Baseball prepares for final weekend

The Oregon State baseball team knows what’s at stake when they host UCLA for their final Pac-12 series this weekend at Goss Stadium.

The Beavers (32-19, 13-14 Pac-12) find themselves squarely on the postseason bubble. A series win over the Bruins (25-28, 12-15) could extend their season beyond the regular season. A series loss could result in the team watching the postseason from home for only the second time since 2005.

“We know the situation we’re in, so we’re just trying to embrace it and do everything we can to get where we want to be,” said freshman pitcher Bryce Fehmel. “We still believe. We just have to get to the tournament and once we’re there, anything is possible.”

“We are going to go out and try and get a sweep, like we do every weekend,” said freshman infielder Cadyn Grenier. “We are going to do what we can and leave the rest to the committee.”

Head coach Pat Casey is no stranger to late season drama. He and his team faced a similar situation in 2007—the year they won their second consecutive College World Series.

“We just need to come out and win.” Casey said. “We had to win two of three down there, similar to 2007 when we had to win two of three (in Los Angeles), the difference is that this year the RPI in the league isn’t as good so there isn’t as many people in front of us. The biggest thing is we have to take it one game at a time.

Already with an RPI (Rating Percentage Index) in 50’s and two wins away from a .500 conference record. The Beavers know their margin of error is small, but are embracing the challenge.

“We got nothing to lose, that’s the way we are seeing it right,” said senior pitcher Travis Eckert. “We are just out and playing hard that’s all we can do. Control what you can—effort and attitude.”

When the Beavers open their series against Bruins on Friday, Eckert could be taking the mound for the final time in his Oregon State career.

“I would be lying if I said I hadn’t thought about it.” “It’s certainly a reality, I don’t want it to be my last start”

Last week against USC, Eckert wanted the team to play loose, and to play as if the team did not need to win. The mindset paid off, as Eckert set the tone for the weekend when he flirted with a perfect game, going 7 2/3 inning before allowing a USC baserunner en route to his first complete game performance of his OSU career.

Replicating that success this week against UCLA, could give the boost the Beavers’ need to propel them into the postseason.

“Momentum is big, while at the same time, once one game is over that game doesn’t matter anymore,” Eckert said. “I certainly think that it was big for me to go out and set the stage for the weekend like we did on Friday.”