Oregon State baseball team looking to improve after solid first weekend

2011-02-23T20:30:00Z 2015-03-25T18:07:37Z Oregon State baseball team looking to improve after solid first weekendBy Cliff Kirkpatrick, Gazette-Times Reporter Corvallis Gazette Times

One weekend down for the Oregon State baseball team, and now there's a quick turnaround for a tournament this weekend.

The Beavers started the season with mixed results, but have an idea where to go for improvement.

Coach Pat Casey was impressed with his young pitchers, and disappointed in some veterans and the hitting.

"There were some things we liked," Casey said. "The freshman arms were impressive. We were concerned about that, but they responded great. The area we needed help was from the more experienced guys."

The Beavers (2-2) beat Gonzaga twice and lost to Fresno State twice in three days in Fresno, Calif. The team returned home in the early morning hours Tuesday and took the rest of the day off to recuperate.

They left for Portland after Wednesday's practice to spend the night and jump on an early morning flight to Corpus Christi, Texas, for four games.

Sam Gaviglio and Ben Wetzler threw well in their starts against Gonzaga and are scheduled to go the first two games this weekend. Cam Booser could start again, but that's undecided.

"We'll go with Wetzler and Gaviglio, and make adjustments from there," Casey said. "We have five or six guys who can go."

The staff ERA is 1.73 and pitchers have combined for 38 strikeouts. The bullpen kept the team in games, particularly Matt Boyd who threw three scoreless innings.

Casey liked what Cole Baylis, Tony Bryant and Scott Schutlz did in their relief appearances.

The offense struggled with a .219 average and only five extra base hits from its 28 hits, and struck out 38 times. The top of the lineup got on, but the Beavers left 37 runners on base.

"We swung the bat poorly down there," Casey said. "We saw a couple good arms down there, but nothing we shouldn't be able to handle. That's an area we have to get better at if we are going to compete. We set the tables for the middle of the order and we didn't get anything out them."

Strong debut

Junior transfer Brian Stamps, from Fair Oaks, Calif., began the season strong. He started all four games, collected six hits, scored five runs and had the team's first triple.

Stamps showed his speed running the bases and covering ground in the outfield at all three positions. His only setback was striking out five times.

"I thought Brian did a really good job for a first weekend out, but we have to cut down on the strike-outs," Casey said. "We have to cut down on the strikeouts as a team. But he got on base. For the new people, he was more impressive than some of the guys who have been here for three years."

Stamps was a little nervous his first weekend since Fresno is relatively close to where he grew up. Many family and friends were in the stands.

"It was an up-and-down weekend, but it was exciting to be out there," Stamps said. "I've really enjoyed playing with these guys the last few months."

Player availability

Senior right-handed pitcher James Nygren is off suspension for violating team rules and will be with the team this weekend. He'll contribute because Casey felt he ran out of arms last weekend.

Right-hander Taylor Starr is not available for the second straight weekend as he continues to rehab from an arm injury.

Left-hander Dylan Jones is questionable with a broken finger he suffered a month ago. Casey hopes to get an inning out of him.

"We needed another left-handed arm at the end of some those games to close it out," Casey said.

Copyright 2015 Corvallis Gazette Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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