OSU Baseball opens Pac-12 play against Arizona State


Mitchell Monge, Multimedia Contributor

The competition rises against a ‘good’ Sun Devils team

While most of Corvallis is delighted just to see the sun, Oregon State baseball team gets to enjoy summer-esque weather in Tempe, Arizona.

However nice a vacation sounds, the Beavers are there for business. No. 2 Oregon State faces off against a tough Sun Devil team who recently defeated the previous No. 1 one team in the country, TCU.

Despite their recent success, their lack of offense has been noticeably non-existent. Sophomore shortstop Nick Madrigal acknowledges that there is much room for improvement.

“We’re gonna see better arms so we’re gonna have to get ready to hit,” Madrigal said. “I think the pitchers have been doing a great job keeping us in ballgames, and hopefully we can help them out coming up.”

Playing on the road is no easy task, but head coach Pat Casey has more than a little experience, especially with Pac-12 teams.

“I’ve done this many times, I know how good Arizona State is year in and year out,” Casey said. “I don’t think I’ve ever played an Arizona State team that I didn’t think was good. We just gotta go down and play baseball at a higher level, I say, than what we’ve done thus far.”

Especially early in the season, even the most efficient hitters have room for improvement.

Trevor Larnach has been one of Oregon State’s best hitters on the season, and leads the team in on-base-percentage.

“He’s swinging it pretty good early,” Madrigal said. “Talking to him, he doesn’t think he’s swinging as good as he can, but I think moving forward, he’ll definitely get into the swing of things.”

With the offense still progressing, the pitching staff looks as if it’s already the middle of the season. OSU’s pitching has been dominant, and freshman Jake Mulholland has had a large role out of the bullpen. Mulholland has a 0.00 ERA in 15.1 innings pitched, while allowing nine hits and striking out 13.

“I think just being in overall better shape has helped especially when you’re throwing a lot of pitches and a lot of times you’ll get fatigued after a few innings,” the freshman southpaw said. “It’s good to get stamina up and get in better shape. I think that’s helped (the entire pitching staff) a lot, me especially.”

As Mulholland has shined, so have the starters. Luke Heimlich has been outstanding this season on and off the field for the team.

“He’s taken me aside and said, ‘hey don’t worry about your results and don’t worry about the outcomes, just focus on the process and the results will come in the end from working hard,’” Mulholland said. “He looks like he’s on a mission right now. He’s just a great guy in every sense.”

As for this weekend, the team’s mission will be to beat the Sun Devils and extend their nine-game win streak. Heimlich is the probable starter for Thursday, with Bryce Fehmel and Jake Thompson taking the hill the rest of the series, according to Casey.

On twitter @mitchmonge55


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