Notebook: pitching staff continues dominance, Nick Madrigal’s leadership role

Mitchell Monge, Multimedia Contributor

Oregon State has the best pitching staff in college baseball. The numbers back it up.

With the lowest ERA in the country and a dominant bullpen, opposing hitters face little chance.

OSU’s staff owns a 1.74 ERA as a team. Freshman Jake Mulholland owns the lowest ERA in the nation at 0.55, followed by teammate Luke Hemlich at 0.83. Jake Thompson falls in at No. 7 with a 1.02 ERA.

“Obviously the starting pitching has been really good,” head coach Pat Casey said. “Jake Thompson has been outstanding, as well as Heimlich, obviously, and (Bryce) Fehmel, but the bullpen has been really good.”

However, Casey didn’t expect this kind of success, especially from the bullpen, at the start of the season.

“I’m really pleased with how many innings we’re getting out of some of the guys in the bullpen, and how much better our bullpen is this year than it was last year,” Casey added.

Starting pitcher Jake Thompson has been locked in as of late, too. Thompson has allowed only one earned run in his last three starts, and is locking up opposing hitters when he’s on the mound.

“The times I’m lucky enough to be in in center field, I get to watch him throw those slidersthose hitters aren’t close to them,” Steven Kwan said. “Then, he just blows by them with the fastball.”

Thompson has made a vast improvement from last season, lowering his ERA from 4.28 to 1.02. In addition, he has already tied his career-high 61 innings pitched that he set last year, and the season is still in full swing. When asked what the key was to Thompson’s recent success, Casey listed four words.

“Confidence. Belief. Trust. Maturity.”

In addition to thriving on the mound, the sophomore outfielder has noticed Thompson has changed off the field as well.

“The way he’s going by things, his mentality, his swagger walking around; it’s just different,” Kwan said. “Seeing him be happy in the dugout, energeticit’s just a great thing to see.”


Nick Madrigal ignites fire under teammates.


Sophomore shortstop Nick Madrigal owned up to his error last Thursday that occurred in the Beavers’ second loss of the season.

After being handed a 3-2 loss at Washington, Madrigal stepped up as a leader and spoke to his team. Teammate Christian Donahue described the scene on the bus after the game.

“All the coaches got off the bus, and he sits in the back, so he went up to the front of the bus and he was saying, ‘This is our second loss of the season. We just gotta keep going, tomorrow is a new day,’” Donahue recalled. “He took the blame for the loss, but it wasn’t his fault. We don’t lose a game on one play. It was pretty cool to see him go up there and take ownership, and take accountability, but it really wasn’t his fault.”

Madrigal’s talk came after Washington snapped OSU’s 23-game win streak. For a team that has become so accustomed to winning, experiencing a loss may be a forgotten feeling.

“People didn’t really know how to feel, just because it was our second loss in 30 plus games, so it was definitely different for us,” Donahue said. “I think we did a great job of bouncing back, and not letting that affect us at all.”

Steven Kwan described Madrigal’s speech as coming at a time when the mood was “serious” but not “shocked.” Afterward, there was a shift in the overall attitude on the bus.

“That got us really going, got us to sleep real good, and the next day was just business as usual,” Kwan said.

After the loss, the Beavers bounced back in the next two games, stealing the series from the Huskies.

“Coming out there with more firewe had to win two games in a rowthat’s pretty hard to do. We showed fight, we showed grit and we showed that we’re never going to give up and we’re going to give it all we have until the final out.”


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