Oregon State CWS Capsule Preview

June 15, 2013
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2013 CWS TEAM CAPSULE

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By CB360 guest contributor Kevin Kennedy (additional content from Pete LaFleur)

 Capsules for: Mississippi State & UCLA (others being added)

Oregon State Beavers
(won Corvallis Regional and Corvallis Super Regional)  

Record: 50-11
Conference: 24-6 Pac-12 (first place)  

Head Coach: Pat Casey (26th year, 19th at Oregon St.; 4th CWS Appearance, National Champs in ’06, ’07)

First Game in Omaha: Saturday June 15 vs. Mississippi State (2 CT; ESPN2)

Series: First Meeting

NCAA Tournament History: 14th appearance (5th CWS; NCAA champions in 2006 & ’07) ` 

Team National Statistical Ranks (offensive):
• 37th in bases on balls (254
• 59th in bating avg. (.290)
• 74th in runs per game (5.8)
• 74th in home runs (74)
• 79th in slugging pct. (.392)
•  164th in stolen bases (164)

Team National Statistical Ranks (pitching & defense):
• 2nd in staff ERA (2.27)
• 3rd in fewest hits allowed per 9 inn. (6.88)
• 3rd in low WHIP (1.07 walks+hits per 9)
• 5th in staff K-to-walk ratio (2.54)
• 20th in double plays turned (57)
• 21st in fewest walks allowed per 9 inn. (2.72)
• 47th in team fielding pct. (47)
• 53rd in low opponent on-base pct. (.378)
• 104th in strikeouts per 9 innings (6.9)

Top-50 Players Among NCAA Stat Leaders
position players
• Andy Peterson 12th in sacrifice bunts (18)
• Dylan Davis 18th in doubles (22)
• Dylan Davis 43rd in RBI (57)
• Michael Conforto 46th in home runs (11)

pitchers
• Matt Boyd 1st in games started (17)
• Andrew Moore 1st in victories (14-1)
• Andrew Moore 6th in low WHIP (0.87 walks+hits per 9 IP)
• Andrew Moore 9th in ERA (1.36)
• Matt Boyd 14th in strikeouts (110)
• Andrew Moore 33rd in games started (16)
• Scott Schultz 49th in saves (10)

2013 MLB Draft Picks  (7)
LHP Ben Wetzler – 5th round  (Phillies)
LHP Matt Boyd – 6th round  (Blue Jays)
SS Tyler Smith – 8th round  (Mariners)
1B Danny Hayes – 13th round  (White Sox)
RHP Scott Schultz – 17th round  (Mariners)
RHP Dan Child – 18th round  (Phillies)
C Jake Rodriguez – 19th round (Astros)

ROAD to OMAHA: Oregon State has been near the top of the college baseball rankings since the first pitch of the 2013 season was thrown in February. The Beavers started the season 15-0 and entered Pac-12 play 16-1. Their early-season success included a four-game sweep of eventual Mountain West Tournament Champion San Diego State, a three-game sweep of 2013 Northeast Conference winner Bryant, and a split with San Francisco, another NCAA Tournament team. 

The team’s success carried over to Pac-12 play, with the Beavers losing only one of 10 conference series (at Washington). Following the series defeat by Washington, Oregon State rattled off 12 wins in a row and finished the season winning 16 of their final 18 games, clinching the Pac-12 title on the season’s final weekend.  

Oregon State won two-out-of-three against the three other Pac-12 teams that made the NCAA Tournament (Arizona State, at UCLA and at arch-rival Oregon). Other than the series at Washington  the Beavers dropped only one other series all season (at San Diego, a 2013 NCAA participant and the West Coast Conference tournament champion).  Awarded a home regional for only the second time since 2006, Oregon State was seeded third overall in the tournament. 

The start of the 2013 NCAA Tournament proved to be a bit bumpy for Oregon State, which had a tough time in its first two postseason games. The Beavers rallied in their opener against Texas-San Antonio with two runs in the bottom of the ninth for a 5-4 walk-off win. They followed that up with another last at-bat win the next night against UC Santa Barbara (3-2) before finishing off the regional with a 6-1 victory over Texas A&M. 

In last weekend’s Super Regional. Oregon State dropped the series opener to Kansas State, 6-2 in 10 innings, after the Wildcats tied the game in the 9th with a two-out rally. The Beavers bounced back, though, with a 12-4 blowout win in game-2 and then earned their berth in the College World Series by holding off KSU 4-3 in the third and deciding game. Oregon State ultimately was the only team in 2013 to lose the first game of its Super Regional series and rally back to advance to the CWS.

Oregon State is sending its season in Omaha for the fifth time overall and the first time since 2007, when the Beavers won the second of their back-to-back national titles. (1) North Carolina and (4) LSU are the only other top-8 national seeds that reached the 2013 CWS, while LSU and Oregon State are the only former NCAA champions among the eight-team field.

