We're now a few weeks into the season, and Beaver baseball coaches and fans alike are starting to get a feel for the roster as we approach the Pac-10 conference schedule. Thirteen games are in the books, with Oregon State's record currently at 7-6. I'd like to take this opportunity to introduce the Oregon State Baseball Report, a feature that will hopefully run weekly on Building the Dam. As always, your comments are welcome in the comment thread following the post.
Although the Back to Back National Champions probably were hoping to be more than a game over .500 thru their first thirteen games, the Beavers are playing under some tough circumstances. The Beavers have yet to play a game at home at Goss Stadium, although they did play a three game series against Georgia in front of nearly 30,000 fans at PGE Park. The Beavers return home this week for a three game series with Pepperdine. Also, the Beavers have played three nationally ranked teams this far: Vanderbilt, Arizona State, and San Diego. The Beavers lost all three of those games, making them 0-3 against ranked opponents.
As the losses accumulate, the Beavers continue to sink lower and lower in the Baseball America Top 25. Oregon State started the season ranked seventh in the nation, but have fallen first to twelfth, and most recently to twenty-second.
Drew George leads the team in batting average, which is surprising for a player who had troubles hitting last season. He's 15-for-35, or .429, and has played in ten games. However, Drew leads the team with four errors and has yet to solidify his spot at third base. He's started at the hot corner six times so far.
Jason Ogata, who has been mostly been contributing as designated hitter, is second on the team with a .329 batting average. He's 20-for-51 on the year, and has played and started in all thirteen games. Outfielder Daniel Robertson is third with a .357 batting average.
Daniel Robertson leads the team in on base percentage, a stat that is important to teams who preach the small ball style of play. He's reached base just over half of the times he's come to the plate (.509). Drew George and Jason Ogata round out the top three, the same top three that lead the team in on base percentage.
Joey Wong leads the team in at-bats with 56, and is second in hits with 16. Ogata leads the hits category with 20, but has fewer at bats. Joey's average is .286 thus far.
Ogata leads in home runs with three, followed by George, Wallace, Ortiz, and Wong with two. Lechelt and Lennerton each have one homer on the year. Remember, three Beavers were tied with 10 home runs for the season at the end of last year (Canham, Lennerton, Lissman).
Pitching has been somewhat of a disappointment so far this season, especially since Oregon State's three starters have three of the highest ERA's on the team. None of the starters have winning records (Stutes: 1-3, Reyes: 1-1, Peavey: 0-1), but two relievers (Grbavac and Keller) are both 2-0.
However, the Beavers posses one of the best closers around in Kevin Rhoderick. Not many people have gotten a chance to see him or heard of him since he's only appeared in four games, but the kid out of Scottsdale, Arizona throws heat. His fastball is in the 95 mile per hour range, and he's got some great off-speed stuff to go with it. In the five innings he's pitched so far, he's struck out six and hasn't allowed a hit.
Oregon State's team ERA is 6.08, which is slightly lower than that of it's opponents, 6.34.
Like I mentioned earlier, Oregon State is scheduled to play CORRECTION: Pepperdine in a three game series at Goss Stadium this weekend. The first game is slated for Thursday, and the first pitch will be at approximately 5:00 p.m.