Notes from Omaha: Day 3

FeaturedNotes from Omaha: Day 3

Day three was an interesting one to say the least. The main story is that the Beavers didn’t play very good ball and as a consequence are down 0-1 in the series. However, the good news is this club plays well when things are bleak. After all, that’s how they got to this point.

Let’s dive in:

  • We left the hotel around noon to get some much needed air and kill time before we got in line for admission. The place we went was a sports bar that was out of wings. Not good.
  • As you can see above, Connor said no to sunscreen and yes to the worst scorching of his life.
  • From there we walked to stand in line. There were far more people today. Instead of being in the first 150, we were probably 1,000 people deep. But being as resourceful as we are, we still managed to get to our spot above the left field bullpen.
  • Some Arkansas fans tried to say they had the entire row reserved. We told them what we thought of that and sat down anyway. Apparently they don’t understand how general admission works.
  • Then we proceeded to watch that entire row of hogs fans embarrass themselves for the next 9 innings.
  • They say that SEC sports fans are the most passionate. I have to disagree there. They are just the most unhealthy. We knew more about Arkansas through research than half of the fans we talked to. And they were semi surprised we knew every player on our roster.
  • One intoxicated woo boy was particularly annoying as he thought he was hilarious yelling a Nobach in left. The problem was nobody knew who “Kall” was. That southern accent just wouldn’t allow him to pronounce Kyle. So that was fun.
  • There were a lot of fans using the word “boy” when yelling down at the Beaver bullpen. And let me tell you, it definitely carries some creepy, racially charged undertones from the past with it. It doesn’t matter who your talking to or how you use it, when you stay stuff like, “we’re coming for you, boy!” It sounds pretty weird.
  • The stadium was silent when the Beavs took a 1-0 lead. Razorback fans are easily rattled.
  • To the contrary, they could not figure out why Con and I were laughing and joking the whole time even down 4-1. As usual we had the most fun at the park. Again, SEC fans aren’t as hard core as they’d like you to believe. One dude left in the 7th to beat traffic.
  • To the game. Luke was dealing for 4 innings and we really thought this would be the game he put it all together. Unfortunately he ended up losing command again and that hurt us.
  • Christian Chamberlin was lights out in relief. I love watching that kid pitch. He doesn’t flinch even when he’s up against in. He kept the Beavs within striking distance with a jaw dropping, 11 strikeouts. Glad we get to watch him for two more years.
  • The bats were actually pretty lively, they just couldn’t get runs across. Only coming up with 1 run on 9 hits is really what did the Beavs in tonight. However, not all of that was within their control. That interference call with Adley at second base was an absolute joke. The biggest disgrace of that was the fact that Larnach, who scored on the play had to go back to third. They were trying to turn two, so he would have made it home even if there wasn’t “interference.” So a run came off of the board there. Then when Grenier hit a ball down the line it was initially ruled foul. Kwan was on first and would’ve came around to score and Grenier would’ve been at second easily, if not third. Another run off of the board. That was pretty frustrating.
  • That was kind of the extent of what happened in the game. Tough loss but far from over
  • Arkansas fans were shocked when the NCAA didn’t hand them the championship trophy post game. They are so confident they are going to sweep. Looking forward to the Beavs taking the next two and ripping their hearts out.
  • Praise the Lord, we only booked this Saw themed hotel through Wednesday. Tomorrow we get to move to a place that promises to be nicer. How could it be any worse?
  • Oregon State has its back up against the wall. But it seems like that’s where this team is most comfortable.
  • Tomorrow is a new day.
  • We are working on finding a translator for tomorrow’s game. Other than pig sooie and swear words, we have no idea what is coming out of their mouths. The dialogue out here makes Last Chance U seem like it was shot on Harvard’s campus.
  • Despite the result, we had an incredible time at the park tonight. Awesome atmosphere and perfect weather. Baseball doesn’t get much better than this.
  • We give them a hard time and there are some real scum bags out here, but I should note there are also plenty of nice Arkansas fans. Both days in the ticket line, we’ve met some great people. For whatever reason, once inside, we haven’t had the privilege of sitting by any. Instead we had a guy who told me how bad our reliever was (Chamberlin). I pointed out that he actually had 11 strikeouts and he seemed to accept that as a valid argument.
  • So tomorrow, let’s hope we get to sit by some good fans in red. Or maybe not? Winning two straight might be more entertaining that way.
  • Time for bed and one more night of trying not to have nightmares about what has taken place in this room.
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Notes from Omaha: Day 2

We survived night one. I mean that quite literally between some rough Lyft rides and the things I mentioned regarding our hotel last night.

