A week after sweeping in-state rival Oregon, the #2 Oregon State baseball team looks to keep things rolling this weekend against Cal in a three game series at Evans Diamond in Berkeley, CA. Action is slated to start Friday at 7pm, Saturday at 6 pm, and Sunday at 1 pm.
Pat Casey’s squad jumped from #5 to #2 in Baseball America’s Top 25 after a trio of pitching performances and timely hitting powered Oregon State to a convincing Civil War sweep. The Beavers have now won eight of their last ten games, including an active four game winning streak.
Oregon State also boasts a seven game winning streak over Cal, sweeping at Evans Diamond in 2012 and Goss Stadium in 2013.
The Golden Bears are licking their wounds after a brutal month of play in April. Cal started off the month by losing five straight games, ending the cold streak on a 5-3 extra-innings win over Arizona State on April 13th.
The Golden Bears are 4-4 since then, but managed to take 2 of 3 from Stanford last weekend, which secured Cal’s second series win of the season.
Lefty Ben Wetzler (7-1, 0.73 ERA) will start things off Friday night against sophomore Ryan Mason (4-0, 2.77 ERA). Mason beat Stanford in his last start, giving up six hits and four runs over eight innings. Wetzler notched his school-record 31st career win over Oregon on April 25th.
The home-grown senior passed Ken Noble, who won 30 games from 1975-78. Just as impressive, his 0.73 ERA ranks second in the nation.
The Golden Bears lineup is headlined by junior outfielder Derek Campbell with sixteen RBIs and a team-high five home runs and first-baseman Devon Rodriguez, who has belted four homers and twenty-three RBIs of his own.
Cal has displayed power-hitting ability, currently second in the conference with 17 home runs, but the team is batting .234 (10th in conference) with an on-base percentage of .309 (worst in the conference). Cal also ranks second to last in the conference in steals, managing only twenty free bases in 2014.
Oregon State’s stingy pitching staff currently leads the Pac-12 in opposing batting average, .216, and ERA, 2.18. Sophomore Andrew Moore will start Saturday, currently holding a 4-3 record and a 2.87 ERA, with Jace Fry anchoring the Beaver staff on Sunday.
Fry is coming off one of his best starts in a Beaver uniform, striking out 11 in a win over Oregon that capped a Civil War sweep in Corvallis on April 27th. An underachieving Cal lineup will take on it’s toughest matchup of the year, facing three pitchers with sub-3.00 ERAs this weekend.
Following a proven formula that produced back-to-back national titles for Oregon State in 2006 and 2007, great pitching and timely hitting will be key to the Beavers success this weekend.