Baseball Notebook: Rasmussen’s return, Engelbrekt’s leadership and Corvallis rain

Baseball Notebook: Rasmussen’s return, Engelbrekt’s leadership and Corvallis rain

Mitchell Monge, Multimedia Contributor

 OSU baseball just added another pitcher to their active roster. Drew Rasmussen was cleared last weekend, and is available to pitch going forward.

“It’s awesome,” Rasmussen said. “It’s also a real relief to get back out there, see some live hitters, get some innings, help this team in any way I’m needed.”

Rasmussen hopes to contribute to a stellar pitching staff that owns a national best 1.88 team ERA. However, he has continued to be a leader even when he can’t be on the field.

“He’s one of the team captains, a leader on and off the field,” junior pitcher Luke Heimlich said. “He brings a lot to the dugout even when he’s not playing, and we’re excited to have him back on the field.”

Rasmussen is the hardest worker in the weight room, according to his teammates and coaches. His 6’2” 225-pound build makes him look like the flamethrower he is.

During his recovery, Rasmussen said that his velocity was there, and that command was the last thing to come for him. Pitching coach Nate Yeskie said that Rasmussen’s fastball was in the mid-90s.

“Nobody rushed me here,” Rasmussen said. “They gave me the ability to go at my own pace, so we knew I was healthy. We were just waiting for the final sign-off, and when we got that, there was excitement.”

The Beavers now add depth to a very strong bullpen, and can ease Rasmussen back into a starting role as he progresses.

Max Engelbrekt’s senior leadership.

OSU baseball is a young team, but redshirt senior Max Engelbrekt has become a mentor for younger pitchers.

Engelbrekt has been dominant this season, holding opposing hitters to a .128 batting average, while picking up five saves and maintaining a 0.79 ERA.

Engelbrekt also brings a good perspective to the bullpen, according to Yeskie. This has been key in helping younger players see the bigger picture.

“He’s given kids a lot of perspective on how to prepare themselves,” Yeskie said. “He knows myself and (head coach Pat) Casey, and how we try to manage a game as much as possible, and he’s keen to those things.”

Engelbrekt commonly sits behind Yeskie in the bullpen, and has picked up tips from the pitching coach.

“He’s become a bullpen coach of sorts,” Yeskie said. “I think any time you get senior leadership like that, it doesn’t matter whether is pitching-wise or otherwise, it’s good. But I think in particular with pitchers, it can be extremely valuable.”

Engelbrekt hasn’t made an appearance lately because he was dealing with a tight back. The injury is nothing more than stiffness, and he feels “great” and is available to pitch going forward.

Rain, rain, go away

Tuesday’s Civil War was postponed due to rain. This is the third game of the season that has been rained out.

Games with University of Portland and Gonzaga were postponed earlier this season.

A spokesperson for OSU baseball said that it is “unlikely” that the Gonzaga game will be made up. There is no timetable for rescheduling the games against Oregon or Portland.

Engelbrekt is optimistic that the weather will change for the better going forward after the most recent rainout.

“In terms of midweek games, I don’t think it’s really an advantage or disadvantage for us. I think we’ll play as the weather gets nicer, but it’s been a weird year, a lot of rain.”

Corvallis is already .93 inches of rain over its April average, according the College of Agricultural Sciences at OSU, and April isn’t even over.

Engelbrekt still loves Goss despite losing games to the rain.

“We love playing at home,” Engelbrekt said. “We love our crowds, and especially as the weather gets nicer, we’ll have even more people there and that’s an even bigger advantage for us.”

The Beavers host USC this weekend. First pitch Friday is set for 5:35 p.m. from Goss Stadium.

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