Here’s the updates we have to share:

  • Our Lyft driver last night was navigating off of his phone that was laying across his lap. I was praying as we zig-zagged down the road.
  • Got some 98 cent shower flops at Wal-Mart. Best purchase I’ve ever made. It takes me back to my days in Finley Hall.
  • Woke up to rain (some foreshadowing).
  • American Airlines had some weird glitch where the prices of their flights playfully bounced back and forth, fluctuating by as much as $200 within seconds. That’s a fun game to play while looking for flights home. I think we have one figured out for Thursday.
  • Got to the stadium at 2pm to stand in line for GA seating. We were behind a group of friendly Razorback fans. Friendly, but very confident.
  • Haven’t played a game yet and have already listened to about 100 hog calls.
  • We managed to be some of the first 150 people in the park. We had front row seats above the left field bullpen.
  • Some severely simple Arkansas fans were saying terrible things to Luke when he was warming up. Several old Beaver fans were ready to jump them, I threw in a few insults that I’m fairly certain they couldn’t understand.
  • Here’s where it got good. Freshman, Kevin Abel just stared that whole group down. He said something to them, but I couldn’t make out exactly what. That crew got pretty quiet after that. But it was cool to see how tight knit that crew is. With that attitude, I want Abel on our football team. Respect to him.
  • One Arkansas fan came over to apologize for the stupidity of the people in his section. Nice guy.
  • Meanwhile it was a gorgeous evening, but the game was sent into a delay due to the possibility of a major storm. We were baffled as it looked to be a great night for baseball.
  • 5pm turned to 6, then to 7. Approximately 15 minutes after 7, it hit! Lightning strikes were all over. The rain picked up and it felt like being in a hurricane on a fishing boat for a several minutes. The field quickly puddled up with water.
  • That Thursday flight? Yeah, we just cancelled and got one for Friday.
  • About 7:45 they officially called it. Game 1 will take place tomorrow evening at 4pm PST, 6pm CT.
  • We’re off to grab some pizza and avoid the hotel for a few hours.
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CWS Preview

Braught / PNW Staff

Wow! What a fun College World Series it has been. The Beaver’s two Ace’s have looked awful and far too many errors have been committed but that hasn’t mattered as the both the bullpen and offense have stepped up. Their is no quit in this team and I know half of the PNW crew never lost faith that we would be in the finals. Unfortunately, I am unable to make it to Omaha, as I have recently started a new job. But I know Con and Andy will shut TD Ameritrade down for me.

Usually when I begin researching for a new series, I look for common opponents. I did not expect to find as many but I was wrong. The Beavers and Razorbacks have had six common opponents thus far: Arizona, Cal Poly, San Diego, USC, LSU and Mississippi State.

The Razorbacks:

  • Beat Arizona 1–0
  • Lost to San Diego 7–6
  • Lost to Cal Poly 4-3
  • Won the series with USC two games to one
  • Lost the series to LSU
  • Were swept by Mississippi State in three games.

The Beavers:

  • Lost two of three to the Arizona in their early season hiccup.
  • Beat Cal Poly 16–7
  • Destroyed San Diego 23–6 & 19–6 in a late Monday and Tuesday season series
  • Won two of three from USC in late May
  • Destroyed LSU in the regionals.
  • Won two games versus Mississippi State to reach the CWS.

Altogether the Beavers went 10-3 and the Razorbacks were 4–8.

Some common pitchers in all those games are:

  • MSU’s Ethan Small, whom Arkansas got six hits and one run in six innings with six strikeouts. Meanwhile, the Beavers ran him off after 4.2 IP and seven hits for five earned runs.
  • Zach Hess of LSU went seven innings against Arkansas, giving up six hits, four walks, and four earned runs. The Beavs ran him off after 3.1 innings and eight earned runs on eight hits.
  • Kyle Hurt of USC threw seven innings against the Beavers giving up 10 hits and four runs. He threw 4.3 IP against the Arkansas giving up three hits, four walks, and one earned run.
  • Quentin Longrie of USC threw four innings against the Beavers giving up four hits, five walks, and four runs. He went 7.1 innings against the razorbacks giving up eight hits and two walks but only one earned run.

Take from those matchups as you wish.

