Chris Burkhardt

Pac-12 honors: Beavers, Beavers everywhere

Pac-12 honors: Beavers, Beavers everywhere

It has been a busy day in Beaver Nation, as a record-setting season was rewarded with numerous individual accolades.

The Pac-12 conference announced its season awards today, and it was littered with Beavers.

Oregon led the conference with six players named to the All-Pac-12 Team: RJr. OF Jack Anderson, So. SS Cadyn Grenier, Jr. 1B KJ Harrison, Jr. LHP Luke Heimlich, So. 2B Nick Madrigal, and RJr. RHP Jake Thompson. Arizona had the second most selections, with five players making the team.

Oregon State also was one of only two schools, Utah being the other, to have multiple players named to the Pac-12 All-Defensive Team: So. 2B Nick Madrigal and So. OF Steven Kwan.

Oh, but the Beavers weren’t done. Oregon State also won four of the six individual awards.

Madrigal added to his accomplishments this season by being named both the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year, and the Pac-12 Player of the Year. Madrigal batted .377, with 77 hits, four home runs, and 31 RBIs this season.

Madrigal was among the top five in the conference in multiple offensive statistics including batting average, slugging percentage, on base percentage, hits, doubles, and stolen bases.

Defensively Madrigal committed just four errors on the season, good for a .981 fielding percentage, and was named to the All-Defensive team for the second year in a row.

Moving to the mound, star Pitcher Luke Heimlich was named Pac-12 Pitcher of the Year. Not only is Heimlich the best pitcher in the conference, he is one of the best in the entire nation. His .81 earned run average is the best in the country, he boasts the fourth best WHIP (.80), and his 10 victories tie him for third most on the season. He is also one of five finalists for the College Baseball Hall of Fame’s National Pitcher of the Year award.

The final individual award the program took home went to a very deserving Pat Casey, who was named Pac-12 Coach of Year.  The man who helped put OSU baseball on the map takes the award for the fifth time in his career, first winning it in 2005. Behind Casey the Beavers set a Pac-12 record with 27 conference wins, and are on pace for the greatest single-season winning percentage in history.

But wait, there’s still more.

Heimlich and fellow pitcher Jake Thompson were named First-Team All-Americans, and Madrigal was named a Third-Team All-American. The All-American selections are a first for all three players.

The future may bring some more hardware the Beavers’ way. Both Heimlich and Madrigal have been named semifinalist for the 2017 Golden Spikes Award, an award given annually to the top amateur player in the nation. The finalists for the award will be announced on June 14.

The Beavers get to put all this talent to good use on Friday when they host Holy Cross in the first game of the NCAA Regionals. First pitch is set for 8:00 at Goss Stadium.

Historic season for OSU could end with a trip to Omaha

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Oregon State Athletics

Historic season for OSU could end with a trip to Omaha

It has been nearly a month since the Oregon State Beavers dropped a game on the diamond (an April 29 loss to USC), and with the regular season ending this weekend they look to keep it that way.

Oregon State, the consensus number one team in the country, plays host to Abilene Christian in a four-game set to end the season. The Beavers have already clinched the conference title, and even if second place Stanford wins it’s remaining three games, the Beavers will end the season with a six-game cushion. The last time a Pac-12 team won by six games or more was in 1985, when Stanford won the then Pac-10 South with a six-game lead. So let's just say it has been awhile since a Pac-12 team has taken home a conference title with such ease. 

While the Beavers have locked up a spot in the field of 64 for the NCAA Tournament, there is still plenty on the line this weekend. A series sweep of the Wildcats will all but guarantee the Beavers the No.1 overall seed (if they haven’t locked it in already), and will also cement the 2017 Beavers in the record books.

OSU needs to win its final four games to finish the season at 49-4, which would net them a .925 winning percentage, passing the .914 of the 1972 Arizona State Sun Devils for the highest single-season winning percentage of all-time and put a cap on an incredible regular season.

So how did the Beavers get here? With perhaps the greatest season in program history.  To this point the Beavers have won 45 games, tying the program record for single-season victories set in 2013. They won 27 conference games, breaking the league record 26 wins Arizona State amassed in 1981. And their .900 winning percentage in conference play; the best since the league expanded to the Pac-10 in 1979.

A quick look at the some of their team stats, and you will continue to be amazed. Oregon State leads the nation in ERA (1.87), shutouts (11), WHIP (.98), WL percentage (.918) and hits allowed per nine innings (6.27). LHP Luke Heimlich leads the nation with a .87 ERA, while RHP Jake Thompson has the nation's third lowest ERA at 1.01.

