No matter what happens in Oregon State's game on Friday with Texas A&M, the Beavers will either play TCU or Wright State on Saturday at Lupton Stadium in Fort Worth. Being the forward-thinking folk that we are, we've brought in Greg Campbell of Wright State's Sports Information Department to talk Raider Baseball, just so we'll be prepared in case the two teams meet up on Saturday, or later in the tournament.
Wright State will kick off their post-season with a first-round matchup against host TCU. The Raiders have traveled to Lupton Stadium before-- they won one of three games in a three game series back in 2006. They'll square off with the Horned Frogs Friday at 5:00 Pacific.
The full 10-minute podcast that includes the interview follows, and below you'll find some select transcriptions from within the interview.
Jake Bertalotto, Building the Dam: What was the feeling like, being down to your last out in the Horizon League Championship game, then coming all the way back to beat UIC in twelve innings?
Greg Campbell, Wright State Sports Information Dept.: It was a weird feeling. It was tight game all the way through and both teams were trying to figure each other out. Both teams had chances in that game. It was one of those things where you knew that a big hit was going to come, you just didn't know when. When Kory Twede stepped up, he looked terrible on the first swing. I was broadcasting the game, and I was thinking to myself that he can't look as bad on any swing as he did on that one. Then when he finally hit the ball, it was a feeling that we'd be alright. We just grounded it out, and took our chance in the twelfth. And after that, everyone was so tired that it was just a feeling of elation that we did it-- accomplished a goal that we set at the beginning of the year.
Who are the big leaders offensively on the team?
Greg Campbell: If you look at Jeff Mercer, that's a guy who is in his fifth year of college, this being his second school. He came in last year and was playing between two top ten-round draft picks. When he did that, I think he put a lot of pressure on himself to perform. This year, it's been nice to just watch him go out and play. It's been nice to see him just go out and play. Then there's a guy like Casey McGrew. When we win, he's hitting about .420, and when we lose, he's hitting about .200. He's a guy who we really count on getting our offense started. A guy with a lot of clutch hits this year is Tristan Moore, who's a freshman. He hasn't played a lot-- mostly as a pinch runner and a defenisve replacement. He had the eventual game winning hit in the HL Championship game, and has two other game winning hits on the year. So he's been big in certain situations for us.
Wright State is coming in as a #4 seed to the regional and is in the natural "underdog" position. Any inclination on how the coaching staff will handle the pitchers, especially in the first game against TCU. Because especially in these double elimination tournaments, winning the first game is huge.
Greg Campbell: We've been in this position before with our conference tournament where if you get that first game, you put two other teams at a disadvantage because they now need to win more games. I would guess that Alex Kaminsky will start our first game versus TCU. He's been gerat for us down the stretch. He started two games in the conference tournament and gave us a complete game agsint Butler, which was big for our pitching staff at that point. He's a guy who can easily go a complete game if he gets in a groove. And at the back of our bullpen we're lucky to have a guy in Michael Schum who is technically our closer but threw 6 1/3 innings against UIC on Sunday. So if we need him, he's a guy who can be stretched out over a couple of days and could turn into our rubber-arm guy. Beyond that, we have five or six guys who have made a lot of starts for us this year. Two guys have double dights starts, then we have a couple guys in Travis Lamar and Jordan Marker who made spot starts in the conference tournament and were very good for us.
For more from Campbell, be sure to listen to the full podcast above.
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