## 09.Apr.2010 Beaver Baseball: UCLA @ Oregon State

This is a big weekend for the baseball team. They can declare themselves contenders, or fold like pretenders. The game’s first pitch is about 30 minutes away as I write this, and I have to say, this is about as psyched as I get for a regular season series.

First let’s look at how the teams compare in the vital statistics:

**Team batting**| .347 vs .271. Advantage: UCLA

**Team slugging**| .510 vs .408. Advantage: UCLA

**Team OBP**| .429 vs .380. Advantage: UCLA

**Runs per game (offense)**| 8 vs 7.2 Advantage: UCLA (if there’s a reason for Beaver fans to hope, it’s that this number is relatively equal).

**Team ERA**| 2.43 vs 2.94 Advantage: UCLA. A statistic you’d think would be won by the Beavers is not.

**Opponents BA (pitching)**|** **.192 vs .228. Advantage: UCLA

**Fielding %**| 9.72 vs 9.70 Advantage: UCLA

UCLA has the edge in every statistic that matters, but to me, the most glaring mismatch is that of slugging percentage. In college baseball, extra-base hits win games, while peppering the outfield with the occasional single does not.

Just like the football and basketball programs, the Beavers baseball team is not ready to win this kind of series. Though to be fair, they are more capable than the other two programs. Earlier this season I said the Beavers would win three-games series (i.e. 3-0 or 2-1) versus weak or equal competition and lose series (i.e. 0-3 or 1-2) versus elite competition. I’m holding steady with that prognostication, and thinking that at home, the Beavers find a way to eke out one victory (think something close, like a 4-3 score). After all, what statistics do not show is that the Beav’s baseball team has the best coach at Oregon State, and Oregon State has the best coach in college baseball. That’s worth at least one win, right?