Inside Oregon State vs. MSU

OREGON STATE FACES their third elimination game on Friday Mississippi State and they're looking for one more on Saturday. MSU comes into the 12 p.m. PT tilt (ESPN) under decidedly different circumstances that the Beavs and depending on where you sit, it's either and advantage or a disadvantage.

MSU is rested. They haven't played since Monday. Oregon State staved off elimination against Indiana on Wednesday. So either MSU will come out rejuvenated and refreshed, or they might not start out in as good a rhythm as OSU, depending on your point of view.

Regardless, there are other factors that will play more important roles in determining the outcome.

Can the Beaver bats heat up, coming off the 1-0 win over the Hoosiers?

Will MSU, known for their bullpen but not their starting staff, continue to pitch well early?

Oh, and by the way, would Pat Casey really go with Jace Fry over Andrew Moore as his starter on Friday?

Moore was roughed up against MSU this past Saturday, giving up a career-high four earned runs in the Beavs' 5-4 loss. Fry, who also took a loss, in the Super Regional against Kansas State after he was an out away from a win, might get the ball, Casey says.

Why entertain the notion of going with Fry, a guy who had thrown about 80 pitches all year after making his season debut in May following surgery and an 11-month rehab?

"The reason I'd like to start Fry is just because of the fact that he could get up, get hot, and we'll know when he's going to pitch and how much he's going to pitch, and it'll be over with. It would be nice to go with a real quality fourth starter right now, to go to somebody they haven't seen," Casey told the Oregonian.

Moore, on the other hand, is coming off five days rest.

Whoever starts, Fry says he believes the Beavs can get inside on the best MSU hitters on Friday and mute their effectiveness.

Meanwhile, Luis Pollorena is MSU's probable starter according to the Bulldogs skipper. He hasn't pitched in three weeks.

OSU got looks at reliever Ross Mitchell (2 2/3 scoreless innings in getting the win) and closer Jonathan Holder in their opening-round loss. The Beavs are expected to shorten their swings in the rematch.

But MSU is feeling cocky, as if they can't be beaten. And by feeling that way, they just might be right.

Their brash attitude and beards have attracted a lot of positive media attention, as that's prone to do -- the media likes it when they don't have to write the same thing over and over.

So when Wes Rea (1B; 6-5, 272) yesterday says things like, "When we do win this national championship, I've got a one-line answer for all the guys who say, ‘Why didn't you play football?' I can show them the ring and say, ‘That's why.'" the media eats it up with a spoon.

Oregon State can't get caught up in it, they can't let their emotions get the better of them when MSU has some success and starts to celebrate wildly.

And that's exactly what star LF Michael Conforto said yesterday, too, so the Beavs should be in the right mental frame of mind headed in.

They also can't let up. MSU has scored the winning runs in both of their two CWS games in the eight inning.

If the Beavers (52-12) win on Friday, they'll face the Bulldogs (50-18) again on Saturday with the time to be determined -- it'll either be noon or 5:30 PT on Saturday.

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