Oregon State righty Drew Rasmussen (Aaron Fitt)


Corvallis Regional Breakdown


Most Exciting Player: Nick Madrigal, Oregon State. The ultra-talented sophomore is a dynamic player who can get it done a variety of ways. In addition to having a mature offensive approach with a team-best .337 average, he also has plenty of gap power with 18 doubles to go with two triples, four home runs and 31 RBs. Madrigal also is an elite defender, while also being one of the team’s better base-stealers.

Best Hitter: Madrigal. Who else? The second-year player is a slam dunk All-American and has impressive bat control, striking out 13 times while also walking on 20 occasions. When Madrigal is rolling along, the Beavers are incredibly difficult to slow down.

Best Defensive Player: Madrigal. Yes, that guy again. In addition to being a premier hitter for the Beavers, Madrigal also possesses smooth actions and instincts and elite defensive skills with just a .981 fielding percentage (four errors) in 51 games played.

Best Pitcher: Luke Heimlich, Oregon State. What a season the talented junior lefthander has put together for Pat Casey’s Beavers. Heimlich has ridiculous numbers — namely an 0.81 ERA in 111.1 innings. He’s also struck out 120 and walked 21, while teams are hitting him at a low .177 clip. Heimlich is having a season worthy of strong Golden Spikes Award consideration.

X-Factor: Drew Rasmussen, Oregon State. The Beavers put together an incredibly strong regular season campaign when Rasmussen was still coming back from Tommy John surgery. Well, they’ve been even better since the righthander returned. Rasmussen has appeared in five games and made three starts thus far, tallying a 0.51 ERA in 17.2 innings. His return gives the Beavers three front-line starters in the weekend rotation.

Best Starting Rotation: Oregon State. Here’s yet another category that the Beavers just completely dominate. OSU has a ridiculously impressive weekend rotation with Rasmussen and Heimlich leading the charge, while righthander Jake Thompson has been the season’s biggest surprise with premium stuff and a 1.31 ERA in 103 innings, along with 96 strikeouts and 31 walks.

Best Bullpen: Oregon State. The Beavers wouldn’t call their bullpen the strength of their team, but there are several solid and consistent options at the back-end of games. For instance, freshman Jake Mulholland has done a terrific job as a first year player with a 1.39 ERA in 24 appearances, while Max Engelbrekt and Brandon Eisert, among others, are worth watching.

Best Offensive Team: Oregon State. The Beavs might not be considered a power-hitting juggernaut, but this offensive lineup can get things done many ways. For instance, the Beavers can live in the gaps at times, while also doing all the little things right and executing extremely well. Grenier, Madrigal, Larnach and Harrison, among others, are capable of putting chargers into the ball.

Best Defensive Team: Oregon State. The Beavers get the advantage in this category, too, because of their spectacular infield defense. OSU is terrific up the middle with Cadyn Grenier (.969) and Madrigal (.981) leading the charge, while catcher Adley Rutschman possesses an impressive defensive skill set. OSU also has a quality set of outfielders.

No. 1 Seed Win Probability (1-10): 9. If you look at the regional win probabilities at Boyd’s World right now, the computers think OSU has over a 99 percent chance to win this regional. That’s about right. The Beavers earned a favorable regional field with an unbelievable regular season, but keep close tabs on Nebraska, which is battle tested and will be ready this weekend.

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