Oregon State opens its 2014 schedule Friday with a 3 p.m. PT (4 p.m. in Arizona) game against West Coast Conference foe Gonzaga.
Oregon State finished the 2013 season ranked fourth in the nation after tallying a 52-13 record, the best mark in school history. Oregon State advanced to its fifth-ever College World Series, and the fourth under head coach Pat Casey. The Beavers claimed their third conference title under Casey, and the team’s first since 2006, with a 24-6 Pac-12 record. It amounted to the most conference wins by a Pac-12 club in nearly two decades.
Oregon State is 74-30 all-time in season openers, and is 13-6 under head coach Pat Casey. The Beavers are looking to stretch their winning streak to five games on opening day, and have outscored their last four foes, 26-14.
Who Returns Offensively
Offensively, the Beavers lost two all-Pac-12 players from a year ago in Tyler Smith and Jake Rodriguez. However, the Beavers return two in Dylan Davis and Michael Conforto and two other offensive stalwarts in Andy Peterson and Kavin Keyes. The four also happened to finish with the top four batting averages on the club last season.
Oregon State returning pitchers accounted for 35 of the team’s 52 victories from a year ago, which amounts to 67.3 percent. All-Pac-12 performers Ben Wetzler and Andrew Moore return as does Scott Schultz, who was named a preseason third-team All-American by Collegiate Baseball.
Oregon State is ranked as high as No. 2 to open the year, by Baseball America, which represents the team’s best ever mark to open a season. Last year, the Beavers opened as the No. 6 club in the nation and finished the year fourth. OSU was also chosen to win the Pac-12, earning 98 of a possible 100 points in the opinion of the league’s coaches. The Beavers received nine out of 10 possible first-place votes.