Put this all together and it’s no wonder the Beavers have been ranked the No.1 team in the country for nine straight weeks. Head coach Pat Casey has said all season that the Beavers only goal was to win the Pac-12. They did that, quite easily, so now it’s time to focus on the road to Omaha and seeing if they can repeat the magic of 2006 and 2007 and bring a championship to Corvallis.

It is obvious that only time will tell if the Beavers will win it all. It is also more than obvious that OSU is the best team in baseball and most certainly the favorite to do so.

The only question remaining is which teams will the Beavers have to get through to book a trip to Nebraska? We will find out on Monday, May 29 when the Division I Baseball Committee unveils its selections for the field of 64.

Former OSU CB Kendall Hill to transfer to Grambling State

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USA Today

Former OSU CB Kendall Hill to transfer to Grambling State

Former Oregon State defensive back Kendall Hill has found a new home, announcing on his Instagram page that he will be transferring to Grambling State.

Hill, who came to Corvallis in 2012, had a rough start to his career at Oregon State. He redshirted his first year on campus while he took time to rehabilitate a knee injury he suffered the previous spring. The following season Hill injured his knee during spring ball and would miss the entire season once again.

Hill did not see real game action until 2014; a year that saw him switch from safety to wide receiver and play in eight games, mostly on special teams.

In 2015 Hill switched back to defense and had his most productive year as a Beaver, playing in 11 games (five starts) and recording a career best 39 tackles.

Due to his injuries in 2012 and 2013, the NCAA granted him a sixth year of eligibility prior to the 2016 season. He played in 12 games that season for the Beavers, before deciding to play his sixth season elsewhere.

Hill was in attendance for Grambling State’s spring game last month, in what was an unofficial visit to the program, and is expected to join the team early this summer.

Since Grambling State is in the FCS, a lower division than Oregon State, Hill will be immediately eligible to play for the Tigers. 

Seahawks agree to trade Marshawn Lynch to Oakland

Seahawks agree to trade Marshawn Lynch to Oakland

The most anticipated homecoming in the NFL is finally a reality.  According to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, the Seattle Seahawks have agreed to trade Marshawn Lynch to the Oakland Raiders.

Lynch, an Oakland native, retired from the NFL following the 2015 season, but had recently shown interest in rejoining the league.  It was reported back on April 14 that the Raiders and Lynch had agreed to terms of a deal, and that the ball was in the Seahawks' court to complete a trade; a trade that was figured to be nothing more than a formality at the time.

According to reports, the Seahawks and Raiders will swap late round picks in 2018 in exchange for the rights to Lynch. Seattle will send its sixth round pick to Oakland in exchange for the Raiders fifth round pick.  Lynch’s deal with the Raiders is reportedly a two-year deal worth $3 million base, with added incentives should he eclipse the 1,000 yard mark.

In his final season in the league Lynch battled injuries and rushed for just 417 yards in seven games played. However, the year prior he played in all 16 games and rushed for 1,306 yards, averaging 4.66 yards per carry.

If his body is healthy and he has any gas left in the tank, then the Raiders just got a steal.

Earlier today Lynch took to twitter to thank the Seahawks fans and more or less make the deal official.

“Yes Lawd 12th man I'm thankful but [expletive] just got REAL I had hella fun in Seattle…But I'm really from Oakland doe like really really really from Oakland doe... town bizzness breath on me."

Fans in Oakland are ecstatic, but so are his new teammates.

The Raiders open the 2017-18 season on September 10 in Tennessee against the Titans, and play their first home game the following weekend when they host the New York Jets.

Sydney Wiese taken 11th overall in WNBA Draft

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USA Today

Sydney Wiese taken 11th overall in WNBA Draft

Sydney Wiese is trading in the small town of Corvallis for the glitz and glamour of Hollywood. The former Beavers star was selected by the Los Angeles Sparks with the 11th overall pick in the 2017 WNBA draft, becoming the highest ever selection for an Oregon State player.

Wiese had quite the career at Oregon State, setting the Pac-12 record for career three pointers made (373), was named to the Pac-12 all-conference team four times, and helped lead the team to its first ever Final Four appearance in 2016. That 2016 team also won the Pac-12 Tournament for the first time in program history.

In her final season at OSU Wiese averaged 15.2 points, 4.9 rebounds, and 4.5 assists per game, and was a finalist for the Naismith Award given to the national player of the year. For her career, Wiese averaged 13.3 points, 3.8 rebounds, and 4.8 assists per game. When it was all said and done Wiese finished her career with 626 assists, a program record, and 1,824 points, good for fifth al-time in OSU history.

