Jun 21, 2013; Omaha, NE, USA; A ball rests on the infield during the game between the North Carolina Tar Heels and UCLA Bruins in the College World Series at TD Ameritrade Park. Mandatory Credit: Dave Weaver-USA Today Sports
Washington State baseball has approached their most pivotal part of the season. The Cougars hold a record of 15-14 overall, but are 6-3 in Pac-12 play, good enough for a third place tie in the conference. The Cougars are set to face the Oregon State Beavers here in Pullman this weekend. The series will begin a stretch of three consecutive series against conference opponents who hold a combined record of 71-22-1 this season according to pac12.com.
After losing to BYU this past Tuesday to break a 6 game winning streak, the Cougars are now set to face Oregon State, Oregon, and Washington over the course of their next three series’. The Cougars will have a home and home split against Gonzaga in-between the OSU-Oregon series, and the Oregon-UW series.
If the Cougars want to show they are serious contenders this year, now is the time to show the conference what they’re capable of. The Cougars are 11-5 in their past 16 games, and series wins against OSU, Oregon, and UW will not only prove to the league the Cougars are serious, but also give them an opportunity to climb into first place within the conference.
The Cougar offense, led by junior Yale Rosen, the recent Pac-12 player of the week winner, must find a way to score runs off the OSU pitching staff that boasts a 2.15 team ERA according to pac12.com. If they are unable to crack the OSU pitching staff, the Cougars will face a long weekend against the national powerhouse. Cougar head coach Donnie Marbut knows the season is long, but wins against conference opponents are pivotal.
"“Every single weekend I mean you can talk about the same type of thing that goes on in this conference. It’s nice to be in the discussion, but you’d really rather be in the discussion at the end of the season.”WSU baseball coach Donnie Marbut"
The Cougars must come away with victories against top-tier teams if they want to return to the postseason for the first time since 2010. They’ve put themselves in position, now let’s see if they capitalize during the most pivotal part of the 2014 season.