From there, I usually begin to look at the pitchers that will be throwing. Mostly focused on starters but relievers/closers will catch my eye if they are dominate. At Oregon State we have been spoiled with killer pitchers for many years and usually other teams staff does not standout to me comparatively. But Arkansas’ does. They have legit arms.

Blaine Knight (13 – 0, 2.88 ERA) is their game one starter. The righty has thrown 106.1 innings this year and has a WHIP of 1.06 (!). He pounds the strike zone with his great command and batters only hit .226 against him. The knock on him has been his durability and is probably why he was not drafted until the third rd round. MLB Pipeline has his mid-90’s fastball graded out as a 60. His next best pitch is a slider / cutter at 55 and both a changeup and curveball graded out at a 50. A four-pitch mix with great command usually means dominance.

Game two starter will be Kacey Murphy ( 8-5, 3.16 ERA) who only threw 4.2 innings against Texas Tech in Omaha. The southpaw was the first pick on day three of the draft (11th rd) because of his command. Opponents are batting .222 against him and his WHIP is 1.04 . I was not able to find much on his mixes of pitches.

And if there is a game three, the Razorbacks will throw Isaiah Campbell (5 – 6, 4.12 ERA). The righty looked good on Friday against Florida when he gave up only two hits and two runs in five innings. He was the 109th best prospect by MLB Pipeline going into the draft but has not had the season he wanted after returning off shoulder surgery. He fell to the Angels in the 24th round. His WHIP is 1.38, which is still pretty good. Especially when you see that he has had 73K’s in 67.2 IP.

Two relievers stood out, Jake Reindl (3 -1, 2.87 ERA) and Barrett Loseke (4-2, 2.86). Opponents are hitting .191 against Barrett who was selected by the Yankees in the 17th round. Jake was selected one pick later and has an impressive 64Ks to 53.1IP.

And then I will begin to look at the other eight positions on the field. Defense is hard to gauge from stats (.972 fld%) and I usually rely on what others say there. I read that Dominic Fletcher in CF is very athletic and is a guy to keep an eye on. In terms of offense, this is quite evenly matched; which is not something I expect of many teams. Third basemen, Casey Martin, leads Arkansas with .357 average and a 1.013 OPS. Their second basemen, Carson Shaddy, has an OPS of 1.057 and a .335 batting average. Heaston Kjerstad, LF, and Eric Cole, RF and 4th rd pick, are hitting .337 and .325 respectively. As a team, they are hitting .302 on the season and are regarded as one of the top hitting teams.

And finally, how teams and players are performing recently is very important. Arkansas is quite rested compared to the Beavers because they have only played three games in Omaha. The centerfielder above, Dom Fletcher, and Casey Martin, are hitting .571 in Omaha.

Even though the Beavers have played five games in eight days, their two aces have not thrown well at all, and Kwan may not be able to play, I still think the Beavers are the favorites. The few Vegas lines I was able to find also feel the same way, somewhere between -245 to -345 for OSU to win it all. The lineup is red hot, hitting .351 in Omaha and I have a hard time believing Heimlich and Fehmel each have three straight bad games. The Beavers are also Omaha experienced and are led by one of, if not, the best coaches. I strongly feel that Con and Andy will be flying back after having shut down TD Ameritrade with a National Championship.

Grace and Peace.

Notes from Omaha: Day 1

Notes from Omaha: Day 1

By Andy / PNW Sports

What seemed like a tall order a week ago is now reality. After dropping its first game of the College World Series to North Carolina, Oregon State fought back to win four consecutive elimination games and earn a spot in the championship series against Arkansas.

With an appearance in the National Championship secured, we decided it was time for our rag tag crew to make the long dreamed of pilgrimage to Omaha. Over the course of the next few days we’ll be sharing our experiences and thoughts with you as we take in Omaha live and in person for the first time. Hopefully this provides some insight/entertainment to you. If nothing else, it will serve as a way for us to document the trip.

