Wrapping Up Weekend Tournaments

Oregon State picked up a good win yesterday to wrap up the Domino’s Pizza Aggie Baseball Classic, beating host Texas A&M 6-5. That snaps A&M’s 14-game winning streak and improves the Beavers to 14-3 on the year. The Aggies were a good matchup for Oregon State, because they pitch well, play defense well and put pressure on the defense with their aggressiveness on the basepaths, things the Beavers have done well during the past few years. And Texas A&M won Friday’s matchup, but OSU got its revenge Monday despite an eighth-inning grand slam by talented Aggies shortstop Brandon Hicks that brought A&M within a run. One significant development for the Beavers was the solid start by senior lefty Anton Maxwell, who threw three shutout innings before handing off the the bullpen. Pitching depth was a huge factor in Oregon State’s national championship (without Joe Paterson and Daniel Turpen turning in huge performances in Omaha, the Beavers wouldn’t have won it), and if Maxwell pitches well he gives coach Pat Casey a solid fourth option.

Monday’s other interesting game featured Nebraska beating Stetson 6-2 in a makeup of Saturday’s Stetson Invitational game. Still, it was a solid week for the Hatters, who beat a solid Bethune-Cookman team 10-3 last Tuesday and then came from behind for a 5-4 win against Notre Dame. That was after the Irish scored four runs in the first inning against ace righthander Corey Kluber, Stetson’s best prospect and a potential top-five-rounds pick. To Kluber’s credit, he battled back and shut Notre Dame out for the next five innings, giving the Hatters a chance to come from behind for the win. Stetson, which has won series against Southern Illinois, Louisiana State and Louisville, is an interesting team. If top hitting prospect Brian Pruitt (.227/.320/.318 through 44 at-bats) stops pressing and starts hitting the way fellow corner infielder Braedyn Pruitt has (.396/.484/.604), the offense should be fine. (The Pruitts are not related.) Freshman second baseman Casey Frawley is hitting just .271 but has provided a spark near the top of the lineup.

“I love that kid,” said Stetson coach Pete Dunn of Frawley, a 5-foot-10, 160-pounder from New Haven, Conn. “He’s a hard-nosed, blue-collar player who’s helping us win while learning to play Division I baseball. It’s a little scary with him at second and another freshman, Kevin Johnson, at shortstop but they’re growing together and getting more comfortable every game.”