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Operation: "Save Season" Begins in Earnest Today at PK Park

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Pat Casey needs wins, and he needs them quick. (Photograph by <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/ericksonimages/4453354770/in/set-72157623668255008/">Ethan Erickson</a>)
Pat Casey needs wins, and he needs them quick. (Photograph by Ethan Erickson)

Oregon State at Oregon  /  6 p.m.  /  PK Park, Eugene 

The seven-game losing streak has been snapped, but the Beavers are still looking to put one of the most miserable stretches in the modern era of OSU baseball behind them, and they'll start that today with a game against in-state rival Oregon at PK Park in Eugene.

The game of baseball is weather-permitting, of course, but the odds that these two teams will find a way to play nine innings is higher than average, given the facilities in Eugene.

On Sunday, Sam Gaviglio allowed one run over 6 2/3 innings, holding off the previously potent WSU attack just enough for the Beaver offense to find a way to win. The game wasn't sealed until the ninth inning, however, when the Beavers scored two runs to take a 3-1 lead. In the bottom of the ninth, Washington State would bring the go-ahead run to the plate, but Kevin Rhoderick closed the door, earning just his second save of the season.

Pat Casey-- seemingly doing anything he can to get this team back on track-- used two double switches in the ninth inning, which actually meant Rhoderick played in left field while Matt Boyd faced a batter.

"This is obviously a big win for us," Oregon State head coach Pat Casey told OSUBeavers.com after the game. "It was very important to snap the losing streak and come away from this series on a high note."

I don't think the Beavers left Pullman on a high note, but props to Coach Casey for finding the silver lining after ending what was one of the most tumultuous stretches he's been through in recent years.

The fact of the matter is that the Beavers have lost three consecutive series' to UCLA, Stanford (swept), and Washington State, and need to rebound. They need wins quick to save this season.

If you're Coach Casey, you're waiting for the next Darwin Barney, Joey Wong, or Mitch Canham to step up-- but it's unclear whether one of those players exists on the roster. Adalberto Santos is on a five game hitting streak, but even he has been struggling at the plate as of yet.

The Beavers have the worst batting average (.220) in the Pac-10 conference, the team ERA is low (4.91, seventh in conference), and the team fielding percentage is lower than usual (.965, fifth in conference).

Not only that, but the Beavers are sitting in ninth place in the conference standings at 4-8, unchartered territory for Beaver teams in recent years.

With that said, the Beavers will have a chance to gain momentum heading into their weekend series in Berekely when they travel to Eugene for an out-of-conference game with the Oregon Ducks this afternoon. This is the first of five scheduled meetings between the Ducks and Beavers this year, and one of two non-league matchups.

The Ducks are fairing quite well in just their second year of being after the hiatus, and have an 8-7 record in conference play, putting them in a tie for fourth place.

Tyler Waldron (3-3, 5.94) will get the start for the Beavers, while Joey Housey (1-0, 1.15) will start for George Horton and the Ducks.

First pitch is scheduled for 6 p.m., granted the two teams decide to play this one. Keep it locked on weather.com for updates.

--Jake (jake.buildingthedam@gmail.com)