To no one's surprise, its another good day for baseball in Surprise, AZ, and so 5th ranked Oregon State (1-0) is taking on Utah Valley (1-1) from the WAC.
Yesterday was a good opening day for both teams, both at Ball State's expense.
The Beavers came from behind twice, and then had to hold off multiple Cardinal threats to pull out a 7-6 win.
Just as they did against Oregon State. Ball State struck for a run in the top of the first against Utah Valley, but the Wolverines answered with a run of their own in the 3rd, and took the lead with a 3 run 4th inning. 1 more run in the 6th produced the 5-1 final in favor of the Wolverines.
It's the second game of the day for the Wolverines, who took on Minnesota, Oregon State's opponent tomorrow, this morning. The Golden Gophers got out to a 6-0 lead, and traded 2 run at bats with Utah Valley in the 8th, and picked up the 8-2 win. Minnesota will play Utah, Oregon State's Monday opponent this evening, following the Beavers & Wolverines' game.
As will be the case this weekend and next, there won't be any video from Surprise, so live stats and Jay Reese's radio call will have to do.
Oregon State will start junior RHP Jake Thompson. Thompson is on the comeback trail, after an injury ended his sophomore season after 3 starts.
Utah Valley will counter with LHP Jackson Cofer. Cofer went 1-5 in 14 appearances, all starts, last season.
The Wolverines went 19-35 last year, but fared better in the WAC, posting a 14-13 record. That was still only good enough for 6th in the now 10 team circuit that bears no resemblance to what most fans will recall from years past.
Oregon State and Utah Valley have met 12 times since their first series in 2004, with the Beavers taking 8 of 10 meetings in Corvallis, and both games at neutral sites. The last meeting was the 2013 season opener, a 5-2 Beaver win in Palm Springs.
Coach Pat Casey has shaken up the lineup since yesterday.
Trevor Morrison moves out to center field, and Nick Madrigal, who went 4 for 4 plus a successful sacrifice yesterday, will slide over to short stop. Caleb Hamilton makes his first appearance of the season, and will play second.
KJ Harrison will leave his glove on the shelf, but will be the designated hitter, with Billy King in the lineup at first. The surprise of the day is Michael Gretler getting the start at catcher in place of Logan Ice. We'll see how that goes; its the first time Gretler has ever caught in an actual game at any level, having taken up the position for the first time last fall during fall ball.