Q&A with WSU’s basbeall beat reporter Lars Hanson

Brian Rathbone Sports Contributer

The Oregon State baseball team returns to conference play with a three-game series against Washington State in the Palouse.


The Beavers (22-7, 5-4 Pac-12) currently find themselves in the five-hole of the Pac-12 standings, taking on a Cougar (10-19, 3-9) squad that is still looking for their first conference win of season.

Daily Barometer’s Brian Rathbone caught up to Washington State baseball beat reporter of the Daily Evergreen, Lars Hanson, to get the scouting report on this weekend series.


Brian Rathbone: Washington State currently sits at the bottom of the Pac-12 standings, what has been keeping them from having success?


Lars Hanson: A combination of everything. Having a first-year coach getting used to players he’s never taken the field with for a legitimate game, prior to the start of this season. Having a lot of players, a majority of whom were either freshmen or sophomores, leave or not return to the program. Also, WSU doesn’t have any legitimate power hitters and only one veteran pitcher (Ian Hamilton) who is also making a change of his own. So pretty much every aspect has led to them having a down season.


BR: Is there any optimism of things turning around in the second half of the Pac-12 schedule?


LH: They’ll be in games and series’ but that’s pretty much it. They can get to 1-1 in a series but it’s unlikely to see them get a series win or sweep.


BR: If you are a batter, going against one of the three WSU pitchers in their weekend rotation. Who do you least want to face?


LH: Ian Hamilton. The former closer has the stuff to be a proven ace but this season he’s not had consistent defense and/or offense to support him in games. Without question Hamilton is WSU’s best starting pitcher and best pitcher overall.


BR: Who is the most feared hitter in the Cougar lineup?


LH: Probably Trek Stemp, only because he’s the most fearless hitter the Cougars have. As a result he gets on base and has had two 10+ hitting streaks this season so he knows how to handle himself at the plate. But he doesn’t hit for power but more to get singles and doubles and be a threat on the base path.


BR: Which player is due to break out?


LH: On the mound I would say freshman RHP Parker McFadden, because he’s had some solid starts but not one complete strong start. At the plate I would say Shane Matheny, he’s due to get his bat going on a consistent basis.

BR: Who is the young prospect to look out for?


LH: Mason Cerrillo. Took over at first base, while still splitting time with Patrick McGrath, when Wes Leow departed the program midseason. A freshman with a strong bat and good power to both left and right field. Just needs to get some more game under his belt but should be a building block for WSU moving forward even this season.


BR: What does Washington State have to do to win this series?

LH: Have a complete start of at least 6+ innings from all three of their starting pitchers. The offense doesn’t have to explode for them to win the series but they have to allow at most 3 runs per game to have a strong chance.

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