Wiese becomes the third former Beaver currently in the WNBA, joining Ruth Hamblin (18th overall pick in 2016 by the Dallas Wings) and Jamie Weisner (17th overall pick in the 2016 by the Connecticut Sun).

In a press release prepared by the Sparks, Executive Vice President and General Manager Penny Toler, and Head Caoch Brian Agler had high praise for Wiese. “Sydney is one of the best point guards in the country,” said Toler. “She is a very good passer, penetrator, and three-point shooter that has shown that she can affect the outcome of a game be either her scoring or passing ability.  She will be a great addition to our team now and for years to come.”

 “We are excited to get Sydney as a part of our team,” said Agler, “We like her ability to play the point guard spot, shoot the three-point spot and distribute to her All-WNBA teammates.” 

The Sparks open up the WNBA regular season on May 13  with a home matchup against the Seattle Storm.

Blazers look to bounce back in Utah

Blazers look to bounce back in Utah

It was a tough night in Minnesota. The Trail Blazers (38-39) lost to the Timberwolves (31-45), 110-109, but they get a quick chance to bounce back tonight against the Utah Jazz (47-30). With five games remaining Portland’s magic number remains at a four. Four wins over there final five games and the Blazers will eliminate the Denver Nuggets (36-40) from the playoffs and clinch the eighth and final playoff spot out west.

To grab the win in Utah the Blazers will need to drastically improve their interior defense. The Timberwolves exposed the Blazers on Monday, giving Portland a harsh taste of reality of life without Jusuf Nurkić. Without the big-bodied Nurkić available to defend Karl-Anthony Towns, the T’Wolves’ big man had a field day. Towns scored 34 points on 15 of 25 shooting, and pulled down 12 rebounds. He took it right at Meyers Leonard, scoring with ease, and left the Blazers perplexed as to how to defend him. To be fair it was an off night for Blazers, yet they nearly won the game on a last second shot from Damian Lillard. As the great Vince Lombardi would say- the Blazers didn’t lose the game, they just ran out of time.

The Blazers had contributions from just about everybody on the floor. Six players scored in double-figures, led by Damian Lillard with 25, and Al-Farouq Aminu also had one of his better games of the season putting up a stat line of 20 points, seven rebounds, five assists and three blocks. The only player that failed to make much of on impact was Leonard. While the team put together a decent game, they will need far more from Nurkić’s replacement if they want to grab a win in Utah.

Leonard, starting his second game in place of the injured Nurkić, failed to score a point and finished with just two rebounds and two assists. Leonard is averaging just 3.5 points, 3.0 rebounds, and 1.0 assists in his past two games. The Blazers will need far more from him in these final five games, especially on the defensive end where it seems they miss Nurkić the most. The Blazers still control their own destiny, but letting a game like the one in Minnesota slip away makes it that much harder to secure that final playoff spot.

Getting back on the right track won’t be very easy in Utah. The Blazers have split the season series with the Jazz, losing the last matchup 111-88 on the road. In those two games Jazz center Rudy Gobert is averaging 12.5 points, 13.0 rebounds, and 2.5 blocks. Star forward Gordon Hayward missed the first matchup due to injury, but had 22 points, six rebounds, and seven assists in the second matchup. Both he and Gorbert will be key factors in whether or not the Blazers grab a victory.

We will help set the stage for tonight’s game with an all-new Rip City Live starting at 5:00pm only on CSN.   

And if you can’t get to a TV, you can check out The Scoop Pregame Show streaming live on your mobile phone, tablet, or computer at 5:00pm at Facebook.com/CSNNW.

Quick Links:

Trail Blazers' six-game winning streak snapped after they can't stop Towns inside

Video:  Quick: Blazers running out of time in playoff race

Video: What lies ahead for Blazers for remaining schedule?

Video: Leonard: "Trying to find a way to get into a rhythm"

Game Details:

Where: Vivint Smart Home Arena, Salt Lake City UT

Television: CSN, 6:00pm

CSN Programming:  Rip City Live (5:00pm), Talkin' Ball  (Immediately after the Blazers postgame show)

Live streaming: Watch an authenticated stream of the game at CSNNW.com/BlazersStream or on the NBC Sports App! Plus the Scoop Pregame Show streams at 5:00pm at Facebook.com/CSNNW. The Scoop Postgame Show will stream immediately after the game at Facebook.com/CSNNW

Radio: Rip City Radio 620

 

Blazers start final back-to-back with a trip to Minnesota

Blazers start final back-to-back with a trip to Minnesota

The magic number: Four. All the Portland Trail Blazers (38-38) need to do is win four of their final six games and they will clinch the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Portland heads into tonight’s matchup with the Timberwolves (30-45) with a two game lead on the ninth place Denver Nuggets (36-40). Portland won the season series against the Nuggets, meaning Denver needs to finish a full game ahead of the Blazers in order to secure a playoff spot. At this point, the eight seed feels like a near lock for the Blazers.

