Utah Valley St. vs. #6 Oregon State / 1 PM PST / Palm Springs / KEJO 1240 AM & KPOJ 620 AM
Oregon St. opens the 2013 baseball season at the Las Vegas "Tournament". (It's actually a series of games, with each of the 4 participants playing one other team twice, and the other 2 once each.) The Beavers open against Utah Valley St. today, with games Saturday at
1 12:30 PM against Gonzaga, and both Sunday afternoon at 1 PM and Monday morning at 8:30 AM against UC-Riverside. Oregon St. will be the home team for each of their games.
The Wolverines will have a game under their belts by the time the Beavers take the field (which is potentially a "time approximate"), after playing Gonzaga at 10 AM. Gametracker for Gonzaga-US St.
The game will start late, with the pregame scheduled to start at 1, a result of the Bulldogs and Wolverines running long. There is a mandatory 1/2 hour break between games.
Oregon St. was going to send LHP Ben Wetzler to the mound, but a stiff back has ruled him out for this weekend. Taylor Starr, the planned starter for Saturday has also been pulled from the lineup for the weekend, with soreness in the back of his shoulder. As a result, expect to see Andrew Moore make his debut this weekend, as the Sunday starter. Matt Boyd was originally scheduled to start Sunday, and Dan Child on Monday, but head coach Pat Casey is going to have to shuffle the deck, and possibly more than once. Child will get the start today, and if all goes well, Boyd tomorrow.
Utah Valley St. plans to go with RHP Devin Nelson. Nelson, a 6'5" 190 lb. junior, appeared in 11 games, and made 6 starts, but only pitched 27 1/3 innings, and didn't get a decision last season. He allowed 35 hits, and gave up 22 runs, 21 of them earned. He walked 11 against 13 strikeouts.
That didn't happen though, as Adam Gunn, a 5'10" 190 lb. junior RHP got the start instead. Gunn was the Great West Conference Pitcher of the Year and was name to the All-Conference first team last year. He finished 8-3 with a 4.10 ERA in 17 appearances, 16 of which were starts. He got a save in his only relief appearance.
Last year, the Wolverines posted a 47-12 record, which included rolling through the Great West Conference, with a 28-0 record, and then winning the conference's post season tournament, sweeping 4 games. It was the third year in a row Utah Valley has won the Great West.
However, the Great West (which overall, isn't all that great) does not have an automatic NCAA berth, and one of the more surprising snubs come NCAA Tournament time was Utah Valley St.
The Wolverines split 2 game series against 3 different Pac-12 teams, including Arizona St., Utah, and eventual national champion Arizona.
Utah St. returns 22 players from last year, though they did lose their top 5 hitters. Senior shortstop Kai Hatch, from Bellingham, WA, who hit .342, senior outfielder Sean Moysh, who hit .338, and senior second baseman Willie Pratt, who hit .333, all return though, giving the Wolverines a dangerous core of hitters.
Oregon St. under head coach Pat Casey has won 9 of 11 previous meetings with Utah Valley St.
Jay "Birdman" Reese will again this season have the call for the Beavers in early season games where schedules conflict with basketball. Parker will again move to baseball once hoops is finished.
It'll be interesting indeed to see how this year's edition of the Beavers start the season, and the Wolverines constitute a quality opponent for the opener.
Today's starting lineup: