Beavers prep for Trojans

Joshua Lucas Daily Barometer
Logan Ice

Brian Rathbone Senior Beat Reporter

It was announced on Wednesday that Oregon State’s Logan Ice was named one of the 15 semifinalists for the Johnny Bench Award—an award given annually to college baseball’s top catcher.

The three-year starting catcher is enjoying his best season offensively in his junior year. Ice ranks in the top-10 in a handful Pac-12 offensive categories.

He is batting .336 on the season, good for eighth in the conference, his 39 runs batted in, his on-base percentage of .460 and slugging percentage of .618 all rank fifth in the conference. He also ranks sixth with seven home runs and leads all other Pac-12 catchers with five triples on the year.

Ice, who has been a wall defensively from his catcher position, has thrown out 18 of the 42 base runners who have attempted steals.

Continuing a long line of successful Beavers catchers; from Jake Rodriguez, to Andrew Susac to Mitch Canham, Ice’s career stacks up against the former greats.

“He’s one of the best we’ve ever had there’s no doubt about it,” said head coach Pat Casey. “He’s a complete of package behind the plate as we’ve had.”

Due to his calm disposition, what get overshadowed with the number of innings behind the plate, and his offensive numbers is the way Ice approaches the game and his teammates.

“Because he is quiet he doesn’t get enough credit for being a good locker room guy,” Casey said. “Being a guy who picks his teammates up, a guy that want’s to win, he works hard all the time, the number of innings he’s had to catch, he’s been really impressive.”

Mindset fix

If the baseball season were to end today, the Beavers might not be in the postseason. According to’s tournament projections, OSU is on the outside looking in being named of of the first teams out of the field.

Just a few short weeks ago the Beavers were in contention on hosting a regional round, but after getting swept by Arizona, a midweek loss to Portland and losing two of three at home in the Civil War, are now in a position where each series has heightened importance.

Despite the mounting pressure, the team is trying to stay in the moment and not let the outside distractions hinder the way they are trying to play.

“(We’re) trying to stay away from the mindset that we have to win,” said senior pitcher Travis Eckert. “Don’t worry about results, stay away from being result oriented and just come out and have a lot of energy and not worry about where we are in the season. (We’re) staying away from the thought that we have to win and just go out and have fun.

Questionable Madrigal

Freshman second baseman Nick Madrigal is still questionable for the Beavers weekend matchup against USC.

Madrigal has missed the Civil War series last week after popping his non-throwing shoulder out of place in last Tuesday’s 7-5 loss to the University of Portland. Madrigal was taking ground balls at practice, but not taking batting practice.

“He and I and everyone else we’ve got to follow the doctor’s orders so what they think (is what’s best for Madrigal,)” said Casey.

Madrigal had started every game this season prior to the injury and still leads the team with 62 hits on the year. He is also third on the team with a .333 batting average, however he is the only OSU batter to hit over .300 during conference play, hitting .314.

“Nobody want’s to play more than Nick, nobody wants him in the lineup more than me,” Casey said. “We are gonna do what’s best for Nick and we are going to play that day by day.”

Staying the same, upping the intensity

Following Sunday’s Game 3 loss to Oregon in the Civil War, Casey was asked if he planned on switching up how the team would practice, since they were midst of losing six of their last seven games.

Casey mentioned that he would continue the routine that he used in 2006 and 2013 when his team’s made runs to the College World Series.

Taking Monday off, the team returned to have two successful practices leading into the series against USC.

“Approach is the same, try and do a better job of what we are doing,” said Casey said on Wednesday. “Practice efficiently, practice with intent practice with energy, the guys have done a great job of practice thus far.”

“We’ve had some really good practices,” said senior pitcher Travis Eckert “I’ve noticed a high intensity at practice.”