In the matchup most in Dallas least expected to be the winners bracket game today in the Dallas regional, Oregon St. (39-16-1) takes on Virginia Commonwealth (38-22) at Horner Ballpark on the Dallas Baptist campus, located southwest of downtown Dallas. The game was originally scheduled for yesterday, but similar to what happened Friday, when overnight storms pushed both games back over an hour, the weather again caused delays.
This time, it was rain and lightning Saturday morning, which made an already soggy outfield unplayable, even despite renewed efforts using a helicopter.
Horner Ballpark has turf throughout the infield, but grass in the outfield, very similar to what Goss Stadium was like prior to this year. Friday, the outfield was very wet, treacherous, and remained sloppy even after field drying efforts that included a helicopter.
This has been the wettest May on record in much of Texas, and drying doesn't happen very fast in humid conditions even once the rain stops, and all of Saturday's action was wiped out.
Today has brought better weather, sunny conditions and temperatures in the low 80s, and even better news, humidity below 50%. The Beavers and Rams game is scheduled for 4 PM CDT (2 PM PDT), but as all games are at least 55 minutes after conclusion of the prior game. The Texas-Dallas Baptist elimination game was moved from Saturday to a noon start today.
The Beavers, who finished second in the Pac-12, but were disappointed in not receiving a regional hosting selection, and got the second seed in the Dallas Baptist region, advanced with a 5-4 win over third seed Texas, winners of the Big XII Tournament, yesterday afternoon.
Oregon St. strung together 3 hits in a row twice in the latter part of the game to drive in runs, the last one the second RBI of the night by Kyle Nobach for the winning run in the bottom of the 8th inning.
The Rams, who finished 14-10 in the Atlantic-13/10ths, and in a tie for 4th place, upset regional host Dallas Baptist 7-2 last night. VCU, who had to win the A-10 Tournament to get into the NCAA Baseball Tournament, has been on a tear of late, running off 12 wins in a row.
The Rams jumped ahead of the Patriots, taking a 5 run lead in the 4th inning, and never looked back.
Of note, the VCU leads the country in being hit by pitches, having been plunked over 100 times this season.
The Beavers and the Rams have never met before in baseball, or as far as we can tell, anything.
Oregon St., despite being the higher seed, will be the visiting team for today's game.
Oregon St. will start with freshman RHP Drew Rasmussen (7-3, 2.48 ERA). Rasmussen threw a 104 pitch complete game at California last Saturday in his last action, allowing only 6 hits and 1 walk while striking out 5 in the 9-0 win over the Bears, clinching second in the Pac-12 in the process.
VCU will likely counter with senior LHP Heath Dwyer (9-2, 2.95 ERA), who is the ace of the Rams staff, even though he pitches second in the rotation behind JoJo Howie, who got the win over Dallas Baptist last night. Dwyer went 7 2/3 innings a week ago last Thursday in VCU's 14-3 win over regular season Atlantic-10 champion St. Louis in the Rams' second win of their conference tournament, scattering 7 hits and 5 walks, but giving up only 3 runs, and striking out 5.
Getting the win will be critical, as the winner will be done for the day, but the loser must come right back, facing host Dallas Baptist, who eliminated Texas 8-1 in the first game, tonight, scheduled for 8 PM CDT (6 PM PDT), in an elimination game that will determine who the winner of the OSU/VCU game will face Monday at noon (first pitch 12:05 PM CDT, 10:05 AM PDT). The team that has to come through tonight's game has to win the noon game in order to get a second crack at this afternoon's winner, at 5 PM CDT (3 PM PDT).