Thursday, February 21, 2013

This week: Oregon State (4-0) at Aztecs (3-0)

SAN DIEGO, Calif. — Although it has been six years since Oregon State won back-to-back NCAA championships — becoming the first school from the Northwest to win the College World Series — the Beavers remain among the nation's elite programs.

Oregon State (4-0) comes to town ranked No. 6 in the nation by Baseball America, so the Beavers pose another strong early-season test for SDSU (3-0).

This week's schedule, probable pitching matchups and other items of interest:

Thursday — Oregon State RHP Dan Child (1-0, 3.60 ERA) vs. SDSU RHP Michael Cederoth (1-0, 1.80), 6 p.m.

Friday — Oregon State LHP Matt Boyd (1-0, 1.69) vs. SDSU RHP Philip Walby (0-0, 2.70), 6 p.m.

Saturday — Oregon State RHP Andrew Moore (1-0, 1.69) vs. SDSU RHP Ryan Doran (1-0, 3.00), 1 p.m.

Sunday — Oregon State TBA vs. SDSU RHP Cody Thompson (0-0), 12 p.m.

The most noticeable difference between last week's series against USD and this week against Oregon State will be the absence of sophomore first baseman Ryan Muno, who suffered a broken hand in Tuesday's practice and will be out of the lineup for at least the next 3-4 weeks. Senior John Spirk and junior Mitch Bluman will serve as a right-lefty platoon in place of Muno. ... Sophomore center fielder Greg Allen (.528), junior second baseman Tim Zier (.429, 7 RBI), sophomore DH Brad Haynal (.385, 3 RBI) and freshman third baseman Ty France (.333) sparked the offense against USD.

Harding-throwing RHPs Michael Cederoth and Philip Walby both kept USD off balance in the first two games of the series, but will look to limit walks in their outings this week after allowing five walks apiece against the Toreros. ... Freshman closer Bubba Derby earned two saves against the Toreros with ninth-inning theatrics on both occasions. Derby extricated himself from a second-and-third, no outs situation on Saturday. He came into a bases-loaded, no outs situation on Sunday and got out of that as well — striking out the side to do it. ... The four-game series against the Beavers provides an opportunity for freshman RHP Cody Thompson to make his collegiate debut.

— It is Aaron Harang jersey night on Thursday, with the first 500 fans in attendance receiving a replica jersey shirt from his era at SDSU. Harang, a Patrick Henry High graduate, pitched for the Aztecs from 1997-99. He reached the major leagues with Oakland in 2002, spent most of his career with Cincinnati, pitched for the Padres in 2011 and this year begins his second season with the Dodgers.
— Oregon State is 7-6-1 all-time against the Aztecs, although just 2-5-1 at Tony Gwynn Stadium. SDSU posted one of the year's most lopsided wins last season in an 18-2 home victory over the Beavers. Spirk, catcher Jake Romanski and outfielder Avondre Bollar each collected three RBI in the game. Cederoth was credited with the victory after three innings of one-run relief.
— The Beavers opened the season last week in the Palm Springs Tournament with a win over Utah Valley and Gonzaga and two victories over UC Riverside.
— Baseball America's Aaron Fitt reports that Oregon State LHP Ben Wetzler could return to the mound in a limited capacity this week after missing the opening weekend with a tight back. The junior was 8-2 last season with a 3.10 ERA.
— SDSU's sweep of USD earned the Aztecs a spot in the national rankings this week, checking in at No. 22 in Collegiate Baseball newspaper's Top 30.

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