With the Beavs sitting at 36-7-1 after a weird-ish weekend of baseball in Pullman and a non-league game versus the Ducks to complete the season sweep, the boys in orange return home to a looming matchup with the #2 team in the nation: the Stanford Cardinal.
The #3 Beavers managed to overtake UCLA in the standings last weekend and currently are 2nd overall in the Pac-12 conference, 3 games behind the Cardinal for first place. After a 13-hit and 10-run game against the Ducks and a convincing series vs Wazzu, Oregon State looks to be running like a well-oiled machine heading into this series. They will need nothing less than this team’s best in order to hang with, and defeat, the Cardinal.
How To Watch
All three games this week will be televised on the Pac-12 Network. They’ll also be streamed online through Stanford University and the Pac-12 Conference here.
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 in addition to a TuneIn Station.
Game 1: Friday, May 11th - 7:00 PM PT
Game 2: Saturday, May 12th - 2:00 PM PT
Game 3: Sunday, May 13th - 12:00 PM PT
Stanford’s record is 38-6 overall and 17-4 in the Pac-12 Conference. This makes them good enough for 1st overall in the conference. Before this season began, yours truly wrote a preview on this Stanford squad. In the article, it was highlighted that Stanford is going to be one of the elite teams fighting the Beavs for the conference this season. With just under a month left in the season, nothing has changed to alter that story.
The Cardinal earned the #2 ranking in the nation impressive wins throughout the year, including series sweeps over then-ranked Cal State Fullerton and top-20 ranked Texas Longhorns. Stanford has found ways to get W’s throughout the entire season, whether this be pitching duels or offensive shootouts (just look at the 25-5 win over Utah this past weekend).
This is no shock though, as Stanford historically has great baseball teams. But as good as Stanford has been throughout the years, they have always found struggles against Oregon State. Stanford has lost 7 straight series against the Beavers, including 5 sweeps. The last time the Cardinal won a series against the Beavers in baseball was back in 2010. If Oregon State wants to continue competing in the race for the Pac-12 Conference, they will need another series win this weekend.
While the Beavs have been getting things done on the offensive side, Stanford has been the opposite. The Cardinal have been propelled by their pitching, and they sit ranked 1st overall in total pitching in the Pac-12. Leading the way have been starting pitchers Kris Bubic and Tristan Beck, each of whom boasting 60+ innings pitched and a sub 2.70 ERA on the season. Oregon State will have to bring it on offense against these two aces in order to get the series win.
Is this series essential for making and securing home regional matchups? No. Oregon State will still be in prime shape to secure home regionals even without winning this series.
BUT, is this series essential for winning the Pac-12 Conference? Absolutely. If the Beavs want any chance of making a run for the Conference title, they need to take at least 2 of 3 this series. Stanford has about a three-game lead in the conference, and with 11 games left in the season, the Beavers have to make moves now if they want to start the climb back.