Now that college basketball is done, we concentrate on the best college baseball team in the country. Some of you may not realize it, but the Oregon State Beavers are the best team in the country. When I say some of you, I simply mean most of you. What the Beavers are doing on the diamond is incredible.
The talent that the Beavers have is undeniable. I ran into a scout earlier in the season when the Beavers where in Phoenix to play a couple of pre-season tournaments. It was obvious he was immensely impressed with the amount of Major League talent that head coach Pat Casey has assembled in Corvallis.
I asked this Milwaukie Brewer scout who he was looking at on the Beaver roster.
“You looking at a pitcher, outfielder? Who?” I asked.
“I am looking at the whole team. There is that much talent on this team. I am not sure what Pat Casey is selling in Corvallis to get these kids to come there, but it’s certainly working.” The Brewer scout said.
His compliment of the team was a little puzzling. I enjoyed hearing that a scout as well as other scouts know of the talent level of Oregon State. However, to hear somebody say that he wasn’t sure what Pat Casey was selling to kids to have them come to Corvallis was a bit shocking.
The sell job is simple. The Beavers win. Pat Casey can show recruits the back-to-back National Championship trophies, the championship rings, the banners hanging at Goss Stadium, mention his 800+ wins while coaching at Oregon State, and describe the family culture that he has developed over the course of his tenure in Corvallis.
If that doesn’t get recruits, then he can currently mention the success that 2017 team is having.
· Current record: 24-1
· 19 game winning streak. Longest streak in Division One baseball.
· Currently ranked #1 in the country.
· Swept the last three Pac-12 series. Arizona, Arizona State, and Stanford. Arizona and Stanford were ranked opponents.
· Team ERA: 1.68
· Team batting average: .302
· Fielding percentage: .973
· 204 strike outs.
· Opponent batting average: .187
After seeing this team up close against Arizona State and Nebraska it is quite clear that the Oregon State Beaver baseball team has that feel of a College World Series team. This is a team full of players, like Nick Madrigal, who get on base regularly and put instant pressure on the oppositions pitcher.
Nick Madrigal, who received a Team USA baseball invite not too long ago, has become the team’s leader. Madrigal is the guy who gets the team going, is vocal about getting the team to the College World Series, and is pushing his teammates to be the best they can be on every single pitch.
Nick Madrigal has arguably developed into the nation’s best shortstop. He has a small frame at 5’7”, but has ultra-quick hands to go along with his lighting quick bat. The rest of his teammates feed off his dedication and competitiveness.
“Millionaires want to hang around millionaires. He kind of the millionaire of our team right now.” Sophomore outfielder Steven Kwan said. ( Danny Moran, The Oregonian)
Oregon State is a team that can certainly rely on quality pitching. With the team ERA at 1.68 it’s become almost impossible to get a series of hits off of the Beaver staff. The opponent’s batting average against the Beavers is a paltry .187 which is a direct reflection on the Oregon State pitching staff.
Watching the starting pitchers throw bullets in the mid-90’s is quite impressive. Against the Sun Devils, Oregon State pitcher, Jake Thompson struck out 10 Sun Devils and was consistently in the 90’s with all his pitches. It was spectacular to watch. Arizona State could do nothing against Thompson and he clearly frustrated the Sun Devils with his masterful performance.
That has been the theme all season for the Oregon State pitching staff. Nobody has really touched the Beavers. For the fans that like to see great pitching, the Beaver baseball team is not going to disappoint at all. When you watch the Oregon State pitchers do their thing, you get the feeling that the staff doesn’t want to waste any pitches. When the count gets to 0-2 and you expect a “waste” pitch, you will be surprised at how many times the next pitch is in the zone and blowing right by the batter.
If the Beaver pitching staff can get you out on three straight pitches, they will get you out on three straight pitches. Nothing goes to waste with this team.
The winning streak the Oregon State Beaver baseball team is on right now is something that many programs don’t ever see. The team has the look of a national championship contender. The Beavers have the pitching, hitting, and leadership that a team needs to do something special. Remember the back-to-back titles Beaver fans? This team has the feel and look of those teams.