brown and Kraig Sitton faced the last three batters of the game.
Braden Wells led off for the Beavers in right field. He went 1-3 with a strikeout. Shortstop Joey Wong hit in the two-hole and went 0-4 with a strikeout. Jason Ogata, playing at second base, went 1-4. He also struck out once. Right fielder Daniel Robertson went 0-2. He struck out once and walked once. Drew George, playing first base, went 1-3. Garrett Nash, the DH who normally plays middle infield was 0-3 with two strikeouts. Lonnie Lechelt went 0-3 at third base. Catcher Erik Ammon went 1-2 and scored Oregon State's only run of the game. Chris Hopkins, who led off for the Beavers for almost all of last season, hit ninth against Vanderbilt and went 1-2.
Vanderbilt is a quality team that was expected to go the distance last year until they lost to Michigan in the NCAA Regionals. Michigan then traveled to Corvallis for the Super Regionals, where Oregon State won in two games. If Michigan hadn't upset the then #1 Commadores, Oregon State would have traveled to Nashville to play Vaderbilt on the road, and the road to Omaha would have been that much tougher.
But it didn't happen that way. As you all know, Oregon State knocked off Michigan and then went through Omaha on cruise control to clinch their second straight National Championship.
The Beavers play Miami (OH) Saturday in the second game of the DeMarini Invitational. The Beavers will then play highly-ranked Arizona State on Sunday before heading back to Oregon for the Pape Grand Slam at PGE Park next weekend.