The pre-season dream is now a reality. Oregon State's incredible baseball team (54-4) is heading to Omaha for the fifth time during the Pat Casey era. The have accomplished so much already. Like the 54-4 record by far the best program history. How about a 27-3 Pac-12 conference record. That is ridiculous and is an all-time conference record. An overall #1 seed in the NCAA tournament. And total domination in the Regional and Super Regional outscoring their opponents 44-9.
Oregon State left Thursday for Nebraska and a meeting Saturday at Noon against a perennial CWS participant Cal-State Fullerton. 11:30 am the pregame coverage on RIP CITY RADIO 620 and ESPN at Noon. So let's look at what gives Oregon State such a great shot at another national title.
PITCHING-PLAYERS TO WATCH
The Beavs pitching staff is lights out. How about a team ERA of 1.80 and Jake Thompson's 14-0 record with an ERA of 1.52 is remarkable. The 14 wins leads the nation! Thompson taken this week in the fourth round of the MLB draft by the Boston Red Sox. Luke Heimlich with an 11-1 record and a crazy ERA of 0.52....well his story has been the talk of the College Baseball World. I thought the best article about his situation is courtesy of Kerry Eggers in the Portland Tribune. It is thoughtful and points out some of the inaccuracies from other Media outlets in the past week. Check out this fair and well written article.
Bryce Fehmel will no doubt get some innings in Omaha...what an impressive moment last Saturday when he was called upon by Pat Casey to face an imposing Vanderbilt lineup. How about a complete game victory. Nine innings...104 pitches....no walks...repeat no walks...and ten K's!! His change up is unhittable when he gets it in the strike zone
Some college baseball observers have called this staff the greatest in recent college baseball history...I can't disagree.
HITTING-PLAYERS TO WATCH
Nick Madrigal is the fuel providing the magic helping the Beavers hit .296 this season. He can do it all. Against Yale in the Regionals he had four bunt singles in one game. WOW!! that never happens.
He led the Beavers in at-bats,runs scored,hits,doubles and steals Plus he plays a mean second base and the sophomore was named an All-American. Madrigal is nursing a sore left hand with a deep bone bruise but should be ready to go Saturday.
KJ Harrison was named a first-team All-American and is coming off a fantastic Super Regional against Vanderbilt. A three-run homer in the first inning on Friday night in the 8-4 win over the Commodores. And the following night....how about another three-run homer in the 9-2 victory to clinch the trip to Omaha. Harrison is one of six Beavers hitting .300 or better.
I have to go with the experience and passion of Coach Pat Casey. His 23rd year in a Beaver uniform and his fifth trip to the CWS. Pat will have his players ready on all levels. Especially the mental approach to big games. He has two National titles in his back pocket....2006 and 2007. The bracket the Beavers are in with Fullerton, LSU and Florida State is not an easy one so look for Casey to go with Jake Thompson, Drew Rasmussen and Bryce Fehmel as his starting trio. However, Pat has a tremendous pitching coach in Nate Yeskie and they will team up to throw the pitcher they feel matches up the best against their next opponent.
Keep checking the ripcityradio.com website for the latest on the Beavers quest for a CWS title!!