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Civil War Baseball Preview

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#1 Oregon State and Oregon get a 3 game series going Thursday night in Eugene.

Twitter-Oregon State Baseball-@BeaverBaseball

The number one team in the country for the seventh straight week, Oregon State heads down the road to take on the Ducks at PK Park. The two faced off last week in a non-conference game, which the Beavers won 4-1.

Just two wins this weekend will secure the Pac-12 Championship for the Beavers and earn Pat Casey his 1,000th career win.

How To Watch:

Each game of the series will air on Pac-12 Network and Pac-12 Oregon.

How To Listen:

The game will air live on the Beaver Sports Network, TuneIn (search Beaver Sports Network) and OSUBeavers.com. To find a station carrying the games in your area, check here.

The Beavers:

Sitting at 38-4 (21-3 Pac-12), OSU has a 6.5 game lead atop the conference with Stanford and UCLA tied for second. Last weekend, the Beavers swept Cal to keep their impressive season going. In that series, they racked up a season high 29 runs. While the offense has been far from a weak spot this year, it has at least been a secondary narrative to the incredible pitching staff.

OSU has the best team ERA in the nation at 1.99 and projected Thursday starter Luke Heimlich has the best individual ERA with 0.71. Heimlich had a career night last Friday when he had an eight inning, 12 K outing against the Golden Bears. That earned him Pac-12 pitcher of the week honors. Additionally, Saturday’s starter Jake Thompson is the reigning NCBWA National Pitcher of the Month. The Beavs are also tied for the most shutouts in the nation with nine.

Of note, usual number two starter Bryce Fehmel appears to have gotten bumped out of the starting rotation at least for the time being. The new starter is TBD, but the possibilities include usual midweek starter Sam Tweedt, Jordan Britton, and Drew Rasmussen.

The Ducks:

Oregon (26-18, 9-12 Pac-12) doesn’t have momentum on their side currently after dropping their series with Washington State over the weekend, followed by a Tuesday loss to Portland. They have played well at home this year, however, posting a 15-6 record in Eugene. With the way their conference match ups have gone, their chances for a NCAA Tournament berth are dwindling, so they’re not going to lie down for this one.

The big threat all year for the Ducks has been LHP and projected Friday starter David Peterson. Peterson was named to the Golden Spikes Award watch list earlier this year alongside Luke Heimlich and Nick Madrigal. He’s got himself a 1.99 ERA in 81.1 innings pitched with 117 strikeouts. That K count is currently second in the nation. Peterson and Jake Thompson (along with Cory Abbott of Loyola-Marymount) are also tied for most wins nationally with ten.

The Schedule:

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

Thursday May 11th - 6:00 PM PT

LHP Cole Stringer (4-1, 3.31 ERA) vs Luke Heimlich (7-1, 0.71 ERA)

Friday May 12th - 7:00 PM PT

LHP David Peterson (10-2, 1.99 ERA) vs Jordan Britton (1-0, 1.80 ERA)

Saturday May 13th - 7:00 PM PT

RHP Matt Mercer (5-5, 2.93 ERA) vs Jake Thompson (10-0, 1.20 ERA)

Conclusion

Oregon State will be the Pac-12 champions by the end of the weekend. I think Thursday and Saturday are sure things. But with the year David Peterson is having and the pitching rotation getting a little shake up, that Friday night game will be a great contest between two teams with some noteworthy MLB prospects.