OSU faces elimination, Casey has big decision

THE GOOD NEWS is Pat Casey still has Ben Wetzler at his disposal. The bad news is OSU got blown out 14-2 Saturday night against UC Irvine and is now one game from seeing their season end. The worst news is Oregon State's dry spell at the plate has become Death Valley-like. And that doesn't even cover the monster decision Pat Casey now has to make...

Does Casey start Ben Wetzler against UNLV at 2 p.m. tomorrow?

If so, the question then becomes can OSU win two in a row over UC Irvine without Wetzler? ...(and take into consideration Jace Fry and Andrew Moore are likely unavailable or at best, would only be able to give an inning or three.

The baseball bible says you don't leave Wetzler on the bench.

And fans and media would decry the fact the nation's ERA leader never even got into the regional if OSU were to save Wetzler, but lose to UNLV.

But if Oregon State can't beat UC Irvine twice with pitchers other than their Big 3, then what the hell does it matter?

Pitch Wetzler against UNLV and you can win the battle, but lose the war. You can take care of the short term, but foul up the bigger picture.

From this chair, I'd like to see Casey go against conventional wisdom and start, say, Scott Schultz against UNLV and save Wetzler for Game 4 -- because I think doing that gives the Beavers the best chance to win the regional and advance. They're already in a bad spot and the safe, easy move isn't the best play here.

Of course, if Oregon State can't get the bats going even just a little, there's little chance OSU can win the required three games in a row anyway no matter where Wetzler is slotted.

Still, Casey has a decision to make. A big one.

Which way will he go?

  • The elimination game between Oregon State and UNLV begins at 2 p.m. Sunday and is available online, on ESPN3.
  • If OSU wins, they play later that evening, at 8 p.m. Sunday night against UC Irvine on ESPN3.
  • If OSU wins that one, the final game for all the marbles would be held Sunday night at 8 p.m., also on ESPN3.

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