The Corvallis Regional features a couple of great first round matchups and the potential for a showdown between two of the nation's all-time great programs.
Northwestern State of Louisiana. Seed #4-
The Demons hail from Natchitoches, Louisiana. So that naturally raises the question: Why are they called Northwestern State if they are in the south. Well Doug Ireland is the Sports Information Director for Northwestern State and he told me that the school is the northern part of the State and that is why Demons are called by that name.
The Beavers and Demons both played Nebraska this season. Oregon State won both of their games against the Cornhuskers and Northwestern State split their two games vs. Nebraska.
The Demons played LSU once and lost 9-5 but Doug Ireland said neither team used their top-flight pitchers in that contest.
The Demons won the Southland Conference Tournament and are 37-22. The big question for fans of the Demons. Will they be able to handle an Oregon State pitching staff that is outstanding in openers?
SAN DIEGO STATE #3 SEED-
The Aztecs are the class of the Mountain West Conference but are a big underdog in a regional featuring OSU and LSU.
Their strength is pitching. They lead the MWC in team ERA. They are not easy to score on and that is what the Aztecs will need in Corvallis. Tremendous pitching could help them against the Tigers at 1:pm Friday.
The Beavers are 12-7-1 all time against SDSU. The last meeting a 9-6 win over the Aztecs at Goss in 2016.
- Regular Season: 39-29 (18-12 conference)
- Head Coach: Mark Martinez
- Best Batter: Chase Calabuig (.359 BA)
- Best Fielder: Jordan Verdon (518 PO)
- Best Pitcher: Garrett Hill (3.58 ERA)
LOUISIANA STATE #2 SEED-
The Beavers remember the Tigers from last year's trip to the College World Series. I posted their 13-1 romp in the first of three meetings. Unfortunately, the offense went away and LSU won the next two to eliminate Oregon State. The Tigers now have to enter the home of the Beavers and "THE ADVOCATE", a newspaper out of Baton Rouge was quick to point out that their stadium is bigger than Goss.
Alex Box Stadium in Baton Rouge lists capacity at 10,326, and LSU has led the nation in attendance for 22-straight years. In 2017 the school listed total attendance for the season as 361,912.
According to Oregon State, two of the highest-attended games in the stadium's history came last year against Vanderbilt in super regional play. Game 1 saw 3,737 fans; Game 2 saw 3,734.
Besides the fans, another factor that makes Oregon State unique? The weather. The temperature this weekend might not rise above 70 degrees. At night, temperatures will dip into the 40s, according to the National Weather Service.
It's the first time LSU is on the road for a regional since traveling to Los Angeles in 2010.
So if the Beavers and Tigers win their openers the atmosphere at Goss should be awesome.
OREGON STATE #1 SEED-
We know the Beavs have had another incredible regular season. 44-10-1 is off the charts again. Starting pitching is a true strength and they have three outstanding MLB prospects in Nick Madrigal Adley Rutchsman and Luke Heimlich.
If there is one question about this Oregon State team. Its lack of success in the finale of series. In the final three series of the regular season. They beat UCLA, USC and Stanford in the first two contests and then lost the final game.
The Beavers have all the makings of a team with Omaha in their future and now just need to take care of business this weekend at home.