Oregon State took care of business in their first home series of the season over the weekend. After the rain caused Friday night’s game to be postponed, the Beavs and Aggies played a doubleheader on Saturday and the series finale on Sunday afternoon. The win on Sunday put the Beavers at 10-1 on the year and extended their current win streak to five games.
In game one, Luke Heimlich turned in another impressive afternoon on the mound. The junior lefty fanned ten batters (his second game with at least ten strikeouts on the year) and allowed just three hits, all of which were singles, and no walks. He went a full eight innings before being relieved by Jake Mulholland. This allowed Nick Madrigal and the offense to generate four runs off of eight hits for a shutout win.
In game two, OSU wasted no time scoring and tallied eight runs in the first inning. The Beavers would go on to win by a final score of 14-2. Collectively, OSU tallied 15 hits on the day, which was a new season high. Sam Tweedt got the start and allowed three hits and two earned runs while striking out five.
The series finale saw the Beavs battle back from being down most of the game. Alex Aguiar of the Aggies opened the scoring in the first inning, coming in off of a deep shot to centerfield from his teammate Cameron Olson. Then in the sixth, OSU took a pitch to the body with the bases loaded to bring in the tying run. The very next batter, sophomore Cadyn Grenier, tripled to right center. That brought the score to 4-1: a lead that OSU held the rest of the game. Jake Thompson started on the mound for the Beavs and went for five innings before being relieved by Jake Mulholland, who was credited with the win.
Also of note in the finale win, Cadyn Grenier now leads the Pac-12 in triples with four.
Next Up: The Pilots
1-9 Portland hasn’t had a whole lot to celebrate in the young season. Their lone win came against Cal State Northridge in game two of the season and the Pilots have lost eight in a row since. With their usual starters working on short rest, sophomore righty Kevin Baker looks like the probable starter. Baker has appeared 3 times this year, once as a starter, giving up ten hits and eight runs. However, this is a team that is clearly still figuring out who they are, so it’s feasible that they play around with the lineup a bit.
Offensively, the Pilots have the worst team batting average in the WCC (.197) and rank 270th nationally in that department. In other words, the threat level is pretty low here for the Beavs.
In terms of OSU’s pitching for this game, they have couple options. Given the lack of threat here, it seems doubtful they go with Bryce Fehmel as the starter with a four game series against Ball State kicking off later this week. It makes more sense to go with one of the talented freshmen here.
Of note in this match up, a win for the Beavers would be Pat Casey’s 800th victory as the head coach of OSU.
This will be the first of three meetings this season between the Pilots and the Beavers. This Beavs will host this first one, Portland the second, and the third will be played at Volcanoes Stadium in Keizer, Oregon.
(Game times and projected starting pitchers are subject to change)
Tuesday, March 7th - 5:35 PM PT
RHP Kevin Baker (0-1 11.25 ERA) vs Grant Gambrell (0-0 0.00 ERA)
About as easy of a win the Beavs should come by this season, in theory. Look for some of the new guys to get their feet wet against a struggling non-conference opponent.