The Oregon State Beavers travel down to Salt Lake City for a three-game series against the Utes this weekend. Due to Easter Sunday being on...well, Sunday, games will be on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday this week. OSU is still playing like the #1 team in the country after taking the series 2-1 against Washington in Corvallis this past weekend. Perhaps the biggest highlight of the weekend came from Steven Kwan and Adley Rutschman who teamed up for this spectacular stop at home plate.
While the 20-2 Beavs have every reason to hold their heads high at this point in the season as they lead the conference, the next six days could be a huge test. As soon as this series ends, they come right back to Corvallis for games against Nevada on Monday and Tuesday night. No rest for the wicked, I guess.
Projected starting pitchers are subject to change.
How To Watch
Utah will be livestreaming each game here.
How To Listen
Game 1: Thursday, Mar. 29 - 5:00 PM PT
Game 2: Friday, Mar. 30 - 5:00 PM PT
Game 3: Saturday, Mar. 31 - Noon PT
In our season preview series, we weren’t all that high on what the Utes could do this year. Then to add insult to injury, head coach Bill Kenneberg was suspended for the first 14 games of the season, which Utah lost all but one of. Overall, they sit at 4-19 overall with one win in three games of Pac-12 play.
Utah recently took a three-game series with Sacramento State 2-1 at home, salvaged a win against UC-Riverside, and earned their lone league win to date against USC in L.A. on March 16th.
Perhaps the biggest reason for their meager win total at this point in the season has been their inability to get runners on base. The Utes have the worst on base percentage in the Pac-12 currently with .330. Their defense hasn’t been too stellar either with the second-most hits allowed in the league at 213. But they’ve come agonizingly close to more wins quite a few times. 11 of Utah’s 19 losses have been by two runs or less this season.
An offensive bright spot for Utah has been the play of outfielder DaShawn Kiersey Jr. The junior boasts a .375 batting average which puts him in the top six in the league right now. The San Diego native has eight multi-hit games on his resume so far, plus 22 total hits and seven runs. Sophomore Oliver Dunn has also been on something of a hot streak with nine hits in the last four games.
#ICYMI: In yesterday's double header sweep against Sac State, sophomore Oliver Dunn led the team with a total of 7 hits on the day and true freshman, Justin Kelly picked us his first career win on the mound with four strong innings of relief in game two! pic.twitter.com/N3IpjrHvko— Utah Baseball (@utahbaseball) March 25, 2018
There’s definitely talent on this Utah team. But I feel like as they’ve completed the majority of their non-league schedule without a lot to show for it, it may be too late to hope for another postseason run.
Oregon State is a better team than Utah right now, no question about it. That being said, the Utes like to hang around. The Beavers will more than likely take the series though as they have momentum and superior pitching on their side.
Plus, the Beavs aren’t that far off from having a certain star infielder back in the lineup...