SIZING UP THE CORVALLIS REGIONAL

THE BASEBALL POSTSEASON for the Beavs is finally here. The thing about college baseball is that it's so precarious -- one bad outing, running into one hot pitcher or batsmen, that makes it a win-or-go-home situation the next time out. In the Corvallis Regional, the Beavs open against North Dakota State on Friday night (ESPNU, 8 p.m.) but are they the most dangerous team OSU might face?

Out of North Dakota State, UNLV and UC Irvine, the Beavers might need to be most wary of UC Irvine.

Oregon State has struggled mightily at the plate of late, averaging just 1.85 runs over their last seven games. And UC Irvine looks to have the deepest pitching of the three OSU regional entrants.

Sure, OSU might not even face them, it all depends on how the double-elimination bracket plays out. And first, Oregon State needs to get by NDSU.

North Dakota State:
This is a road-tested club. Given the cold climate to start the season, they played their first 21 games on the road.

And they responded well to pressure in the Summit League tournament, going 3-0 and earning a CBB regional trip for the first time since 1956.

Leadoff man Tim Colwell, (.376, 19 SB); Wes Satzinger, (.361. 31 RBI) and Kyle Kleinendorst (.311, 40 RBI) are the big bats.

Junior lefthander Parker Trewin (7-2, 2.85) is their ace but the Beavs might instead see junior righty David Ernst (5-4, 3.70),

UNLV:
UNLV's top pitcher is John Richy (11-3, 2.78), and he'll throw in the mid-90s. His other pitches in concert with the heater results in a lot of strikeouts. But UNLV also has Bryan Bonnell (6-5, 3.01) and Kenny Oakley (4-7, 3.25) and they don't walk many. Their closer is lefty Brayden Torres (2.05, 8 saves).

At the plate, brothers Patrick Armstrong (.306, 45 RBI) and Joey Armstrong (.302, 27 RBI) both have plenty of pop. Third baseman T.J. White (.327) not only gets on, he turns singles into doubles having stolen 17-of-18 bases this season.

UC Irvine:
The Beavs probably won't see Andrew Morales (9-2, 1.56), assuming he gets the start against UNLV in the first game. But closer Sam Moore should be omnipresent over the weekend. He leads the nation with 23 saves and has a 1.90 ERA.

UC Irvine, like UNLV, has some depth to their pitching staff, with Elliot Surrey (6-4, 2.12) and Evan Brock (8-5, 2.95) both capable of shutting anyone down.

Connor Spencer (.361) and Taylor Sparks (.290, 33 RBI) are the most dangerous bats in the lineup.

Corvallis Regional Tickets
Tickets for the Corvallis Regional are sold out but any tickets returned by participating teams will be made available on a single-game basis each day. If any are returned, Oregon State will make an announcement at 10 a.m. each day via Twitter.com/Beaver_Baseball. For Friday's game, a small number of tickets will be made available at noon -- $20 for infield reserved seats, $15 for outfield general admission and $12 for student outfield seats.

Fans who attend the regional should note that the parking lot beyond the left field fence will be closed to the public each day, and other parking lots near Goss Stadium will require a fee.

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