The college baseball regionals kick off on Friday. This marks the beginning of postseason action and the first step to punching a ticket to the College World Series. There are 16 host sites, and like 2017, Reser Stadium will be one of the locations. Their 56 wins last year would’ve put them leaps and bounds above the field, but their 44-10-1 record isn’t anything to sneeze at. After a rough mid-season patch that saw the club go 5-5, they rallied to finish the year 20-4-1 and second in the Pac-12. Only the Clemson Tigers have more wins than the Beavers.
They’ll face the Northwestern State Demons, the winners of the Southland Conference. The Demons are led by Southland Conference player of the year David Fry. He’s a four-time all-conference selection and lead the team in every offensive category. Their three starters that led the rotation are a combined 20-6 with 166 strikeouts. Jerry Maddox was the Southland Newcomer of the year and he’ll likely be their game one starter. They’re coming in hot winning eight of their last 10.
This will be back-to-back years Corvallis will be a host site as a #1 seed. It’s a huge advantage for familiarity defensively and added comfort for pitchers. Luke Heimlich has dominated this entire year and he’ll get his chance at the postseason after his star-studded 2017 was abruptly cut short. He and Bryce Fehmel are a Drake and Future type pairing as a one-two punch at the top of the rotation. The presumed top-15 pick, Nick Madrigal, missed a chunk of the season due to a hand injury, but he came back in time to catch the end of conference play and get into a rhythm at the plate. Their offense didn’t skip a beat while he was out. It’s more of adding fire to the flame with him back. The team’s on-base percentage (OBP) is the catalyst to their offense. The combined .413 OBP by comparison is what Mike Trout’s is for his career. Of course, timely hitting when these runners get on is important and Trevor Larnach is their leader. With 17 home runs and 64 RBI’s, he’ll need to come up big if they want another chance at a National Championship.