31.Mar.2011 Baseball: Oregon State @ Arizona
Probable starters for the weekend have not been released, but my hunch is the matchups will look like this:
|04/01||Arizona||Sam Gaviglio (5-0, 0.39) vs Kurt Heyer (4-0, 1.33)||6:00 p.m.|
|04/02||Arizona||Josh Osich (3-0, 2.74) vs Kyle Simon (5-1, 2.25)||1:00 p.m.|
|04/03||Arizona||Ben Wetzler (3-1, 4.08) vs Tyler Hale (3-1, 2.70)||12:00 p.m.|
Oregon State and Arizona have one common opponent (LBSU), and both squads took two of three. Arizona won in more convincing fashion outscoring the Dirtbags 18-3 (versus the Beavs more modest 15-7). Those numbers may seem meaningless since "a win is a win", but actually I think they provide good insight.
Arizona's wins have been slightly more routine, and they have beaten Rice and Arizona State. Right now, especially at home, you have to give them the edge in this series. That's a given. But my fear is that the Beavs will be swept. I'll tell you why: too much lies on Sam Gaviglio winning game 1.
If that doesn't happen, they will have to rely on Osich or Wetzler (or Nygren, *gasp*) to salvage a game. Do you have confidence in that happening? Maybe versus Hartford…I just don't see it happening versus good teams. Osich and Wetzler/Nygren are throwers who dig themselves into trouble. If the Beavs score in the 1st, they'll give back two in the 2nd. These guys just have that feel to them. Of the group, Wetzler has the most promise, but he's too green to win a meaningful game on the road.
So, my prediction is this: if Sam wins game 1, the Beavs take 1 of 2. If Sam loses game 1, the Beavs will get swept.
As far as whether Gaviglio will win the opening contest…God…tough call. I see a really tight game. The difference might be the amount of pressure on Sam to win that game…he could crack. The Wildcats have better mashers, too, in Joey Rickard (.481, 1, 18) and Cole Frenzel (.411, 1, 27) and have 41 steals as a team. Andrew Susac has been a mess behind the dish with 5 passed balls. In a close game, the combination of Arizona speed with a bad Oregon State battery could matter. Oh, and I forgot to mention: one of our best mashers, Jake Rodriguez, will likely miss the series with a fractured wrist.
Brace yourselves for the worst.