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Oregon State Baseball: Missouri State Series Preview

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OSU breaks from Pac-12 play for the weekend trying to pull it together against Missouri State.

NCAA Baseball: College World Series-LSU vs Oregon State Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

#9 Oregon State aren’t playing their best baseball right now. Now with a record of 24-6, they just wrapped up a road series against Arizona in Tucson. The Beavs lost that series two games to one. Meanwhile, they head all the way to Springfield, Missouri, to face the Missouri State Bears, who are currently 22-8 on the season after reaching the NCAA Super Regionals in 2017.

While not every game has translated into a win for the Beavs, there have been plenty of individual highlights to highlight, especially form Adley Rutschman and Trevor Larnach. The midseason All-Americans have combined for 78 hits and 68 RBIs up until now. The pitching, however, remains consistently inconsistent and the Beavs will need that to change in order to improve as a team.

It’s also looking more and more likely that this is the weekend that Nick Madrigal makes his return to the field, which would provide a much-needed boost.

Projected starting pitchers are subject to change

How To Watch

Game one of Friday will be televised on ESPNU. Game two of Friday will not be televised or streamed. Saturday’s game will be streamed as part of the ESPN+ package.

How To Listen

For a full list of radio stations across the state that will carry the games, check the game notes provided by OSU athletics. OSUBeavers.com will also have the audio all weekend.

Schedule

Game 1: Friday, April 13th - 9 AM PT (11 AM local time)

Game 2: Friday, April 13th - 1 PM PT (3 PM local time)

Game 3: Saturday, April 14th - 4:30 PM PT (6:30 PM local time)

Opponent Outlook

The Bears provided some of the most exciting games of last year’s postseason with five of their six NCAA tournament games decided by just one run. After downing Arkansas in Fayetteville, they moved on to the Fort Worth Super Regional against Texas Christian, who won in two games. This year, MSU looks to be in good shape once again leading the Missouri Valley Conference with a 5-1 league record.

In the past few days, they wrapped up a sweep of the Evansville Aces at home before losing to Mizzou in a one-off in Springfield. The Bears are 11-4 at home in 2018. A big reason that they have been successful in this campaign has been their pitching staff, which boasts a league-leading 3.24 ERA. Freshman Ty Buckner has been a huge part of that with 31 strikeouts, a 3-2 record, a 2.5 ERA, and just four extra-base hits allowed.

Shortstop Jeremy Eierman has also had another great start to the year after earning first-team All-America honors from every major publication in 2017. Eierman’s been MSU’s best weapon at the plate up to this point, batting .303 with 27 RBIs and five runs. He’s also an effective base stealer with 16 on 17 attempts.

While Oregon State’s the best/highest ranked team that Missouri State has faced this year, the Bears have proven that they don’t back down from the big-name competition. If their big names are having good days, MSU is very difficult to beat.

In Conclusion

Missouri State is a great program having yet another commendable year. Oregon State’s a good team too, but the bullpen needs to show dramatic improvements in order to get back to where they need to be. I think Missouri State takes two of these.