WILL the MAGIC RETURN, TOO? – Oregon Sate. is back in the CWS for the first time in six years, so does that mean the magic of the 2006 and 2007 title teams returns as well? Both Oregon State national championship squads (2006 & ’07) had some magic, albeit very different types during each season.  

The 2006 Oregon State team lost its CWS opener before winning four straight elimination games to advance to the Championship Series. The Beavers then lost the finals opener to North Carolina before winning their fifth and sixth elimination games of the CWS to take home the program’s first national championship.

The following year, Oregon State barely made it into the 2007 tournament and then lost its second regional game, but the Beavers rallied out of the loser’s bracket and ultimately won five in row to make it back to Omaha. In the 2007 CWS, the team’s hot play continued as Oregon State went 5-0 at Rosenblatt Stadium and won another championship (beating UNC again in the finals).

From 2008-12, Oregon State advanced as far as the Super Regional only once (2011) before returning to the CWS this season, but Pat Casey’s teams have won 11 of their past 13 games in Omaha.  

POWER of ARMS – The main reason that Oregon State dropped only two weekend series during the 2013 regular season was the Friday-Saturday-Sunday rotation of senior LHP Matt Boyd, freshman Andrew Moore and junior LHP Ben WetzlerThe trio has combined for a 33-4 record this season with an equally-impressive combined ERA of 1.85. The freshman Moore sports an ERA of 1.36 and a record of 14-1. The 14 wins are tied for most in the country. Wetzler is 9-1 with an 2.11 ERA while Boyd takes a 10-3 and 2.13 ERA into the 2013 CWS. Boyd, a converted reliever, closed Monday’s decisive Super-Regional game vs. Kansas State (started by Wetzler) and Moore is expected to start Oregon State’s CWS opener vs. Mississippi State.

In the Super-Regional series vs. Kansas State, Oregon State’s power trio combined to throw 24 of the 28 innings (including Boyd’s 1.1 relief innings that closed out game-3). Their combined ERA in those three games (2.63) is above their overall season mark but still commendable vs. the potent Kansas State bats and in a high-pressure atmosphere with the CWS bid on the line. Their combined stats over the 24 Super Regional innings included 19 hits and 14 walks allowed, with 23 strikeouts (led by Moore’s nine in gm-2).

The Beavers pitching staff also features a talented bullpen group at the end of games. The team’s top three relievers – freshman LHP Max Englebrekt (1.30 ERA), senior RHP Tony Bryant (1.76) and junior RHP Scott Schultz (2.03) – boast three of the four lowest ERAs on the team. The primary closer Schultz leads the team with 10 saves, although Englebrekt closed several games late in the season (he left gm-1 of the Super-Regional due to back spasms and did not return in gm-2 or gm-3). 

RACKING UP the AWARDS – Oregon State won three of the Pac-12’s five-regular season awards, taking home player of the year, freshman of the year and coach of the year. Fellow CWS participant UCLA won the pitcher and defensive player of the year awards 

The Beavers are led offensively by conference player of the year Michael Conforto, who started his college career in 2012 by earning Pac-12 Freshman of the Year. The sophomore leftfielder and 3-hole batter is hitting .320 (third on the team) with 45 RBI (second) and a team-high 11 home runs. Conforto is the first Oregon State player since 2006 to receive the Pac-12′s top offensive honor.

Freshman RHP Andrew Moore (14-1 1.36 ERA) was named the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year while Pat Casey was tabbed as the league’s top coach for the fifth time in his career. 

Oregon State’s seven first team All-Pac 12 Conference selections for the 2013 season included each of the top-3 starting pitchers (sr. LHP Matt Boyd, Moore and junior LHP Ben Wetzler), along with Conforto, so. RHP Dylan Davis, senior CF Tyler Smith and jr. catcher Jake Rodriguez. Two others received Pac-12 honorable mention: junior RH closer Scott Schultz and junior 2B Andy Peterson.

• Roster Breakdown: 9 Seniors, 11 Juniors, 10 Sophomores and 5 Freshman

• Home States: California: 12 Oregon: 11, Washington 9, and one each from Hawaii, Utah and Wisconsin 

PROBABLE LINEUP (* indicates team leader in category) 

(1) SS Tyler Smith – bats: R, 6-0/194, Sr., Thousand Oaks, CA
First Team All Pac-12
.311 avg., 46 Runs*, 27 RBI, 2 HR, 2 Triples, 9 Doubles, .403 Slg %, 24 BB, 6 HBP, 34 Ks, 9-11 SB
–Selected by Seattle Mariners in 8th Round of 2013 MLB Draft

(2) 2B Andy Peterson – bats: R, 5-10/170, Jr., La Palma, CA
Pac-12 Honorable Mention
.329 avg., 45 Runs, 27 RBI, 0 HR, 0 Triples, 5 Doubles, .351 Slg %, 16 BB, 6 HBP, 37 Ks, 13-18 SB

