I usually don't do posts like this, but I figured "why not" this time around.
The Trojans find themselves around eighth in the Pac-10, but they're still hoping for an NCAA tournament bid. They've played the fifth toughest schedule in the country and gone 24-26, and the Beavers have played the second toughest schedule and are 25-20. The Trojans do have losing record in the Pac-10 season. They're at 7-11. Oregon State comes into the series with a 11-10 Pac-10 record. To clear this up, let's take a look at this data in a chart.
|2||Strength of Schedule||5|
So as you can see, Oregon State has the upper hand statistically almost all the way across the board. But as we know, games are not won and lost on paper. As much as the Beavers need and deserve to win this series, it's not going to be handed to them. That's life.
The Beavers will send senior Mike Stutes to the hill today in Game 1. He's 3-6 on the year with a 5.47 ERA. In his last three starts combined he's thrown over 400 pitches, putting him at an average of about 134 pitches per game. He's 1-2 in his last two starts. Against Arizona, he threw nine innings but gave up six runs and was credited with the loss. Against Washington State he only threw for six innings, allowing nine runs on ten hits. And most recently against UCLA Stutes threw a complete game-shoulda-been-a-shutout, giving up one run on four hits. He had command of the zone last week, so let's hope he carries that over in Los Angeles.
The Trojans will send Junior lefty Tommy Milone to the mound. He's 5-5 on the year, with a 3.01 ERA. In his last start, Milone went seven and a third innings, allowing five runs on eight hits. Cal State Northridge went on to win that game 5-4. Tommy hasn't won a game since April 11, when he knocked off Cal with a seven inning outing. He allowed one run off of five hits against the Bears.
The Beavers are a better hitting club than the Trojans, but USC is not to be overlooked. USC is last in the Pac-10 in scoring. Sophomore infielder Grant Green his hitting .386 on the season with a team-high eight home runs. Senior Roberto Lopez is hitting.366. USC's team batting average is .289.
We talk about the Beaver offense a lot, but Ryan Ortiz continues to have the hottest bat. He's hitting .352 for the year, but he's hitting .366 in Pac-10 play. Lonnie Lechelt doesn't have as many starts on the season as some other regular starters, but he's earning a spot at second base with his bat. Lonnie is hitting .354 in conference play with 48 at-bats. Wallace, Hopkins, and Lennerton come behind Ortiz and Lechelt on the Pac-10 average list, followed by Ammon, Ogata, Robertson, Wong, George, and Nash.
The first game of the series will get underway tonight at 7: 00 p.m.
The LA weather forcast: