3 Quick Hits: Omaha Baby

3 Quick Hits: Omaha Baby

By Con

Monday edition of 3 quick hits on this glorious day in June.

Here we go.

1. Omaha

2. Omaha

3. Omaha

Need we say more??? We will…

1B. Omaha

What will it take this year? Pat has the boys throwing gas and playin’ fast. A great quote from him post-game Minnesota: “Omaha is no different in the actual game of baseball. I tell the guys, you have to pick it up and throw it when the ball comes to you and hit it when it’s thrown to you. Pretty simple. The game doesn’t change.”

Can we get an “amen” for Pat??? But seriously he has the Beavs firing on all cylinders right now. Bullpen is coming in to it’s own and the key in Omaha will be the same thing the Beavs did in this series: Grinding out at bats and wearing the opposing pitchers down.

I don’t have a stat for this but it seemed like every at bat OSU had against any Minnesota pitcher was going deep into counts and pitch counts. It was KEY in getting that freshmen gum smacker out of there as he looked all world the first time he faced OSU’s lineup. The Minnesota coach said it best: “It is hard and almost impossible to pitch well to that lineup for 9 innings. We didn’t do that.”

Lindsay Meggs and UNC watch out for the revenge tour. Contact LSU for details…

2B. Football Recruiting Weekend

HUGE weekend for Jonathan Smith and crew. 4 commitments Sunday night. Game changing 4 star DE/LB hybrid who will be locked in with a brother on the team already. The LB’s look rangy and sideline to sideline players. Hopefully, the 6’4″ receiver does better than our last one wearing #13… Momentum is building… Also Dr. Evil decommitting from the team down south… LOL!

3B. NBA Finals Comment

Houston with Chris Paul beats Warriors.

Dubs are still the champs though. No one likes Draymond still… LBJ about to pull a KD who pulled and LBJ originally.

Yawn.

Paging Neil Olshey: Do something.

Go Beavs.

Omaha, Omaha, Omaha.

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Corvallis Super Regional Preview

Maker:0x4c,Date:2017-11-14,Ver:4,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar01,E-Y

By Braught / PNW Sports Fans

The reward for the Beavers after pummeling the LSU kitty cats is a top 10 match up with the University of Minnesota. Besides the great series we will witness this weekend, the best thing to come out of this is our reminder about how much Scott Barnes looks like the Minnesota mascot, Goldy. Google it! You’ll thank me later.

Minnesota (44-13)  won the Big Ten conference regular season and the Big Ten conference Tournament before hosting a regional that included UCLA. The Gophers beat the Bruins twice to advance on.

Probably as no surprise to anyone in the west, I have not watched any Big Ten baseball besides when in Surprise, AZ for the Pac 12 – Big Ten challenge in February. What I do know is that Minnesota’s ace is Freshman Patrick Fredrickson, who was the Big Ten pitcher of the Year and is a Freshman All American . In 14 games, 92 IP,  he went 9-0 with a 1.76 ERA (18 ER total) and an impressive 70 to 24 strikeout to walk ratio. Opponents only batted .205 against him. That is Heimlich like (.211). And to make it worse, he’s from Gig Harbor, we could of had him. From what I have read, he has been there day 2 starter and Reggie Meyer (8-3, 2.62) has been there Day 1 starter. In the pen or day 3, they have Brett Schulze, who also was 9-0 albeit in 51.2 IP. He gives up a few more hits, with an OBA of .269 and 51 hits total. Their closer is Max Meyer, a freshmen who’s OBA is .156 in 40 IP and was named Freshmen Reliever of the Year today.

Their offense seems quite balanced like the Beavers but I do not know what Big Ten pitching or the parks are like to know if it is legit. They are led by 3rd round pick, SS Terrin Vavra, who was a 1st team All American this year. He is generally in the 3 hole and his OPS of 1.094 and 10 HRs lead the Gophers. Their lead off is generally 2B Luke Pettersen and his .408 OBP, followed by LF Ben Mezzenga and his .463 OBP.  And in the 4 hole is Ean Wilson, son of Dan Wilson of Mariner Catcher fame, who is pretty good hitter himself, .825 OPS and 5 HRs. The first three guys are Juniors or Seniors, so they have veteran experience and leadership.

