Pac-10 Beavers armed to the teeth
BY Stacy Kaneshiro
Advertiser Staff Writer
Hawai'i will learn quickly where it stands when it opens the collegiate baseball season against nationally ranked Oregon State tonight.
The Rainbows, coming off a 32-26 season, are facing a Beavers team (37-19 in 2009) that is picked to finish second in the Pac-10 and projected to earn a regional berth. The Beavers are ranked as high as 10th in one of four national rankings.
Despite losing junior left-hander Josh Osich (elbow) for the season — he had 34 strikeouts in 26[0xb0] innings with a 2.05 earned run average last season primarily out of the bullpen — the Beavers still have one of the best pitching staffs in the country, UH coach Mike Trapasso said.
"We'll probably not face a stable of arms the rest of the year like we will this weekend, as far as consistency of guys who will come at you with power arms," said Trapasso, who added he tried to recruit Osich for UH. "Their No. 1 guy's out. He's a guy we recruited, brought on a visit. But they've still got plenty of guys. That's how deep that they are."
The Beavers will start junior right-hander Tyler Waldron (6-4, 4.15 ERA in 2009), regarded as one of the Pac-10's top prospect in the draft.
Waldron will be followed by junior left-hander Tanner Robles (1-3, 4.75) and junior right-hander Greg Peavey (4-3, 5.74). Robles and Peavey were highly regarded recruits out of high school.
"I like the fact we've got some experience coming back on the mound," OSU coach Pat Casey said in a phone interview. "We're relatively new in some position players. But it's always good to have a lot of pitching depth coming back."
Hawai'i will counter with senior right-hander Nate Klein (3-4, 5.10 in 2009) tonight, sophomore right-hander Matt Sisto (5-4, 4.37) tomorrow and junior right-hander Josh Slaats (2-2, 8.33) on Sunday.
Both coaches have yet to name Monday starters.
Trapasso said junior left-hander Sam Spangler might go if not needed in relief tomorrow or Sunday. A tender throwing shoulder denied Spangler from being the opening-night starter.
It's almost the same story for OSU. Sophomore right-hander Sam Gaviglio (10-1, 2.73), probably the Beavers' best candidate for Friday starts at the outset, is slowed by a sore hamstring, according to The Oregonian, and may be used out of the bullpen.
Trapasso said the Beavers also are solid defensively. Although OSU is expected to start a freshman, Andrew Susac, at catcher, he is regarded as the best at his position defensively in the Pac-10 by Baseball America.
WONG WATCH LIST
Hawai'i sophomore second baseman Kolten Wong was named to the 50-player watch list for Golden Spikes Award, the national player of the year honor given by USA Baseball, which made the announcement.
The winner will be announced July 13 at the MLB All-Star Game's FanFest in Anaheim, Calif.