Now that we’ve given you a fair explanation, here are some notes from day 1:

  • We all watched last night’s clinching game together at our friend Bobby’s house in Newberg. Of course, due to the magnitude of the game we grilled our customary brats with beer and onions (delicious).
  • The last inning was tense. I’d like to say I was calm, but that just isn’t the truth. I was doubled over on the floor with my thumb hovering above the “book it” button for our hotel.
  • Luckily Mully was able to put the game to bed and the celebration ensued.
  • Victory S’mores Blizzard at DQ? No brainer.
  • Started to think about Arkansas. Tough team. 47-19 is a real record. Great lineup, strong pitching, but not invincible. Also, 53-11 isn’t bad…
  • Con and I got three hours of sleep as we stayed up late planning and had to be at the airport at 4:30.
  • Our good friend, Ryan Kinnaman stepped up big time and drove us to PDX. Blessings to him and his family.
  • Going through security I put my boarding pass in the bin with my phone. I came out on the other side, my boarding pass did not. What in the world was that all about? I got a new one printed, but seriously… who took it?
  • Wheels up at 6am and thanks to Con’s broken foot, we got to board early.
  • Omaha, you elusive beauty; we finally found you.
  • Got a Lyft from the airport and the guy was in a sweet Tacoma. That was an exciting change up from the customary Prius.
  • We went and walked around TD Ameritrade and it’s a sight to behold. Such a cool stadium and the whole area around it is set up like a carnival.
  • Went to grab some food from Blatt Beer and Table. They had Freshed Squeezed from Deschutes on tap (of course they did).
  • The Beaver bus was in front of the stadium when we walked by and we snuck a few glimpses of bp. Apparently a water balloon fight broke out.
  • Checked in to our cheap hotel. Let’s just say we got what we paid for. I would guess no fewer than five serious crimes have been committed here. And as I type, I’m trying to keep my wandering eye from looking at the apparent blood stain on the carpet. But hey, we are on a budget and the reviews on it were decent.
  • Going to do a little more exploring tonight and then rest up for a big day.
  • This series is going to be fun. Two stacked teams battling it out for all the marbles. The atmosphere will be electric.
  • I’m interested to see what our interactions with Razorback fans will be like.
  • I think we’ll have bacon for breakfast.
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Beavs back in Omaha looking to finish what they started

By Andy / PNW Sports Fans

It seems like yesterday that the Beavers historic 2017 season came to an end in Omaha. But it didn’t conclude with the dogpile that had been seemingly written into the script months prior. A team that came to Omaha with just 4 losses on the season, was instead sent home from the doorstep of the championship series. How could this be? What happened? Greg Street couldn’t see an elephant if its trunk was touching his nose! The Beavs were a team of destiny! These thoughts among others raced through my head as my friends and I finished our beers in disgust at Prineville’s, Ochoco Brewing (Shoutout to them. Good food, good beer and they put the game on for us after a dusty day of softball.) We were supposed to embark on a cross country road trip the following morning to take in the championship series. But like the Beavers, the season didn’t end with us being where we’d hoped.

No matter how hard we tried to pinch ourselves, it was over. The best Oregon State baseball team to ever grace a diamond was coming back to Corvallis empty handed. It was a sobering couple of weeks. An all time great team wouldn’t be rewarded with the immortality it deserved. Instead it would be remembered as a great season that ultimately ended with thoughts of what could have been.

Fast forward a year to present day. Here we are. The Beavers are back in Omaha with a chance to start over and be remembered in a positive way (Hopefully John Canzano and the Oregonian see the irony). It won’t be easy. This field is stacked with blue bloods, immense talent, and teams that are incredibly tough outs. Oh, and the Washington Huskies will also be there.

A lot of familiar faces remain from last year’s squad. Nick Madrigal and Steven Kwan are back. Cadyn Grenier, Trevor Larnach, Adley Rutschman, and Bryce Fehmel are there too. Battle tested seniors Jack Anderson, Kyle Nobach and Luke Heimlich (who decided not to pitch last year because our society doesn’t truly believe in two sides to a story, rehabilitation, or second chances) will all be there. And of course, Pat Casey will be there donning the number 5 from a sun soaked dugout of TD Ameritrade Park.

Yes, much will be the same. But one key difference will be the repetitive muttering of a single word by both players and fans. “FINISH”! It’s a word Nick Madrigal and other leaders of the team have repeatedly used to describe the sole focus of this season. It’s the reason a customary dogpile was absent from an Omaha clinching celebration. And it is that word that will ultimately define the 2018 Beavers. It’s time to finish.

See you in Omaha!

3 Quick Hits: Omaha Baby

Featured3 Quick Hits: Omaha Baby

By Con

Monday edition of 3 quick hits on this glorious day in June.

Here we go.

1. Omaha

2. Omaha

3. Omaha

Need we say more??? We will…

1B. Omaha

What will it take this year? Pat has the boys throwing gas and playin’ fast. A great quote from him post-game Minnesota: “Omaha is no different in the actual game of baseball. I tell the guys, you have to pick it up and throw it when the ball comes to you and hit it when it’s thrown to you. Pretty simple. The game doesn’t change.”