The Gophers are not a team to be overlooked. They have all the talent and leadership necessary to come in a knock the Beavers out. I would still give the edge to the Beavers and believe a two game sweep should occur.

The Beavers are marching out a 1st round talent in Luke Heimlich, the gamer Bryce Fehmel, and their top 6 pitchers were all drafted, or will be drafted, in the top 10 rounds. There is just too much experience to lose. Not to mention the Goss Stadium crowd they will be playing in front of. The Beavers are 10-2 in Super Regionals at Goss. I expect that to be 12-2 after this weekend.

See you at the park.

-Braught

Beavers looking for momentum heading into June

By Andy / PNW Sports Fans

The Beavers wrap up the regular season with a home series against the 17th ranked UCLA Bruins in what will serve as a good measuring stick for where this team is at heading into postseason play.

Sure, OSU still technically has a chance to repeat as PAC 12 Champions. However, that will require the Beavs to not only sweep a strong Bruins team, but Stanford would also need get swept by Washington. So while unlikely, it’s not impossible.

Sure, an improbable late PAC 12 title push would be awesome, but I’m more concerned with what the Beavers can control this week. I want to see how the team responds against a solid contender after yet another Sunday letdown. I believe coach Casey will have the guys ready to go and looking to make a statement before Selection Monday.

If the Beavers play to their ability, they should be able to take two out of three and have a punchers chance at a sweep.

Forget the conference title, there are also other major postseason implications on the line this weekend. If the Beavers take care of business, they should end up with a national seed and wouldn’t have to play on the road again until Omaha.

To make those possibilities a reality and get the best of UCLA this weekend, Oregon state will need customary outings from Luke Heimlich and Bryce Fehmel. Those two are as good as any 1-2 punch in all of baseball. The question (as it has been all season) is who can provide a decent start in game three? Kevin Abel has shown glimpses of being the guy, but has struggled with control at times. Finding another reliable starting arm is something the Beavers desperately need if they want to make another deep run.

Aside from starting pitching, the bats will need to get back to form. This really isn’t something I’m all that concerned with. This squad has maybe the best 1-9 lineup I’ve ever seen. I doubt they will have multiple clunkers in a single week.

Do my keys to success seem like an oversimplification? Are you thinking to yourself, “Connor could’ve come up with that analysis!”? Good! Because it is simple! This team is immensely talented and coached by a freaking legend! Yeah, the keys to success are simple. The only consistent issue all year has been finding a reliable third starter. That’s honestly all the 2018 Beavers are missing at this point. Sure, they aren’t 56-6, but I will take 42-9 any time. That’s an incredible record and shows that they are certainly capable of getting back to TD Ameritrade Park and finishing what they started a year ago.

I’m looking forward to a great weekend of baseball and seeing what sort of momentum Oregon State will take into the regional.

until then,

Go Beavs!

3 Quick Hits; Weekend Warriors

3 Quick Hits; Weekend Warriors

By Con / PNW Sports Fans

Here on another addition of 3 quick hits to start off your week. Our random thoughts and observations from any weekend activities.

1. OSU Baseball just misses sweep: While one of the PNW crew members is busy in the Basque country, an unlikely member was glued to the Oregon State baseball series vs Stanford this weekend. It was a pleasurable site watching OSU pound the Cardinal into submission game one and game two and to start game three. Then it all fell apart when frosh Kevin Abel walked 30 straight batters… Ok maybe not that many but you get the point. However, this does not put a damper on taking the series from your only competition in the Pac-12. OSU bats are FIRE right now. They will continue to be the rest of the season. The lineup is too good for any pitcher to get past. But the elusive Sunday starter still remains a mystery. We had faith in Abel as he had a few brilliant performances recently and with Grant Grambrell not being able to pitch effectively in t-ball right now,  Abel is one of our only options. We will see what Pat does. I prefer to try Brandon Eisert out as Sunday starter. He is more experienced then Abel and has proven the ability to keep his pitch count down and be semi consistent. We will see how this develops. Quote of the weekend from Steven Kwan regarding Pat Casey as a coach: “He’s the biggest motivator ever, the best coach I’ve ever had, but really hard to play for at first. He had the look that would bring you to your knees. That played into my self-doubts, made you think you’re the worst baseball player ever.”

