Beavs not going quietly, getting help

SAY THIS FOR Oregon State, who stand on the verge of a baseball season-ending sweep after knocking off Pacific 8-6 on Saturday, they're keeping it interesting -- along with a little help. What the Beavs needed to unfold this weekend in order to have any shot at the postseason has so far followed the script, right down to the letter.

It may be all for naught. It could be that the Beavers (27-24, 11-13) will not receive one of the at-large bids regardless of the outcome of Sunday's game.

But any chance they do have of extending their season was likely predicated on three things heading into the weekend: a sweep of Pacific, and then some help from around the Pac-10.

So far, those three things have gone as well as they possibly could have for the Beavers.

Oregon State heads into Sunday's final regular season contest of the 52-game season having taken the first two from Pacific. The two teams who were above OSU in the Pac-10 standings, Southern Cal and Washington, have now lost the opening two in their three-game league finales.

On Saturday, Oregon State broke open a scoreless tie in the fifth, plating seven men on five hits, and then held on as Pacific scored three each in the eight and ninth innings. They beat Pacific 15-2 on Friday.

Meanwhile, Washington, who led 5-2 on Saturday heading into the eight inning, went down 8-5 to Stanford. The UW lost 9-4 to the Cardinal on Friday.

And USC on Saturday fell to Washington State for the second time in as many days.

There has been talk that the Pac-10, because of the competitiveness of the league, will send six teams to postseason play. As it stands heading into Sunday, Oregon State now sits in sixth place in Pac-10 play -- by 1/2 game over both USC and UW.

Both USC and UW must lose tomorrow, which would place them at 10-14 in the Pac-10, for Oregon State to finish in sixth place free and clear.

If the Cougars and Cardinal do sweep the Trojans and Huskies, and Oregon State wins their finale against Pacific, OSU might just be able to get one of the last remaining at-large bids. It's still, perhaps, a long shot scenario. But Oregon State's chances at least look a little better than they did a few days ago.

The 64-team postseason field, which includes 30 conference champions and 34 at-large teams, will be announced Monday morning.


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