BASEBALL: Beavs in need of a pick-me-up

IT'S OFFICIAL, Oregon State is in a slump. The Beavs have performed brilliantly on the baseball diamong this season, rising to as high as No. 2 in the national polls -- when the West Coast media before the season picked them to finish near the cellar of the Pac-10. But here at the end of the year, OSU has encountered a large bump in the road.

Josh Osich struck out five and scattered four hits over five innings on Saturday, but he gave up three runs and the sixth-ranked Oregon State baseball team dropped a 4-1 decision to Oregon at PK Park, their second loss in as many days to the Ducks.

Oregon State now stands at 38-16 overall, 17-9 in the Pac-10. An impressive record, to be sure.

But OSU can, at best, now only tie for the Pac-10 crown with either UCLA or ASU. A couple weeks ago, it had looked like Oregon State would breeze to the Pac-10 crown. No longer.

The Beavs suddenly find themselves mired in a four game losing streak. They are 5-5 over their last ten games. Since May 1, they are 6-8.

That OSU will play in the postseason was decided long ago. Many will pick them to earn their way to Omaha for the College World Series. But with things going the way they have, they'll need to find some of that earlier magic they had if it's going to be an extended run.

The series finale with the Ducks is Sunday at 1 p.m. PT. A resounding win would be a great way to start anew.

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