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Baseball Season Preview: The Infield

Here comes the second installment of BTD's OSU Baseball Season Preview:

#37 Jordan Lennerton, Sr.

`The Moose' has been in a bit of a slump lately, as he carries a .283 batting average into Pac-10 play.  He finished the season last year with a .313 average and ten home runs. He's hit one homer to date, and also has four doubles and a triple. Jordan has started fourteen of Oregon State's fourteen games at first base, and he's been up and down and in and out of the lineup recently.  He's started six games as the cleanup hitter,  one game in the five hole, one in the six hole, five in the seven hole, and one in the eight hole. His defensive play is solid (.993 fielding percentage), he just needs to improve his offense.

#39 Dale Solomon, Jr.

The junior was primarily a back-up catcher last year, but it seems like the coaching staff is grooming him to be next year's first baseman. He hit .200 last year with 20 at bats, and he's .333 this year with three at-bats. He's started one game at designated hitter, and that was the midweek game a few weeks ago against the University of Portland.

#19 Brandon Hayes

If Solomon doesn't start next year at first base, Brandon will be the guy.  The 6'3" lefty from Sheldon High School has one at bat so far this season, a strike-out. It will be intersting to see if Hayes gets any time this season at first base.

#10 John Tommasini, Fr.

The 5'8" freshman out of Tenmile, Oregon is a guy that the OSU coaching staff is already comparing to the likes of Chris Kunda, Darwin Barney, and Joey Wong. He's started nine games for the Beavers this year, and has the fifth best batting average (.343) on the team. He also has twelve hits, two doubles, and seven RBI's to go along. He has one of the best on base percentages on the team, which I'm sure the coaches love to see out of a freshman. Some other guys like Ogata and Lechelt have spent time at second base, but it seems like the coaches like Tommasini's spark and hard-working mentality. If he does keep the starting spot for the remainder of the season, it will be fun to watch the double play combination of Joey Wong and Tommasini for the next two or three years.

#8 Jason Ogata, Jr.

Jason has contributed most this year as designated hitter, but usually plays second base when he gets to play defense. Jason has the second best bating average on the team (.417), and leads the team in home runs with four. He's second on the team to Ryan Ortiz in RBI's with 25, and has six doubles and a triple on the year. Last year he also spent the majority of his time at designated hitter, where he had a .294 average and four home runs.

#1 Joey Wong, So.

Joey, one of the backbones of Oregon State's second-ranked defense last season, has moved from second to short this season. With Darwin Barney on to bigger and better things, Joey will be expected to anchor the infield this season.  Even though Joey impressed Beaver Nation last year with his defense at second base, he played shortstop all through high school, earning first team all state honors his junior and senior years at Sprague. Joey's batting average is .273 through the first eighteen games, which isn't the best number,  but Joey has been a consistent hitter throughout the non-conference season. He has the most at-bats on the team by far, and has the fourth most hits. He also leads the team in runs scored.

#29 Drew George, Sr.

The senior from Lebanon, Oregon has started four games at first base, but primarily plays third. He's started ten games there so far this season. Last year he hit .259 in 38 starts, sharing time at third base along with Lonnie Lechelt. Drew's offensive presence has improved this year, earning him more time, and he currently leads the team in batting average at .463. He has 25 hits on the year with four doubles, a triple, and two home runs.

#6 Garrett Nash, Fr.

Garrett came to Oregon State as an infielder, but has been spending a lot of time in the outfield. He has started four games at third base,

#16 Jackson Evans, Fr.

Jackson has seen time in two games, and he's had two at-bats. He's 0-2 with one strikeout.

#11 Lonnie Lechelt, Sr.

Lonnie primarily played third base last season, but he's started four games at third and three at second this season. He's seen a decrease in playing time due mostly to Drew George's hot bat, but the coaches are still trying to find a place for him. Lonnie is batting .321 in 28 at bats with nine hits, four runs, and a home run.

#14 Brett Casey, Jr.

 Brett has shown a good glove at second, but he has been used primarily as a designated hitter and pinch hitter. He has a .333 average on the year in twelve at-bats. He has four hits, two of them doubles, and four RBI's on the year.

#36 Ryan Ortiz, So.

We've been talking a lot about Ryan this year thanks to a nice eight game hit streak he's strung together, which has earned him a starting spot behind the plate. He's started in the majority of the games, and has a .362 batting average with three home runs, two of them grand slams. Ryan has found out that hitting grand slams makes RBI's pile up, and he leads the team with 28.

#12 Erik Ammon, Sr.

Erik has started in four games this season behind the plate, but has primarily been playing a back-up role behind Ryan Ortiz. Erik has a .333 batting average with nine at-bats on the season. Look for Erik to get some time late in games this season and the occasional start to give Ryan Ortiz a rest.


GO BEAVERS!

--JB--