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#1 OSU Baseball Hosts USC For Weekend Series

The Beavers return to Corvallis after two weekends on the road.

Twitter - Oregon State Baseball - @BeaverBaseball

After a close series win at UCLA and a rain out against Oregon, the Beavers are back at Goss Stadium on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday to face a struggling Trojans squad. USC have lost four in a row and have only four wins on the road this year. Meanwhile, Oregon State are in their fifth consecutive week as the consensus number one team in the nation.

How To Watch:

No TV, but streams are scheduled for each game via OSUBeavers.com and the Pac-12 Network which can be found here.

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.

The Beavers:

Oregon State (32-3, 16-2 Pac-12) continue to impress with a pitching staff that has been the best in the country by a significant margin. The Beavers’ team ERA is 1.88. The next closest team ERA is Central Florida with 2.52. The bullpen alone boasts a 1.79 ERA in over 100 innings on the mound. Individually, OSU three of the top five ERA’s in the country with Heimlich (0.75), Mulholland (1.02), and Thompson (1.06).And they’re about to get even better...

Rasmussen is coming off of Tommy John surgery about 13 months ago, but has almost rehabbed his arm back to full strength according to his teammates. Expect to see Rasmussen make a relief appearance for a few innings at some point this weekend.

Side note: Luke Heimlich is the reigning Pac-12 pitcher of the week (again) and Jake Mulholland was named to the watch list for the NCBWA Stopper of the Year.

Offensively, the Beavs seem to have a new weapon every week. In last weekend’s series with UCLA, it was Michael Gretler. Gretler drove in the winning run in both the Friday and Sunday game. Nick Madrigal continues to be the key contributor at the plate with 54 hits and 31 runs on the year. Surprisingly enough, Oregon State (.286) and USC (.275) have pretty similar team batting averages. That being said, defense will continue to be what wins OSU games in this series.

The Trojans:

USC (18-20, 5-10 Pac-12) are second to last in the conference standings above only Washington State. Their fielding has been the bright spot in their year. Their team fielding percentage has been second best in the conference (.981) behind only Washington. Lars Nootbar has moved around a bit, mostly in the outfield, and garnered the most most put outs in the Pac-12 this season. Nootbar’s defensive year has included 185 putouts and 17 assists on 202 total chances.

At the plate, USC is hitting .275, like I mentioned, which is 5th in the Pac-12. Brandon Perez and Frankie Rios have been the two biggest contributors for the Trojans with BA’s of .361 and .355 respectively. They don’t really have what you’d call a power hitter, but Nootbar has managed five homers on the year. All in all, they’re an average at best offensive team, but they’ve given a few teams some trouble late going to extra innings six times.

The Schedule:

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

Friday April 28th - 5:35 PM PT

RHP Chris Clarke (4-1, 5.40 ERA) vs Luke Heimlich (5-1, 0.75 ERA)

Saturday April 29th - 1:35 PM PT

RHP CJ Stubbs (0-2, 4.73 ERA) vs Bryce Fehmel (4-2, 3.96 ERA)

Sunday April 30th - 1:05 PM PT

RHP Marrick Crouse (2.5, 7.23 ERA) vs Jake Thompson (8-0, 1.06 ERA)

Conclusion

Aside from a series win against Arizona State, USC hasn’t done very much on paper to really warrant worry. Plus, the Trojans are in losing form and the Beavers have yet to drop a home game in 2017. If the pitching stays as steady as it has been, I think we’re looking at another sweep this weekend.