Oregon State Baseball, coming off their 5th straight Pac-12 series win will head to Jackie Robinson Stadium in Los Angeles to take on the UCLA Bruins. The Bruins are fresh off a series win against Stanford and a win over Long Beach State on Tuesday. UCLA will be looking to avenge last year’s sweep at the hands of OSU, a 3 game set in which the Bruins did not score a single run in the series.
How To Watch:
There will be no live video for the Friday or Sunday contests, while Saturday’s showdown will air on ESPNU and the WatchESPN app.
How To Listen:
The game will be broadcast on the Beaver Sports Network and Beaver Nation Online.
Find the radio station carrying the game in your area here.
Oregon State is coming off a weekend which saw them lose their first Pac-12 game before winning the final 2 in Seattle to take yet another Pac-12 series and improve their record to 30-2 (14-1 in the Pac-12). The pitching staff continues to shine, highlighted by Jake Thompson’s shutout performance against the Huskies on Saturday. The Beavs lead the conference in nearly every pitching statistic while carrying the 3 of the top 7 national leaders in ERA with Jake Mulholland(.55) and Luke Heimlich(0.83) checking in at #1 and #2 while Jake Thompson (1.03) checks in at #7.
Led by the likes of Nick Madrigal, KJ Harrison and Cadyn Grenier, OSU is second in the conference in team batting average (.294) and their overall depth will present the UCLA pitchers with host of problems. The Beavers were able to rack up quite a bit of hits in Seattle, but struggled at times to execute with runners on base. I would expect the offensive efficiency to improve this weekend as Pat Casey showed he has confidence in a lot of his hitters and has no problem using his depth to mix up the lineup to get others at-bats.
There was an interesting news nugget dropped yesterday by Nate Yeskie, as Drew Rasmussen will be getting a follow-up visit with his doctor in LA this weekend. While there are no details this very well could be one of the last hurdles to get Rasmussen back on the mound this season.
UCLA enters this weekend with a record of 17-16 and sit in second place in the Pac-12 at 9-6. The Bruins are led by ace pitcher Griffin Canning, who along with OSU’s Luke Heimlich and Nick Madrigal was recently named to the watch list for the Golden Spikes Award given to the nations best collegiate baseball player. Friday’s match-up of Canning and Heimlich would represent a much watch game, if there were any way to watch it, so we will have to settle for a must listen to game.
On the offensive side of things the Bruins are hitting .260 as a team which ranks at the bottom of the Pac-12, though the Bruin bats do have plenty of power as they are second in the league with 24 home runs (OSU is last with 12). Oregon State pitchers will have to be aware of Bruin DH Kyle Cuellar, who leads the team with a .390 batting average and first baseman Sean Bouchard who leads the Bruins in home runs (6) and RBI’s(24).
(Game times and projected starting pitchers are subject to change)
Friday April 21st - 6:00 PM PT
RHP Griffin Canning (3-2 2.77 ERA) vs Luke Heimlich (5-1, 0.83 ERA)
Saturday April 22nd - 6:00 PM PT
RHP Moises Ceja (1-3 2.79 ERA ) vs Bryce Fehmel (4-1, 3.00 ERA)
Sunday April 23rd - 1:00 PM PT
RHP Jon Olsen (2-1 4.02 ERA) vs Jake Thompson (8-0, 1.03 ERA)
The Bruins will not be an easy out for the Beavs especially on the road. While OSU is the better team, UCLA has been playing well as of late and will undoubtedly be looking to avenge their embarrassing showing in Corvallis last season. For OSU to get a series win and potentially another series sweep the bats will need to be more efficient with runners on base than they were in Seattle.