GOD BLESS YOU PAT. NEVER CHANGE.

2. HOW DID BRAD STEVENS NOT WIN COY??? HOW DID BRAD STEVENS NOT WIN COY? HOW DID BRAD STEVENS NOT WIN COY? HOW DID BRAD STEVENS NOT WIN COY?HOW DID BRAD STEVENS NOT WIN COY? HOW DID BRAD STEVENS NOT WIN COY? HOW DID BRAD STEVENS NOT WIN COY? HOW DID BRAD STEVENS NOT WIN COY? HOW DID BRAD STEVENS NOT WIN COY? HOW DID BRAD STEVENS NOT WIN COY?

PROOF THE NBA IS RIGGED. RIP DWANE CASEY THOUGH. Best record in FRANCHISE HISTORY and gets fired? LOL. Terry Stotts should retire then…

3. It’s a slow sports season…Braught what is happening with the Mariners? Oh yeah they suck again and over-committed to all fans and got everyone hyped about how good they were going to be and half their team is injured I guess. Oh and the Ichiro experiment? He is quickly to the front office…as what? Hopefully head translator so he can speak to the clone of himself he will bless the Mariners franchise with. Seriously, I am calling for a complete overhaul and dismantling of this franchise. A la the Florida Marlins except not with the slime ball Derek Jeter and with actual intelligence in trades and signings, not another MLB team working hard to make the Yankees better…

 

PS: Great job Wayne Tinkle for getting a midget point guard who can’t really shoot. So he will be slashing to the rim I guess at 5’5″??? Awesome strategy. But hey Nate Robinson is/was the ultimate OSU basketball killer…

 

Civil War Baseball Preview

Beavers april 2018

Photo Courtesy of Andy’s phone. This was taken during February trip to Surprise, AZ

By Braught / PNW Sports Fans

I don’t know about you, but I still have a bad taste in my mouth from the 2011 Civil War Series. That season the ducks beat the Beavers in football and played in the BCS championship game, swept them in the Civil War basketball series, and swept the Beavers in the three game conference series in baseball. That is not supposed to happen to the Beavers! They are suppose to dominate the in state rival because as we have all known, and as ESPN declared this weekend, the ducks only have baseball because they are jealous of our success.

The Following is from the ESPN Broadcast of last Friday’s game against Missouri State.

Oregon will never admit this, but a lot of the reason why Oregon has a program, now that they brought baseball back, was the success Pat Casey has had 45 minutes up the road in Corvallis by winning those back to back national championships.”

Now I don’t expect, nor could I handle, Oregon sweeping the Beavers this year. This is an ideal match up for the Beavers to see if they have made the right adjustments to get on track. The bats came alive for the Beavers while in Springfield, Missouri and the Oregon pitching staff should be a good test to see if that carries over.

Oregon’s Pitching:

Oregon’s rotation has been in flux a little all season long, but I would expect to see Matt Mercer, 2.40 ERA on Thursday and then Kenyon Yovan, 2.59 ERA, and Kolby Sommers, 3.57 ERA on Friday and Saturday.  I would consider Mercer the ace of their lineup. His funky delivery yields a solid fastball that can reach 95 and an above-average changeup. He has improved each year at U of O but his command is lacking, 23 BB in 56 IP, so I would like to see the Beavers get deep into the counts with him.

On Sunday, the ducks played 23 innings of doubleheader baseball and Yovan threw 118 pitches in game one. I would not be surprised if he gets pushed to Friday and Somers moves to Thursday. Yovan was an All American closer for the ducks in 2017 but you may remember him as the pitcher that bounced one off Madrigal’s hand, forcing him to miss multiple games last year. Yovan recently moved from the bullpen and just made his fourth start at Washington. He was selected in the 32nd round out of Westview High School but turned it down to go to college and is currently a Top 100 2019 MLB draft prospect. His fastball is in the lows 90s and he has an average to above-average slider. He is much more of strikeout pitcher, 55 in 41IP, than Mercer but has the same command issues, 23 BB in 41 IP. His start in Washington was the first time he has given up a HR in his collegiate career and his longest outing, 7 innings. Not only can Yovan pitch, he can hit and we will probably see him at the plate at some point in the series.

