Oregon St. (15-5, 1-2) starts this weekend's series against Washington St. (12-8, 1-2) tonight. It's a later start than usual for an Oregon St. Friday night home game, at 7 PM PDT, a change to fit into the Pac-12 Network schedule. The Pac-12 Oregon and Washington channels will show tonight's game and Sunday afternoon's, with only the Saturday game relegated to the internet stream.
Both teams are tied for the bottom 5 spots in the conference, as all of the Pac-12 campaign opening 5 series last weekend were 2-1 affairs (Stanford had their conference schedule bye), with all the home teams winning the series except Arizona, who saw Utah come into Tucson and take the last 2 games. So the winner of this series will stay close to the front of the Pac-12 race, but the loser will be in a position to need to play catchup very early in the conference campaign.
The Beavers got a walk-off 1-0 win Friday night in Tempe, but saw their bullpen let them down on the weekend, losing a 4-3 walkoff to the Sun Devils on Saturday, who scored 3 runs in the 8th & 9th inning, and then lost a 4-2 lead on Sunday, when Arizona St. scored 5 runs in their last 2 at bats to pull away for the 7-4 series deciding win.
The Cougars got clobbered 10-3 in their first game at then 6th ranked USC, but bounced back to upset the Trojans 4-2 on Saturday. At that point, it was only the 3rd loss of the season for USC, though the now 9th ranked Trojans have now lost 3 of their last 5, after a 14-7 loss on Tuesday to Fresno St. Beaver fans will recall Oregon St. sweeping the Bulldogs.
USC roared back to wallop Washington St. 11-0 on Sunday.
The Cougars stayed over in southern California for a game at San Diego on Tuesday, and the Toreros took a come from behind 5-4 win.
Last year in Pullman, the Beavers won 2 of 3, and have won the season series the last 4 years in a row, but the Cougars won the 2009 & 2010 series, and hold a 28 game all-time edge in the 427 game old series.
Oregon St. will start their usual Friday night starter, junior RHP Andrew Moore (1-0, 1.42 ERA). Moore was brilliant in the Beavers' lone win at Arizona St., shutting out the Sun Devils for 7 1/3 innings, but for the second time this season didn't figure in the decision because Oregon St. wound up winning in a walk-off.
Washington St. will decide close to game time who to counter with. Only their Saturday/2nd game starter, LHP Joe Pistorese (2-1, 3.08 ERA), appears in their weekend release. Cougars coach Donnie Marbut eventually settled on senior RHP Sean Hartnett (3-2, 4.44 ERA).