Oregon St. returns home after a brief and productive trip up I-5 to Portland Wednesday, where the Beavers battered the Pilots for a 14-2 win, to open a 4 game weekend series against Fresno St. from the Mt. West Conference.
It's the the first time Fresno St. has come to Corvallis for baseball since visiting during Oregon St.'s run to the College World Series. The 1952 CWS.
The Beavers (9-3) have gotten their bats going this spring, albeit against pitching that's at times resembled batting practice, and rolled to 5 wins in a row, and came home leading the country in slugging percentage, at an absurd .556. Whether this weekend will represent a stiffer challenge is one of the things to evaluate as Oregon St. gets ready to open Pac-12 play next weekend at Arizona St.
The Bulldogs (7-5, 3-3 in the Mt. West) have been the definition of streaks so far this season, which probably says as much about the relative capabilities of their opponents than how Fresno St. has been playing.
After an opening weekend sweep of UC-Irvine, the Bulldogs dropped 5 in a row, including their first conference series at Nevada, and bookend that with 1 run losses to struggling Cal-Poly (who will be in Corvallis at the end of the month) and USC, who was unbeaten until suffering a 1 run loss at UC-Santa Barbara earlier this week.
Fresno St. then bounced back with a home sweep of their second conference series against UNLV, a team still above .500, and then tuned up for the trip to Corvallis with a 6-2 win over Sacramento St. on Tuesday.
There will be no tv this weekend, but streaming video (no replays) will be provided.
Also of note, because of the conflict with the women's basketball game tonight in the Pac-12 tournament in Seattle, which will be on Oregon St.'s mid-valley flagship radio station, KEJO 1240-AM, the baseball game will be shifted to KLOO 1340-AM in the mid-valley.
Oregon St. head coach Pat Casey pulled within 5 wins of the lofty 900 mark with the recent winning streak, and could hit that mark before embarking on conference play with a weekend sweep plus a probable win in Tuesday's rematch with Portland, whom the Beavers have now beaten 22 times in a row. Interestingly, Casey has never beat the Bulldogs in a half dozen meetings, with the last loss coming in 2011.
Junior RHP Andrew Moore (1-0, 2.18 ERA) will get things rolling for the weekend for Oregon St., who will go with what has emerged as their best every-day lineup. Moore got off to a great start last Friday night in the home opener against Grambling, pitching better than he had in his win against Oklahoma St. But he got no decision once a deluge arrived in the 7th inning and instead of calling it a night at a regulation game, a dubious decision to play on produced compensating wild 8th inning at bats that altered the game stats, if not actually the outcome.
Fresno will counter with sophomore RHP Jimmy Lambert (1-0, 4.50 ERA). All 3 of Lambert's appearances have been starts, and he got his only decision after pitching into the 8th inning of the Bulldog's 10-5 win over UNLV. As the Bulldogs' Friday guy, he only lasted into the 4th inning the week before at Nevada, and issued 7 walks against 19 batters faced. He worked 5 innings in the Bulldog's opener against UC-Irvine, and handed a lead over to his bullpen, only to watch the Anteaters rally to tie it, before Fresno St. won that one in a walk-off.