The Oregon State Beavers have lived up to their billing as the tournament’s overall No. 1 seed. Oregon State trounced the competition at its home regional in Corvallis, romping over Holy Cross and Yale in order to host a Super Regional. The Beavers went an astounding 52-4 during the regular season and will be tough to beat. The Vanderbilt Commodores are ready for the challenge though. Vandy knocked off Clemson as the region’s No. 2 seed last week, shutting out the Tigers 8-0 in the decisive game. Winning two of three will send one of these two teams to Omaha.
This series will be contested from Friday, June 9, 2017 through Sunday, June 11, 2017 at Goss Stadium in Corvallis. Friday’s tilt will be broadcast on ESPN2, while Saturday’s clash will be on ESPN and Sunday’s game will be aired on either ESPN2 or ESPNU if necessary.
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Oregon State has two of the best pitchers in the country that it will bring to the mound on Saturday and Sunday. Luke Heimlich has been incredible this season. He is 11-1 with a 0.76 ERA and has yet to allow a home run. He has been a horse as well, going an average of 7 1/3 innings a start. Additionally, he is striking out over a batter an inning.
Jake Thompson has been terrific for the Beavers as well. Thompson is yet to lose a game this season, boasting a 13-0 record in 2017. He has been slightly more hittable than Heimlich with a 1.30 ERA and has allowed 22 extra base hits.
Vanderbilt has two solid pitchers of its own going to the bump, but these two don’t have the gaudy stats that the Beavers’ duo does. Patrick Raby is 10-3 on the year with a 2.36 ERA. He has been the ace of the staff, but power hitters can turn on his pitches.
Kyle Wright has been effectively wild for the Commodores this season. Wright has eight wild pitches and has hit five batters on the season, but has also been a strikeout machine. He has 113 strikeouts in 96.2 innings of action.
If it gets to a decisive Game 3, things could get interesting. Oregon State doesn’t have a great third option and Vanderbilt’s likely choice is very hit or miss.
Will Toffey was named the Regional MVP for his performance in the Clemson Regional. He has been the best hitter for Vanderbilt all season long. Toffey gets on base more often than any of his teammates and his power numbers are tops on the team as well.
Jeren Kendall is the other guy Oregon State must watch out for. Kendall has almost as many steals as the rest of his teammates combined and is a very efficient base stealer. He has succeeded on 19 of his 23 stolen base attempts and won’t hesitate to go if he gets on base.
Oregon State doesn’t have the power hitters that Vanderbilt does, only going yard 27 times on the season. Nick Madrigal is the main offensive weapon for the Beavers though. He leads the team in batting average, slugging percentage and stolen bases. He doesn’t draw a lot of walks, but doesn’t whiff either, with just 13 strikeouts in 216 at-bats.
Connor Kaiser has appeared in every game for the Commodores, but has had some issues. He is hitting just .219 on the season and has committed nine errors as an infielder.
If there is a major weakness for Oregon State, it’s that the Beavers have a dearth of solid righties. Bryce Fehmel has seen more action than any other right-handed pitcher and has gotten rocked. Fehmel has a 4.21 ERA and has allowed more six home runs in 62 innings.
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