Oregon State’s baseball team picked up right where it left off last season. Coming off of a College World Series appearance in 2017, the Beavers returned a boatload of talent. That group of players included Nick Madrigal, the Pac-12 Player of the Year. A somewhat disappointing end to the season could’ve allowed for a hangover effect by many teams. However, at the midway point of the year, their record sits at 21-4. My guess is there was Pedialyte given out after the loss in the College World Series or the Beavers got a hearty meal because there’s no hangover.
What’s interesting about this team is so much of the work has been done without their star, Madrigal, who’s only played six games due to a hand fracture. He was red-hot before the injury, hitting .560 with two home runs. The keys to the offense now belongs to Trevor Larnach, the freshmen right fielder who leads them the team with 30 RBI’s and 7 home runs. He should draw 1st team Pac-12 considerations. Aside from his power surge, there’s not much pop in the lineup as the team has a combined 10 home runs not including him. Similar to last year’s team, most of their runs are manufactured by timely hitting and great batting averages across the board.
With somewhat pedestrian offensive numbers, a large amount of the onus falls on the pitching staff. Luke Heimlich is back for his senior year and hasn’t skipped a beat from his 2017 campaign in which he went 11-1. Currently leading the staff with a 5-0 record and his 2.01 ERA is best amongst the starters. The closer may be their biggest weapon on their staff. Jake Mulholland’s 8 saves in 11 appearance sounds good, but his 1.54 ERA is far more impressive.
The team is coming off a pretty rough patch losing 3-4 and their weekend series to Utah. They’re home for Nevada to start the week and head to Tucson after for a weekend series against Arizona. The series has huge Pac-12 implications as they’re in a three-way tie at 6-3 for second the conference and two games behind 5-1 Stanford for the lead.