(3) LF Michael Conforto – bats: L, 6-1/215, So., Woodinville, WA.
Pac-12 Player of the Year, First Team All American (Perfect Game)
.320 avg., 45 RBI, 46 Runs*, 11 HR*, 1 Triple, 10 Doubles, .515 Slg %, 39 BB*, 14 HBP*, 43 Ks*, 6-of-10 SB, .444 OBP*

(4) RF Dylan Davis – bats: R, 6-0/210, So., Redmond, WA
First Team All Pac-12
.343 avg.,* 58 RBI*, 44 Runs, 5 HR, 3 Triples*, 22 Doubles*, .521 Slg %*, 17 BB, 1 HBP, 32 Ks, 9-12 SB 

(5) 1B Danny Hayes, 1B – bats: L 6-4/209, Sr., Rancho Murieta, CA
.269 avg., 39 RBI, 36 Runs, 6 HR, 0 Triples, 13 Doubles, .423 Slg %, 34 BB, 3 HBP, 27 Ks, 2-2 SB
– Selected by Chicago White Sox in 13th Round of 2013 MLB Draft 

(6) DH Ryan Barnes – Bats: R, 5-11/205, Sr., West Linn, OR
.299 avg., 24 RBI, 26 Runs, 2 HR, 1 Triple, 8 Doubles, .391 Slg %, 17 BB, 1 HBP, 16 Ks, 2-5 SB 

(7) 3B Kavin Keyes, 3B – Bats: Switch, 5-11/200, Jr., Sandy, UT
.318 avg., 33 RBI, 18 Runs, 2 HR, 1 Triple, 12 Doubles, .421 Slg %, 18 BB, 7 HBP, 33 Ks, 3-3 SB 

(8) C Jake Rodriguez – Bats: L, 5-9/200, Jr., Elk Grove, CA
First Team All Pac-12
.278 avg., 34 RBI, 24 Runs, 2 HR, 0 Triples, 10 Doubles, .367 Slg %, 33 BB, 5 HBP, 34 Ks, 2-of-4 SB
– Selected by Houston Astros in 19th Round of 2013 MLB Draft

(9) CF Max Gordon, CF – Bats: L, 5-8/170, Sr., Ashland, OR
.235 avg., 19 Runs, 5 RBI, 0 HR, 0 Triples, 1 Double, .243 Slg %, 18 BB, 8 HBP, 16 Ks 3-4 SB
 

Starting Rotation (* – team-leading total)

(1) LHP Matt Boyd – 6-3/217, Sr., Mercer Island, WA
First Team All Pac-12, Second Tem All-American (Perfect Game; second team AA from Collegiate Baseball magazine, third team from Baseball America)
10-3, 18 Appearances, 17 Starts*, 2.13 ERA, 122.2 IP*, 110 Ks*, 30 BB, .198 Opp Avg., 86 Hits
– Selected by Toronto Blue Jays in 6th Round of 2013 MLB Draft

(2) RHP Andrew Moore – 5-11/180, Fr., Eugene, OR
Pac-12 Freshman of the Year, First Team All-American (Baseball America, 2nd team AA from Collegiate Baseball magazine), NCBWA First Team Freshman All-American
14-1*, 17 Appearances, 16 Starts, 1.36 ERA, 119 IP, 70 Ks, 26 BB, .194 Opp Avg., 78 Hits 

(3) LHP Ben Wetzler – 6-1/209, Jr., Clackamas, OR
First Team All Pac-12
9-1, 15 Appearances, 15 Starts, 2.11 ERA, 89.2 IP, 77 Ks, 30 BB, .231 Opp Avg., 75 Hits
– Selected by Philadelphia Phillies in 5th Round of 2013 MLB Draft

Bullpen 

RHP Scott Schultz – 6-2/211, Jr., Harbor City, WA
Pac-12 Honorable Mention
2-1, 25 Appearances*, 10 Saves* 2.03 ERA, 40 IP, 32 Ks, 8 BB, .184 Opp Avg., 27 Hits
– Selected by Miami Marlins in 17th Round of 2013 MLB Draft

LHP Max Engelbrekt – 6-3/197, Fr., Seattle, WA
5-1, 22 Appearances, 5 Saves, 1.30 ERA*, 27.2 IP, 20 Ks, 10 BB, .212 Opp Avg., 21 Hits 

RHP Tony Bryant – 6-7/221, Sr., Kennewick, WA
1-0, 21 Appearances, 1 Save, 1.76 ERA, 30.2 IP, 28 Ks, 14 BB, .146 Opp Avg., 15 Hits

QUOTEWORTHY … 

”We’ve got an incredible team with incredible guys. Guys who know how to fight, guys who know how to put extra runs on when you’re already up … I think we’ve got the full package, if we do all the things right.” 

– Oregon State OF Michael Conforto, after advancing to 2013 CWS with Super Regional series win over Kansas State

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