The Oregon State Beavers return to Goss Stadium with an 8-0 record to start the season and show no signs of slowing down. After handling Nebraska last weekend, Oregon State turns their attention to a three-game series against the West Virginia Mountaineers.
Though they lie in a power-five conference, West Virginia is a middle of the road team. Last season, they barely finished above .500 with a 29-27 record in the Big 12. This season has also started at an average pace for WVU, as they are currently 5-3 overall, but have lost to weaker teams such as Georgia Southern and Kennesaw State. This team has historically struggled to break out as a quality contender in the Big 12 and this season will most likely be more of the same for them.
It doesn’t help that West Virginia lost four key players to the MLB draft in Michael Grove, Jimmy Galusky, Kyle Gray, and BJ Myers. WVU Skipper Randy Mazey even stated, “... it’s hard to replace senior leadership with freshmen”. While these four players will be missed, the Mountaineers do have a plethora of veteran players available who have tenure in this program to help ease the transition.
West Virginia is also fortunate to have a deep pitching staff at their disposal led by their Golden Spikes Award Watch List pitcher Alex Manoah. Manoah was average last season, but had a productive offseason in the Cape Cod league which has built a lot of hype around this player’s upcoming season. The starting pitching rotation also includes Jackson Wolf (sweet name) and a third spot that is up in the air between Kade Stroud and Nick Snyder. This is a quality pitching staff that has to be respected by the Beaver lineup.
As for the lineup and defense, West Virginia seems to be set in their outfield, but still have to iron out who will replace some of their previous players in the middle of the infield. Four players are all working the middle of the infield until Mazey can iron out who gives the lineup the biggest boost. The lineup as a whole has been weak to this point in the season, batting .211 with a strikeout rate at just under 30% (29.88% to be precise). The team survives on keeping games close, as the offense hasn’t been able to step up yet.
As the story was last series, Oregon State is the superior team in every way. The pitching could give the Beaver lineup some trouble, but the bats of West Virginia will not be able to keep up with Oregon State’s. Look for the starting pitchers to have a big series this weekend. Kevin Abel and Bryce Fehmel should post fantastic numbers, while Bailey should use Sunday to iron out the third starter between Grant Gambrell and Sam Tweedt.
- Game 1: Friday, March 3 - 5:35 PM PT
- Game 2: Saturday, March 4 - 1:35 PM PT
- Game 3: Sunday, March 5 - 1:05 PM PT
How to Watch
The entire series will be streamed on Pac-12 live stream on this link.
How to Listen
Click the link here to follow live stats of the series.