Beavers geaux down south


Lily Middleton

First baseman Garret Forrester (left), pitcher AJ Lattery (middle), and catcher Tanner Smith (right) make their way back to the dugout following the conclusion of their half-inning against Western Carolina on May 20. The Beavers will make their way down to Baton Rouge this week and have their first game against Sam Houston.

Noah Evans, Sports Contributor

On Monday, the Beavers learned they are headed to the Baton Rouge Regional in the NCAA baseball tournament where they begin their quest for a fourth national title. They accompany No. 5 LSU, Sam Houston State, and Tulane.

“I figured we were going somewhere,” head coach Mitch Canham told the media at a press conference Tuesday morning. “It doesn’t necessarily matter which regional you’re going to or who you’re playing. If the end goal is to win it all at Omaha, you’re gonna have to get through solid teams across the country.”

“I think we are in a great spot,” second-baseman Travis Bazzana said, oozing with confidence. “The pitchers trust themselves and they will bounce back from what wasn’t their best, and the hitters are at an all time peak right now.”

Oregon State’s first game is against the three-seed Sam Houston State, it is the first matchup between these two teams. The Bearkats finished their regular season 38-23 and won the end-of-season Western Athletic Conference tournament as well.

“They are a very offensive group,” Canham said about the Sam Houston Bearkats. “They play very solid baseball, they have a catcher who likes to throw, and they’ll do a lot of things the right way.”

Referring to Canaham’s offense remark, Sam Houston boasts a team batting average of .319. 

Preparation for Friday’s ball game began as soon as the Beavers heard their names called by the selection committee with some homework on the opposing team. 

“Us position players each got a pitcher to scout for the week ahead,” first-baseman Garret Forrester said. “We each did a scouting report of our own that we will present to the team today after practice.”

Should the study hours pay off, the Beavers will likely face a projected top five draft pick in flamethrower Paul Skenes and the LSU Tigers. 

“I’m excited to see how Friday pans out,” Forrester said. “We’ll see if LSU holds Skenes for us or if they throw in the first game. Either way I’m really excited to play in that environment and against great teams.”

“We knew we were going to be a two-seed somewhere,” center-fielder Michah McDowell said. “It’ll be a lot of fun to go down there (Baton Rouge) and face a couple of great teams.”

The fourth-seed in the LSU Regional is Tulane who ended the regular season 19-40 overall and went on a miraculous run to win the American Athletic Conference tournament. 

“Whoever we’re facing, no matter if it’s the number one pitcher in the country or someone else, we’re gonna go out and damage pitches in the zone,” Bazzana said. 

The Beavers begin their road to Omaha on Friday at 5 p.m. PST, the game will be broadcasted on ESPN plus. Per coach Canham, Trent Sellers will get the start against Sam Houston.

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