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Open Thread: Cal Game 2

The Beavers need a win today to even the series at a game a piece and keep the hope for a series victory alive. The Bears edged out the Beavers yesterday with excellent pitching and good luck as far as scoring three of their five runs unearned. The game was frustrating for the Beavers because they felt they had one of the best pitchers in America on the ropes, and couldn't finish him off. The thing about the game of baseball is that the Beavers will get another chance today against the seventh-ranked team in America.

On the mound for the Beavers is... James Nygren. The freshmen right hander will get his third start of the season today against one of the best clubs in the country. Last time out against Washington in the second game of a doubleheader, he threw 8 innings nose to nose with UW starter Jorden Merry. In that game, he gave up four hits and one run on two walks with six strikeouts. On the season, he's 0-0 with a 1.04 ERA. The coaches like him because he's a great competitor, and has the best mentality on the mound of any of the Beaver pitchers.

On the mound for the Bears is... Craig Benningson. The junior lefthander is 3-0 so far this season with a 5.80 ERA in six appearances. He has 37 strikeouts on the season in 35.2 innings of work. He was a 2007 honorable All-Pac-10 selection and is 0-0 with a 4.19 ERA in his career versus Oregon State.

No Jorge? Some of you have been wondering why Jorge has fallen out of the starting rotation. The reason is simply that he's struggling- and it's hard not to blame him, although it's just a mental thing. When you're the MVP of the College World Series on the biggest stage your game has to offer as a FRESHMEN, it's hard to come back the next year and improve on what you've done. Yes, it's possible, but when you're already on top of the mountain, how do you climb higher? That's my hypothesis.

Oregon State's starting lineup is as follows...

Hopkins - CF
Wong - SS
Ogata - DH
Ortiz - 1B (woah!)
George - 3B
Robertson - RF
Ammon - C
Wells - LF
Tommasini - 2B

Nygren - P