BRYANT FACES #5 OREGON STATE THIS WEEKEND
SMITHFIELD, R.I. – The Bryant University baseball team heads to Corvallis, Ore., this weekend to face its biggest test at the Division I level as it faces fifth-ranked Oregon State in a four-game series starting on Friday, March 1 at Goss Stadium. First pitch is scheduled for 8:35 EST and the series continues on Saturday with a doubleheader beginning at 4:00 EST and finishes Sunday with a single game at 4:00 EST.
In just their second week of competition in 2013, the Bulldogs (0-2-1) will be tested as they face a Beaver team that is off to its best start since 1962 with an 8-0 record. Oregon State also represents the first PAC-12 school and the highest ranked team the Black and Gold have faced at the DI level.
Through the first two weekends of the season, the Beavers have shown to be one of the top teams in the country. OSU has posted a .297 team batting average and an even more impressive 1.12 team ERA. The Beavers are fresh off a four-game sweep of San Diego State in which they held the Aztecs to just two runs in the series. Oregon State's first three projected starters against the Bulldogs are all 2-0 on the season and the bullpen has yet to allow an earned run in 30.0 innings this season. Matt Boyd (2-0, 1.17), a 13th round pick by the Chicago Cubs in 2012, will start the opener and will be followed by Dan Child (2-0, 2.61), Andrew Moore (2-0, 0.66) and Ben Wetzler (0-0, 0.00). A 15th round draft pick by the Cleveland Indians out of high school, Wetzler will be making his first appearance of the season on Sunday.
Offensively, the Beavers have received contributions from everyone in their lineup. Eight players have contributed four or more RBI and six regulars are hitting over .300. Dylan Davis is hitting a team-leading .440 with two doubles, two triples and five RBI, consensus preseason All-American Michael Conforto has scored six runs and Jake Rodriguez and Tyler Smith are tied for the team lead with six RBI.
The Bulldogs enter the second series of the season looking to rebound from a tough trip to Houston last weekend. Bryant lost the first two games of its series to Houston Baptist before earning a 4-4 tie in the series finale. As a team, the Black and Gold hit just .202 and scored only 10 runs in the three games. Sophomore Daniel St. George (Shelton, Conn.) led the offensive attack, going 5-for-8 with two doubles, two RBI and two runs scored on the weekend. Senior Kevin Brown (Northborough, Mass.) chipped in a hit in all three games of the series and heads to Corvallis needing just one hit to become the 15th player in program history to record 200 career hits.
On the mound, Bryant will turn to its veteran hurlers against the Beavers. Peter Kelich (Jackson, N.J.) will look to rebound from a season-opening loss as he gets the ball in the series opener on Friday. Kelich lasted just four innings a week ago, marking just the third time in his career that he hadn't lasted at least five innings in a start. Craig Schlitter (Guilford, Conn.), Kevin McAvoy (Syracuse, N.Y.) and Joseph Michaud (Milford, Conn.) are Bryant's three other projected starters for the weekend.
All four games will be broadcast live on Beaver Nation Online (osubeavers.com) and will be streamed FREE OF CHARGE on the PAC-12.com website.