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Cougs Come Calling To Conclude Season

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Oregon St. celebrated winning the Civil War series last weekend, and the Beavers hope to sew up the Pac-12 Championship with another win tonight.
Oregon St. celebrated winning the Civil War series last weekend, and the Beavers hope to sew up the Pac-12 Championship with another win tonight.
(OSU Celebration Photo)

Washington St. (22-30, 8-19) at #4 Oregon St. (43-9, 22-5) / 4:05 PM / Goss Stadium / Pac-12 Channel / KEJO 1240 AM & KPOJ 620 AM

Game Notes / Gametracker / No Live Stream

Washington St. comes to town to visit fourth ranked Oregon St. for the final series of the regular season, and the Pac-12 channel will be along to watch. (Because all 3 games this weekend will be televised on the Pac-12 Channel, there will be no free video stream this weekend.)

Oregon St. probably locked up a National seed with the series win last weekend over Oregon, and has 3 home games with next to last place Washington St. to get the single win that, with the tiebreakers the Beavers hold over the Ducks and UCLA, will clinch the Pac-12 championship. Head coach Pat Casey would certainly like to get that taken care of tonight, and then worry about trying for a couple of wins to maximize their seeding.

Toward that end, Casey will send senior LHP Matt Boyd (10-3, 2.15) out for his last regular season appearance. Boyd, who had literally done everything as a pitcher for the Beavers, will really want to get back on a high note for the post season, after getting a loss instead of a win last Friday night despite throwing a 7 hit complete game that ended in a 3-0 loss at Oregon when he only got 2 hits of support.

Washington St. has no such post-season planning on their agenda, and before a 1-0 win over Portland in Pasco on Monday, had lost 6 straight, 10 of 11, and 17 of their last 20. An 8 game winning streak back in February and early March, and a 4 game sweep of Brown had Cougar fans hoping for a good season, not thinking that would represent the majority of their wins this year. Much of the Cougs' struggle can be traced to youth and the resulting inexperience that a roster with only 4 seniors and 6 juniors brought.

Defensive deficiencies are where the problem has manifested itself the most for the Cougs. Washington St. has the 3rd best team batting average in the Pac-12, but though pitching could have been better (the Cougar staff has given up over 200 earned runs), the killer in a lot of games have been some of the 60 UNearned runs opponents have posted.

The Cougars published that they will try for the upset with sophomore LHP Joe Pistorese (5-4, 2.59) on the mound. Pistorese is easily the ace of the Washington St. staff, with an average of 6 2/3 innings per start, and over 4 strikeouts per outing. He went an out into the 8th inning last Friday, but was charged with all of the runs and the loss in Washington's 4-3 win that kicked off a sweep of the Apple Cup series.

Come game day however, Washington St. coach Donny Marbut changed things up, deciding to go with sophomore RHP Sean Hartnett. Hartnett (2-2, 3.12) is making his first career start, and is something of a srtikeout pitcher, with 25 Ks in just 34 2/3 innings this season.

Today's Oregon St. lineup is the familiar one:

Tyler Smith-SS

Andy Peterson-2B

Michael Conforto-LF

Dylan Davis-RF

Danny Hayes-1B

Kavin Keyes-3B

Ryan Barnes-DH

Jake Rodriguez-C

Max Gordon-CF

Andy_Wooldridge@yahoo.com