OSU GAMEDAY: College World Series style

THIS IS IT, the beginning of the College World Series for Oregon State -- the entire year has been about getting to this moment. Now the Beavs will try to bring it home over the next 10 days or so. Getting the ball for Game 1 on Saturday at noon will be Oregon State right-hander Andrew Moore (14-1, 1.36).

Matt Boyd, who started both Game 1's in the regional and super regional, pitched again in relief on Monday after throwing 123 pitches two days earlier.

So are the Beavs going with Moore in order to give Boyd an extra couple days of rest? (The second game for OSU, regardless of how they fare on Saturday, will be on Monday.)

"We're trying to be smart about what we're doing with our guys," Oregon State pitching coach Nate Yeskie told the Oregonian. "Boyd went twice over the course of the weekend."

Moore is 2-0 in the postseason, with a 2.25 ERA in 16 innings pitched.

Moore's counterpart on the mound will be MSU righty Kendall Graveman (7-5, 3.14 ERA).

"He's our best matchup for Oregon State, just because he can control the running game," said MSU coach John Cohen. "He's very good at defending his position. And he's been there and at least for us he's our most experienced guy."

But the strength of the MSU pitching staff is in their bullpen.

Closer Jonathan Holder is particularly tough, with 18 saves this season, (No. 5 in the nation).

Oregon State, meanwhile, has what is generally considered the best three-man rotation in the College World Series and arguably, the nation, with Boyd, Moore and Ben Wetzler, who by the way is 2-0 this postseason with a 2.16 ERA in 17 innings pitched.

TD Ameritrade Park is a pitcher's ballpark. The foul lines are 335 feet, the ppwer alleys are 375 feet and to hit one out to dead center, the ball has to clear the wall at 408 feet.

The Beavers bullpen took some hits for their implosion in Game 1 of the Super Regional but it's been a talented crew this season -- although Max Engelbrekt's availability would appear murky at best, especially for the Beavs' first game.

But OSU has a diverse group, one that can be very effective with Jace Fry, Scott Schultz, Tony Bryant, Brandon Jackson, Cole Brocker, Dan Child and Taylor Starr.

Still, if the Beavs are facing elimination at some point, will they turn, as they did in the super regional, to one of their big three rather than make the call to the bullpen?

THE WINNER OF the Oregon State-Mississippi State matchup faces the winner of the Indiana- Louisville game, (which is scheduled to start Saturday at 5 p.m. PT on ESPN.)

If the Beavs win on Saturday, they play at 5 p.m. PT on Monday. If they lose Game 1, they play at 12 p.m. PT on Monday.

On paper, the Beavs are the clear favorite in the bracket. But there are a number of national seeds who aren't in Omaha, and the three teams above had a little something to do with it.

Michael Conforto, Dylan Davis and Danny Hayes are the Beav headliners at the plate but this postseason, Jr. 3B Kavin Keyes and DH Ryan Barnes have been putting some crooked numbers in the box scores.

NOTABLE NOTES:
  • In six postseason games, the MSU pitching staff is 5-1 with a 2.72 ERA and allowing only a .223 opponent batting average.

  • In five postseason games, the Louisville pitching staff is 5-0 with a 2.20 ERA and allowing opponents only a .191 batting average.

  • Indiana has been the most hittable. In five postseason games, their pitching staff is 5-0 but with a 3.80 ERA and .265 opponent batting average.

  • The Beavers have won 21 of their last 24 games.

  • MSU is led by Hunter Renfroe (.360, 15 HR, 61 RBI) at the plate.

  • OSU is 6-6 in the baseball postseason against SEC schools.

  • ESPN's Karl Ravech, the longtime host of the network's Baseball Tonight program, will call the play-by-play for the Oregon State-MSU game.


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