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Oregon State Baseball: Arizona Wildcats Series Preview

The Beavs return home to take on an Arizona team struggling to find an identity...

NCAA Baseball: College World Series-Arizona vs Coastal Carolina Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

Oregon State bounced back from a tough weekday loss to the Ducks to win the series against the top-15 ranked Arizona State Sun Devils. Now, the Beavs return home to Corvallis to take on the Arizona Wildcats to wrap up the Arizona schools for the season. Arizona is a team that has shown flashes of a good team throughout this season, but they ultimately haven’t been able to string together consistent winning streaks.


The Wildcats currently sit at a 18-16 overall with strong wins including a series sweep over the Huskies, but also head-scratching series losses to teams such as the College of Charleston. Arizona has consistently been near the upper echelon of teams in the Pac-12 over the past few years, so to sit barely above .500 is a surprise for such a strong baseball program. It wasn’t too long ago that the Wildcats were in the CWS finals against Coastal Carolina, so more is expected of a team like Arizona.

What’s strangest about their current record is that Arizona’s offensive stats are incredibly impressive, as they currently the #1 ranked overall offense in the conference. The team is hitting .287 with 106 RBI’s. In addition, the Wildcats are an incredibly patient team as they have 69 walks on the season. With stats as impressive as these, it makes you wonder why are the Wildcats are not doing better. But then, you take a look at Arizona’s pitching.

As good as their offense is, it is hard to win when you have a pitching staff that routinely allows more than 10 runs a game. The pitching is what bogs down this Wildcat team. In conference play, they have an ERA of nearly 7 (6.94) and have allowed the most earned runs of any team in the conference with 100 allowed runs on the year. The Wildcats have allowed some ridiculous run totals in some games; including 21 runs to Utah, 17 to Arizona State and 12 runs to UCLA. Again, those are run totals from single games, not the entire series. Yikes. The pitching has been a massive achilles heel for Arizona, and it looks like it will continue to be a problem for them throughout this season.

(All stats are in conference and courtesy of Stats.Pac-12.com)

Conclusion

The WIldcats have been underwhelming by their usual standards. This is not due to their offensive production, but more-so that their pitching couldn’t stop a runny nose. The Beavs should have the opportunity to score plenty of runs against this weaker Arizona pitching staff. And they will need those runs, as Beaver pitching will be tested early and often in this series.

Schedule

  • Game 1: Thursday, April 18 - 7:00 PM PT
  • Game 2: Friday, April 19 - 7:00 PM PT
  • Game 3: Saturday, April 20 - 7:00 PM PT

How to Watch

Games 1, 2 and 3 will be available on Pac-12 Oregon And Pac-12 Arizona. These games can also be streamed on Pac-12 Networks Live through this link.

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 on TuneIn.

Stats

Click the link here to follow live stats of the series.