By Andy / PNW Sports Fans
Another regular season is in the books and it’s time to look ahead to playoff baseball in Corvallis. With a 44-10 (22-9 PAC 12) record, Oregon State earned the #3 overall national seed in the NCAA tournament, which means as long as they keep winning, they’ll keep playing at Goss, right up until the College World Series.
Aside from Oregon State, the Corvallis Regional will play host to LSU (who knocked the Beavs out in Omaha last year) San Diego State, and Northwestern State (Louisiana).
So with that information established, let’s breakdown the threat level each team poses in the regional:
*Threat level is determined on a 1-5 scale, with 1 being lowest threat, and 5 being the greatest possible threat.
Northwestern State Demons
Record- 37-22 (18-12)
Key Wins- Nebraska, Louisiana Tech, Southland Conference Tournament.
Threat Level- 2
Thoughts- While the Demons are riding a five game winning streak and coming off of a conference tournament title run, It’s important to remember that the level of competition in the Southland conference is not equivalent to what the Beavers faced all year in the Pac 12. While it’s true that any team in the tournament is capable of making a run, it would be a major letdown if the Beavs couldn’t get the regional started off with a win on Friday night. Northwestern State will play hard, but ultimately, there is too much talent in the Corvallis regional for the cinderella candidates to keep dancing.
San Diego State Aztecs
Conference- Mountain West
Record- 39-19 (18-12)
Key Wins- Washington, Cal State Fullerton (twice), Mountain West Tournament.
Threat Level- 3
Thoughts- The Aztecs have proven they can play with anybody. They are coming off of their fifth conference title in six years and are not afraid of quality opponents. As a level 3 threat, I consider San Diego State a formidable foe. The only reason I don’t give them a 4 is because I really believe in this Oregon State squad. That, and the fact that the regional is within the friendly confines of Goss.
Record- 37-25 (15-15)
Key Wins- South Carolina, Arkansas (three times), Florida.
Threat Level- Midnight (that’s a joke for those that watch The Office) I’ll give them a 4.
Thoughts- Ah yes, LSU. I’m pretty sure everyone in Beaver Nation was “chomping” (funny, this is actually a commonly misused phrase. The original phrase is actually champing at the bit. You’re welcome.) at the bit. Anyway, everyone knows the history as LSU knocked an OSU team destined for a national title out of Omaha last season. Most fans are rightfully bitter about how that all went down. There was a foul ball debacle and a Greg Street malfunction, but when the dust settled, Oregon State didn’t emerge as champions. Having an opportunity to exact revenge is all this team could ask for. It won’t be easy as LSU has been playing good ball lately and has been tested in the rigorous SEC. Don’t be fooled by a 37-25 record. This team is elite when it wants to be. The one thing that gives me pause with LSU is their 4-14 road record. It’s easy to pile up wins with 10,000 Tigers fans backing you at Alex Box stadium, but this ball club hasn’t faired quite as well on the road against fellow elite competition.
This is going to be a wild regional. Truth be told, I think this group is pretty tough when looking at the pedigree of teams making the trek to Corvallis. The good news is if Oregon State survives the test, it will mean they are playing championship level baseball.
*Note for readers- OG PNW contributor, co founder, and friend to all, Braught will be at the games. Look for the handsome, slender man in the outfield finding creative ways to steal views. If he’s a little hesitant or shy at first, offer him a “coldie” (found out during the Stanford series that this is the term Pat Casey prefers). You’ll be glad you did.