OSU pitching, hitting in a state of change

SINCE 1999, the No. 1 national seed has gone on to win the College Baseball World Series only once. On the bright side for Beaver fans is that the No. 1 has advanced to the CWS 10 times, including the last six years in a row. The Beavs have gotten here with pitching. But is that pitching in need a slight change?

Oregon State's rotation of LH Ben Wetzler (CBB leading 0.76 ERA), RH Andrew Moore (2.88) and LH Jace Fry (1.43) has been called the best in college baseball -- and it stayed the same nearly all of the regular season.

But Wetzler's suspension changed things up with Fry going first in the final series against USC, followed by Wetzler and then Moore.

And with the Beavs' bats going largely silent, Moore it could be argued is in a mini-slump with his record now standing at 5-5. So is there cause for concern? Probably not.

Especially when you consider Wetzler is a pretty good guy to have on the mound if you're facing elimination... or to close things out and advance.

OSU has a left, right, left combination to throw at opposing teams but unlike the three-game series of the regular season this is a four-team, double elimination format in the regionals. So the same two teams won't play each other twice in a row until the end of the regional, if at all.

Changing things up to have two lefties start successively probably wouldn't give opponents any familiarity on release points and angles.

Meanwhile, Oregon State has scored as many as three runs only once in the last seven games. They are averaging 1.85 runs over that stretch.

Five of those games have come without 2B Andy Peterson, who has been on the bench with an ankle injury. Skipper Pat Casey is optimistic he'll be ready to return Friday.

Star LF Michael Conforto has gone just 5 for 26 over the last eight games with only one RBI.

1B Kavin Keyes is 1-for-12 since returning from a thumb injury.

But all it takes sometimes is for one guy to start squaring things up and the rest of his teammates follow suit. OSU still has the Pac-12 leaders in RBIs - Dylan Davis has 63 and Conforto is second with 55.

And playing North Dakota State (4.42 team ERA) on Friday night might be the way to jumpstart the Beaver bats.


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