June 11, 2011; Nashville, TN, USA; Oregon State Beavers pitcher Ben Wetzler (28) watches the Vanderbilt Comodores celebration from the dug out following game two of the super regional of the 2011 NCAA baseball tournament at Hawkins Field. Vanderbilt defeated Oregon State 9-3 to win the series. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports
One thing never in doubt when the baseball schedule for Washington State (22-30, 8-19 in Pac-12) is officially released, it’s going to be loaded with top notch opponents.
With the benefit of hindsight, the Cougs have saved the best for last in 2013.
This weekend WSU will wrap up their season by traveling to Corvallis and taking on the nationally ranked No. 4 Oregon State Beavers (43-9, 22-5 in Pac-12). National rankings are based on popular vote. Conference rankings are based on performance. When it comes to the Pac-12, there is no one better than the Beavers in 2013. They are No. 1.
Yes fans, the Cougs have a daunting task in front of them beginning Friday evening at 4pm. As good as OSU is on the season, they are at their best playing at home. The Beavs are a sparkling 20-3 when they enjoy home field advantage. Impressive.
Thanks to WSU Athletics, we know it’s likely the Cougs will start their regular Friday Night Guy, Joe Pistorese (5-4). Pistorese was sharp in his last outing against UW but was tagged with a loss when WSU errors led to a pair of late unearned runs.
Oregon State will probably send their ace Matt Boyd (10-3) to the mound Friday night. Like Pistorese, Boyd pitched well enough to earn a victory last time out but was outdueled by Oregon’s FNG, Tommy Thorpe (6-4). Boyd gave up three earned runs delivered by a measly 7-hits to be saddled with his third loss of the season.
The Cougs better be aggressive at the plate facing OSU pitching, best in the conference. Beaver pitching attacks the strike zone early and often.
When you consider conference pitching, there’s the Oregon State staff and the rest of the Pac-12. The Beavs have an eye-popping team ERA of just 2.02 while holding opponents to a team batting average of .207.. That’s not a typo. Two point zero two and two-oh-seven.
That said, expect Washington State to bring their best to the diamond. This final three game match-up represents their opportunity to play a post-season-like series. It also represents one last chance to make an impression on Coach Donnie Marbut going into the off-season.
This has been an up and down year for the Cougs who have lacked the focus necessary to excel at level required for success in the Pac-12. And that’s not opinion. It’s been an ongoing theme lamented by Coach Marbut time and time again in response to the worst fielding in the conference.
Many won’t be able to enjoy college baseball at it’s best over the Memorial Day Weekend by attending Washington State’s final series of 2013. But everyone will be able to set their DVR and watch all three games on the Pac-12 Networks.
Wait a minute…
There are still some folks who won’t be able to click on their remote to the P12N.
It’s both amazing and frustrating there still is no deal in place with P12N and Directv. Worse yet, there isn’t any indication a deal will be struck between now and August 31st when Cougar football takes to the gridiron to begin the 2013 schedule.
When it comes to putting together a big money deal to carry the Pac-12 Networks, clearly Directv doesn’t have the right package. There has been a meeting of the minds with virtually every other content provider. The lone exception? Directv.
Rather than going on a rant about Directv and their professed commitment to being the No.1 provider in terms of customer service, let the record supercede opinion. Directv has failed to find a formula that positions them to offer P12N to their loyal customers. (NOTE: Let the record show this former 12-year subscriber to Directv switched to Dish last year solely based on gaining access to P12N content).