Mandatory Credit: Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports
The #2 Oregon State Beavers baseball team puts it’s current eight game winning streak on the line against UCLA for a three game series in Goss Stadium at Coleman Field in Corvallis. Oregon State has gone 16-2 since April 1st with the Beavers sweeping two straight conference series over Oregon and Cal.
Senior Ben Wetzler will take the mound on May 9th to kick off the Beaver’s second to last home stand of the 2014 season. Oregon State returns to action after outlasting Oregon 4-3 in a twelve inning affair in Eugene on May 6th. The win was Oregon State’s sixth consecutive Civil War win.
Pat Casey and his Pac-12 front running squad have lots to be confident about with Wetzler starting the first game of the series. Wetzler has won all five of his home starts in 2014, posting a 0.45 ERA and 33 strikeouts. The Clackamas High School product currently leads the conference with a stingy overall ERA of 0.78.
Fans will also be watching the movements of left fielder Michael Conforto (pictured above) closer than usual throughout the weekend. The power hitting junior sits just one behind Andy Jenkins for the career mark at 174 career RBIs. Confroto treated fans to a defensive gem during the May 6th matchup in Eugene, throwing a perfect strike from left field to nab tagging Oregon runner Desmond Santos at home plate to preserve a 3-3 tie in the bottom of the eighth.
UCLA comes to town licking it’s wounds from a three game losing streak. The Bruins (23-22-1) are currently fifth in the conference and on the bubble of post-season pedigree. While the Beavers boast a superior conference-leading record, a motivated UCLA team will make things competitive.
The Bruins now find themselves in tall cotton, needing to win two/possibly all three of their remaining Pac-12 conference series against Oregon State, Oregon, and Washington. For a team that has only scored eight or more runs in three contests in 2014 facing three of the best pitching staffs in the conference, and possibly the nation, it’s not impossible, but it could be something like that.
The first pitch of the series is slated for 7:30 p.m. on May 9th, at Goss Stadium at Coleman Field.