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Saturday, Feb. 24
The Indiana Daily Student

sports baseball

IU faces two 2018 College World Series participants in weekend trip to Seattle

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IU baseball will head to the west coast for the only time this season, to compete in a three game tournament at T-Mobile Park in Seattle.

IU has been off this entire week after Tuesday’s game against Indiana State University was canceled due to the extremely low temperatures. 

This weekend IU will face the defending national champion in No. 4 Oregon State University, a 2018 College World Series participant in the University of Washington and the University of San Diego. 

Because of the strength of opponents that IU plays this weekend, it is the most difficult stretch of games IU has in non-conference play.

IU starts the weekend with a 10 p.m. EST Friday start against Washington. IU senior pitcher Pauly Milto will likely get the ball and will be tasked with facing an 8-2 Washington team led by junior catcher Nick Khale who is batting .419 with two home runs and 14 runs batted in on the season. 

Junior infielder Roman Bramasco and sophomore outfielder Braiden Ward are both hitting well over .300 as well for Washington, which has scored 47 more runs than its opponents this season. 

On Saturday, IU the best opponent it has faced this season. Oregon State, college baseball’s defending champ, is off to a scorching 10-1 start that features a sweep of Nebraska, a win over Minnesota and a series win over West Virginia University. 

Oregon State is paced by sophomore infielder Alex McGarry who his hitting .429 with one home run and 12 runs batted in so far this season. Oregon State features five players who have started eight or more games while also batting above the .300 mark.

Junior Brandon Eisert has been solid out of the bullpen for Oregon State, going 4-0 with 13 strikeouts in 11 innings of work. Oregon State will be looking to bounce back after its first loss of the season last weekend to West Virginia.

On Sunday, IU perhaps its most familiar opponent. IU played San Diego as recently as last year when it took three of four games. 

San Diego is on a tear at the plate with six of its normal batters hitting .300 or higher. Freshman utility player Cody Jefferis leads San Diego with a .388 average and 14 runs batted in. 

This weekend will provide IU a chance to boost its resume as it heads towards conference play.

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