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Good News On The Injury Front For Beaver Baseball

Jake Rodriguez could be available this weekend or next for the Oregon St. baseball team.

"My surgery healed a lot faster than Andrew's, which is very fortunate," Rodriguez said about the repairs made to the two Beaver catchers for the same broken bone in their wrists. "I feel great and my skin has grown back together. Maybe I can be a defensive substitution this weekend."

Starting catcher Andrew Susac underwent surgery the same day as Rodriguez, and is only expected back in the latter part o May.

Rodriguez, who was hitting .319 until being injured, started hitting off a tee this week, and took ground balls at Wednesday's practice. Catching pitches will take more healing.

Being able to play in a pinch could be a big help to the Beavers as they enter a critical stretch with 7 games in 10 days, starting with this week's trip to UCLA. Next week, Oregon St. faces Oregon on Tuesday, then hosts California for a weekend series. Parker Berberet has had to handle all the catching duties while Susac and Rodriguez are out.

Third baseman Carter Bell, who missed last weekend's series against Washington St., as well as Tuesday's game at Portland, with a quad injury, said he'll be available this weekend as well.

"The quad feels good, and I think I can go this weekend," Bell said. "It's the coach's decision. I'm just waiting for me opportunity."

Kavin Keyes, normally a middle infielder, filled in admirably for Bell, but Oregon St. coach Pat Casey has limited in his ability to make moves, both offensively and defensively, due to the injuries. Bell is a .291 hitter so far this season.

And freshman pitcher Adam Duke threw in the bullpen at Wednesday's practice, and reported he felt good after his arm injury, Casey said. Duke could be helpful given the number of games upcoming.

Andy_Wooldridge@yahoo.com