Portland has come out victorious in its past six games, including a lopsided 130-117 victory over the Phoenix Suns on Saturday. The Blazers controlled the game from the jump, at one point leading the Suns 50-25. Phoenix clawed back and made it a single digit game, but the Blazers quickly answered and stretched it back out to double digits. The final score was a lot closer than the game ever was.

It was a very impressive win for the Blazers. Portland had six players in double figures, led by Damian Lillard with 31. Noah Vonleh chipped in a double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds, while Evan Turner scored 18 off of the bench. It was a big test for the Blazers, playing their first game without star center Jusuf Nurkić, and needless to say they passed their first hurdle.

The next test comes in the form of the Karl-Anthony Town led Timberwolves. Minnesota is just 3-7 in its last 10 games, and is coming off of a 117-123 loss to the Sacramento Kings on Saturday. Despite the losing record, this test will be a little harder for Portland. With no Nurkić and a hobbled Meyers Leonard the Blazers may have a hard time guarding Towns. In the two previous games these two have played, both wins for the Blazers, Towns has averaged 13.5 points, 9.0 rebounds, and 3.0 assists. However, both of those contests came against a Blazers team that was largely healthy. It will be interesting to see how the Blazers choose to defend  the Timberwolves attack without their true starting center.

On the bright side the Blazers are 2-0 on the season against Minnesota, last matching up just over a week ago – A 112-110 win for the Blazers. Can the Blazers make it 3-0?

Let’s just hope there isn’t condensation on the court in Minnesota this time around.

We will help set the stage for Saturday’s game with an all-new Rip City Live starting at 3:00pm only on CSN.   

And if you can’t get to a TV, you can check out The Scoop Pregame Show streaming live on your mobile phone, tablet, or computer at 6:00pm at Facebook.com/CSNNW.

Quick Links:

As Trail Blazers' only remaining center, Meyers Leonard presented with 'huge' opportunity 

Video: Quick: Leonard's dinner with Nurkić

Video:  Lillard: Staying poised despite distractions

Video: Stotts: Life without Nurkić

Game Details:

Where:  Target Center, Minneapolis MN

Television: CSN, 4:00pm

CSN Programming:  Rip City Live (3:00pm), Talkin' Ball  (Immediately after the Blazers postgame show)

Live streaming: Watch an authenticated stream of the game at CSNNW.com/BlazersStream or on the NBC Sports App! Plus the Scoop Pregame Show streams at 3:00pm at Facebook.com/CSNNW. The Scoop Postgame Show will stream immediately after the game at Facebook.com/CSNNW

Radio: Rip City Radio 620

 

Blazers looking for sixth straight win with the Suns in town

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USA Today

Blazers looking for sixth straight win with the Suns in town

There are just seven games left in the season and the Portland Trail Blazers (37-38) will have to do their best to hold onto the eight seed without rising star Jusuf Nurkić. The team announced late Friday that the team’s key midseason acquisition would miss the rest of the regular season with a non-displaced fibula fracture in his right leg. Deflating as it may be, the Blazers have little time to mourn. Instead they turn their attention to the playoff race and welcome the Phoenix Suns (22-54) to town.

The Suns are coming off of a 124-118 loss to the LA Clippers. It was the tenth straight loss for the Suns, a steak that started on March 12 with a 110-101 loss to the Trail Blazers. Despite the losses the Suns have found a budding young start in 20-year-old Devin Booker. Booker scored 33 points against the Clippers, and made history just two games prior when he became just the sixth player in NBA history to score 70+ points in a game.

On the season Bookers is averaging 21.8 points, 3.3 assists, and 3.2 rebounds per game, and 22.2 points, 1.6 assists, and 2.6 rebounds in three games against the Blazers.

For the Blazers there is plenty on the line in this game. The Blazers open up April after going a league best 13-3 in the month of March, including winning their past five games, and are right back in the thick of the playoff hunt. Heading into this game the Blazers hold a two game lead over the Nuggets for the eighth and final playoff spot, and can gain another half game with a win. A win against the Suns would also give the Blazers a .500 record for the first time since December 8, when a loss to the Grizzlies dropped them to 12-12.

