The wait is almost over for the 2017 college baseball season. While the pacific northwest continues to get soaked in rain, the Pac-12 favorites will (hopefully) be soaking up the sun at the spring training home of the Texas Rangers and Kansas City Royals in Surprise, Arizona for the Sanderson Ford College Baseball Classic February 17-20. With 4 games in 4 days, OSU has the chance to hit the ground running.
Projected starting pitchers are subject to change, due to some schedule shifts from impending rain in Arizona over the weekend.
How To Watch:
You can’t. No outlet will be televising or providing live video of any of the games this weekend. ):
How To Listen:
For a full list of radio stations across the state that will carry the games, check the game notes provided by OSU athletics. OSUBeavers.com will also have the audio all weekend.
Game 1: Feb. 17 - 9 AM PT - vs Indiana
The campaign starts off against the Indiana Hoosiers, who are coming off of a disappointing season by their standards. Indiana missed the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2012 last year. Last time OSU and IU played, it was actually at this event in 2014 when OSU won 8-1.
IU senior Craig Dedelow would be the biggest threat offensively, given that he led the team in batting average (.302), hits (70), doubles (16, 11th), and runs scored (33) in 2016. However, if projected OSU starter Luke Heimlich pitches like he’s proven he can, this should be a Beaver victory.
Side note: If you listen to the broadcast of this one, be prepared to note a bunch of references to all the family connections the kids on this Indiana team have to sports figures like Jerry Sloan and Bob Bradley.
Game 2: Feb. 17 - 1PM PT - vs Duke
Oregon State and Duke have not played each other in baseball since the 1952 College World Series when the Blue Devils won 18-7. If you wanted to be over dramatic about it, you could say that this is the Beavers’ chance for revenge, 65 years in the making.
Duke managed to earn an at large bid to last year’s NCAA Tournament, which was their first postseason appearance since 1961. All nine of Duke’s starting position players return this year. The program is definitely trending upwards with a freshmen class that Perfect Game rated No. 24 in the nation this year.
Junior lefty and team captain James Ziemba will get the opening day start against OSU’s Bryce Fehmel. When Duke is at the plate, Justin Bellinger is the one to watch, who led the team in batting average (.336) and slugging percentage (.571) last year. This should be a decent test right out of the gate for the Beavers.
Per Oregon State Baseball, the originally scheduled game against Gonzaga on Feb. 18 is now cancelled.
Game 3: Feb. 19 - 8:30 AM PT - vs Duke
While you enjoy your Sunday morning coffee (or sleep in, we don’t judge), OSU and Duke square off again, this time with junior RHP Ryan Day getting the start for the Blue Devils against (most likely) the Beavers’ Sam Tweedt.
Game 4: Feb. 17 - 9 AM PT - vs Indiana
The Beavers finish up this stretch of games with the second of the weekend against the Hoosiers.
Brian Hobbie, the junior RHP, will get the start against the Beavers. Hobbie did not appear as a starter in 2016, but made 3 starts in 2015 when we earned 3 wins and a loss. He made eight relief appearances in 2016 and allowed 4 hits and 2 runs, walked 5, and struck out 3. OSU hasn’t named a starter for Monday yet, but look for Jake Thompson to get the nod.
Not exactly a cupcake opening weekend, but there’s no reason to think the Beavers can’t start 4-0.
If you haven’t already, check out BTD’s 2017 season preview.