Nick Madrigal

Beavers sweep through regional... But are Madrigal and Rasmussen OK?

Beavers sweep through regional... But are Madrigal and Rasmussen OK?

CORVALLIS –  First the good news – Oregon State culminated its undefeated romp through its regional tournament Sunday night with an 8-1 win over Yale.

But then there are the serious questions:

Is there something wrong with second baseman Nick Madrigal? And is Drew Rasmussen going to be OK in the super regional next weekend? He's moved into the role of his team's No. 3 starter and would possibly be needed as the competition gets tougher on the way to Omaha.

Madrigal was hit on a hand while batting a couple of weeks back and has returned to the OSU lineup but there have been indications that he may still be suffering from that injury. If Madrigal, the Pac-12 player of the year and defensive player of the year, is at less than 100 percent, that’s going to handicap the Beavers.

Rasmussen, battling back from Tommy John surgery, managed only four innings Sunday before turning the game over to his bullpen. Brandon Eisert took over for Rasmussen and blanked Yale over the next three and two-thirds innings. Jake Mulholland threw an inning before Coach Pat Casey brought Max Engelbrekt in to get the final out with a runner at second.

Both teams scored single runs in the first inning and then OSU broke the game open with a five-run fifth.

Two Yale errors opened the floodgates for Michael Gretler’s towering three-run homer over the wall in left field to cap the scoring in that frame.

Rasmussen allowed a run on five hits, walked one and fanned five. He was not particularly sharp and needed a whopping 73 pitches over his four-inning outing.

"We had him to go 95 pitches," Casey said. "But he threw 26 in the first inning. I think he was a little too amped up and was overthrowing. When he got to the third inning he was tired."

Madrigal bunted for base hits his first three times to the plate, the last time with his team leading by five runs. In his fourth at bat he took a couple of full swings resulting in foul balls but ultimately walked. Then in the seventh he bunted successfully for a hit again -- four base-hit bunts in one game.

A natural conclusion to draw from the bunts is that he’s still having pain in the hand, as reported by Kerry Eggers of the Portland Tribune Sunday, that is making it difficult for him to take a full swing. The Beavers are going to need more than bunts from Madrigal as they move on.

Casey says Madrigal is still suffering from a deep bone bruise on the hand and that he allows him the freedom to do what he feels best. Sunday night the bunts were obviously the best thing for the sore hand -- but they WERE beautiful bunts.

Oregon State, now 52-4, placed Adley Rutschman, Seven Kwan, KJ Harrison, Gretler, Cadyn Grenier, Trevor Larnach and Luke Heimlich on the all-tournament team and Kwan was named the most outstanding player.

Up next for OSU is the super regional, a best-of-three affair, against either Vanderbilt or Clemson, also in Corvallis.

"We are going to have to be better next week," Casey said.

 

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.