But most fans will really be looking to see how this team plays without Nurkić. That Blazers season turned around once the Bosnian Beast came to town, and now the Blazers have to finish what he helped start while he watches from the sidelines.

We will help set the stage for Saturday’s game with an all-new Rip City Live starting at 6:00pm only on CSN.   

And if you can’t get to a TV, you can check out The Scoop Pregame Show streaming live on your mobile phone, tablet, or computer at 6:00pm at Facebook.com/CSNNW.

Quick Links

Not again: Trail Blazers sad history with centers adds another chapter with Nurkic injury​

VIDEO: Highlights: Blazers take down Rockets at Moda Center

VIDEO: Aminu: We're playing with a belief

VIDEO: Lillard: This is the team we expected to be


Game Details:

Where:  Moda Center, Portland OR

Television: CSN, 7:00pm

CSN Programming:  Rip City Live (6:00pm), Talkin' Ball  (Immediately after the Blazers postgame show)

Live streaming: Watch an authenticated stream of the game at CSNNW.com/BlazersStream or on the NBC Sports App! Plus the Scoop Pregame Show streams at 6:00pm at Facebook.com/CSNNW. The Scoop Postgame Show will stream immediately after the game at Facebook.com/CSNNW

Radio: Rip City Radio 620

Southridge avoids the upset, advances to the state championship game

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CSNNW

Southridge avoids the upset, advances to the state championship game

It was closer than we expected, but Southridge held on to advance to the 6A Girls state title game, beating the Grant Generals.

Grant kept it close most of the game, trailing by just one after the first quarter. However, in the second quarter the Skyhawks came out and created the cushion they needed. Southridge opened up the quarter on a 6-0 run, and held Grant to just four points.

Southridge held the 18-13 halftime lead, and despite it being a close score, those five points were just enough to win the game.  In face, if not for a last second desperation three from Grant the final score would have been a five-point win for Southridge.

It was a scare that not many saw coming, and Grant deserves a ton of credit for holding tough against the number one seed, unfortunately the Generals just didn’t have the power to take down the No.1 seed.

Final Score: Southridge: 36 – Grant 34

TOP PERFORMERS:

GRANT:

Points: Khiarica Rasheed, 11

Rebounds: Nina Radford, 9

Assists: Nina Radford, 3

SOUTHRIDGE:

Points: Maggie Freeman, 12

Rebounds: Cameron Brink, 11

Assists: Sofia Riverman, 4

 

One for the ages: Clackamas knocks off West Linn to advance to finals

One for the ages: Clackamas knocks off West Linn to advance to finals

Wow… just, wow. This was, by far, the most entertaining, competitive, and nail-biting game of the playoffs. 

Behind the hot hand of star point guard Elijah Gonzales, the Clackamas Cavaliers upset the four-time defending champion West Linn Lions to advance to the state championship game.

Clackamas came out firing right out of the gate to the take the 14-4 lead, but West Linn quickly answered with a 12-2 run of it’s own to tie the ballgame at 16. When the first quarter ended, West Linn held the 21-19 lead.

Clackamas, however, never wavered. Gonzalez and company kept attacking West Linn. Everytime West Linn threw a haymaker, Clackamas threw one right back.

Threes answered threes. Dunks answered dunks. Play after play these two teams kept us on the edge of our seat.

Then, in the most befitting end imaginable, it came down to the final plays. 

With just over a minute to go the Cavaliers led 70-68. After a few trips to the line, Clackamas held a 73-68 lead with just 45 seconds remaining. West Linn would drill a three pointer to cut the lead to just two points, but it was the last time the Lions would add points to the scoreboard. Clackamas locked down on defense, and hit key free throws to extend the lead, and pick up the win.

For the first time since 2012, when Jesuit beat Lake Oswego to win it all, West Linn will not play in the championship game. The Clackamas win also brings an end to West Linn’s quest to be the first team to ever win five straight state titles.

FINAL SCORE: Clackamas 78 – West Linn 71

Clackamas now moves on to face Jefferson in the state title game.

TOP PERFORMERS:

WEST LINN:

Points: Nolan Bertain, 17

Rebounds: Nolan Bertain and Keishon Dawkins, 8 each

Assists: Braden Olsen, 5

CLACKAMAS:

Points: Elijah Gonzales, 35

Rebounds: Matt O’Brien, 11

Assists: Matt O'Brien, 3