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Preview: #1 Oregon State Baseball Continues Pac-12 Play Against Top 20 Stanford

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The Beavs are just two wins away from tying the best start in program history.

Nick Madrigal tied a career best earlier this week with a base hit for the 14th straight game.
Twitter - Oregon State Baseball - @BeaverBaseball

It’s been an eventful week for Oregon State baseball. Just check it out:

The Beavers (21-1 Overall, 6-0 in conference play) look to stay hot in Palo Alto against a Stanford team that has some positive momentum of their own going.

How To Watch:

No TV, but the games will be broadcast online via Stanford and the Pac-12 here.

How To Listen:

All games will air on the Beaver Sports Network. To see who is carrying the game in your area, click here.

The Beavers:

OSU’s current 16 game win streak is the longest active streak in the country. That comes in part due to the incredible pitching prowess the team has shown up to this point. The Beavers have a team ERA of 1.55 which leads the nation. Junior lefty Luke Heimlich continues to be especially impressive with a 0.42 ERA, which is third in D1, and 52 strikeouts.

Offensively, they’re putting together some solid numbers with a .293 team batting average and a .376 on base percentage. They also lead the Pac-12 in stolen bases with 28. Nick Madrigal is still spearheading the attack at the plate with 35 hits and 22 runs scored to his name. Madrigal has had at least a base hit in each of the last 14 games. That streak has included nine RBIs, four doubles, and two home runs.

If the Beavers take the series opener on Friday, they will be 15-0 in the month of March and complete the program’s first perfect month with 10 or more games played since 1982.

If Oregon State can clinch the series, they will tie the best start in program history of 23-1 set by the 1962 team. If they can somehow sweep the series, the 2017 team will have that record to themselves.

The Cardinal:

Here’s where Stanford ranks in every major poll: D1Baseball.com - #11, NCBWA - #17, Baseball America - #15, USA Today - #1, RPI - #52.

The Cardinal are riding a three game win streak into this weekend, which includes two wins over Utah and one over Long Beach State. They are 14-6 overall, 2-1 in conference play, and 11-2 at home this year. In home games this season, Stanford has outscored opponents 56-27.

At the plate, Stanford’s biggest threat looks like outfielder Quinn Brodey. Brodey leads the team in hits (28), RBIs (22), and slugging percentage (.560). Brodey earned back to back Pac-12 Player of the Week awards on March 7th and March 14th. On the mound, Sunday’s projected starter Chris Castellanos has been on fire. He has won his last ten starts going back to last season. Castellanos also shutout Oregon State when he faced them last season and has a 2.92 ERA in 3 career appearances versus the Beavs.

Last time these two teams played, which was in Corvallis in April 2016, OSU took the series two games to one. Oregon State has won 16 of the last 18 games against Stanford going back to 2011. OSU has also won its last ten games at Stanford.

The Schedule:

(Game times and projected starting pitchers are subject to change)

Game 1: Friday March 31st - 6 PM PT

LHP Kris Bubic (2-3, 3.48 ERA) vs Luke Heimlich (4-0, 0.42 ERA)

Game 2: Saturday April 1st - 2 PM PT

LHP Erik Miller (1-1, 3.14 ERA) vs Bryce Fehmel (3-1, 2.31 ERA)

Game 3: Sunday April 2nd - 1 PM PT

LHP Chris Castellanos (4-0, 1.82 ERA) vs Jake Thompson (5-0, 1.42 ERA)

In Conclusion:

History, both old and recent, suggest that things should go Oregon State’s way this weekend. That being said, Stanford definitely has something to play for in this series. Just one win this weekend would put Cardinal head coach Mark Marquess at 1,600 for his career. Something tells me they aren’t going to let the chance to hit that milestone against the No. 1 team in the country go quietly.