When the Oregon State Beaver baseball team runs out of the dugout and onto the field at Goss Stadium for the first time in the 2020-2021 season, a familiar face will be amongst them.
Ace right-handed pitcher Kevin Abel has decided to return to Oregon State for another season.
[Be sure to check out the latest Talkin’ Beavers Podcast with host Ron Callan and special guest Oregon State women’s basketball senior Aleah Goodman]
It has been an up and down career for Abel in orange and black.
As a freshman in 2018, Abel lead the Beavs on the mound to a National Championship. The San Diego, California-native posted a 2.88 ERA and an 8-1 record in 2018 as well as a plethera of awards following a fantastic freshman year:
- College World Series All-Tournament Team
- D1Baseball.com Freshman of the Year
- D1Baseball.com Freshman All-America
- Baseball America Freshman of the Year
- Baseball America Freshman All-America
- Collegiate Baseball Freshman All-America
The next season, Abel announced that he needed Tommy John surgery to repair his elbow. The recovery time for his procedure is typically 12-16 months.
Having Abel in the Beaver bullpen is big news not just for Oregon State but for the Pac-12 conference as well as national relevance. Abel has experience on the big stage.
Oregon State lost just one player to the 2020 MLB Draft: LHP Christian Chamberlain, No. 105 overall to the Kansas City Royals.
Returning to the bullpen in 2020-2021 is:
- Redshirt junior: Mitchell Verburg
- Juniors: Reid Sebby, Nathan Burns
- Sophomores: Jake Pfennings, Joey Mundt, Andrew Walling
- Freshmen: Jack Washburn, AJ Lattery, Will Frisch, Ryan Brown, Kai Murphy, Cooper Hjerpe
The Beavs were about to enter Pac-12 play before the season was suspended and then ultimately cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The NCAA granted seniors of spring sport athletes an extra year of eligibility, so senior LHP Jake Mulholland has a decision to make. But just imagine the duo of Mulholland and a healthy Abel on the mound next season…