Somers elected to go to college after being drafted in the 38th round by the Mariners in last year’s draft. He is a left-handed pitcher with a 1-5 record and 3.57 ERA. Better command than the other two with 31 strikeouts and only 7 BB in 35 IP, but opponents are batting .294 against him.

The other pitchers to know are Parker Kelly, 4-0 1.72 ERA, and James Acuna, 2-1 4.88 ERA. Parker is by far the best arm out of the bullpen, throwing upper 80’s to low 90’s on his fastball and a solid breaking ball. He has 44 Ks to 9 BBs in 31 IP. The Beavers will see him more than once this weekend would be my guess.

Oregon’s Batting:

When it comes to team batting average, Oregon State is in the top 15, where as the Ducks are below 200, only above WSU in the Pac-12. And unlike in the past where Oregon may have a low BA but a high on base percentage due to the number of walks and pitches they leaned into, that is not true this year. There OBP again ranked in the 200’s, compared to OSU’s top 15 ranking. They also are not sacrificing at the same rate, with only 17 on the year compared to OSU’s 34 and Top 10 ranking. This is a different Penguin (Horton) style of baseball.

Hitters to know are Kyle Kasser 2B, Jakob Goldfarb RF, and Gabe Matthews 1B. Kasser will lead it off for them and has a .321 Avg and .415 OBP. He is there to set the plate as there is no power to speak of when it comes to him, only 5 doubles and 0 triples or HRs. Jakob, .319/.388/.529 and Gabe, .288/.393/.464 are much more your power guys. Jakob has some athleticism to him to go along with power as seen by his 6 stolen bases and 5 HR. Gabe will strikeout ever third time he’s up to bat though.

Oregon State:

Now if you are here, I expect you know the basics about the baseball team and will try not to fill you in with too many stats.

The big news for the Beavers this weekend is the return of their All American, Nick Madrigal. You must put Nick back at second as soon as he and the medical staff give you the greenlight but what do you do with the red-hot Andy Armstrong. Per the Oregon State gameday, Andy has hit safely in 19 of his last 20 games, at .361 Avg and 17 RBIs. I believe there are two options, Andy becomes the DH or if Andy has the arm, you move him to third and Gretler moves to first. Thankfully there is not much of a drop off from 1 – 9 in this lineup because this Oregon staff will be tough.

On the pitching side, it will be the same three, Heimlich, Fehmel, and Gambrell. The only change is that Fehmel could throw Thursday since he only threw 26 pitches when in Springfield, allowing Heimlich to get more rest. If the trio maintains command, I expect them all to have a good series against this Oregon lineup.

With the great weather inbound, Goss Stadium will be the place to be.

Beavs one step away from CWS.

By Andy / PNW Sports Fans

You would’ve thought Holy Cross and Yale were made of wood the way Oregon State chewed through last weekend’s regional. The Beavers left little doubt in all three games winning by a combined total of 27-3. The pitching was for the most part outstanding once again but perhaps more impressive were the bats. The Beavs showed the ability to to score runs in bunches and found themselves ahead early and often.

This weekend presents a different challenge. Oregon State wont be facing Holy Cross or Yale this time around. Instead it will be SEC power Vanderbilt visiting Goss Stadium for the Super Regional. The Commodores are 36-23-1 but have faced a rigorous schedule including having to beat Clemson twice to earn a trip to Corvallis.

Vanderbilt faced a lot of strong competition in the SEC and their fans aren’t afraid to let you know about it.  I’m sure they respect the Beavers and what they have accomplished this season, but I certainly get the sense that they don’t fully buy the hype. There’s no doubt Oregon State will need to play some of its best baseball of the season if they have any hope of punching a ticket to Omaha.

