2011 Baseball Preview: The Beavers
Feb. 9, 2011
CORVALLIS, Ore. - The Oregon State baseball team is working out on a daily basis at Goss Stadium, getting ready for the start of the season that is now approximately 10 days away. OSU opens its 2011 campaign Feb. 19 against Gonzaga, in Fresno, Calif.
The official online home of Oregon State Athletics, osubeavers.com, would like to help you get prepared for the 2011 campaign with the Oregon State baseball preview. In the weeks leading up to the start of the season, we will have positional previews, Q&A sessions with a few newcomers and much much more.
Today, we will look at the team in general, and the schedule the club will face in 2011. We will let head coach Pat Casey do most of the talking, in an archive of the team's media day available below. It has 24 minutes of great information about how he feels the team will stack up and what he feels it will take to be successful.
The club is returning 14 letterwinners from a year ago, including six position starters. Matt Boyd, who was a freshman All-America in 2010, returns for his sophomore campaign, as does Andrew Susac, who was a Pacific-10 Conference Honorable Mention selection.
The team has five returning seniors, all of whom had big roles in 2010 and expect to do the same in 2011. Jared Norris manned right field and first base last season, while Michael Miller returns for his fourth season in the outfield. Dylan Jones is back to doing double duty at first base and on the mound, while Parker Berberet brings back his valuable bat to play behind the plate, at first, and really, anywhere the Beavers need him. Last, but certainly not least, the team's fifth senior is right-hander James Nygren, who like Miller, will be in Corvallis for his fourth season and who expects to anchor the team's relievers.
All told, the club has many key pieces that will make the club successful in 2011.
Did you know 10 Oregon State players on the 2011 roster have already been selected by MLB clubs but decided they wanted to become Beavers? That's true. They are: Carter Bell, Tony Bryant, Dan Child, Adam Duke, Sam Gaviglio, Garrett Nash (twice), Jordan Poyer, Jake Rodriguz, Susac and Ben Wetzler. Four of the 10 - Child, Duke, Rodriguez and Wetzler - had the opportunity this past summer to sign but elected to come to Corvallis.
Now that is saying something.
That group, and all of the Beavers on the 2011 roster, will be tasked with playing a tough schedule this season. With eight Pac-10 teams making the tournament in 2010, it means the Beavers will be playing a former NCAA Tournament team just about every league weekend this year.
The Beavers also put together an outstanding non-conference schedule that will take them to Fresno, Corpus Christi, Texas, San Antonio and Long Beach, Calif. They'll play the 2008 national champion Fresno State Bulldogs in the opening weekend of the season, then the next week, will head to Corpus Christi to square off with 2010 NCAA Tournament club Connecticut, along with Indiana, among others.
Oregon State opens its 2011 home slate March 4 against Hartford in the start of a four-game series and one that will see the Beavers play an eight-game homestand.
The trip to Long Beach will see OSU play the vaunted "Dirtbags" of LBSU for a three-game series before OSU takes on UC Santa Barbara the following weekend at Goss Stadium. The club, all told, will play 28 home games in 2011.
Arizona awaits Oregon State on April 1 in Tucson in what amounts to the Pac-10 opener for both clubs. OSU will see Arizona State, Washington State, California and USC at Goss this season for conference series. The Beavers will also get Oregon twice - March 8 and May 3 - in two non-conference games.