(Part 1 of an 8-part College World Series preview)
Seeking to keep the national title in the Pac-12 Conference, the Oregon State Beavers hope to add to their run of recent success in the College World Series.
No. 3 seed Oregon State (50-11) is paired against Mississippi State in the first game of the CWS on Saturday at 2 p.m.
Bouncing back from a 6-2, 10-inning Game 1 loss to Kansas State in the Corvallis Super Regional, the Beavers came back to take Games 2 (12-4) and 3 (4-3).
Oregon State is making its fifth appearance in Omaha, including four under coach Pat Casey. This marks the Beavers' first trip to Omaha since winning back-to-back national championships in 2006 and 2007.
Along with a .343 batting average, sophomore right fielder Dylan Davis paces the Beavers in hits (83), RBI (58), doubles (22), triples (3) and slugging (.521).
Michael Conforto (.320, 11 home runs, 45 RBI) is OSU's primary power threat. Leading the club with a .444 on base percentage, the sophomore left fielder has walked 39 times and been hit by 14 pitches.
Ben Wetzler (9-1, 2.11) and Matt Boyd (10-3, 2.13), a pair of salty lefthanders, sit at the top of the starting rotation. Boyd has held foes to a .198 batting average over a staff-high 122 2/3 innings.
Wetzler worked 7 2/3 innings for the win in Game 3 against Kansas State, before Boyd finished up with 1 1/3 scoreless frames to earn his first save of the campaign.
Wetzler was chosen by the Philadelphia Phillies in the fifth round of last week's Major League draft, while Boyd was taken by the Toronto Blue Jays in the sixth round.