The talented Commodores have two outstanding pitchers of their own including  Kyle Wright, who many think could be the number 1 overall pick in the upcoming 2017 MLB draft. Vanderbilt compliments its pitching staff with a lineup that possesses some serious power, tallying a ridiculous 50 home runs.

Obviously the Beavers will be facing stiffer competition this weekend, but they should be able to take care of a streaky Vanderbilt team. My Vandy counterparts will certainly disagree and probably rebuttal by saying the SEC was far superior to the PAC 12 this season. After all, I can’t argue with the fact that there are six teams representing the SEC in the Super Regionals. But still, it’s not like the SEC is the MLB and the PAC 12 is a Single A short season division. Oh and let’s remember that the PAC-12 actually has 17 College World Series Titles compared to the SEC’s 10. Sure the Beavers might have lost a few more games had they faced Vanderbilt’s schedule, but 52-4 is no fluke. Aside from that I can pretty much guarantee this OSU squad wouldn’t drop two of three to Cal State Northridge or lose a game to Tennessee Tech. At the end of the day 52-4 is a far cry from 36-23-1 no matter what conference the teams play in.

I’m not saying Vanderbilt is a slouch. I actually think they are a really good team that is getting hot at the right time. As I stated before, OSU will need to play some of its best baseball to date if they want to move on. Yes, Vanderbilt is a formidable foe, but I also believe in the body of work this Oregon State team has put together. They have answered the bell at every checkpoint throughout this historical season and I don’t think they will cower in fear this weekend. When the Beavers take the field this Friday they’ll be focused on one singular thought. . . Omaha or bust!

Go Beavs!

Beaver Baseball heads into final weekend of regular season on historic rampage.

Beaver Baseball heads into final weekend of regular season on historic rampage.

By Andy / PNW Sports Fans

I know most Beaver fans, including myself believed the baseball team would have a great season in 2017. The combination of immense talent, incredible coaching, and the bitter taste of 2016 made a strong season almost a forgone conclusion.

But nobody saw this coming. Nobody could have predicted the team would be heading into memorial weekend with a 45-4 record, having already clinched a Pac-12 title nearly two weeks ago. The Beavs haven’t dropped a series since last season and went 27-3 in the Pac 12.

What’s transpired this season is downright insane. The fact that Oregon State has lost just four games the entire year is other worldly. The 23 game winning streak was wild enough, but at this point it seems puzzling that the Beavers have dropped any games this season. In fact, the team is currently riding a twelve game winning streak headed into the final weekend of regular season play.

We’ve seen some incredible teams grace the diamond at Coleman Field over the years, but this current team seems to have something a little extra special. They’ve won a ton of close games, and they’ve also dominated games. They’ve won with outstanding pitching, but they’ve also shown they can put up plenty of runs. There have been walk-offs and run aways, pitching duels and high scoring affairs, defensive clinics and offensive showcases. Through it all the Beavers have proven they are a team of championship pedigree. This team simply refuses to accept defeat and it’s that very trait that could take them to Omaha.

No, I’m not crowning them prematurely. In fact I’ll come right out and say if this team fails to make the College World Series it will certainly feel like a disappointment and a lost opportunity. This program knows the sting of falling short of big aspirations. Losing the regional as the top overall seed in 2014 was a tough pill to swallow. So again the purpose of this isn’t to anoint a team long before its goals are realized, but rather admire what they’ve accomplished over the course of a historic regular season.

I mean you’ve got to stop and at least appreciate the fact that the team has a collective 1.87 ERA. That shouldn’t even be possible. It’s been an incredible ride thus far and it should get more fun with every pitch going forward. No matter what happens this weekend with a less than stellar Abilene Christian team (13-39/3-27) the Beavers are all but guaranteed the top overall seed and a route to Omaha that will run through Corvallis. We’ve still got a long way to go before we can start reminiscing about how truly special this season has been, but until then I’m going to appreciate and enjoy what has been a historically dominant rampage through the regular season.

In case you aren’t enjoying this enough please refer to what I wrote a year ago and be thankful for where the team is at now. https://pnwsportsfans.com/2016/06/01/ncaa-hoses-the-beavers/

Man it’s fun to have a program like this.

Go Beavs!