Can we get an “amen” for Pat??? But seriously he has the Beavs firing on all cylinders right now. Bullpen is coming in to it’s own and the key in Omaha will be the same thing the Beavs did in this series: Grinding out at bats and wearing the opposing pitchers down.

I don’t have a stat for this but it seemed like every at bat OSU had against any Minnesota pitcher was going deep into counts and pitch counts. It was KEY in getting that freshmen gum smacker out of there as he looked all world the first time he faced OSU’s lineup. The Minnesota coach said it best: “It is hard and almost impossible to pitch well to that lineup for 9 innings. We didn’t do that.”

Lindsay Meggs and UNC watch out for the revenge tour. Contact LSU for details…

2B. Football Recruiting Weekend

HUGE weekend for Jonathan Smith and crew. 4 commitments Sunday night. Game changing 4 star DE/LB hybrid who will be locked in with a brother on the team already. The LB’s look rangy and sideline to sideline players. Hopefully, the 6’4″ receiver does better than our last one wearing #13… Momentum is building… Also Dr. Evil decommitting from the team down south… LOL!

3B. NBA Finals Comment

Houston with Chris Paul beats Warriors.

Dubs are still the champs though. No one likes Draymond still… LBJ about to pull a KD who pulled and LBJ originally.

Yawn.

Paging Neil Olshey: Do something.

Go Beavs.

Omaha, Omaha, Omaha.

Corvallis Super Regional Preview

Maker:0x4c,Date:2017-11-14,Ver:4,Lens:Kan03,Act:Lar01,E-Y

By Braught / PNW Sports Fans

The reward for the Beavers after pummeling the LSU kitty cats is a top 10 match up with the University of Minnesota. Besides the great series we will witness this weekend, the best thing to come out of this is our reminder about how much Scott Barnes looks like the Minnesota mascot, Goldy. Google it! You’ll thank me later.

Minnesota (44-13)  won the Big Ten conference regular season and the Big Ten conference Tournament before hosting a regional that included UCLA. The Gophers beat the Bruins twice to advance on.

Probably as no surprise to anyone in the west, I have not watched any Big Ten baseball besides when in Surprise, AZ for the Pac 12 – Big Ten challenge in February. What I do know is that Minnesota’s ace is Freshman Patrick Fredrickson, who was the Big Ten pitcher of the Year and is a Freshman All American . In 14 games, 92 IP,  he went 9-0 with a 1.76 ERA (18 ER total) and an impressive 70 to 24 strikeout to walk ratio. Opponents only batted .205 against him. That is Heimlich like (.211). And to make it worse, he’s from Gig Harbor, we could of had him. From what I have read, he has been there day 2 starter and Reggie Meyer (8-3, 2.62) has been there Day 1 starter. In the pen or day 3, they have Brett Schulze, who also was 9-0 albeit in 51.2 IP. He gives up a few more hits, with an OBA of .269 and 51 hits total. Their closer is Max Meyer, a freshmen who’s OBA is .156 in 40 IP and was named Freshmen Reliever of the Year today.

Their offense seems quite balanced like the Beavers but I do not know what Big Ten pitching or the parks are like to know if it is legit. They are led by 3rd round pick, SS Terrin Vavra, who was a 1st team All American this year. He is generally in the 3 hole and his OPS of 1.094 and 10 HRs lead the Gophers. Their lead off is generally 2B Luke Pettersen and his .408 OBP, followed by LF Ben Mezzenga and his .463 OBP.  And in the 4 hole is Ean Wilson, son of Dan Wilson of Mariner Catcher fame, who is pretty good hitter himself, .825 OPS and 5 HRs. The first three guys are Juniors or Seniors, so they have veteran experience and leadership.

The Gophers are not a team to be overlooked. They have all the talent and leadership necessary to come in a knock the Beavers out. I would still give the edge to the Beavers and believe a two game sweep should occur.

The Beavers are marching out a 1st round talent in Luke Heimlich, the gamer Bryce Fehmel, and their top 6 pitchers were all drafted, or will be drafted, in the top 10 rounds. There is just too much experience to lose. Not to mention the Goss Stadium crowd they will be playing in front of. The Beavers are 10-2 in Super Regionals at Goss. I expect that to be 12-2 after this weekend.

See you at the park.

-Braught